Chickasaw Nation

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Chickasaw Nation
Seal of the Chickasaw Nation

Seal of the Chickasaw nation
Total population
49,000[1]
Regions with significant populations
United States United States (Oklahoma Oklahoma)
Languages
English, Chickasaw language
Religion
Traditional tribal religion, Protestantism (Baptist, Methodist)[2]
Related ethnic groups
Choctaw

The Chickasaw Nation is a federally recognized Native American nation, located in Oklahoma. They are one of the members of the Five Civilized Tribes. The Chickasaw Nation was created after the Chickasaw people were forcibly removed by the US federal government to Indian Territory in the 1830s. Their removal was part of a larger effort by the federal government to relocate peoples from the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations. The removals became known as the "Trail of Tears".

Government[edit]

The Chickasaw Nation is headquartered in Ada, Oklahoma. Their tribal jurisdictional area is in Bryan, Carter, Coal, Garvin, Grady, Jefferson, Johnston, Love, McClain, Marshall, Murray, Pontotoc, and Stephens Counties in Oklahoma. Their tribal governor is Bill Anoatubby.[1]

Governor Bill Anoatubby appointed Charles W. Blackwell as the Chickasaw Nation's first Ambassador to the United States in 1995.[3] (Blackwell had previously served as the Chickasaw delegate to the United States from 1990 to 1995).[3] At the time of his appointment in 1995, Blackwell became the first Native American tribal ambassador to the United States government.[3] Blackwell served in Washington as ambassador from 1995 until his death on January 3, 2013.[3]

Economic development[edit]

The tribe owns two off-track wagering facilities, 18 casinos, two bingo halls, 18 tribal smoke shops, seven motor fuel outlets, and two truck stops. They also own and operate Bedré Fine Chocolate in Pauls Valley, Lazer Zone Family Fun Center in Ada; WinStar Inn and Suites and Golf Course in Thackerville; Solara Healthcare in Westlake, Texas; Chickasaw Nation Industries in Norman, Oklahoma; Global Gaming Solutions, LLC; KADA (AM), KADA-FM, KCNP, KTLS, KXFC, and KYKC radio stations in Ada; and Treasure Valley Inn and Suites in Davis. Their estimated annual tribal economic impact is over $13.9 billion.[1] In addition, the Chickasaw Nation operates historical sites and museums including the Chickasaw Cultural Center, Chickasaw Nation Capitols, and Kullihoma Grounds.

Their casinos include Ada Gaming Center, Chisholm Trail Casino, Gold Mountain Casino, Newcastle Casino, Riverwind Casino, Treasure Valley Casino, SaltCreek Casino, and WinStar World Casino. They also own Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas and Remington Park Casino in Oklahoma City.

History[edit]

Hernando de Soto is credited as being the first European to contact the Chikasaw, during his travels of 1540. He discovered them to have an agrarian society with a sophisticated governmental system, complete with their own laws and religion. They lived in towns. [4]

In 1797, a general appraisal of the tribe and its territorial bounds was made by Abraham Bishop of New Haven, who wrote:

The Chickasaws are a nation of Indians who inhabit the country on the east side of the Mississippi, on the head branches of the Tombeckbe (sic), Mobille and Yazoo rivers. Their country is an extensive plain, tolerably well watered from springs, and a pretty good soil. They have seven towns, and their number of fighting men is estimated at 575.[5]
Map of Chickasaw Nation, 1891

The US government first assigned the Chickasaw to territory controlled by the Choctaw Nation; their area in the western area of the nation was called the Chickasaw District. It consisted of Panola, Wichita, Caddo, and Perry counties. Although originally the western boundary of the Choctaw Nation extended to the 100th meridian, virtually no Chickasaw lived west of the Cross Timbers due to continual raiding by the Indians on the Southern Plains. The United States eventually leased the area between the 100th and 98th meridians for the use of the Plains tribes. The area was referred to as the "Leased District".".[6]

The division of the Choctaw Nation was ratified by the Choctaw–Chickasaw Treaty of 1854. The Chickasaw constitution establishing the nation as separate from the Choctaws, was signed August 30, 1856, in the new capitol of Tishomingo (now Tishomingo, Oklahoma). The first governor was Cyrus Harris. The nation consisted of five divisions; Tishomingo County, Pontotoc County, Pickens County, and Ponola County. Law enforcement was by the Chickasaw Lighthorsemen, although non-Indians fell under the jurisdiction of the Federal court at Fort Smith.

Following the Civil War—although the Five Civilized Tribes did not suffer the Reconstruction of other Confederacy supporters—for their abrogation of their treaties, the United States forced them into new peace treaties. Under the new treaty, the Chickasaw (and Choctaw) ceded the "Leased District" to the United States. In 1868, the Chickasaw Montford T. Johnson, with Jesse Chisholm's help, secured an agreement with the Plains tribes to establish a ranch on the new western edge of the Nation. His ranch was never raided, although often threatened. He and his family remained the only permanent residents of the area until the settlement of Oklahoma.

The nation was dissolved, with government functions transferred to the federal government before statehood, by agreement negotiated with the Dawes Commission. Following the breakup of the nation, the Chickasaw became citizens of the United States. The US allotted their communal land in plots for individual households of registered members. Land left over was declared "surplus" and available for sale to non-Indians.

The Chickasaw adopted a new constitution on August 27, 1983 to manage their business affairs.

Notable Chickasaw Nation tribal members[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c 2011 Oklahoma Indian Nations Pocket Pictorial Directory. Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission. 2011: 8. Retrieved January 2, 2012.
  2. ^ Pritzker, 373
  3. ^ a b c d "Chickasaw Nation Ambassador Charles W. Blackwell – a Man of Vision". KXII. 2013-01-04. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  4. ^ Official Site of the Chikasaws. Retrieved December 26, 2012
  5. ^ Bishop, Abraham. "Georgia Speculation Unveiled". University Microfilms 1966. 
  6. ^ Arrell Morgan Gibson (1981). "The Federal Government in Oklahoma". Oklahoma: A History of Five Centuries. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 112. ISBN 0-8061-1758-3. 
  7. ^ "Carter, Charles David (1868–1929)." Oklahoma Historical Society's Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
  8. ^ TE ATA (1895-1995)

References[edit]

  • Pritzker, Barry M. A Native American Encyclopedia: History, Culture, and Peoples. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN 978-0-19-513877-1.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]