The Atoka Agreement is a document signed by representatives of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indian Nations and members of the United States Dawes Commission on April 23, 1897 at Atoka, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). It provided for the allotment of communal tribal lands of the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations in the Indian Territory to individual households of members of the tribes, who were certified as citizens of the tribes. Land in excess of the allotments could be sold to non-natives. Provisions of this agreement were later incorporated into the Curtis Act of 1898, which provided for widespread allotment of communal tribal lands.
The agreement also reserved the "coal and asphalt lands" from the allotment process. These lands were to be sold or leased, and the proceeds used for the benefit of the two tribes. Under this agreement, the tribal governments were to be terminated on March 4, 1906. These actions were taken to extinguish Native American tribal claims to the land in order to enable the territory to be admitted as a state. In addition, the federal government representatives believed that adoption of subsistence farming by individual households, along the majority model of European Americans, would help these peoples assimilate and prosper.
The two tribes ratified the document in November, 1897. However, Chickasaw law required that it be submitted to the voters of the Chickasaw Nation, who rejected it. The Curtis Act required that the Atoka Agreement be resubmitted to the voters of both nations. The agreement was approved in a joint election on August 24, 1898.
- Cox, Matthew Rex. Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture."Atoka Agreement." Retrieved May 7, 2013.
- Debo, Angie Debo. The Rise and Fall of the Choctaw Republic Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1961.
- Gibson, Arrell M. The Chickasaws. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1971.
- Litton, Gaston. History of Oklahoma at the Golden Anniversary of Statehood, Vol. 1. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1957.
- Atoka Agreement (1897) Information & Videos - Chickasaw.TV
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