MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians
|3,600 total enrollment (10,000+)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|United States ( Alabama)|
|Catholic, Protestant, traditional tribal religion|
|Related ethnic groups|
|Chactaw, Cherokee Chikasa Muscogee|
The Mobile and Washington Band of Choctaw Indians are one of the first tribes believed to have been encountered by the Spaniards as early as 1540, then referred to as the Chicasa (Chickasaw), Chactaw (Choctaw), and Abeneki (Lost Tribe) Tribes - the names would change repeatedly and multiple times over the course of about 500 years of history as repeated and continuous attempts to defraud "The Nation" of their life, liberty, and property and inalienable RIGHT OF POSSESSION, USE, AND OCCUPANCY to their historic country.
William Charles Cole Claiborne was the Governor of the Mississippi Territory in the City of Washington (present day Alabama) and sent his letters to President Thomas Jefferson, of the United States, who resided in the Mississippi Territory in Washington City, in or about the vicinity of Mobile and Washington County, Alabama, he was Governor of the Mississippi Territory and the President Thomas Jefferson was the President of the United States of America and the Choctaw Nation was precisely where the Choctaw Indians of Mobile and Washington County, Alabama reside today in Mobile and Washington Counties in Alabama. See Pages 445-447.
In 1814, Natchez was re-named to Mobile as enacted by law in the Mississippi Territory, and now that this fact of history, law, and culture is revealed, it's revelation is the foundation which destroys the basis of the history of the United States. The entire United States History was based on the premise of certain cornerstones, all of which deprived MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians of their Native American Heritage, their culture, history, ethnicity, and even their own family members have been found to have been appropriated to other locations and states.
Citations are forthcoming. The rich and colorful history of the Choctaw Indians of Mobile and Washington Counties known as the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians is long overdue. History demands to know the truth of how and why their culture, traditions, and even family were ripped apart from their neighborhoods to become the stuff folktales, legends, and lore were made of and re-appropriated to other States of the Union.
The Mobile and Washington Band of Choctaw Indians are mentioned by Bienville when he founded the towns of Mobile, Louisiana, Biloxi, and Natchez at or about location of the present day Alabama Power Plant and DuPont Chemical Plants on Highway 43 in Mobile County, Alabama.
Over a period of a few years in some cases to several decades in others the names of the towns, rivers, and lakes would change with the towns and cities themselves.
The American State Papers were undertaken by a firm called Gayles and Seaton. The Niles Register by Hezekiah Niles, and the multitude of Newspapers seemingly established over night only to disappear as quickly as they were published all have something in common, that is an author. A clerk of clerks, the very own quill that proved the pen was indeed mightier than the sword, and so it was.
This was quite an author and this author changed history and along with it the fate of the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians, whose own history is as rich and is as ancient as the land they still main their Sovereign Rights of Possession, Use, and Occupancy to this very day.
The Mobile and Washington County Choctaw Indians are direct descendants of the tribes shown on the Plan Figure Des Villages Chikachas (Chickasaw) Attaque Par Les Francois Le Vingt Six May in 1736 (Map of the Villages of the Chickasaw attacked by the French on May 26, 1736).
The MOWA Choctaw Task Force, Choctaw Citizens of the Choctaw Nation as guaranteed under Article 14 of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek of September 27, 1830, ratified February 24, 1831 (7 Stat. 333)), found this map while researching the origins of the Choctaw and with its discovery that now serves as tangible evidence that Mobile was in the vicinity or actually was the original Natchez District during the attack on Ft. Rosalie which has been held before now to have occurred on the Mississippi River and where Natchez was moved to after the Louisiana Purchase in what is believed to have been some sort of subterfuge to help legalize the Louisiana Purchase in the Treaty of Paris in 1803 by the United States and France. However, this ultimately led to the West Florida Controversy and then history started to change to that which we all know it today.
This left the Choctaw Indians in Alabama without a history and it seems that each and every historian has had a part in the matter of trying to move the history of the Mobile/Louisiana on the present day Mobile River to the Mississippi River. This has been done successfully until now.
As of September 30, 2016, the history of the Choctaw Nation which includes that of the other Indian Tribes and Nations shall be revealed. This history includes many pieces which will help historians better understand why certain events took place in the time frame given - versus the accepted version whereby historical figures somehow traverse hundreds of miles through swamps and desolate country without the benefit of a road, a motor boat, or most any other means available today. These same historical figures are somehow also accepted to have made provisions for huge armies of hundreds or even thousands of cavalry, horses, and munitions and yet rarely if ever make consideration for the baggage trains allowed for by the Roman Legions of antiquity.
The true history of the Creek War and its nature will also be unveiled here. That is the parts that may or may not be true. This includes the Secretary of War's report of General Andrew Jackson's account of the Creek War and his activities which do not quite measure up to those reported in the various works called "The Life of Jackson" by various authors.
The American State Papers - will be used to describe most of the events and some of the characters from the Creek War in 1813-1815, however, the fact that most of these events appear to have transpired as early as the 1790s will also be revealed as well. The fact that some or all of the writers who wrote about the Creek War during the immediate times of the Creek War or afterwards will be addressed as well.
However, this does not bode well for neighboring tribes in South Alabama in particular, since it would seem that some tribes may be adversely affected by these revelations of documented history, that is documented by no less than the American State Papers and other official documents that are irrefutable.
The fact is that even the supposed history of William Weatherford, called the Red Eagle by Eggleston and A. B. Meeks, will be addressed and his own marriage, his wife (not wives), his pension from the United States for his services in what was called the Mexican Campaign, and no tale of William Weatherford would be complete without the mention of the historic Weatherford vs. Weatherford in 1848.
There are more issues at stake. The primary premises behind these findings will be the various Treaties entered into by the United States of America with various nations and Indian Tribes, the American State Papers as opposed to local authors, as definitive sources where possible, and various State and Federal Court Cases that are applicable to the present day MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians, who were called "Lost In Their Own Land".
The fact is lost is not the correct word but there are other words that Congressional Committees on Indian Affairs and the Supreme Court chose to use that are more befitting and they shall be presented piece by piece, word for word, phrase for phrase, and fraud per fraud committed upon the Choctaw Citizens then and now.
It turns out the Alabama Choctaw are historically recognized and have been federally recognized by the United States, France, Spain, the Continental Congress, States and Territories since Europeans first visited this continent. Each opportunity for historical and official recognition of the Alabama Choctaw and Chickasaw will be presented in its entirety.
Federal Recognition is not a pre-requisite to accord a tribe sovereign immunity according to. In Bottomly the United States Supreme Court held the availability of sovereign immunity is not conditioned on formal federal recognition of a particular tribe. Therefore a tribe, its chief, or its tribal officials need not prove that it has been federally recognized nor to assert its immunity from suit for acts done in its official capacity.
The MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians are an Indian Tribe which is federally funded and fully recognized by the Congress of the United States, each Executive Department of the United States, and the Supreme Court of the United States and finally the State of Alabama by Legislative Act, the Alabama Supreme Court, and the Executive Branch of the Alabama State Government. The Choctaw Indians of Mobile and Washington Counties, Alabama are formally recognized by the Congress of the United States via the House of Representatives Committee on Indian Affairs Native American tribe located in southern Alabama, primarily in Washington and Mobile counties. The MOWA Choctaw Reservation is located along the banks of the Mobile and Tombigbee Rivers, on 300 acres (1.2 km²) near the small southwestern Alabama communities of McIntosh, Mount Vernon, Calvert and Citronelle, and north of Mobile. In addition to those members who reside on the MOWA Choctaw Indian Reservation, which is said to be held by the United States to be subject to protection against alienation, about 10,600 tribal citizens live in 10 small settlements near the reservation community. They are led by an elected Tribal Council and an elected Chief. They descend from the Choctaw Nation and other Native Americans of Mississippi and Alabama, who avoided Indian Removal to Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma at the time of the 1830 Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek.
The Choctaw Indians of Alabama (Mobile and Washington Counties) have been recognized Federally and Internationally as follows:
- The Treaty of Paris in 1763 - The Proclamation of 1763, whereby the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations were recognized to exist below the northern-most (31.99) 31st degree North latitude from the Pearl River to the present-day state line of Georgia and Alabama.
- The Treaty of Paris in 1783 - The treaty that ended the American Revolution recognized the Choctaw Line at the uppermost limit of the 31st north latitude (which was marked at 32 degrees and 28 minutes north latitude). The Choctaw Line was established.
- The Treaty of Hopewell in 1786 would again make note of the Choctaw Line and the provide recognition by the Confederation Congress of the United States of America of the Choctaw Indians in Mobile and Washington Counties, Alabama in the Eastern section of the Natchez District. Natchez, Alabama is located in Clarke County and to the North of the Choctaw Indians of Mobile and Washington Counties, Alabama.
- The Treaty of San Lorenzo in 1795 and the subsequent Treaty in 1798 would secure the Choctaw Indians in Mobile and Washington Counties, Alabama the perpetual title to the land within the boundaries of the 31st and 32nd degree north latitude from the Mississippi River to the Eastern Georgia State Line as a demilitarized zone between the United States and Spanish Florida which was then located in Mount Vernon or Fort Stoddard(t), Alabama.
- The Treaty of Paris in 1803 with France known as the Louisiana Purchase would again reference the Indians and their Title to the lands the already had the Right to Soils, Use, and Possession of which has always been conceded to outweigh the Doctrine of Discovery.
This area of frontier Alabama had been inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous cultures. The Mississippian culture is believed to have been ancestral to the historical tribes of the Muskogean-speaking Choctaw and later the Creek, when the entire State of Alabama was dominated by the Choctaw Indians in historic times.
The first European settlers in Mobile and southern Alabama in the 18th century were Roman Catholic French and later Spanish. The area was governed by nationals of these two countries before the British took it over. English and Scots traders arrived before the American Revolutionary War and were followed by settlers arriving in the early 19th century. During the American Revolution, the Galvez conquered Mobile in 1780 and Pensacola in 1781 took control of Mobile/Pensacola from the capital of Louisiana at Orleans only a few miles down river from the present day site of the Alabama Power Plant and the DuPont Power Plant are located on State of Alabama Highway 43 today. Galvez was surrendered the city of Mobile and welcomed by various prominent citizens and Zenon Orso was amongst them. Zenon Orso is a progenitor of many of today's Choctaw Indians of the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians. Although Zeno(n) Orso is recorded to be from New Orleans it is often forgotten that the capital of the Louisiana Territory under the French was at present-day Axis or Bucks Alabama where the Alabama Power Plant is located today. This is even more notable that this same property was deeded from the Jazun(called Juhan) in the deed to the DuPont family who own a nearby Chemical Plant within a mile of the Alabama Power Plant. The Natchez Indians referred to the area as the Juzlin's Nigra or Walnut Hills. The Juzan family still owns property nearby as well, one of the ancient Nova Scotia Acadian Families who settled here and became known as Cajuns - Louisiana Cajuns. In fact, many of the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians are also descendants of the Nova Scotia Acadians who were relocated to this very same Natchez Country as it was known by then, including prominent families like that of John Andry(Andre/Andrews) who still has a road in the area, the Lofton's (called Lofton/Loftin/Loftus's Heights in Mississippi along that river), however, ancient land deeds of Mobile will reveal that Lofton's Road is almost directly across from the Alabama Power Plant and about 4 miles up the road and across the Mobile River one will find an Island which also once belonged to the Lofton/Loftis families, the Krepes, and the Mims (as in the Fort Mims Massacre of August 30, 1813), etc.
The frauds committed against the Choctaw Indians of Mobile and Washington Counties of Alabama, the Mississippi Choctaw, and the Choctaw of Louisiana are both incredible and famous, but there is a reference for any who need to know more about this atrocity of how one larger tribe or at least two tribes would spare little expense to deprive the Choctaw Nation of the East from their own Native American Birthright. The Choctaw Commission of the Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana would eventually be recognized Federally in 1945 largely by the efforts of an Alabama Choctaw named Wesley Johnson who was the first Chief of the Choctaw Nation East of the Mississippi River since the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830, however, the Mississippi Choctaw would quietly remove the Alabama and the Louisiana Choctaw from their own rolls in order to obtain a larger settlement of land and cash from the Indian Claims Commission. The same Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians who were denied by the Choctaw Nation of the West (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma as of 1975) and fought by the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations of Oklahoma rather that be required to pay any claims due the Choctaw Nation of the East in accordance with the 1881 United States Court of Claims Decision and the United States Supreme Court decisions in Choctaw Nation vs. United States now sought to actively deny the other remnants of the Choctaw Nation of the East of the Mississippi River.
The Choctaw Indians of Alabama some of whom, but not all are known at the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians is composed of Choctaw who refused removal to the Indian Territory in 1830. By their treaty, they were allowed to stay as state (and US) residents and retain their Sovereignty as Choctaw Citizens but if they should ever remove to take a 640-acre reservation in Oklahoma, then they would never be allowed to take part of the financial incentive. The Treaty of (D)Oaks Stand in 1820 traded the lands East of the Tombigbee River in the OLD Choctaw lands called the "OLD FIELDS" for the State of Oklahoma and was later attempted to be corrected in the Treaty of 1825 when 5 million acres were taken from the Choctaw Nation from the lands ceded by the United States to the Choctaw Nation. The Treaty of 1820 was Treaty which conveyed or ceded the lands West of the Mississippi to the Choctaw Nation from the United States and this act was done in 1820, not 1830 as is commonly misunderstood to the case. The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, in fact, guaranteed the Sovereignty of those who would remove to those lands in the West such as Oklahoma to the Choctaw Nation forever but did not convey title, covenant or any other term that was intended to diminish from the Right of Possession, Usage, and Occupancy of the Choctaw Nation of Indians in Alabama near their own sacred mound at Indian Graves Creek and Indian Springs at what is today known as Cedar Creek behind the old Jackson's Barracks which is called the Mount Vernon Arsenal or Barracks and was last known as the Searcy Hospital for the Insane. It was also once known for the Battle of the Horseshoe - which an aerial view will reveal the true nature of the heavily stockaded fort which was said to be encountered by Jackson during the Creek War of 1814-1815. The Horseshoe was surrounded by cannons which were used to attack the fortification which is situated on a higher elevation and was virtually impregnable. In 1835 the state government built the Weaver Indian school at Mount Vernon, Alabama, with labor supplied by the Choctaw. Before the American Civil War, the Choctaw were at risk in periodic "Indian roundups" by the federal government.. During these decades they sometimes but rarely intermarried with European Americans. John Johnston Jr. testified in 1842 to being threatened for his property rights before the Congress of the United States, he is a progenitor of some of the Choctaw Indians of Alabama (known as the MOWA - Choctaws Indians of Mobile and Washington County) today and a road named after him is one of the main roads in McIntosh as a legacy to his leadership of the Choctaw Indians of the East
Numerous references in historical records note the presence of Choctaw Indians in this part of Alabama. Historically, there were recognized Indian schools in both Mobile and Washington counties, the last of these two were Reed's Chapel in McIntosh, Alabama and Calcedeaver Elementary School in Mount Vernon, Alabama.
The MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians are recognized by the State of Alabama  and the House of Representatives Committee of Indian Affairs in 1954 and again in 1977.
The MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians are politically organized and have adopted a Constitution. The Constitution of the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians recognizes an elected Chief, an elected Tribal Council with 1 member representing each of the districts of the tribe, and an appointed Tribal Judge. Various committees as formed from time to time to assist with various projects to address the needs of the community. The tribal council and the chief roles of the tribe are elected every 4 years per the Constitution.
The MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians have been acknowledged by the Supreme Court of the United States of America as a member of the Alabama Inter-tribal Council of which Chief Framon Weaver was one of those chiefs who made up that council of chieftains who were deemed to possess inherent sovereignty which is recognized by the Federal Government of the United States to be present in all Indian Tribes, whether or not recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Federal Acknowledgement. The case where this decision was decided is Taylor v ITC United States Court of Appeals 11th Circuit No. 0012280 on December 9, 2001. The case was appealed to the United States Supreme Court in 500 U.S. 1066 (2002) but the decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals was deemed consistent with the Supreme Courts position regarding the Inherent Sovereignty of all Native American Indian Tribes and in this case their councils of organizations of which they are a member of. That is, all Indian Tribes are deemed Sovereign, not because of status either obtained or nor not obtained by the Bureau of Indian Affairs of the United States Executive Department, which lacks the authority, but because Indians are Indians per Federal Statute of the United States of America which are created by the power vested in the Congress of the United States of American to have the plenary power over the entire field of Indian Affairs. The Doctrine of Tribal Sovereign Immunity was applied and deemed applicable to Taylor v Alabama Inter-Tribal Council, which is composed entirely of non-federally recognized tribes which underscores the fact that Indians and their organizations possess inherent tribal sovereignty.
"The Choctaw Nation of Indians and in particular, the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians have a Government to Government relationship with the United States of America which has been repeatedly recognized throughout the entire history of the United States." - Darby Weaver
"Indian sovereign immunity is a unique legal concept and, unlike state Eleventh Amendment immunity, it can be more freely limited by Congressional enactment. Sanderlin, 243 F.3d at 1285. Therefore, as we recognized in Florida Paraplegic Association Incorporated v. Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, a Congressional statute of general applicability presumptively applies to Indian tribes absent some clear indication that Congress did not intend for tribes to be subject to the legislation. 166 F.3d 1126 (11th Cir.1999) (citing Federal Power Comm'n v. Tuscarora Indian Nation, 362 U.S. 99, 80 S.Ct. 543, 4 L.Ed.2d 584 (1960)). Review of the cases on Indian sovereign immunity shows that courts will only rule that a generally applicable statute does not govern an Indian tribe when the statute would "(1) abrogate rights guaranteed under an Indian treaty, (2) interfere with purely intramural matters touching [on an Indian tribe's] exclusive rights of self-government, or (3) contradict Congress's intent."4 Id. The AIC has not suggested that any treaty right is at issue in this case; therefore, we review Taylor's § 1981 claim to determine whether permitting the AIC to be sued under this statute would run contrary to Congress's intent, or would infringe on the tribal organization's "exclusive rights of self-governance in purely intramural matters.""
It is worth noting that the Executive Branch of Government in the form of the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General was also consulted on this very same case about the sovereignty of non-Federally recognized State Recognized Tribes and in 2004 agreed with the findings of the United States Federal Courts in favor of the Inherent Sovereignty of Indian Tribes.
"Michele Taylor worked for the Alabama Inter-Tribal Council, an association of Native Americans that represented several different tribes. We can’t tell from the appellate court opinion when she was hired, what she did, or how her termination came about. But since she sued the council in federal district court for race discrimination, we can safely assume that she was not a member of a Native American tribe and that she was terminated in favor of a candidate who was. Oddly enough, the federal district court ruled against her because she had filed her claim more than two years after being terminated. That court pointed out that Alabama law limits personal injury suits to a two-year filing deadline. Arguing that she deserved four years, she appealed to the 11th Circuit Court, which covers Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.
We say "oddly enough" because the timing of her charges turned out to be irrelevant. Appellate judges promptly ruled that Native American tribes—and, by extension, tribal associations—are immune from suits for employment discrimination. This immunity stems not only from the tribes’ sovereign status but also because "a tribe’s Indian employment preference programs" are part of its anticipated purpose of self-government. To subject a tribe to liability for such preferences would, the judges said, be "wholly illogical." Even so, the court considered other possibilities in its thorough review. One was whether Congress had specifically intended to make Indian tribes immune from Civil Rights Act Title VII employment discrimination claims. The answer was clear: Congress had been very specific about the immunity in discussing Title VII. But Taylor had filed her suit under a much earlier civil rights law, one passed in 1870, when the question of Native American rights had not been considered. Could she sue anyway? No, the judges said, pointing to precedents set by the 9th Circuit Court, which covers Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Michele C. Taylor v. Alabama Intertribal Council, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, No. 00-12280 (7/9/01).
Comment: Since Taylor acted as her own attorney, we might guess she was simply ignorant of tribal immunity from civil rights laws. The moral of the story? As an employer, a Native American tribe can put a tribe member in any job it wants to. "
The fact is that since the organization of the Alabama Intertribal Council is composed of only State Recognized Tribes and it has been found by Federal Court and the Department of Labor to be possess Inherently Sovereign since it is composed of Native American Indians who happen to be Chiefs, that the Tribes of each of the Chiefs are also possessed of Inherent Sovereignty which has also been affirmed by the Supreme Court on other cases not mentioned in this article.
With increasing Native American activism across the country, the Choctaw insisted on their right to self-identification and recognition. In 1979, the Choctaw in this area of Alabama organized as the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians. "MOWA" is a contraction of Mobile and Washington, the two counties which this group inhabits. Its tribal office is located in McIntosh. The MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians achieved the honor of becoming the first State Recognized Tribe by the State of Alabama in 1979.
State Recognized Tribal members purchased their first 160 acres (0.65 km2) of land in south Washington County in 1983. The State of Alabama has recognized their land as a reservation. They descend from several Indian tribes: Choctaw and Chickasaw, the Cherokee lines in which the descendants of Dave Weaver were finally enrolled with the Eastern Band of Cherokees in 1909 under the names of Alfred Weaver, Jerome Chestang, and the other children of Dave Weaver and Cecile Weatherford, the daughter of William Weatherford of the neighboring Creek Tribe not more than 20 miles away on present day maps, which attests to the Creek blood as well as that of Hardy Reed, whose wife was listed in at least 2 newspapers during the so-called Creek War when Chinubbee the Natchez Chief who signed treaties for the Chickasaw, Creeks, and Cherokees was under attack by the Florida Indians, and the Choctaw Indians provided relief under the command of General Jackson's Generals as noted by the land patents mentioned in the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830 and the Treaty of Doak's Stand in 1820. Their annual cultural festival, which includes Choctaw social dancing, stickball games, a Choctaw princess contest, and an intertribal Pow Wow, is held on the third weekend of June on their reservation lands.
The MOWA petitioned the federal government for federal acknowledgement as an Indian tribe. In 1999 the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) denied the MOWA petition. The Choctaw were denied on the sole basis of the work performed by the genealogist who prepared the work for the BIA. The BIA Office of Federal Acknowledgement reported a letter of obvious deficiencies to the MOWA Band of Choctaw's Historian Jacqueline Matte who was assisted by her cousin Doris Brown who served as the genealogist. The submitted work was riddled with inconsistencies which were noted in the findings by the OFA's staff but instead of being corrected, were instead minimized and 30 core ancestors originally submitted were reduced to 4 core ancestors and insufficient evidence was submitted to provide the proof required to satisfy the 25 CFR 83.1 et seq. requirements. Therefore, the petition of the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians was denied. The MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians were given more time to contest the findings however the tribe was believed in its research team of outside experts and the team failed the tribe in its submissions. The strange part is that the research team actually had full knowledge of the relationship between William Weatherford (Creek) and Nancy Fisher (whose family are Choctaw Chiefs in Oklahoma - note Silas D. Fisher and Lachlan Durant (her brother's son was also a Chief of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma). Coleman Cole was another family relation of the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians. Numerous members of the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians are descendants of Eli-Tubbee/Tom Gibson who was the subject of the Court of Claims Decision by which both the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians have profited from along with John Johnston Jr., etc. The research team also submitted no positive information for the descendants of Dav(e) Weaver who was found to be a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians his descendants named Weaver and Chestang were added to those rolls in 1909, but have since been incorporated into the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians. While William McIntosh was said to be Creek Chief, he led the likes of John Ross and the Sequoyah (who is referred to and both Cherokee and Chickasaw)'s father who was said to be named John McIntosh. John Ross's mother was from the Bird(Byrd) Clan of the Cherokee and a dutiful search of the Bird Clan of Cherokee - the missing Bird Clan will be found was composed mostly of Byrds and Weavers, which strangely enough are the same primary surnames of the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians. However, the fact that Nancy Fisher was herself considered a Natchez Indian but her immediate family were both names "Friendly Creeks" in the 1815 petition following the so-called Creek War of 1813-1814 per the American State Papers and Silas D. Fisher would become a Chief of the Choctaw Nation and Lachlan or Laughlin Durant's son would also become a Chief of the Choctaw Nation. Despite the dutiful and exhaustive research conducted by the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians' researchers these facts would go unnoticed. Furthermore, the Tribe itself would be repeatedly told they were denied on several factors and the genealogy was complete. In fact, the genealogy was not complete and the relatively helpless MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians whose elders seldom were educated beyond the 6th grade of school were deceived by those who were paid with Federal Grants to work on their behalf.
The relatively uneducated and under-privileged Choctaws of South of Alabama who made claim to be the descendants of Eli Tubbee (Tom Gibson) who signed the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek as a Captain of the Choctaw Nation and was a subject of the Choctaw Nation v United States (119 U.S. 1 (1886) which started when Hoshihouma (Captain Red Bird or Humming Bird as he was known) was denied his registration by the Indian Agent, Mr. Ward. This was later proven and the Choctaw Indians who were led by their Captains: Charles Cole, Pierre Juzan, John Johnston and John Johnston Jr. Charles Frazier, Alexander and Turner Brashears, and Chief Coleman Coles' own family Mark Cole and his son Peter Cole and Nathaniel Smith of the Cherokee Nation who all inter-married with the children of the Cherokee Nation from the Guion Miller Rolls who were descended from Dave Weaver (Nana Wiya or else Nana Weaya|Wiya) from the Henderson Roll of 1835 and of whom never removed to the Indian Territory in Oklahoma. It was the children of the Dave Weaver from the Cherokee Henderson Roll of 1835 who would marry the children of Dan and Rose Reed in 3 marriages, Frances Elizabeth Weaver would marry Mr. Eddings from Georgia and at least one sibling would marry one of the Byrds. Edy Weaver would marry Joel T. Rivers Jr, who was the son of the Joel T. Rivers of wealth and fame from Monroe County and James Weaver would marry Peggy.
Despite the fact that Alexander Brashears, the Laurendines, and the other Choctaw families are well-known to have been present during the historical period, the Bureau of Indian Affairs actually reported that they were present until the late 1880's and 1900's or so.
Despite the fact that the Weavers and Reeds who were the children and grand-children of the Nancy Fisher and Dave Weaver, Cecile Weatherford (Daughter of William Weatherford, the Creek Warrior who served the United States) and Dan and Rose Reed and were listed on the Guion Miller Rolls of 1909, however it is worth repeating that it was the Bureau of Indian Affairs who compiled the list, issued the roll numbers, and were advised by the United States Supreme Court and its decision.
The primary issue that presented the root cause of the problem with the Choctaws of Mobile and Washington Counties and the BIA's findings stems from the fact that Dave Weaver who enrolled with the Cherokee Nation full-blooded Cherokee Indian did not remove West with John Ross and the rest of the Cherokee Nation called the "Old Settlers" and instead stayed East with the Choctaws of Southwest Alabama at was known as the Mount Vernon Reservation per the old maps in the Weaver, Byrd, Sullivan, and Reed settlements and became known as the Eastern Cherokee.
However these Eastern Cherokee married into the Choctaw Settlements and local references refer to the settlements as simply Indian or else Choctaw Settlements.
One such example which ties more than 70-75% of the tribal members ancestry to the so-called Cecil Weatherford since her name was to be Cecil Weathers in the Catholic Baptismal Records in 1814. However, her name was Cecil Weather however, and she was the daughter of one William Weathers from the U.S. Census of 1810 in Baldwin County Alabama. Cecil Weathers was also the daughter of Nancy Fisher of the Creek "Fish Clan" (several other Fishers would later be removed to Oklahoma after the 1830s removal period. However, Cecil's Children of Dave Weaver, became Weavers and Chestangs and then married into the Reed families (Hardy Reed and Rose or Rosa Reed) both of Alabama Indian descent (Creek/Choctaw).
The issue presented here is that Nancy Fisher is recognized as Creek, Hardy Reed is recognized as Creek, and even Cecil Weathers (not Weatherford is recognized as Creek - all Alabama Indians - Creek/Muskogee/Cherokee/Choctaw/etc. being names given by Europeans). Cecil is the daughter of William Weathers (later the family surname would be changed to Weathersford and then to Weatherford finally and he was later given the moniker "Red Eagle" and made a "Chief" as well - but he lived in a Planter's Home and was given quite an estate by General Andrew Jackson for his clever role in the Fort Mims Massacre).
So the result is that the BIA was not submitted the evidence which Matte was privileged with that would tie the Weathers family surname to the Weatherford family name and thus, no Federal Recognition was granted to the MOWA Choctaw Band of Choctaw Indians. Hardy Reed and his descendents were also summarily discounted by review since the attention was aimed at Rose Reed and her upbringing by her father's slave and not the Native American Indian husband to which she had several children with. Dave Weaver and Byrd families are historical Cherokee but these families are also discounted from the review by the BIA as not enough evidence was submitted or not in time.
The historian Jacqueline Anderson Matte notes that the Choctaw have preserved their identity by cultural practices:
"The strongest evidence of the MOWA Choctaws' Indian ancestry is not, however, found in written documents; it is found in their lives. Their ancestors passed to them their Choctaw identity and traditions, persevering and preserving their heritage despite a long history of persecution and discrimination. Interviews with elders reveal stories of survival by hunting, fishing, trapping, and sharing the kill; rituals related to marriage, birth, and death; customs associated with gardening, medicinal plants, logging, dipping turpentine, and restricted communication with outsiders; and ancestral relationships told generation to generation. Despite hardships, the Choctaw Indian community north of Mobile persisted as a system of social relationships solidified within ceremonial gathering areas, churches, schools, cemeteries, and kin-based villages. Reduced in numbers, and increasingly a dominated minority in their own homeland, the ancestors of the MOWA Choctaws made new alliances."
The Anthropologist Loretta Cormier from the University of Alabama, Birmingham who has studied the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians extensively writes:
"If you go down to the reservation, you’re not going to find people with feathers going ‘woo-woo-woo,’" Cormier points out. "A lot of the ideas that people who aren’t familiar with Indians get from books and history aren’t accurate. That’s looking at the past, and they’re not frozen in time. A lot of their culture and traditions had to be hidden, and some of them were lost. And their culture and group identity has evolved over time, just like any group of people."
Some of the old traditions are still alive and well in everyday life, as well. A few women in the community still craft traditional handmade dresses and shirts, and many still employ the "three sisters" method of gardening with beans, squash, and maize. The Choctaw are a traditionally matrilineal society, which means they trace their kinship through females rather than males, and some still take the mother’s last name. The tradition also survives in the Mother of the Year award, which recognizes an exemplary female leader in the community. Additionally, a group still occasionally gathers on the land that they call "the old stomping grounds" to perform the traditional dances that have taken place on those same grounds for centuries.
"In anthropology, one of the most important things about culture is kinship," says Cormier, "and that’s the most important thing to the MOWA. They have a long history of a few families that have lived together, worked together, know each other."
The last five hundred years of exploitation and discrimination, up to and including their ongoing struggle for federal recognition, have left a deep impact on the MOWA. Nevertheless, the tribe remains resolute, confident, and ultimately comfortable in their own identity. Documents don’t define a people, after all. Family, memory, and culture do.
Leon Taylor, a revered elder, said in testimony to the United States Congress in 1985: "Today, I am Choctaw. My mother was Choctaw. My grandfather was Choctaw. Tomorrow, I will still be Choctaw.
This document requires the following documentation:
1. Local Area Maps - Depicting the Holy Ground called the Assembly Ground, Weatherford's Race Track, Buffalo Lick, the Indian Springs Treaty Ground, the United States Garrison which was also called the Horseshow (and is a horseshoe) also its relation to Panton, Leslie Forbes land plats at Louisiana (in Mobile County, Alabama), Mobile (old Mobile in Mobile County, Alabama), Pensacola (in Mobile County Alabama and the Pensacola Mound where battle of the Horseshoe took place), Indian Graves Creek, (Dancing) Rabbit Creek, etc.
- Pushmataha Park, the Chickasahay River, and other locations of the Yowani and Apalachee Towns which have changed names over the years. The same maps which show various other incantations of the area.
- The surveys conducted by Joseph and Andrew Ellicott for Washington (not D.C.) in the Natchez Country in 1790-1793/4 that were conducted prior to the 1799 expedition to survey the Choctaw Line in Mobile County - old Natchez. - The uncanny maps shown in Halbert and Ball's various books that improperly depict the location of the St. Stephens Meridian and certain sections of land that were used against the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, depite the fact that Clarke County is in Alabama and not Mississippi.
2. Court Cases resulting in various Supreme Court victories which are deemed important and relevant to the Choctaw Nation of Alabama.
- Detailing the Fraud, Abuse, and Malice shown to the Choctaws East of the Mississippi, particularly the Alabama Choctaw.
- U.S. Census
- The Mississippi Territorial Archives, 1798-18, Executive Journals of Governor Winthrop Sargent and Governor William Charles Cole Claiborne Vol.1 by Dunbar Rowland, Director, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Nashville, Tenn.; Press of Brandon Printing Company 1905
- John. S. Bottomly v Passamaquoddy Tribe et al. 595 F.2d 1061 (1st Cir. 1979)
- Alabama Joint Legislative Act on January 11th, 1994, 94-44, previously recognized the State of Alabama Joint Legislative Acts 79-228 and 79-343 called the Turner Acts in 1979 as the First State Recognized Tribe in Alabama
- Indian Policy Review Commission - May 14, 1977
- The Federal Department of Transportation and Alabama Department of Transportation TPO Plan 2003-2016
- Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, September 27, 1830, ratified February 24, 1831, 7 Stat. 333
- Alabama Legislative Act of 1994, 94-123 , based on the findings of the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers
- Alabama Legislature Joint Act of 1994, 94-123
- Choctaw Nation v U.S. 119 U.S. 1(1886)
- Choctaw Nation v. United States, 119 U.S. 1 (1886)
- Alabama Legislative Act of 1994, 94-44
- United States Constitution Article I, Section 8, Clause 3
- http://mowachoctaw.homestead.com/, official website