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"1992 means we will have survived as a people for the 20,000 years before Columbus and the 500 years since."
George P. Horse Catcher


Choctaw Nation,
Indian Territory

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Nanih Waiya


(The Beginning)

Hopahki fehna kash hattak vt atoba vmmona kvt Nvnih Waiya yo atobat akohcha tok oke. Mvskoki yosh tikba Nvnih Waiya akohcha mvt Nvnih Waiya yakni banaiya yo illaiohofka mvt shilvt taha mvt hvshi akohchaka ilhkoli tok oke. Atuk osh Itombikibi ola ho afoha mvt hakchuma shunka mvt luak bohli tok oke.

Mihma Chelaki yosh atuklan Nvnih Waiya akohcha tok oke. Mihmvt yakni banaiya ya illaiohofka mvt shilvt taha mvt akni vt atia tok a iakaiyvt ilhkoli tok oke. Mvskoki vt afohvt hakchuma ashunka cha ia tok o, luak vt itonla tok o, kowi vt lua tok o Chelaki vt Mvskoki vt atia tok a ik ithano mvt yoshoba cha filami cha falvmmi imma ko ilhkoli tok osh falvmmi imma ko ont aioklachi tok oke.

Mihma Chikasha yosh atuchinat Nvnih Waiya akocha tok oke. Mihmvt yakni banaiya ya illaiohofka mvt shilvt taha mvt Chelaki vt atia tok a iakaiyvt ilhkoli tok osh Chelaki vt ayoshoba tok a ona mvt filami mvt Chelaki vt atia tok akinli ho iakaiyvt ilhkoli tok oke. Atuk osh Chickasha vt Chelaki vt ont aioklachi tok a ona mvt Chelaki bilinka aioklachi tok oke.

Mihma Chahta yosh ont aiushta ma Nvnih Waiya yvmma ishtaiopi akohcha tok oke. Mihmvt yakni banaiya ya illaiohofka mvt shilvt taha mvt kanima ik aiyo hosh yakni ilap akinli ho abinohli tok osh Chahta vt aiasha hoke.

As told by Pistonatubbee to H. S. Halbert. (Click for the English translation.)

The Choctaws have two Origin Stories, involving Nanih Waiya, "The Mother Mound," which is located near what is now known as Noxapater, Mississippi:

1) The first tells of how Nanih Waiya gave birth to the Peoples. First the Seminoles, then the Muscogees, then the Cherokees, then the Chickasaws, and finally, the Choctaws. Each of the aforementioned tribes had traveled to new lands to settle, except the Choctaws, who stayed close to their Mother.

2) Second is the story of two brothers, Chahta and Chickasha, who headed the People, in a land far away in the West. They were looking for a new home and each day, they would put a pole in the ground, and each day that pole pointed to the East, thus, the People continued their migration. At the point of Nanih Waiya, the pole stood straight up and it was here that Chahta said that they would stay. Chickasha disagreed, and continued further North founding a new people, the Chickasaws.

Traditionally, the Choctaws lived around Nanih Waiya in Central Mississippi, and spread to Southern Mississippi, as well as, Western portions of Alabama.

It has been said that the Choctaws were both the most peacful, yet the fiercest at War, of all the Nations in the Southeast. Their numbers are estimated to have been well over 200,000 before European conquest.

The Choctaws' first encounter with the Nahullos, was in 1540, when they were attacked by the Spaniard, Hernando de Soto, having slaughtered as many as 3,000 Choctaws. Next came the French about a century later, whom they remained allied with until the Americans won their Independence.

Removal: The Trail Of Tears

The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830 was the start of the Choctaws long journey to Indian Territory Oklahoma. Being the first of the five great southern tribes (Choctaw, Cherokee, Creek, Seminole and Chickasaw) to be moved from their home lands. The Choctaws moved on this long Journey, with may of the Choctaw people not surviving this removal on what had come to be called "The Trail of Tears"


Upon their arrival into Indian Territory Oklahoma, the Choctaw adjusted quickly to this new homeland. Missionaries were sent, representing several denominations, including the Southern Baptist, Congregationalists and Presbyterians. The Missionaries established a good rapport with the Choctaws, and early impressed upon the Choctaws the importance and need for formal education if they were to co-exist with the white man. The Choctaw public school system was started in 1821 before removal to what became Oklahoma. Immediately upon arrival to the western lands, schools began to spring up.

There were three Districts where the Choctaws resided in Indian Territory; Pushmataha, Apukshunubbee and Mushulatubbee, named after three outstanding district chiefs. The Choctaws accepted an alien religion and code of morals, established a completely foreign educational system, adopted the constitution and legal system of an unrelated racial experience, and modified their agricultural and commercial practices to conform  with a complex economic system. Each of the districts had a District Chief, Each town had its own Village Chief , an Assistant Chief (who organized the festivals, dances) and a War Chief who acted as leader of the town's warriors. The War Chief customarily appointed two assistants who became the town's military captains.

The three district chiefs conducted the official business of the Tribe in Oklahoma under the 1825 Constitution. In 1834 a second Constitution was adopted whereby all lawmaking authority was given to a general elected council of 27 members (9 from each district). 

In 1906 The Act of April 26th (34 Stat. 137 provided "the final disposition of the Affairs of the Five Civilized Tribes in Indian Territory. As one of the Five Civilized Tribes, the Choctaws are today still governed by the provisions of this act.

The Choctaw Nation Today

Today, the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma comprises over 175,256 Choctaws, worldwide, and they have moved their tribal complex to Durant, Oklahoma:

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
PO BOX 1210
Durant, Oklahoma 74702
(580) 924-8280

There is NO reservation!! The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is a Sovereign Nation, that maintains a special relationship with both the United States and Oklahoma governments, comprised of 10 1/2 Counties, located in Southeastern Oklahoma:

Counties in Red are the counties where only a portion 
of the county is in Choctaw Nation 

Atoka - Choctaw - Hughes - Haskell  
Latimer - LeFlor - McCurtain
Pittsburg - Pushmataha
- Bryan - Coal  
Johnston - Pontotoc

Courthouse, Museums, Historical and Genealogy Soc., Libraries, and State Vital Records addresses. Covers county, state and Choctaw Nation.

The Choctaw Nation Today, Continued...

Keep in mind that not ALL of the Choctaws migrated west to Indian Territory during the Trail of Tears. There are some Choctaws who DID stay behind, living in the poorest of conditions, primarily as sharecrop farmers with no rights, whatosever. They did not officially organize or become offically recognized by the United States Government until the 20th Century.

The Mississippi Band of Choctaws are one such group, who today comprise over 8,300 members and reside on 30,000 acres in central Mississippi on the Pearl River Indian Reservation.

Mississippi Band of Choctaws
101 Industrial Road
Choctaw, Mississippi 39350
(601) 656- 5251

Another such group is the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians, who comprise 241 members and reside in Jena, Louisiana.

Jena Band of Choctaw Indians
PO Box 14
Jena, Louisiana 71342
(318) 992-2717

Even still some groups have yet to receive recognition from the United States Government, but are recognized by individual state governments.

One of these groups are the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians, who comprise 3,600 members continue to reside in Albama.

MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians
1080 W. Red Fox Road
Mt. Vernon, Alabama 36560
(251) 829-5500

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 Created by Ron Henson

County Coordinator, Choctaw Nation, 2002-2003

County Coordinator: State Coordinator: Asst. State Coordinator:

This Page Last Modified:
Sunday, 03-May-15 16:25:53 PDT