Last modified: 2010-11-06 by rick wyatt
Keywords: choctaw | mississippi | native american |
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image by Donald Healy, 16 January 2008
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy
Mississippi Band of Choctaw - Mississippi
When the Choctaw were forcibly evicted from their traditional homelands in Alabama and Mississippi in the 1830s, some remained hiding in the woodlands and swamps of southern Mississippi. Today, descendants of those Choctaw who refused to leave form the federally recognized Mississippi Band of the Choctaw Indians. In 1945 the federal government accepted the constitution of the Mississippi Choctaw. They also run their own school system, operate industrial sites and resorts, and maintain autonomous law-enforcement units.
© Donald Healy 2008
In December 1994, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians adopted the flag which flies outside the tribal office and the casino ("MBCI Tribal Flag Now Official", Choctaw Community News, Dec. [1994, p. 16). Its colors reflect Choctaw political ties over the last 500 years. The red, white, and blue vertical stripes refer to the Mississippi state flag, the colors of the United States, and the flag of France (a long-time ally of the Choctaw before their land came under British and American control). The red and yellow derive from the red and gold of Spain, recalling the early contact with the Spanish through the explorations of Hernando De Soto in 1540.
The seal of the Mississippi Choctaw symbolizes their progress and survival in the face of adversity. Within a blue circle surrounded by a yellow band, a drum and drumsticks invoke the voice of the people. The hickory stickball (lacrosse) sticks recognize the Choctaw's claim to invention of lacrosse and signify the strong will of the Choctaw to survive and prosper. On the band the legend appears in black, separated by red stars: "MISSISSIPPI BAND * OF * CHOCTAW INDIANS * 1945".
© Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 16 January 2008