What Indian Tribes Lived In Alabama

What Indian Tribes Lived In Alabama – A thin layer of cigarette smoke hung over the large, colorful gaming room at the Wind Creek Casino as players frantically pressed jumbled slot machine buttons and watched the wheels of fortune spin—perhaps waiting for a life-changing stroke of luck on the Indian Reservation. of Poarch Creek in Atmore.

Bells, chimes, shouts and cheers created the sounds of a chaotic jazz orchestra, acting as the theme song to win someone over. Or, more likely, loss. No more pensioners clutching buckets of quarters. A few used credit cards, but most seemed content to slide clear $20 bills into the lit slot.

What Indian Tribes Lived In Alabama

What Indian Tribes Lived In Alabama

There’s something ironic and disturbing about watching President Andrew Jackson’s face go into a slot machine, further enriching Native Americans, a people group he hated and tried to exterminate for 20 years in the early 19th century. .

Alabama Has Its Place In The Trail Of Tears

As the top general of the United States Army between 1812 and 1818, Jackson controlled armies that killed thousands of Muscogee and Seminole Indians in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. As part of the surrender, the Muscogee tribe was forced to surrender 23 million acres of land to the US government.

What Indian Tribes Lived In Alabama

A battle that was a pivotal moment in the ongoing hostilities between the United States government and the Creek Indians was the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in March 1814. After killing nearly 1,000 Creek Indians and forcing them to sign the Treaty of Fort Jackson, Jackson advanced . The victory paved the way for further military victories in New Orleans and made Jackson a hugely popular figure before his run for president more than a decade later.

In 1830, then-President Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, which began the relocation of Indian tribes to the Southeast. In all, about 60,000 people were driven from their lands and forced to make the long trek to new reservations west of the Mississippi. According to historical accounts, around 13,000 people died from starvation, exposure to the elements and disease. The act of abolition was accelerated due to population growth, the development of slavery, and the continued cultivation of cotton.

What Indian Tribes Lived In Alabama

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It was known as the Trail of Tears, named after a Choctaw chief who described a “trail of tears and death” upon arrival in cold Little Rock, Arkansas.

Discoveries of Native American architecture and artifacts at Moundville date from 1000 to 1450, supporting the theory that Abama was a major tribal center at the time. At the settlement’s peak, about 1,000 people lived in the enclave and another 10,000 in the surrounding area.

What Indian Tribes Lived In Alabama

Native American culture and its history can sometimes be lost on those of us who didn’t grow up with it or read anything beyond the atrocities that led to the Trail of Tears. In recent history, many Abam residents have become accustomed to reading headlines about the Poarch Creek Indians, who are making millions from statewide gambling operations and recently offered the state government $225 million for the rights exclusive gambling.

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But in a paradoxical way, it’s President Jackson’s face that reminds us that Obama’s Native American culture isn’t just about money and politics, but a complicated and sometimes sad heritage rich in history. And one that continues to this day.

What Indian Tribes Lived In Alabama

There are currently nine state-recognized tribes throughout the state, mostly concentrated in areas in the southeast near Dothan and Huntsville in the north. (According to the most recent American Community Survey, Alabama’s Native American population is now 22,589, representing 0.5% of the state’s total population.)

Tribes are usually made up of members who refused to travel on the Trail of Tears, which historians have since compared to death marches. Among those who remained were the ancestors of the MOWA band of Choctaw Indians, a small tribe living in southern Washington and North Mobile counties.

What Indian Tribes Lived In Alabama

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“They hid in the forest,” said the chief of the MOWA tribe, Dr. Lebaron Byrd. “Some of them hid for years, avoiding soldiers and law enforcement. The survivors settled in this part of the state.”

Chief Byrd said some of the men who remained were trapped working in the local turpentine industry, which historically recorded some of the harshest working conditions there at the time. Chief Byrd said if the men tried to leave the factory, the owner would threaten to turn them in to the authorities.

What Indian Tribes Lived In Alabama

In 1979, MOWA, named after the first two letters of Mobile and Washington counties, became a state-recognized tribe and in 1991 received further recognition from the US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. However, in 1997, the Bureau of Indian Affairs refused to fully federate the tribe. Byrd said efforts toward federal recognition continue.

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This recognition would discourage the MOWA from conducting gambling on their land in the same way that the Poarch Creek Indians do in Atmore. The tribe used slot machines and bingo at the entertainment center before the machines were confiscated by local law enforcement. The judge found that despite recognition in Abama, the MOWA is not a federally recognized tribe and therefore the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which allows gambling on Indian reservations, does not apply to them.

What Indian Tribes Lived In Alabama

While most of the state’s students are expected to learn about the four so-called civilized tribes that once called the Abama home, students at schools with larger Native American populations receive a broader Native American education through Indian education programs.

“This school is the last school in Alabama where Native Americans are the majority, and if you believe in history and diversity, that makes us one of the most important schools in this state and perhaps in neighboring states,” said Principal George Sullivan. at a recent cultural event celebrating Native American culture.

What Indian Tribes Lived In Alabama

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Students danced traditional American dances while parents and family watched from the stands. Although most of the dancers were Native American, black and white students participated in the dance. Raised drummers in the center of the circle led the singing and drumming.

Although poverty levels are reported to be between 80 and 90 percent, Sullivan says the community is very close-knit and most activities center around the tribal offices and elementary school. Many Native American families apply for housing and welfare benefits, Byrd said, adding that the Band of Poarch Creek Indians donates its share of Mobile County housing assistance to the MOWA tribe.

What Indian Tribes Lived In Alabama

After decades of decline, the school was transformed in 2001 when it joined the Obama Reading Initiative and the federation’s Reading First program, which provided students with sophisticated reading materials. Within five years, the school was among the best in the state, and in 2006, the US Department of Education awarded it Blue Ribbon school status. By 2013, 100 percent of sixth graders met state standards in math and 91 percent met state standards in reading, 79 percent at the advanced level.

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Currently, roughly 90 percent of K-6 students score advanced or proficient on state reading and math tests, an impressive feat considering Obama’s low ranking nationally.

What Indian Tribes Lived In Alabama

I achieved this in a small rural primary school that taught grades one through twelve. “This building certainly had character,” said Sullivan, who stood in the offices of the new $10.5 million building that opened in early 2015.

There is no doubt that 2020 will be another important year for Native American culture in Obama. For some, the future will be in $20 bills destined for flash slot machines in noisy, smoke-filled rooms and perhaps green-cheap board games. For others, that future will include success in the classroom and a recognition of the difficult and winding heritage that has existed on the border of Mobile and Washington counties for hundreds of years.

What Indian Tribes Lived In Alabama

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“Recognition of our tribe by the federal government would give us the opportunity to make a bigger difference in the future of all people’s lives,” Chief Byrd said. “It would mean better opportunities for our students and children and help ease the burden of what our tribe has been through.”

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What Indian Tribes Lived In Alabama

Distribution of Indian land in Alabama Find the number you are interested in on the map. Then compare this number with the list of treaties below. For details, see Indian Land Cessions in the American Southeast. Treaty List 46. Choctaw Land Issue, October 17, 1802 61. Choctaw Land Issue, November 16, 1805 64. Cherokee Land Cession, January 7, 1806 75. Creek

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