As Earth’s sun crosses the equator for the autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere, the end of the summer season turns into a forecast of cooler weather, fall festivals, and the holiday season. For Mississippi Choctos, in fact, the festivities begin every year in early August.
On the second Friday in August, we celebrate Nannie Weah Day, commemorating and sanctioning the 2007 Mississippi Legislature Day Senate Bill 2732 Almost unanimously (with one House vote) to return the venerable “Mound Mound” to the Mississippi gang of Choctaw Indians. Although the measure was approved by the legislature in 2007, the title deed to the land was not formally transferred to the tribe until August 8, 2008 or 08/08/08. Miku Beasley Denson – “Miko” means Chief of Choctaw District – and 17 members of the Tribal Council Sign an announcement Later that year it was officially declared a new Choctaw holiday.
Nanih Waiya, or Choctaw’s “slanting mound,” is a burial mound located on State Highway 393 in southern Winston County and located between the Choctaw communities of Crystal Ridge and Bogue Chitto. Tribe members refer to the sacred site as The mother of the hill, as well as the heart of the Choctaw people.
The mound is formed in two different legends about how the Choctaw people came to be. One is the migration story, where ancestors came from the West, looking to resettle in the East. Each night the chief would push a pole into the ground, and the tribe would move in whatever direction the pole was inclined by the next day. According to this legendFinally, the pillar stood erect at the site of present-day Nanyi Weya, and the ancestors decided that this was where they would settle.
Another creation story involving nanny wiya Take part in the mysterious cave hill. Choctaw children learn that different tribal groups emerged from the hill, dried and tanned in the sun, and went in different directions. Choctaw was the last to appear, and he looked around and declared it a good place to settle – “Mother’s Hill”.
Pride among a trail of tears memories
We lost Mother Hill and the remaining tribal lands when Choctaw chiefs and representatives of the American government signed the ninth and final treaty at Dancing Rabbit Creek in Knoxube County on September 27, 1830. Delivery of 11 million acres of Choctaw land In Mississippi and neighboring states Eight previous treaties With the United States, all with my people trying to avoid losing the original Choctaw lands to the encroachment of settlers. Then , Former Choctaw Province It was opened to the egg settlement. It also marked the beginning of the Choctaw Trail of Tears’ run to the former American Trail.Indian TerritoryNow known as Oklahoma.
The Choctaw Trail of Tears lasted for many generations, and although it began in the 1830s, it continued into the early 1900s. The United States, under President Andrew Jackson, forced the Choctaw to emigrate along the perilous route, with historians citing about 2,500 deaths and many other tribes forced into the West. From 5,000 to 6,000 Choctaws remained in Mississippiand eventually formed the Mississippi Gang of Choctaw Indians in 1945 after Congress passed Indian Reorganization Act 1934. Mississippi Choctaws have faced harassment, bigotry, and other abuse for decades while building our own institutions and economic development in our home country.
Not to mention a lot of pride in our history and culture.
Every September, the tribal school system celebrates “Native American Week,” usually the third week of the month. Celebrations throughout the week on each tribal school campus culminate with an actual holiday at the reservation level throughout Friday. Schools are closed as are Choctaw tribal government offices.
Before my family moved to Troy, Ala. , of Nishuba County, I remember this as merely a holiday in the school calendar; We still had our cultural celebrations during the week and went down on Friday. In recent years there, many Choctaw communities have begun to sponsor community-wide gatherings, with games, songs, and dances reminiscent of spring festivals in April and May. Meanwhile, in Nishoba County where I now live again, the rest of Mississippi and the world, it’s just another Friday.
Celebrations of these holidays have been greatly curtailed over the past two years due to the spread of COVID-19 in the Choctaw Reserve.
permanent friendship treaty
One of the days that is denoted but not “celebrated” is September 27, 1830, the signature of Treaty of the Dancing Bunny This week 192 years ago, decimating Choctaw communities and forcing the diaspora into the West. This was probably the last treaty between Choctaw nation and the United States, but it was the first “removal treaty” signed after the US Congress passed the scandalous law Indian Removal Act earlier that year. President Andrew Jackson, Bearing the same name from the capital of Mississippisigned the treaty.
Although the phrase “A treaty of permanent friendship,” as stated in the preamble to the documentThere was nothing friendly about you being asked to give up remaining property and move elsewhere just to house new settlers. Another example of a removal treaty is Treaty of New Ekota Which acquired 7,000 acres of ancestral land from the Cherokees, who are originally from the North Georgia region, but with a strong presence in North Carolina and other states.
The forced deportation westward to what is today promised Indian territory by coercion and the resettlement of Venezuelan immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard reminds me. The tactics are familiar from what I have learned from history: the government presented promising documents that it did not intend to keep. The difference in this 2022 diaspora is that Venezuelans are immigrants from South America; The Choctaw tribes cut down on the Trail of Tears were indigenous to Mississippi before it became a state.
Two Noxubee County landmarks mark the treaty site from the current state highways. One of Highway 21, which is The mark closest to the site It is said that it was built in 1991. Other The oldest sign is located on Jefferson Street Just south of Macon City, the county seat. This sign was raised in 1949. There is a monument to the Daughters of the American Revolution group in Columbus, Miss America Established at the treaty site There is also a small cemetery that is still in use today.
What’s cool to me is the inaccuracy of both tags.
“Like a dirty stranger, following false evidence”
Somehow, both Noxubee County markers have the same wrong date of September 7, 1830, instead of September 27, 1830, for this pivotal day in American history and Choctaw history. How can the same mistake be made twice, 42 years apart? I discovered this error when a smartphone calendar app alerted me with today’s date, and I was about to write a post about its importance and use Photograph I had taken in 2020 on a quick family trip to the treaty site.
I can’t believe I didn’t notice Wrong date at the time the photo was taken; I probably just wanted to move quickly from the side of the highway where it is located.
The Mississippi Department of Archives and History website, today says, Historic Marks “Sponsored and Funded Specially. Once the order is received and approved by the MDAH Board of Trustees, MDAH works with the manufacturer to create the tag. After completion, it is shipped to the Mississippi Department of Transportation, which then installs the tag at the appropriate historic location.
The Mississippi Department of Archives and History told me this week that this system has been around for about 25 years. So private funders paid for the 1991 treaty mark, but the state of Mississippi paid for the first mark in 1949, the first year of the Mississippi mark program.
There is no quantification of the cost of creating either of these false tags from 1949 or 1991, but today’s 30″ x 42″ tag costs between $2,440 and $2,290, which includes a 7-foot post.
In today’s world where history and facts are hotly debated, including which parts of American states and Mississippi history are taught the most, humiliating historical inaccuracies have been on display for more than 70 years. We hope that this simple error will be easily corrected and the correct history of its importance and contribution to the development of the Mississippi case and effects on the Choctaw be recognized.
What happened on September 27, 1830 was horrific enough for Choctaw. The least the state of Mississippi could do is get the date directly on the signs that remain near the treaty site.
In 1831, Mississippi Choctaw George W. Harkins wrote an eloquent but directed letter To the United States on the Loss of the Choctaw Homelands and the Forced Displacement of Most of Our People: “Although your ancestors have gained freedom in the realm of danger and glory, our ancestors have rightfully owned it to them. … Yet our present movements are said to be our voluntary actions—which is not the case We found ourselves as a shady stranger, following false clues, until fire and water were surrounded on every side.
“We go sad, knowing that something has gone wrong,” Harkins continued. “Will you give us your sympathetic compliments so that all traces of hateful dissent are erased, and we shall once again be confident in the professions of our white brothers.”
However, he wished the condition he was leaving behind so much before embarking on the Trail of Tears: “As much as Mississippi has wronged us, I can find in my heart no other feelings than a craving for prosperity and happiness.
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