QUICK FACTS REGARDING THE MOWA BAND OF CHOCTAW INDIANS
The MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians has never lost its traditional language and have taught the language in our local schools since 1965.
Tribal members have attended federal and mission Indian boarding schools such as (Haskell Institute (Lawrence, KS), Bacone Indian College (Muskogee, Oklahoma), and Acadia Baptist (Eunice, Louisiana) for five generations.
The State of Alabama or any federal body has never terminated the rights of Choctaw Indians within the state.
MOWA Choctaw tribal members have intermarried or partnered extensively with nearly thirty different tribes nationally.
MOWA Choctaw have maintained a continuously functioning tribal school (Calcedeaver Elementary School founded as the Weaver School in 1835) for over 175 years.
MOWA Choctaw maintain a fully functioning Indian Museum and Cultural Center located on the MOWA Choctaw Indian Reservation.
The MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians received state recognition in 1979.
The MOWA Choctaw first petitioned for federal acknowledgment by application to the Guion Miller Roll in the early 1900’s. The MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians are one of the longest petitioning tribal communities in U.S. History (over one hundred years) with numerous Congressional Bills to their credit:
S.381 (101st Congress) 1990
S.362 (102nd Congress) 1991
S.282 ((103rd Congress) 1993-1994
H.R. 923 (103rd Congress) 1993-1994
H.R. 3605 (103rd Congress) 1993-1994
H.R. 4228 (103rd Congress) Auburn Restoration Act 1993-1994
S.292 (104th Congress) 1995-1996
H.R. 3526 (109th Congress) 2006-2007
H.R. 1946 (110th Congress) 2007-2008
In 1991 the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians received an 11 to 2 vote in favor of federal acknowledgment from the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs
The MOWA Choctaw’s federal lawsuit in 2006-2007 was denied based solely on a statute of limitations argument posed by the Court.
The MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians have:
-a tribally sponsored Health Clinic on their reservation.
-an Indian Housing Authority funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Native American Programs.
-one of the longest running Indian Education Programs in the Southeastern United States (1965).
-a fully accredited tribal police department located on their reservation.
-membership in the National Congress of American Indians
-an Industrial Park with 3 currently operating factories.
-a tribally sponsored Head Start Program located on their reservation.
-community buildings, recreational facilities, athletic fields, athletic center, and dance grounds located on their reservation.
-a tribal scholarship program dedicated to the field of medicine, as well as numerous community based college scholarship programs.
-an annual cultural gathering/ community powwow for over thirty years on the second weekend of October each year.
-a sanctioned tribal language department
The MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians are one of the only “non-federally recognized” tribes in the Nation to have qualified under the Indian Child Welfare Act, which is exclusive to federally recognized tribal communities.
The MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians firmly believe that culture, language, tribal lands, physicality, historical governmental relationships, Indian schools and related social factors are the cornerstones of Indian identity….not federal recognition.
The MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians are descended from a majority of Choctaw families who mixed with a smaller number of disaffected Cherokees, Chickasaws, Creeks and marginalized non-Indians during the Removal era. These disaffected and marginalized non-Choctaw families came to the isolated lands held by the Alabama Choctaws in an attempt to escape persecution. In the late 1800’s, the Choctaw family of Alexander Brashears and Apaches held captive at Mt. Vernon, Alabama (the site of the MOWA Choctaw reservation) mixed in with the MOWA Choctaw community, further adding to community diversity. Since the 1950’s nearly thirty tribes have also married into the MOWA Choctaw community, thus providing even more tribal diversity. Through it all, Choctaw language and cultural traditions have maintained themselves as the focal points of community identity and social order.