Indigenous Peoples Day

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Indigenous Peoples Day 2019

Professor Damm and Jeri Mangum hosted a Celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day with a Community Drum Circle on October 14th at Fire Station Park in Starkville.  The purpose of the celebration was to recognize that Native peoples were the first inhabitants of the Americas, to celebrate and honor Native American peoples, and to commemorate their histories and cultures.  The program included prayers, readings, songs, dances, and especially recreational drumming.  Native American artifacts more than 2000 years old have been found near ancient earthwork mounds just east of Starkville, showing the area has been inhabited at least this long. It has been estimated that in 1820 there were between 1,000 and 1,500 Choctaws living within the county's present day boundaries in some five or six settlements.  The Choctaw of Oktibbeha County ceded their land to the United States in the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830. They were removed to Indian Territory that is now the state of Oklahoma.  A Choctaw chief was quoted as saying that the removal was a "trail of tears and death."  Since removal, the Choctaw have developed as three federally recognized tribes: the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, and the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians in Louisiana.

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