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ERIC Number: EJ813343
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Feb
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0018-2680
The Choctaw Nation: Changing the Appearance of American Higher Education, 1830-1907
Crum, Steven
History of Education Quarterly, v47 n1 p49-68 Feb 2007
In September 1830 the U.S. government negotiated the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek with some leaders of the Choctaw Nation. The treaty reinforced the congressional Indian Removal Act of 1830, which paved the way for the large-scale physical removal of tens of thousands of tribal people of the southeast, including many of the Choctaw. It provided for the "removal" of the Choctaw from their traditional homeland in Mississippi to Indian Territory. The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek proved to be a mixed blessing. If it paved the way for tribal removal, which the Choctaw viewed as something negative, it also had other provisions, which benefited them. One was a higher education provision. Article Twenty directed the President of the United States to provide for the education of "forty Choctaw youths for twenty years." Although the treaty did not specify a collegiate education, both the treaty negotiators and the tribal leaders understood that advanced education was an ultimate goal of the Choctaw Nation. After all, the Choctaw people, as noted in the treaty, were "in a state of rapid advancement in education" and wanted a delegate sitting in the U.S. House of Representatives. Political representation thus became part of the treaty negotiations as the Choctaw wanted some amount of future political power. There was more than one reason why some Choctaw leaders favored higher education for their tribal membership. One was the need for highly educated leaders who would lead the Choctaw Nation into the future. By the second quarter of the nineteenth century, the Choctaw people came to view formalized Euroamerican education as a way to interact effectively with the white Americans. Lastly, the Choctaw viewed education as a "survival" tactic in an ever-changing world. This article describes how the Choctaws, for several decades up to the dissolution of Indian Territory in 1907, gave a new appearance to their higher education experience. Owing to their cultural and political distinctiveness, they took some American practices and reshaped them. The first way was by carrying out groupness behavior; the second was by returning to their native homeland; and the third was by carrying out equal gender representation, especially in the last two decades of the nineteenth century. (Contains 73 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A