The Choctaws were part of the Five Tribes that were a part of Andrew Jackson’s policy The Trail of Tears. Most of the Choctaws were removed to present-day Oklahoma.
It wasn’t long after the Choctaws were removed that they heard of the Irish famine. Quickly, many Choctaws gathered money and sent it to Ireland.
Here’s a people who had just walked, in extremely harsh conditions, with the threat of violence, from Mississippi to Oklahoma. And now, they were gathering money to help other people.
It’s because of this act of kindness on behalf of the Choctaws that Ireland and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma have a special relationship even to this day.
I’ve been interested in various things tribal nations can actually do; things the United States doesn’t keep them from doing. Thus, I have been interested in whether tribal nations can form political alliances with other nations around the world.
The relationship between Ireland and Choctaw Nation isn’t generally classified as a true political alliance. But it could become such if decolonization occurs.
We non-Indians need to keep in mind that, as we move toward decolonization, tribal nations will be able to do things that our nation, the United States, is able to do. Forming political alliances is one of them. And we needn’t fear this or try to control it. We need to remember they their nations are just as worthy of freedom and respect–including respect for their choices–as we are.