In 1847, the Choctaw Indians at Skullyville, Indian Territory, were saddened to hear the news of the starvation in Ireland due to the potato famine. The Choctaw had experienced starvation only sixteen years earlier, when the entire Choctaw nation of people were forced to walk west by Andrew Jackson's government. On the mass forced migraiton known as the Trail of Tears, Choctaws were the first to be "removed" out of the Southeast and their ancestral homelands. years later, when news of Irish suffering reached Skullyville, the Choctaws collected $170.00 and forwarded the funds to the U.S. famine relief organization.
On Thursday, March 5 at the Russell Building Special Collections Library, a colloquium will take stock of this amazing but of humanity: Lo! The Poor Indian, No More: The Trans-Atlantic Choctaw Irish Exchange from 1848-1995
Five Irish, Choctaw and Cherokee scholars will gather to consider the Trans-Atlantic Choctaw-Irish Exchange that occurred 168 years ago. Irish Consul General Peter Gleeson will open the proceedings. Other scholars include: Jace Weaver, Jacki Thompson Rand, Padraig Kirwan, Peter D. O'Neill and LeAnne Howe.
The event begins at 4:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public. An amazing conglomeration of scholars, with the general Consul of Ireland, Atlanta, Paul Gleeson, opening the colloquium. We should be able to allow history to teach us - it has so much to offer.
Image: Indian territory: compiled from the official records of the records of the General Land Office and other sources under supervision of Geo. U. Mayo. 1881. via wikimedia commons.