Welcome to the Choctaw National Party website! The Choctaw National Party is a group of Choctaws just like you who have a love for the Choctaw Nation. We come from all parts of the United States and from all walks of life. We are bound by a desire to help shape our Nation’s future through the political process.

The Choctaw National Party hopes to work within the political process of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma to bring about changes that our membership feels are needed to make our tribal government more transparent and accountable. We hope to give tribal members a bigger voice in the decisions that will direct our Nation and it’s future. We hope to promote activism and involvement in the political process. We hold that the power of government arises from the People of the Nation, and that the government should reflect this belief.

We believe that it is important for voters to be informed and have access to news and events that affect them as citizens. To that end we will strive to work towards providing information here, as well as work towards making the tribal government more open. We also feel that it is important for you to have access to viewpoints that may differ with those held by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, so that you the voter can better understand all sides of the issues affecting you.

We hope to help our tribal government reform it’s election process to give you the voter the same rights and guarantees of any other voter in any city, county, state or federal election. We hope to help them institute safeguards to protect the sanctity of your vote. And we hope to raise up and support candidates that we feel will best represent your interests and the goals and platform of the Party.

And most of all, we want to encourage you to join with us in this struggle and make this Party one that represents the ideas and desires of you, the Choctaw people. But whether you chose to join us or not, we hope that you will become an active part of the political process and make your voice heard through your vote.

Chahta hapia hoke!

What is the modern Choctaw National Party?

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As we say in our introductory video, we like to think we are Choctaw like you. Our members and leadership come from very diverse backgrounds. We represent the full spectrum of the people that make up the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. And even though we are diverse, we all share certain beliefs:

  • We believe that the government of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma should be accountable to the citizens of the Choctaw Nation and transparent in it’s actions;

  • We believe that the Choctaw people deserve fair, open and honest elections. We believe that the tribal government has a responsibility to preserve the sanctity of the ballot and of the election process.

  • We believe that the electorate has a right to full access to information, including legislative acts, tribal budgets, and candidate platforms, so that they can make informed decisions and fully have a voice in the election process and in participation in their tribal government.

  • We believe in a free tribal press;

  • We believe in a true separation of powers among the divisions of the tribal government;

  • We believe that the rights of tribal citizens to address their concerns to their tribal government guaranteed under the Choctaw Constitution should not be infringed.

Like the old National Party, we the Choctaw National Party feel that Choctaw people are best suited to manage our own affairs. We want to work within the election process of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma to bring about the goals stated above. We want to make our tribal government better for all it’s citizens.

To that end, we want to provide education and information to help make tribal citizens more aware of issues and events that affect them and the future of our tribe. We want to make you aware to our efforts and the efforts of other groups to reform our system and make it better.We want to make you aware of problems in the system and help show ways you can become involved to correct them. And eventually we want to raise up candidates for office that share your and our goals.

Our current tribal government has been in existence now for over thirty-two years. It has matured to the point that it should be able to take the big steps to effect reform. We feel the Choctaw people should not be satisfied with baby steps, which are really only side steps, in the effort to reform the election process. If our tribal leaders are truly unable to shoulder the work of reform, then we intend to promote candidates who are qualified and willing to undertake this task.

We feel that an election process that is fair, open and honest is the first step to instilling accountability in the tribal government. A government that is accountable to the people is one that becomes responsive to the needs and desires of the people. We feel that the Choctaw people deserve no less than that.

We hope that, if you feel as we feel, that you will join us in our efforts to bring about positive change in the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. We can no longer afford to sit idly by. Citizenship affords many rights, but it also requires many responsibilities. We ask you , Choctaw brother or sister, to shoulder your responsibilities as a tribal citizen and help us make a Nation our ancestors can be proud of and our children can enjoy the blessings of.

National Party History

The National Party has its roots in the supporters who carried William Bryant into office in 1879. Bryant and his supporters resisted outside influence in the affairs of the Choctaw Nation, feeling that the Choctaw People were quite capable and best suited to manage their own affairs. They petitioned Congress to keep it’s promises spelled out in the Treaties of 1832 and 1866, and prevent both Federal encroachment and the growing pressure by the Boomer movement to extend State control over the tribes. By the mid-1880’s the pressure for opening up Indian lands for settlement, the encroachment of railroads and the influx of foreign citizens, miners and tenant farmers and loggers galvanized the traditionalist element of the Choctaw Nation to adopt a stand of resistance to Allotment, restriction of egress of railroads into the Nation, and resistance to any move to weaken or restrict the National government or it’s powers and jurisdiction.

On January 7-8, 1885, delegates to the national convention of the National Party formally met and adopted a platform and selected Benjamin F. Smallwood as their candidate for Principle Chief. Later that year they met in county conventions and selected candidates for the tribal council. Because of the influence of the McCurtain family and the Progressive Party, Smallwood lost to Thompson, but came back to defeat him in the 1888 election.

The National Party continued to win seats in the council, but were unable to field a successful candidate for Chief, due largely to the strong influence of the McCurtains and the Progressive Party, and also due to the fluid nature of political loyalties of the time. Former National Treasurer Jacob B. Jackson became the recognized voice of the traditionalists and the National Party, and continued to fight for the rights of Choctaws to govern themselves through 1906 when he testified before the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs in Washington.

The National Party did not field a candidate in the 1898 election. Many of the traditionalists and full bloods of the Nation had joined two movements that started in the Creek Nation under Chitto Harjo called the Snake Band, who set up their own government at Hickory Grounds in the Muscogee Nation and elected their own council and Chief, passed laws and set up a light horse force to enforce them. The Choctaw (along with traditionalists in the Cherokee and Chickasaw Nations) followed this movement and elected Jackson as the “Snake” Chief. They opposed allotment and any attempt to pass laws over the Choctaws. Interestingly enough, they also advocated the rights of white intermarried citizens, holding it important for Choctaw to keep their word, if they were to ask the United States to keep theirs.

Coincidentally at this time a religious and political movement sprang up among four of the five tribes called the Ishki Ushta Iksa, or Four Mothers Society. This society fought for the protection of the culture of the tribes and for the right to practice their religion, as well as demanding the United States Government honor it’s obligations in the removal treaties to protect the tribes from encroachment of outside governments into their affairs. They established Stomp Dance Grounds throughout the Nations, the last one in our Nation having it’s fire put to sleep about the time of World War II, although dances were still held at the Yellow Hill grounds until the 1970’s. Many of the Choctaw members were a part of all three of these movements and they moved easily in and out of these groups.

In 1906, as the tide of Allotment turned against the traditional Choctaw, Jacob Jackson voiced the desire of the Nationalists to remove to Mexico to continue what they saw as a right to self-governance. He told the members of the Senate Select Committee:

“We, the undersigned committee of the full-blood Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians, respectfully represent: That we are a duly selected committee of full-blood Indians, chosen at two meetings of the full bloods of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations of Indians called and held in conformity with the custom of said Indians, and that we are empowered to speak for and represent about 2,000 persons of the full bloods. That the people whom we represent have at all times opposed the allotment of lands or the division of tribal funds, not because they desired to interfere with the wishes of the Government of the United States, but because they realized, as they now know, that the allotment of lands and the distribution of tribal funds and the acceptance of a complete United States citizenship meant the extinction of the Choctaw race as a people, the loss of identity as a nation — the end of the Indian as an Indian. That the people represented by your committee opposed the ratification of all treaties looking toward the doing away of tribal government, not that they were officers of the national government of the Choctaws or Chickasaws, for their people have steadfastly opposed the election of men who have been in power for many years, but because it was a form of government to which they were born, made sacred by tradition and custom; that they understood it, and they do not understand the new relationship, social and political, which has been bestowed upon them…..

Under these circumstances the committee of the full bloods respectfully petition for relief. We desire, by some proper method, to be settled by conference, or in the wisdom of Congress, a right and an opportunity to close our estates and our affairs in the Choctaw and Chickasaw nations of the Indian Territory, and to select homes elsewhere. Surely a race of people, desiring to preserve the integrity of that race, who love it by reason of its traditions and their common ancestors and blood, who are proud of the fact that they belong to it may be permitted to protect themselves, if in no other way by emigration. Our educated people inform us that the white man came to this country to avoid conditions which to him were not as bad as the present conditions are to us; that he went across the great ocean and sought new homes in order to avoid things which to him were distasteful and wrong. All we ask is that we may be permitted to exercise the same privilege. We do not ask any aid from the Government of the United States in so doing. We do ask that we may be permitted, m a proper way, by protecting our own, to dispose of that which the Government says is ours, and which has been given us over our protest against the distribution, to the end that another home may be furnished, and another nation established….
Respectfully submitted. Jacob B. Jackson.”
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