Irish-Choctaw Famine Link

Gary Whitedeer, Choctaw, is an internationally known painter, tribal chanter and dance leader who has represented the Irish-Choctaw link on many occasions.

The Irish-Choctaw Famine Link originated when the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma’s donation was given in 1847 and reported in the Arkansas Intelligencer. The amount was $170 and is acknowledged as having been received by the Irish Relief Committee, New York (a branch of the Society of Friends (Quakers), on 19th May 1847.

What makes the Choctaw donation so remarkable is the fact that just 16 years earlier they had been forcibly removed from their ancestral lands in Mississippi to a reservation in Oklahoma.

The Choctaw were the first of the south eastern Native American Indians to be forced onto what became known as ‘The Trail of Tears’ and during the removal they lost almost half of their people.

The second Choctaw donation to Ireland was presented by Gary Whitedeer to the community resisting Shell’s activities in Erris, Co. Mayo in 2008.

Text courtesy of Don Mullan

Published by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.