Chickasaw and Choctaw representatives negotiated with Dawes agents for almost three weeks until the Atoka Agreement was signed on April 23, 1897. This agreement set the criteria for distribution of the tribe’s commonly held interests, including land and mineral rights. The land was to be divided equally among all tribal members; freedmen and their descendants were to receive smaller allotments. Coal and asphalt lands would be reserved from allotment and sold or leased for the tribes’ benefit. The agreement also provided for the termination of the two tribal governments on March 4, 1906.
While this agreement was ratified by the Chickasaw government in November of 1897, it also required a tribal vote. The Atoka Agreement was voted down by a majority of the Chickasaw people in December.