Destroyed tribal land tenure and opened treaty lands to non-Indian private ownership

In 1887, Congress enacted the General Allotment Act, also known as the Dawes Act. The purpose and effect of this Act was to destroy tribal land tenure and open treaty lands to private ownership—most notably, to non-Indian private ownership. Division of land was against the tribe’s culture; land held in common was the Chickasaw way. The legacy of the act was the decimation of tribal land bases. In addition, the Chickasaw government prohibited freedmen (former slaves of Chickasaw families) from registering as citizens on the Dawes Rolls.

For more information on the Dawes Act click here.