The founding of the first Chickasaw holissaapisa, or schools

Once settled, the Chickasaws recognized the importance of developing their own commerce and educational systems. Beginning in the 1840s, Chickasaws founded holissaapisa or schools. As had been the case in Mississippi in the 1820s, the first teachers were missionaries. Chickasaw education ultimately rivaled the best non-native eastern schools. The tribe’s commitment to education continued as they built numerous boarding schools in the 1850s.

In 1851, the Chickasaw Manual Labor Academy for boys opened. Wapanucka Institute for Girls opened in 1852, as did the Bloomfield Academy for young Chickasaw females. Later on, the Colbert Institute was founded in 1854, and the Burney Institute was established the same year and opened to girls in 1859.

Chickasaws also recognized the importance of commerce. The Colberts, Loves, Kemps as well as other mixed-blood Chickasaw families built up large successful plantations and ranches. Their products were sold in markets locally and throughout the United States. Members of the tribe slowly began to prosper in their new land, but they still needed protection.

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