The Curtis Act Failed to End Tribal Governments

Neal McCaleb, Ambassador At-Large, Chickasaw Nation

The Curtis Act of 1898 was an amendment to the U.S. General Allotment Act that brought about allotment of tribal government lands to individual members of the Five Tribes: the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole. These tribes were exempted from the 1887 General Allotment Act. Neal McCaleb, Ambassador At-Large for the Chickasaw Nation, explains that this new measure was intended to abolish tribal courts and governments, but ultimately failed to do so.


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