MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians
|3,000 total enrollment|
|Regions with significant populations|
|Alabama, United States|
|Related ethnic groups|
The MOWA (short for Mobile and Washington counties). Choctaw Band of Choctaw Indians are the first Native American Indian tribe recognized in the state of Alabama in 1979 by the state of Alabama through a legislative act of government. Frontier Alabama had been inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous cultures. The MOWA Band is composed of Indians who were not removed to the west as stipulated by the treaty of 1830 in the years of 1831-1833 allowed by the treaty for removal. Other Indians from various tribes joined the MOWA in Alabama according to tribal historian Jackie Matte. The resultant group of Indians became the MOWA.
Historical records note the presence of various tribes of Indians in the southwest region of Alabama. The MOWA share a reservation with the Choctaw Indian communities of Mobile and Washington counties in Alabama. The MOWA insisted on their right to self-identification and recognition. In 1979, the MOWA organized as the MOWA Band of Indians of South Alabama. The MOWA incorporated as an Alabama non-profit corporation in Washington county, Alabama. While most of the MOWA reside inside Washington County, many other members are located across the entire United State due to intermarriage, employment opportunities, and personal reasons. Approximately 30 per cent of the MOWA reside outside of their local communities of Washington county in the state of Alabama.
The government organization of the MOWA is composed of a chief (miko/mingo in the Choctaw language), a tribal council of eleven members, and a tribal judge. The chief and tribal council are elected roles, while that of the tribal judge is an appointed position by the chief with the approval of the tribal council.
The MOWA have an annual Pow Wow each year, typically in the fall.
The MOWA have preserved their cultural identity as Native American Indian. The MOWA's children receive United States Federal Funding for the Indian Education Program since about 1980 by the United States Secretary of Education on the sole basis that "Indians are Indians Just Because They Are Indians", which is the basis of mostly all Federal Laws that recognize all Indians across the United States as American Indian Entities and Native American Communities.
- U.S. Census