Episode 114: Slavery in Indian Territory

Host: Brooks Winfree, Department of History
Guest: Nakia D. Parker, Department of History

Many American Indian cultures, like the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians, practiced a form of non-hereditary slavery for centuries before contact with Europeans. But after Europeans arrived on Native shores, and they forcibly brought African people into labor in the beginning of the 17th century, the dynamics of native slavery practices changed. Supporting the Confederacy during the Civil War, how did traditional native slavery transform in the Indian Territory throughout the 18th and 19th centuries into something resembling the unchangeable enslavement system of the American South?

Guest Nakia Parker joins us to discuss the African American slave-holding practices of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indians during the 19th century, tells us how this system evolved, and reveals the claims to tribal citizenship from this enslavement persisting to the present day.

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