Kindred Spirits sculpture unveiled to remember Choctaw Nation’s support for Ireland during the great Famine

Mandy Lawson with her daughter Callie and Lillie Roberts, members of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma in Midelton for the official dedication of the ‘Kindred Spirits’ sculpture which commemorates a donation made by the Choctaw people to Ireland during the Great Famine.

The sculpture commemorates the time in 1847, when the kind people of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma heard of the suffering of the starving Irish and responded, by contributing a sum of $170 dollars (about $4,400 today), to send food aid to Ireland.

This show of solidarity came despite the great hardships being faced by the Choctaw people themselves who were also living in conditions of starvation and poverty, and who had just a few years previous endured the Trail of Tears.

Chief Gary Batton spoke about the connection between his people and the Irish, “Your story is our story. We didn’t have any income. This was money pulled from our pockets. We had gone through the biggest tragedy that we could endure, and saw what was happening in Ireland and just felt compelled to help.”

Pic: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision