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The History, Traditions and Culture of Piqua Shawnee Tribe

Modernization has eroded most cultures. However, Piqua Shawnee tribe, they have withheld on to their own culture as long as possible. In 1984, the Alabama Indian Affairs Commission was established by the Alabama State Legislature via the Davis-Strong Act to recognize and effectually and fairly deal with the cultural and spiritual traditions of the Indian Tribes in the State. Since the commission was launched, the Alabama State has so far officially recognized nine American Indian tribes for which the Piqua Shawnee Tribe is amongst them.

Migration Patterns and Settlement

The Shawnee tribe is historically nomadic. Historians have discovered a lot of compelling proof of the Shawnee people’s migration patterns. They moved to North America and settled in different places in the region retaining small family units.

Alabama has been home for the Shawnee people for a long period of time. Historians think that the Piqua Shawnee people have occupied Alabama for the longest period as compared to some other region. It is believed that the Shawnee people settled in Alabama in 1685. However, oral traditions reveal that the Shawnee have been in Alabama longer than that.

The Shawnee people have occupied several towns in the northern part of Alabama “Upper Creek” territory. According to ancient French and English maps, the Shawnees have occupied key areas in what’s considered the present day Alabama towns. One such town is the Shawnee Town, which is presently known as Talladega. Another of their town was near Sylacauga. Some signs from French Military also signal the presence of the Shawnee tribe in Wetumpka town near Fort Toulouse.

Most Alabama traders called the Alabama Indians “Creeks”. This is because they mainly occupied the several creeks and waterways around the region. Nonetheless, the “Creeks” were not of one tribe or country. They went by a variety of names and each group retained their diverse heritage while living alongside their neighbors.

The Piqua Shawnee People Today

In the current 21st Century, many Shawnee people still call Alabama home. However their loved ones are extremely much varied. Some of them avoided crossing the Trail of Tears during the Andrew Jackson’s removal policy. Some of them escaped and settled at the Cumberland Mountains and other less travelled places.

When the uncertainties that followed Jackson’s removal policy subsided, a few of the Indians decided to return back and settled around the outlying areas that had small government scrutiny. Family histories were passed down throughout generations and they have ever since strived to preserve their customs.

Culture and Traditions.

The Shawnee people are regulated by a Principal Chief who is deputed by a second chief. Their tribal government is maintained by the Shawnee Tribal Council. The council is comprised of clan chiefs and clan mothers and has an advisory body, the Council of Elders. All actions and deliberations of the Tribal Council are conducted consistent with the Clan Protocol.

All issues of this tribe are debated and introduced to the clans for consideration. It’s the ultimate responsibility of the Council to find consensus from all parties so as to avoid any grievances. Modern positions like council secretary and council treasurer are arrived at via elections.

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