Meet Alabama’s Piqua Shawnee Tribe
With modernization, most tribes have lost their history and culture and adopted the so called modernization. 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 established, the Alabama State has so far officially identified nine American Indian tribes such as the Piqua Shawnee Tribe.
The Piqua Shawnee Tribe Migration Patterns
The Shawnee people are largely recognized as nomadic people. 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 believe that the Piqua Shawnee individuals have occupied Alabama longer than any other region. It is believed that the Shawnee people settled in Alabama in 1685. However that is disputed by the oral traditions that reveal that the Shawnee have been in the region longer than that.
The Shawnee tribe has occupied several cities in the Northern parts of Alabama “Upper Creek” land. According to ancient English and French maps, the Shawnee tribe had occupied notable areas in the present Alabama cities. One such town is the Shawnee Town, which is presently known as Talladega. Another of the city was close Sylacauga. Some evidence from French Military also indicates the presence of the Shawnee tribe in Wetumpka town near Fort Toulouse.
Most Alabama traders called Alabama Indians “Creeks”. This is majorly because they inhabited the several creeks and waterways around the region. Nevertheless, the “Creeks” weren’t of one tribe. 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, you will find lots of Shawnee people who still call Alabama home. However their family stories are very much varied. Some of them avoided crossing the Trail of Tears during the Andrew Jackson’s removal policy. A number of the Indians escaped and settled at the Cumberland Mountains as well as other less known or travelled regions.
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. In as much as a lot was lost during the removal, family histories were passed centuries and it’s through that that the Piqua Shawnee work and live to conserve 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 functions through an advisory body, Council of Elders. All activities and deliberations of the Tribal Council are conducted in line with the Clan Protocol.
All issues of this tribe are debated and introduced to the clans for consideration. It is the ultimate responsibility of the Council to willfully seek consensus on thorny issues from all parties in order to speak in one voice. Modern posts such as secretary and treasurer are arrived at via elections.