The Atoka Agreement was signed on April 23, 1897, in Atoka, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory, after more than three weeks of negotiations between the Dawes Commission and delegations from the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations. The agreement provided for the allotment in severalty of the lands of both tribes. The land would be divided equally among all the tribe members, with consideration given to the location and soil quality of particular land tracts. Freedmen and their descendants would receive smaller land allotments. Coal and asphalt lands would be reserved from allotment and sold or leased for the benefit of the tribes. The agreement also provided for the termination of the two tribal governments on March 4, 1906.
The Choctaw and Chickasaw governments ratified the Atoka Agreement in November 1897. However, the Chickasaw Nation required that the document be submitted to a vote of its citizens. They rejected it in a December election. The Atoka Agreement and other provisions dealing with Indian Territory and its tribes were incorporated into the Curtis Act (1898), which required that the Atoka Agreement be resubmitted to the voters of both tribes. It was approved in a joint election on August 24, 1898.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Angie Debo, The Rise and Fall of the Choctaw Republic (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1961). Arrell M. Gibson, The Chickasaws (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1971). Gaston Litton, History of Oklahoma at the Golden Anniversary of Statehood, Vol. 1 (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1957).
Matthew Rex Cox
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