In 1847, at the height of the Irish Potato Famine, the Choctaw Nation made a donation to the Irish Famine Relief that was equivalent to tens of thousands of 2014 dollars. This donation was the sum of individual donations made by Choctaw people who felt empathetic towards the Irish suffering hunger and death.
This generosity came just a decade after the Choctaw suffered a terrible loss of their own people's lives. In 1831 the Choctaw were forced to travel the Trail of Tears, migrating from Mississippi to Oklahoma during the winter, under Andrew Jackson’s presidency. About 10,000 people died during this forced migration, yet the Choctaw were aiding the Irish only 16 years later.
A plaque at the Lord Mayor’s mansion in Dublin, Ireland commemorating the Choctaw gift was unveiled in 1992. Additionally, various artists have represented the gift. Irish artist Kieran Tuohy made a piece entitled “Thank you to the Choctaw,” which is housed in the Ireland’s Great Hunger Museum in Hamden, Connecticut and Swedish-Cherokee artist America Meredith created an image of the gift which can be seen on the Choctaw Nation website.
Read more about the Choctaw gift to the Irish at the Indian Country Media Today Network website or the Choctaw Nation website.