Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine, Online

Clayton Conversations: History of the Choctaw and Their Foods, with Dr. Ian Thompson

November 20, 2016
1:30 p.m.

Spice up your Thanksgiving table conversation (and your menu, too) by attending this presentation on the history of Choctaw people and their foods with Dr. Ian Thompson, the Choctaw Nation’s tribal historic preservation officer and archeologist. From learning of the giant animals that inhabited the homeland of the Choctaw 12,000 years ago and beyond – and how they were hunted – to gaining an understanding of how Native Americans shaped America and the world through their native foods, you will enter the Thanksgiving season with much insight and appreciation. Thompson, who also serves as senior director of the historic preservation department of the Choctaw Nation’s Capital Museum, will additionally share an overview of the Choctaw people’s journey as the first of the Five Civilized Tribes to be embark from their homelands to Indian Territory on the "Trail of Tears" in 1831. Honoring Native American Heritage Month, the Clayton House has a connection to the Choctaw Nation: U.S. Attorney William H. H. Clayton moved his family from Fort Smith to the Choctaw Nation in 1897. President William McKinley appointed Clayton as judge of one of three newly created federal courts in Indian Territory. Clayton’s family of nine moved to McAlester, site of the Central District federal court. Serving as judge for 10 years, Clayton ultimately was selected to help write the new constitution for the State of Oklahoma. Thompson, a bison rancher and instructor in the Choctaw language as well as arts including making bows, arrows, flint-knapping, pottery, basketry and more, will enlighten all during “Big Hunger Month” (as designated by the Choctaw). Bring an appetite for some delicious Choctaw foods; samples will be served beginning at 1:00 p.m. Seating is limited; make reservations by calling the Clayton House at 783-3000.

Admission: $10; free to members of the Fort Smith Heritage Foundation

Event Location and Contact Information:
The Clayton House
514 North 6th Street
Fort Smith, Arkansas


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