From Choctaws to the world

While there may be no direct link to our Clan, some clan members may have benefited from an unusual act of kindness during the 19th century.

A donation from the Choctaw Nation of Native Americans to alleviate the hardship of Irish people during the famine has been marked with the dedication of a commemorative sculpture in Cork. A delegation from the Choctaw tribe, including their chief, were among those in Midleton, County Cork for the ceremony this month, June 2017.

At the height of the famine in Ireland in 1847, the Choctaw Nation of Native Americans gathered what they could and sent it across the Atlantic to alleviate the suffering of the Irish nation. That generosity was marked with the dedication of a striking piece of sculpture, entitled Kindred Spirits.

The sculpture shows nine stainless steel eagle feathers reaching seven metres towards the sky, to represent a bowl of food for the hungry.

Kindred Spirits was commissioned in 2013 by the then Midleton Town Council, to honour not just a gesture to the starving Irish but to humanity as a whole. Kindred Spirits marks the generosity of the Choctaw Nation’s donation 170 years ago. Drawing on our past, it aims to encourage future generations to practice similar acts of kindness.

March 2018 – Update:

As a postscript to this story, RTE news notes that current Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadakar will personally visit the head of the Choctaw Nation, while on his annual St. Patrick’s week visit to the USA and the Irish diaspora, during March 2018. From late 2018, students from the Choctaw Nation will attend Irish universities through an Irish Scholarship programme.

Mr. Varadakar will personally thank the Choctaw Nation’s head for their concern and generosity of spirit towards the Irish nation, during those dark days of 1847.

Thanks to Edward O’Loghlen for this contribution

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About BrendO

Musician in Canberra Australia
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