Chikamaka Band

Chikamaka Band
Regions with significant populations
United States United States (Tennessee Tennessee) (Alabama Alabama) (Georgia (U.S. state) Georgia)
Related ethnic groups
Chikamaka, Creek, Shawnee, Cherokee, Catawba, Saponi, NatchezMohawk, Delaware, Choctaw, and Chickasaw

The Chikamaka Band is an unrecognized tribe and organization based in Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia who claim descent from several indigenous peoples of the Northeastern Woodlands and Southeastern Woodlands.


The members of the Chikamaka Band claim descent from groups of American Indians, who came together resisting the encroachments of European-descended settlers of what became the United States of America.[1] Their alliance, known as the Chickamauga Confederacy, was largely made up of people from the following American Indian groups: Chikamaka, Catawba, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Delaware, Mohawk, Natchez, Saponi, and Shawnee.[1] It also included allied groups of Tories, many of whom were of Scottish, Irish, or German origin.[1]


The principal territory of the Chikamaka Band in Tennessee is in the counties of Grundy, Marion, Sequatchie, Franklin, Warren and Coffee.

Recognition status

On 19 June 2010, the Tennessee Commission of Indian Affairs recognized the Chikamaka Band as a Tennessee State Indigenous American Indian Tribe;[2] however, the state attorney general's office declared that recognition "void and of no effect" on 3 September 2010.[3] This continues in appeal in the court system of Davidson County, Tennessee and of the courts in Tennessee. The outcome of whether the tribes retain recognition is yet to be determined.


The term "Chikamaka" has been translated as “break-away” people.[4] People from various Native American groups who were unhappy about the attempts of European-descended settlers to take their lands, along with Tories dispossessed by the American Revolution formed the Chickamauga confederacy.[4][5]

Current members of the Chikamaka Band claim descent from Chickamuaga Indians. Through intermarriage with different ethnic groups, they have a range of physical appearances, including some who have blue eyes and light skin.[1] Some such people consider themselves "Indians" or "Native Americans", regardless of their physical appearance or exact ancestry.

See also



Further reading

  • Haywood, John Civil and Political History of the State of Tennessee from its Earliest Settlement up to the Year 1796 (1891, Publishing House of the Methodist Episcopal Church South) [2]
  • Malone, Henry Thompson Cherokees of the Old South: a People in Transition (Athens: The University of Georgia Press)
  • Satz, Ronald N. Tennessee's Indian Peoples (1979, University of Tennessee Press with cooperation from the Tennessee Historical Commission)
  • Yanusdi, Brent Heart of the Eagle (1999, Milan, Tennessee: Cox Chenanee Publishers)
  • The Cultures of Native North Americans (2000) translated from Kulturen der Nordamerikanischen Indianer (Germany) ISBN 3-8290-2985-3
  • Armstrong, Zella The History of Hamilton County and Chattanooga Tennessee: Volume I, (Chattanooga Tennessee: Lookout Publishing Company
  • Tennessee County History Series: GRUNDY (Oral history of the Chikamaka)

External links

  • Official Website
  • Chikamaka Cultural Preservation Corporation
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