The Chickasaw Visitor Center is located in the southern portion of the North American region of the Great Plains. The region extends from the Dakotas to upper Texas in a north south band of open prairies that defines the central United States.
As the conflict between the Native inhabitants and the Euro-Americans who were clamoring to settle North America escalated, President Andrew Jackson advocated for an Indian colonization zone which was thought by many to be a permanent solution to the conflict. In 1825 the land west of the Mississippi River was specified as Indian country.
The Chickasaw Visitor Center is within a geographic area that is steeped with Native American history and is located in the heart of Indian Territory which was land set aside for the removal and resettlement of American Indians. A voluntary relocation plan was enacted into law in 1824 but there were few takers so in 1830 the Indian Removal Act initiated the forced removal of tribes. The largest part of the Territory became the lands of the Five Civilized Tribes and their difficult removal from their ancestral lands is known as the Trail of Tears.
Oklahoma Territory was established by an Organic Act of congress in 1889. It was then joined with Indian Territory in 1907 and became Oklahoma, the 46th state of the union. The current area of the State is known as Arbuckle Country and is characterized by flowing waters within a rolling landscape.
So why does all this matter?
The project is directly linked to one of the Five Civilized Tribes whose history runs deep in this territory and is now the steward of this land and the impetus of this project. That tribe is the Chickasaw Nation.