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Choctaw Connection

A partnership born of shared values and respect

MC’s Relationship With The Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians

For more than 100 years, MC has looked to the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians for inspiration.

After an exceptional football season in 1921, MC leaders knew that the school's “Collegiates” nickname was insufficient. Looking for inspiration, then-MC student Montie A. Davis of Pascagoula discovered connections to the Choctaw people of Mississippi and suggested the name “Choctaws.”

The original Natchez Trace, a trail used by the Choctaw people for centuries, passed through the heart of MC’s campus in Clinton. Further, Davis reasoned the Choctaw people were not only respected for their athleticism, but for their culture that valued fairness, bravery, and concern for their neighbor — a perfect fit with MC’s core values.

Strengthening The Ties That Bind

In 2005, the NCAA eliminated the use of Native American imagery to promote member institutions' athletic teams.

Having proudly carried the “Choctaw” moniker for almost 85 years, MC reached out to the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians for its support in continuing the use of the nickname. On Oct. 11, 2005, the MBCI Tribal Council passed a resolution supporting an exception to the NCAA rule that would allow MC to continue using the nickname “Choctaw.” 

Before the NCAA's resolution, MC voluntarily abandoned using the mascot “Chief Choc,” which would have been subject to the decision. MC has since worked with the MBCI to eliminate all other imagery or language that the Choctaw people might consider offensive. Together, MC and the MBCI continue to strengthen their connection, highlighting their relationship built upon mutual respect and a shared desire to see all individuals reach their full, God-given potential.

Read The Letter From Chief Phillip Martin

Read The Tribal Council's Declaration