Population: 3,841 (2019)
About: The Ma-Chis Lower Creek Indian Tribe is located near Elba in the southeast corner of the state. Sitting at the juncture of the Whitewater Creek and Pea River, Elba is surrounded by rich soil and beautiful landscapes. This land was once the home to part of the Creek Confederacy, which encompassed parts of both southeast Alabama and southwest Georgia. This area was inhabited by many Muskogee language speaking Native American tribes that all lived in peace with each other. Today, the Ma-Chis Lower Creek Indian Tribe of Alabama are the remnants of the Creek Confederacy in this area.
Even though these tribes were united as one for the protection of their land and independence, Creek leaders were forced to cede their territory in 1832 to the federal government. While many of the Creek Indians were forced to leave their land and travel west of the Mississippi River, many leaders and tribes chose to stay and not abandon their homeland. Instead of relocating, many of the Ma-Chis people denied their heritage to blend in with settlers and avoid persecution. The Ma-Chis lived this way for over 100 years until citizenship was granted to Native Americans and the State of Alabama passed legislation making it unlawful to kill Native Americans in 1927-1929. After the Indian Civil Rights Act was passed in 1968, the Ma-Chis were finally able to be formally recognized as a Native American Tribe by the State of Alabama in the 1980s.
Fun Fact: The Creek tribes have a history steeped in telling stories and passing down legends. You can read one about why opossums have bare tails here.
Community Website: Ma-Chis Lower Creek Indian Tribe Website
Community Social Media: Friends of Ma-Chis Lower Creek Indian Tribe Facebook Page
Meet the Ma-Chis Lower Creek Indian Tribe Community Liaison, Nancy Carnley
ENI is a community-focused, community-shaped initiative. Community Liaisons act as a resource to help communities shape ENI to fit their needs and wants. If you want to learn more or get involved with ENI, reach out to your Community Liaison.
Nancy Carnley is the Vice Chief of the Ma-Chis Lower Creek Indian Tribe of Alabama. She has also been a genealogist, historian, grant writer and administrator for the tribe. Nancy has even taken her support of the tribe to a state and national level; she has been active in the United States Civil Rights Commission Alabama Division, the Alabama Indian Affairs Commission in Montgomery, and the National Congress of American Indians in Washington, D.C.Nancy has also served as a nurse for over thirty years and is a four-time award winner of “Who’s Who in Nursing.” Nancy is a graduate of both Enterprise State Community College and George C. Wallace Community College. In her free time, Nancy enjoys reading and is a frequent visitor of libraries and museums.