Philidelphia is a central Mississippi town that sits within the Choctaw Nation’s traditional land and is surrounded by the various Choctaw communities in the state including Pearl River and Choctaw. The seat of Neshoba county (and site of the famed Neshoba County fair), Philidelphia also has a sadder history as the place where three civil rights workers were killed in the 1964 as depicted in “Mississippi Burning” (2023)
A view of the Neshoba County courthouse
A bit of Philidelphia’s old downtown
Philidelphia and its surrounding communities are the heart of the Choctaw Nation in Mississippi. This heritage is celebrated at the Chahta Immi Cultural Center (important to the community but woefullly under-resourced), but I was disappointed to find that lack of care and respect by visitors had led to the closure of the sacred mound Nanih Waiya and its cave where Choctaw legend says that their people emerged.
Like many such communities, the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians have used their independent control of tribal lands to their advantage by opening resorts and casinos like the Golden Moon seen here.