Battle of Akia Commemoration and Pioneer Day

TUPELO, MS:  Historic Site Coordinator Joseph Smith from the Chickasaw Nation and Brian Mast from the Black Belt Museum at the University of West Alabama will present programs at the Natchez Trace Parkway Visitor Center on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Starting at 10:00 am, Smith will present a 30-minute Junior Ranger program entitled “Chickasaw Culture and Life.”

Children will learn and discover how the Chickasaw people lived around Tupelo in the 1700s. At 11:30 am, Mast will present at 30-minute Junior Ranger Program entitled “We Want YOU for the French Marines!” Junior Rangers will experience life as a French Marine who was part of the 1736 campaign. At 1:30 pm, Mast will give a 30-minute talk about the Battle of Ackia from both the French and Chickasaw perspectives and the long-range impacts this battle had on European colonization of the area. Following the programs until 3:00 pm, Smith and Mast will share their knowledge of the time period with visitors of all ages through displays of Chickasaw life and French Marine equipment.

The Chickasaw victory over the French at the Battle of Ackia, near modern-day Tupelo, prevented the further expansion of the French and eventually led to their defeat during the French and Indian War.

The Tombigbee Pioneer Group will also demonstrate pioneer-era crafts and skills at the visitor center from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm. The presentations will show the challenges faced and creative solutions developed by those Americans who lived in the area during the early 1800s.

All programs are free to the public. The visitor center is located at milepost 266 on the Natchez Trace Parkway near Tupelo, Mississippi. For additional information, please call 1-800-305-7417.

America’s federal lands and waters are living classrooms. Make learning come alive by participating in Every Kid in Park. All current 4th graders and their families can visit national parks, monuments, seashores and more for free. Learn more at www.everykidinapark.gov.

From the Black Belt Museum at the University of West Alabama, Public Historian Brian Mast demonstrates life of the French Marines in the 1730s.