By almost any standard, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians is successful. It operates three casinos in southern Alabama and gives generously to schools and other institutions in the area, donating more than two million dollars to schools in Escambia, Baldwin, and Monroe Counties in February 2013 alone. Less than ninety years ago, however, those same schools excluded the Poarch Creeks, and one woman visiting among the Poarch Creek people described their homes as “fly and mosquito-infested” and “alive with hookworms,” with families “thickly housed, often two, three, four beds in a little room.” The economic success and cultural renaissance of the Poarch Creeks is due in large part to its members’ indomitable will to survive, but it owes much as well to a small-town Episcopal priest, a pair of missionaries, and one visionary bishop.
From the Vault
Read complete classic articles and departments featured in Alabama Heritage magazine in the past 35 years of publishing. You'll find in-depth features along with quirky and fun departments that cover the people, places, and events that make our state great!