Phillip Martin, former Choctaw chief, hailed as Moses

Over 1,000 people attended funeral services for Phillip Martin, the former longtime chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Martin died February 4 at the age of 83.

Martin was hailed as the "Moses" of the Choctaws for bringing his people out of poverty. While serving as chief for 32 years, he welcomed businesses to the reservation and oversaw the opening of the tribe's successful gaming enterprise.

"He modernized our government. Our Tribe and all of Indian Country would not be where we are today without his leadership, commitment to self-determination and his dedication to economic development," Chief Beasley Denson, who defeated Martin in 2007, said.

Martin became well known throughout Indian Country and on Capitol Hill for his pro-tribal stance. He helped create the United Southern and Eastern Tribes and led the National Tribal Chairman's Association.

Martin is survived by his wife of 54 years, two daughters and nine grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Get the Story:
Chief Phillip Martin said to be 'Moses' of the Choctaw Indians (The Neshoba Democrat 2/10)
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