A sculpture is being erected in Ireland to thank a Native American tribe for sending what little money they could to the Irish people suffering from starvation at the height of the Great Famine more than 160 years ago.

On March 23, 1847 the Choctaw Native American tribe, who had known great hardship during their forced march to Oklahoma, collected whatever spare money they could and sent $170 to Ireland through a charity relief group.

To remember their generosity and friendship, a huge stainless steel sculpture of nine eagle feathers will be installed in Midleton, County Cork, on a grassy expanse in the town’s Bailic Park.farmer John Garrett Share The Harvest

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The Choctaw people donated the money 16 years after they, and other tribes, were forced from their homelands in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida and made to walk 500 miles along what is now known as The Trail of Tears. Many of the frailest perished due to disease, malnutrition and exposure during one of the coldest winters on record.

In today’s money, the $170 sacrificed by the Choctaw would be close to $4200.

The Cork sculptor, Anex Penetek, talked about his $110,000 creation, “Kindred Spirits,” telling the Irish Examiner, “I wanted to show the courage, fragility and humanity that they displayed.”

Choctaw leaders have been invited to the grand unveiling, which will be in a few months.

(READ more, and see photos, via the Irish Examiner)

CORRECTION: We quoted a fact from the Examiner article saying the amount today would equal a million dollars, but have revised the figure in our story to be around $4200.

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  1. Let me explain our thinking on $710 vs $170.

    Thanks, first, to Cynde, who pointed out the inflation calculator! GNN currently doesn’t have resources to fact check everything that we source in the mainstream news, so didn’t check that one. I don’t know how the local Irish govt official came up with a Million dollars, but I corrected it in the story above to read $4200.

    We found the figure $170 in several sources and in a separate place in the Examiner, so we think in this instance, they transposed the numbers accidentally.

    May good bless, anyway!