The Choctaw (in the Choctaw language, Chahta) are a Native American people originally occupying what is now the Southeastern United States (modern-day Alabama, Florida, Mississippi and Louisiana) Their Choctaw language belongs to the Muskogean language family group. The Choctaw Nation is one of three federally recognized Choctaw tribes; the others are the sizable Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, with 10,000 members and territory in several communities, and the Jena Band of Choctaw Indians in Louisiana, with a few hundred members. The latter two bands are descendants of Choctaw who resisted the forced relocation to Indian Territory. The Mississippi Choctaw preserved much of their culture in small communities and reorganized as a tribal government in 1945 under new laws after the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934.

Those Choctaw who removed to the Indian Territory, a process that went on into the early 20th century, are federally recognized as the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. The removals became known as the "Trail of Tears." The original territory has expanded and shrunk several times since the 19th century.