Definition of the Five Civilized Tribes from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

 

the Five Civilized Tribes

 
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the name used to refer to five groups of Native-American people in the South: the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole. The tribes were forced to leave their own lands and settle in the Indian Territory, even though it was thought that they could be trusted because they had developed their own versions of the American Constitution and US laws.