(Photo by: Amanda Rutland/MCNPR) Muscogee (Creek) Nation elders sang at the celebration of Okmulgee’s first Indigenous Peoples’ Day Oct. 8, at the MCN Council House in downtown Okmulgee.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 9, 2018
OKMULGEE, Okla. – A quaint gathering celebrated in the Muscogee (Creek) capitol city for Okmulgee’s first Indigenous Peoples’ Day as proclaimed by the City of Okmulgee Mayor Steve Baldridge Oct. 8, 2018.
Muscogee (Creek) citizens and others gathered at the MCN Council House Lawn for Baldridge’s reading of the city’s resolution, as well as remarks from MCN National Council Representatives Del Beaver and James Jennings of Okmulgee County District.
The event location at the MCN Council House, located in the center square of Okmulgee, was momentous as the MCN Historic Council House was established in 1867 as the Nation’s Capitol.
Baldridge said the proclamation was something that should have been done a long time ago however was honored to create the resolution, which officially declared the second Monday in October and every year thereafter as Indigenous Peoples’ Day for Okmulgee.
Baldridge read the resolution, which reaffirmed the city’s commitment to Native Americans by promoting collaboration efforts between indigenous and non-indigenous communities and tribal governments.
“The City of Okmulgee values the many contributions made to our community through indigenous people’s knowledge, labor, technology, science, philosophy, arts and the deep cultural and spiritual contributions that has substantially shaped the character of many of the citizens of Okmulgee,” Baldridge said.
Beaver and Jennings spoke on behalf of the Nation and thanked the city for recognizing the Mvskoke people and all indigenous people within the community.
“I’ve lived here in Okmulgee and claimed Okmulgee as my home all of my life,” Jennings said. “I’d like to thank the mayor and Okmulgee City Council for declaring this day, Indigenous Peoples’ Day. It’s been a long time coming.”
In support of the proclamation, MCN Principal Chief James R. Floyd prepared a letter of appreciation for Baldridge stating the Nation’s readiness to work with the City of Okmulgee for the well-being of the community.
“As this holiday celebrates Native Americans and commemorates our shared history and culture, we appreciate the thoughtfulness and show our gratitude toward the relationship we have with the community,” Floyd’s statement read.
The Society to Protect Indigenous Rights and Indigenous Treaties (SPIRIT) group hosted the celebration that included other citizen remarks, Creek hymns by Mvskoke Women’s Leadership and Okmulgee Indian Community and vendor booths set up on the lawn.