FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2019
Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Ocmulgee National Park Expansion Celebrates Victory
OKMULGEE, Okla. – The Muscogee (Creek) Nation is celebrating its victory of the Ocmulgee National Park Expansion authorization that was included in the Natural Resources Management Act, S. 47, which was signed into law by President Donald Trump March 12, 2019.
The Ocmulgee National Park Expansion was among the various federal land projects and studies included in S. 47 that relate to natural resource management and conservation of those lands.
The new law is a significant triumph for the Nation as it will now expand and protect several hundred acres of the Mvskoke people’s former homelands in Macon, Ga., where the Mvskoke people lived more than 600 years before the forced removal to Indian Territory.
The bill also renames the Ocmulgee National Monument to the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historic Park and expands the park boundaries from about 700 acres to nearly 2,000 acres. The site will now preserve the Mvskoke heritage for years to come.
In addition to preserving the Nation’s history and culture, the law will also add wildlife protection, as well as increase education and recreational opportunities.
The Nation has diligently worked with state and federal lawmakers, as well as local and national preservation groups to get the additional lands protected.
Principal Chief James R. Floyd has shared the bill’s significance to the Nation and its citizens.
“This ensures that more of our historic lands are going to be protected and that’s so important to us,” Principal Chief Floyd said. “The land that had our Mvskoke presence will all be protected and it will never be developed or looted and that’s significant. Now we can go home and know that where we once lived for hundreds of years will always be protected.”
Principal Chief Floyd has expressed the Nation’s gratitude for the significant amount of support in the expansion efforts, including the support from the National Parks Conservation Association and the Ocmulgee National Monument Association.
“The Muscogee (Creek) Nation has been working for years in partnership with local and national preservation groups in efforts to ensure the protection of these sites,” Principal Chief Floyd said. “We are extremely grateful for the bipartisan efforts of leaders and also very happy to have the support and assistance of the Macon community and groups who have worked toward achieving our goal.”
Along with the preservation of the additional lands, the law allows for opportunities for the Nation such as its recent partnership with the NPCA to create a learning and active services program for the Mvskoke Nation Youth Council.
The Nation is working with the NPCA to create the program for Muscogee (Creek) youth to promote positive attributions including cultural preservation, environmental stewardship and community service.
Principal Chief Floyd said the plans for the program could potentially develop into a summer camp or summer work program opportunity for the youth.