FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 2, 2017
CONTACT Neely Tsoodle
P.O. Box 580
Okmulgee, OK 74447
Muscogee (Creek) Nation celebrates City of Tulsa renaming Columbus Day
Okmulgee, Okla. —At one time more than 70 percent of the city that is now Tulsa was Muscogee (Creek) Nation Territory and because of this MCN has been invited to celebrate Tulsa’s first Native American Day.
The Tulsa City Council passed a resolution last week renaming Columbus Day as ‘Indigenous Day’ or ‘Native American Day’ in honor of this area’s original inhabitants. The move to make the change started with the Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission (GTAIAC), a committee within the Tulsa City Government.
Native Americans have continuously inhabited the Greater Tulsa Area for thousands of years. Today, Tulsa is home to approximately 30,000 Native Americans (according to the latest census figures) representing dozens of Native tribes. By adopting “Native American Day”, Tulsa will formally recognize its indigenous populations who have made valuable contributions to our community through shared knowledge, stewardship of the land, labor, science, technology, philosophy, arts, and deep cultural influences that have substantially shaped the character of the city of Tulsa.
“The Muscogee (Creek) Nation jurisdiction represents 67-percent of Tulsa. This is our home after we were removed from our original homelands in Alabama and Georgia,” said Principal Chief James Floyd. “So renaming this day is a great honor, not to just the Mvskoke, but to all Natives in this great state and I am proud of the City of Tulsa for making this happen.”
GTAIAC unanimously agreed that “Native American Day” was a more specific and accurate acknowledgment of our Native populations. Native Americans are a significant part of the demographic of the Greater Tulsa Area and Oklahoma.
Oklahoma is home to 39 federally recognized Native American tribes. The boundaries of three of these federally recognized tribes (Cherokee, Muscogee Creek, and Osage) converge within the City of Tulsa metro area. The Commission also has plans to work with Tulsa area stakeholders to develop educational materials to be incorporated into the curriculum of area public schools.
“We are very grateful that Mayor G.T. Bynum and the City Council acknowledge this factual history of America versus the inaccurate history that is widely taught in our educational system,” says Sammy Haynes, Chair of the Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission (GTAIAC).
Tulsa now joins other major cities that formally acknowledge “Native American Day” or “Indigenous Peoples Day” on the second Monday in October as a replacement or in conjunction with Columbus Day. These cities include Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Seattle, Denver, Phoenix, Anchorage, Portland, and Albuquerque.
The Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission (GTAIAC) and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation is planning activities which will be open to the public on “Native American Day,” Monday, October 9th, at Guthrie Green, 111 East M.B. Brady Street, Tulsa, OK 74103 from 9:30 am to 2 pm.