For Immediate Release
Sept. 26, 2019
Muscogee (Creek) Nation returns to original homelands
Tribe makes visit to share culture, traditions with community in central Georgia
MACON, GEORGIA — Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief James Floyd and several Muscogee (Creek) citizens made a trip east to the 28th Annual Ocmulgee Indian Celebration held at the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park in Macon, Georgia.
Every September, one of the largest Native American gatherings is held in the southeast region of the U.S.
According to their website, the OMNHP has one of the Top 20 events in the state as ranked by the Southeast Tourism Society.
Floyd spoke about returning to where his ancestors lived.
“It conveys a powerful feeling and it is hard to describe,” Floyd said. “This is our home.”
OMNHP Cultural Resource Specialist and Historian Lonnie Davis said this 3.5 mile tract of land was set aside by President Thomas Jefferson in 1805.
“It is sacred territory to the Muscogee (Creek),” Davis said. “When they spoke with Jefferson they said they wanted to obtain this piece of land.”
Davis said the park services are protecting and preserving those lands.
“This celebration is giving the opportunity to the visitors to know about the tribe and their original homelands,” Davis said.
MCN Cultural Center and Archives Department Special Projects Coordinator John Brown said this is his fifth year visiting the original homelands and every time he returns it brings tears to his eyes.
“It is really hard to explain, knowing where we come from,” Brown said. “The trials and tribulations that our tribe has went through it is heartbreaking, but I am happy to return here.”
Brown said it is a great opportunity to educate the children and adults by letting them know that although MCN is in another state, the Nation still has its culture.
“We are still carrying on and we still have our traditions,” he said. “It is good for the audience to see our dances and understand who we are.”
Brown said Muscogee (Creek) culture and ceremonial dances originated in Georgia and it is a great feeling to see the dances performed in the ‘Peach State,’ back where it belongs.
“The spirits are still here and I know they are happy to hear the dances and songs,” he said.
Floyd spoke to the crowd of spectators during the opening of the celebration.
“It is great to be here back at the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park, but more importantly, welcome to our home,” Floyd said.
Floyd wanted the audience to be educated on the history that belongs to the park.
“This is where our people occupied the lands,” Floyd said. ‘This area is pivotal to us, not only our past but our present and future.”
Floyd said when the people who live in Georgia understand Muscogee (Creek) culture, he believes they can help advocate for preservation of MCN sacred sites.
“We have a lot of people who have advocated for us with this park,” he said. “We want them to know we appreciate what they have done and hope they continue doing that for generations to come.”
Davis said this is the biggest event in central Georgia.
“Local people love it. We love it and I have a lot of deep respect for the Muscogee (Creek) people,” he said.