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Muscogee (Creek) NationEdit

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|+ style="font-weight: bold; font-size: larger"|Muscogee Creek Nation |[1]Pleasant Porter, Principal Chief 1899-1907 |- | |- ! style="background-color: #b0c4de"|Total population |- |65,184[1] |- ! style="background-color: #b0c4de"|Regions with significant populations |- |[2] United States ([3] Oklahoma) |- ! style="background-color: #b0c4de"|Languages |- | English, Muscogee language |- ! style="background-color: #b0c4de"|Religion |- | Christianity (Baptist, Methodist[2]), Four Mother's Society |- ! style="background-color: #b0c4de"|Related ethnic groups |- | Alabama, Hitchiti, Koasati, Natchez Nation, Shawnee, Seminole, and Yuchi |} The Muscogee Creek Nation is a federally recognized tribe of Muscogee Creek people in Oklahoma. They are regarded as one of the Five Civilized Tribes and call themselves Este Mvskokvlke.[2] The tribe is part of the Creek Confederacy, a large, heterogeneous group of Eastern Woodland tribes.

Other federally recognized Muscogee tribes include Alabama-Quassarte Tribal Town, Kialegee Tribal Town, Poarch Band of Creek Indians, and Thlopthlocco Tribal Town. Alabama, Hitchiti, Shawnee, Yuchi,[3] and Natchez people are enrolled in the Muscogee Creek Nation.

ContentsEdit

[hide]*1 Jurisdiction

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[edit] JurisdictionEdit

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation is headquartered in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. Oklahoma Indian tribes do not have reservations (with one exception);Creek Nation Reservation was never dis-established by Congress, therefore mitigation is taking place to where they have had Tribal Jurisdictional Areas. The Muscogee Nation has jurisdiction in Creek, Hughes, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, McIntosh, Muskogee, Tulsa, and Wagoner Counties in Oklahoma.[1]

[edit] GovernmentEdit

The government of the Muscogee Creek Nation is divided into executive, legislative, and judicial branches.[4]

[edit] Executive branchEdit

[4][5]Spc. Stacy R. Mull, enrolled Creek from Okemah makes frybread at a powwow at Camp Taqaddum, Iraq, 2004The executive branch is led by a Principal Chief, Second Chief, Chief of Staff, Executive Director, and Secretary of the Nation. The Principal Chief and Second Chief are democratically elected every four years. The Principal then chooses his staff. The current members of the executive branch are as follows:

  • A. D. Ellis, Principal Chief
  • Alfred Berryhill, Second Chief
  • Mike Flud, Chief of Staff
  • Claude Sumner, Executive Direction
  • Kevin Dellinger, Secretary of the Nation.[5]

[edit] Legislative branchEdit

The legislative branch is the National Council, made up of 26 members elected to represent different districts within the tribal jurisdictional area. They write the laws of the Nation.[4]

[edit] Judicial branchEdit

The Nation has two courts: the Muscogee (Creek) Nation District Court and the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has final authority over disputes about the Muscogee Creek Constitution and Laws.[4]

[edit] ServicesEdit

The Nation operates its own division of housing and issues vehicle license plates.[1] Their Division of Health contracts with Indian Health Services to maintain the Creek Nation Community Hospital and several community clinics, a vocational rehabilitation program, nutrition programs for children and the elderly, and programs decicated to diabetes, tobacco prevention, and caregivers.[6]

The Muscogee Nation is policed by the Lighthorse Tribal Police Department, with 43 active employees.[7] The tribe has its own program for enforcing child support payments.

The Mvskoke Food Sovereignty Initiative, sponsored by the Nation, educates and encourages tribal members to grow their own traditional foods for health, environmental sustainability, economic development, and sharing of knowledge and community between generations.[8]

[edit] Economic developmentEdit

[6][7]Muscogee Creek bike messenger, originally from Okmulgee, OklahomaCreek Nation Tribal Trade and Commerce and Creek Nation Business Enterprise oversee economic development projects for the tribe.[1] The tribal government operates a budget in excess of $106 million, has over 2,400 employees, and maintains tribal facilities and programs in eight administrative districts.[5] The nation operates several significant tribal enterprises, including the Muscogee Document Imaging Company; travel plazas in Okmulgee, Muskogee and Cromwell, Oklahoma; construction, technology and staffing services; and major casinos in Tulsa and Okmulgee.

The Creek Nation operates two truck stops, thirty tribal smokeshops, three bingo halls, and eight casinos.[1] Gaming establishments owned by the tribe include Bristow Indian Bingo in Bristow; Checotah Indian Community Bingo in Checotah; Creek Nation Casino Duck Creek in Beggs; Creek Nation Casino Muskogee; Creek Nation Casino Okemah; Creek Nation Casino Okmulgee; Creek Nation Travel Plaza in Okmulgee, Eufaula Indian Community Bingo in Eufaula; Duck Creek Casino in Beggs; and River Spirit Casino in Tulsa.[9]

[edit] Civic institutionsEdit

The Nation's historic old Council House (also known as the Creek National Capitol), built in 1878 and located in downtown Okmulgee, was completely restored in the 1990s. It now serves as a museum of tribal history. The Red Stick Gallery in the museum features art by tribal members.[10][11]

[edit] Tribal collegeEdit

The Muscogee Nation has recently founded a tribal college, College of the Muscogee Nation, in Okmulgee. CMN is a two-year institution, offering associate degrees in Gaming, Tribal Services, Police Science, and Native American Studies. They offer Mvskoke language classes as well. In 2007, 137 students enrolled and the college has plans for expansion.[12]

[edit] HistoryEdit

[8][9]Suzan Shown Harjo, Muscogee-Cheyenne policymaker, activist, and poetThe Nation is descended from individuals who were forced by the US government to relocate from their ancestral homes in the Southeast to Indian Territory in the 1830s. The American Civil War was devastating to the tribe, but they established a new government in 1866 and selected their new capital of Okmulgee. In 1867 the ratified a new constitution.[2]

A capitol building was built in 1867 and enlarged in 1878; today the Creek National Capitol is a National Historic Landmark and houses the Creek Council House Museum. The Nation built schools, churches, and public houses during the prosperous final decades of the 19th century, when the tribe had autonomy and minimal interference from the federal government.[2]

The turn of the century brought the 1898 Curtis Act, which dismantled tribal governments; the Dawes Allotment Act, which broke up tribal landholdings; and finally the 1905 Five Civilized Tribes Act, in anticipation of 1907 Oklahoma Statehood. During this time, Creeks lost over 2 million acres to non-Native settlers and the US government. While some Muscogee tribal towns gained federal recognition under the 1936 Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation did not reorganize and regain federal recognition until 1970. In 1975 the tribe ratified a new constitution that replaced the 1866 constitution.[2]

The pivotal 1976 court case Harjo v. Kleppe helped end US federal paternalism and usher in an era of grow self-determination. Using the Dawes allotment rolls, the Nation enrolled over 58,000 allottees and their descendents.

[edit] Notable Muscogee Nation peopleEdit

[edit] See alsoEdit

Solomem McCombs[one of the most imfamous Native American Painters]

[edit] NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission. 2008 Pocket Pictorial:22 (retrieved 22 Dec 2009).
  2. ^ a b c d e Isham, Theodore and Blue Clark. Creek (Mvskoke). Oklahoma Historical Society's Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. (retrieved 22 Dec 2009)
  3. ^ Innes, 393
  4. ^ a b c "MCN Governmental Branches." Muscogee (Creek) Nation. 2008 (retrieved 22 Dec 2009)
  5. ^ a b "Office of the Administration." Muscogee (Creek) Nation. 2008 (retrieved 22 Dec 2009)
  6. ^ "Division of Health." Muscogee (Creek) Nation. (retrieved 28 Dec 2009)
  7. ^ "Lighthorse Tribal Police." Muscogee (Creek) Nation. (retrieved 28 Dec 2009)
  8. ^ "About MFSI." Mvskoke Food Sovereignty Initiative. (retrieved 28 Dec 2009)
  9. ^ "Oklahoma Indian Casinos." 500 Nations. (retrieved 22 Dec 2009)
  10. ^ "Creek Council House Museum." Attractions in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. (retrieved 22 Dec 2009)
  11. ^ Clifton Adcock, "Creeks ask to buy Council House: The U.S. sold it out from under them to the city of Okmulgee in 1919. It's now a museum.", Tulsa World, March 18, 2010.
  12. ^ College of the Muscogee Nation Frequently Asked Questions. (retrieved 22 Dec 2009)
  13. ^ La Bella, Laura. Carrie Underwood. New York: Rosen Publishing, 2008: 15. ISBN 978-1404213708. (retrieved through Google Books, 5.April.2009)
  14. ^ Creek Nation Tribal Member Carrie Underwood Wins Grammy. Free Press. 14.Feb.2007 (retrieved 5.April.2009)

[edit] ReferencesEdit

  • Innes, Pamela. "Creek in the West." William C. Sturtevant, editor. Handbook of North American Indians: Volume 14, Southeast. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution, 2004. ISBN 0-16-072300-0.

[edit] External linksEdit