A Muscogee (Creek) Nation delegation will travel to Washington, D.C. from Oklahoma for the installation and display of the 1790 Treaty of New York on March 16 as part of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian “Nation to Nation Treaties Between the U.S. and American Indian Nations” exhibit.
The 1790 Treaty of New York was the first treaty between the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and the newly formed U.S. government.
The document was signed to create “perpetual peace and friendship” between the two nations. The treaty established a boundary between MCN lands and those of the U.S.
“This is a historic moment recognizing the relationship we’ve had with the U.S. for a number of centuries,” MCN Cultural Center and Archives Interim Director Justin Giles said. “The 1790 Treaty of New York is a living testament of what our ancestors accomplished, endured and negotiated for the well-being of the Muscogee (Creek) people and the Mvskoke way of life.”
Giles said that having the active ceremonial ground leaders and descendants of the original treaty signors is an important part of remembering MCN history and continuing the legacy of our ancestors.
Attendees will include MCN Principal Chief George Tiger, active ceremonial ground leaders and direct descendants of the mekkos who signed the 1790 Treaty of New York.
Ceremonial Ground leaders include: Alabama Quassarte Mekko Bobby Yargee, Hickory Ground Mekko George Thompson and Nuyaka Mekko Phillip Deere.
Giles, a Broken Arrow Ceremonial Ground mekko descendent, will also attend along with MCN representatives CCA Special Projects and Grant Coordinator Chris Azbell and National Council Rep. David Nichols.
“While we know that there are likely additional direct 1790 Treaty of New York connections with other ceremonial grounds, the Muscogee (Creek) delegation making the trip to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian represent the direct descendants and/or active ceremonial grounds associated with the Muscogee ancestors who signed the treaty,” Giles said. “The issues of the treaty regarding land, boundaries and friendship between the U.S. and the Muscogee (Creek) people continue to be an issue to this day.”
Of the 44 ceremonial grounds and tribal towns that were active in the Muscogee (Creek) ancestral homelands of the southeastern U.S. before removal, 16 remain active in Oklahoma today.
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