The presentation was made by Tribal Councilman Robert R. McGhee, as a result of a resolution from the council, during a special ceremony held at the Department of Archives and History in Montgomery April 28.
“We are proud to be at a place in our history where we can preserve the past for future generations,” said Tribal Chairman Buford L. Rolin. “It is important for all citizens to learn about our people and the impact we have made on Alabama and the nation.”
The donation will go toward the installation of a new exhibit gallery, “Alabama Voices,” located in the west wing of the archives building. The new gallery features seven exhibits that will guide visitors through the state’s history from the dawn of the 1700s to the present.
The first exhibit, “This Is Our Land,” covers the time period from 1702 to 1819 and will allow visitors to explore the rich Creek civilization that dominated Alabama during the period of European settlement.
“Archaeologists have determined that Indians have lived in Alabama for almost 14,000 years,” said Department of Archives and History Director Ed Bridges. “The story of these first Alabamians is central to the history of our state. We look forward to this partnership with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and to our joint efforts in telling this important story more fully.”
The educational value and opportunity for all citizens to learn more about Creek history will be beneficial for everyone involved. The rich collections will allow the story of the Creek civilization to be shown in an engaging way never seen before.
About the Poarch Band of Creek Indians
The Poarch Creek Indians are descendents of a segment of the original Creek Nation, which once covered almost all of Alabama and Georgia. Unlike many eastern Indian tribes, the Poarch Creeks were not removed from their tribal lands and have lived together for almost 200 years in and around the reservation in Poarch, Ala. The reservation is located eight miles northwest of Atmore, in rural Escambia County, and 57 miles east of Mobile.
The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is the only federally recognized Indian tribe in the state of Alabama, operating as a sovereign nation with its own system of government and bylaws.
The tribe operates a variety of economic enterprises, which employ hundreds of area residents. Poarch Creek Indian Gaming manages three gaming facilities in Alabama, including Wind Creek Hotel & Casino in Atmore; Riverside Casino in Wetumpka; and Tallapoosa Casino in Montgomery. The Poarch Band of Creek Indians is an active partner in the state of Alabama, contributing to economic, educational, social and cultural projects benefiting both tribal members and residents of these local communities and neighboring towns.
About the Alabama Department of Archives and History
The Alabama Department of Archives and History was the first state-funded historical agency in the United States, established 33 years before the United States National Archives. For its entire history, the archives has preserved records and artifacts of Alabama’s past and present and been a center of history education.
The new museum exhibits will help Alabamians understand the people, ideas and events that shaped the development of the state. They are intended to foster a better informed citizenry and to strengthen the sense of connection people feel to the state.