muscogee creek

the Indians are dead, they said

They took us on a field trip to the Everglades
Where we visited big cypress reservation
Most of them died out, teacher said
Precious few left on the rez

I remember marveling at the beadwork and artifacts in the museum
And the chickees amongst the cypress trees
wondering why these things were locked up behind glass,
Why this was “just history”, relics of the past
Reading the words on the museum plaques;
the Seminoles and Creeks
were once one people

Something in me lit up,
That’s me! That’s me,
Wayward Indian without a culture,
forced by the whiteness of public education to view colonizers as explorers,
My own people as savages
Well, the word creek was said
But still, “those Indians, they’re dead”

In fourth grade we had to pick a conquistador to do a project on
Picking a Native American was not an option

Pick your favorite Spaniard,
Who civilized this stinking swampland
And saved it’s savage people
So I picked desoto
That fabled hero who brutalized us
Hungry for the riches of our land

This is what my education taught me;
That my people no longer really exist,
savages swallowed up by European refinement
That our land is not ours, and never again will be
That an Indian is an Indian is an Indian,
Until the white man decides the Indian is white enough that their Indian blood is meaningless

That our culture can be summed up in a museum plaque,
That no one among us was ever great, when held up next to the blessed colonizers

I grew up thinking that my indigenous blood was meaningless,
that whiteness had even won the war within my own body

The Indians are dead, they said
Except for the few who run the museums
and hog our tax dollars

The Indians are dead, they said
And if that’s true,
I must be dead too

- kelsie marina (2017)

anonymous asked:

What are your thoughts on Andrew Jackson?

The Indian removal act was disgusting. He made countless Indians march with their hands tied behind their backs and even had some dragged.
He also went against the President when he was a general, got his troops into Florida and hung Indians and threatened to hang Spaniards. Jackson said his only regret was that he didn’t shoot Henry Clay and that he didn’t hang John C. Calhoun (Jackson’s own vice president). Andrew Jackson never deserved to be on the $20 bill. My thoughts? Andrew Jackson’s campaigns to force at least 46,000 Cherokees, Choctaws, Muscogee-Creeks, Chickasaws, and Seminoles off their ancestral lands. Thousands of Native American men, women, and children were forced to march West, sometimes freezing to death or starving because U.S. soldiers wouldn’t let them bring extra food or blankets. Choctaw Nation lost up to a third of its population on the death march. Symbolism matter and the fact that I have to gaze down into my wallet at a mass murder makes my blood boil with rage. Get that fucking bullshit outta here. 


America’s Lost City — Cahokia and the Mound Builders

Long before Europeans first explored and settled the new world, what is now the United States was a host to a wide variety of rich, sophisticated, and vibrant cultures.  One of the most interesting were the Mississippian Mound builders, a culture that stretched from Illinois and Indiana, throughout the Mississippi River region, and as far south as the Gulf Coast.  Unlike most native cultures of the US and Canada, the Mississippians were unique in that they developed a society governed by centralized authority (a king or chief), built large cities and population centers, and conducted large scale engineering and agriculture.  The center of Mississippian culture revolves around mound building.  Usually the center of a Mississippian town or city was a large earthwork pyramid or platform which served as a religious and governmental center. 

Of all Mississippian population centers, the largest was a city called Cahokia, located in southern Illinois across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, MI.  Settled around 600 AD, the city covered 6 square miles and featured 120 mounds of various sizes and shapes.  The largest is “Monks Mound”, a large terraced earthwork 100 feet high and with a base similar in size to the Great Pyramid of Giza (13.1 acres).

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 At its height around 1200 AD, Cahokia is estimated to have had a population of around 40,000 making it one of the largest cities in the world.  At that time Cahokia was comparable in population to London (40,000) and Venice (45,000), while Rome (20,000) was significantly smaller.

Like Ancient Rome, Cahokia is special in that all roads, or perhaps I should say rivers, led to it.  From 900 to 1200 AD Cahokia served as a primary trading center in what is now the United States.  As a result Cahokian trade goods can be found all over the Central United States.  Some of the most popular goods traded were metal goods, as Cahokia was one of the few cultures north of Meso-America to practice the art and science of metal working.  Most Cahokian metal work consists of copper items, many of which show incredible artistry and craftsmanship.  

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The decline of Cahokia began around 1,300.  Historians cite a number of reasons for the decline, including climate change, the use of unsustainable agricultural methods, poor waste disposal systems, political instability, famine, disease, and warfare.  As Cahokia declined so too did the culture of the Mississippian mound builders.  By the time Columbus “discovered” America, the city was abandoned.  The Mississippian culture itself broke down, its people forming the many tribes that inhabit the south such as the  Alabama, Apalachee, Caddo, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee, Creek, Guale, Hitchiti, Houma, Kansa, Missouria, Mobilian,  Natchez, Osage, Quapaw, Seminole, Tunica-Biloxi,Yamasee, and Yuchi.

Today Cahokia is a National Historic Landmark, Illinois State Historic Site, and one of 21 UN World Heritage Sites in the United States.


Tsianina Redfeather was born Florence Tsianina Evans at Eufaula, in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma), to Creek (Muscogee) and Cherokee parents. She was trained as a singer in Denver, sponsored in part by Alice Robertson .

At age 16, Redfeather joined pianist Charles Wakefield Cadman on tour, giving recitals throughout North America. Cadman, who was white, claimed expertise in Native American music, and lectured on the subject. As “Princess Redfeather,” Tsianina performed Cadman’s compositions in traditional costume, with long braids and garments she had beaded herself. Cadman’s composition, “From the Land of Sky-Blue Water,” was Redfeather’s signature song.

Tsianina Redfeather also knew archaeologist Edgar Lee Hewett, who attempted to compliment her by saying that he admired the shape of her head, and hoped to have it for his museum after she died. “He frightened me,” she recalled, “and I had a secret fear of having my skull on display for all to see.” (Hewett died long before Redfeather did.)

During World War I, she was the only woman in a YMCA-sponsored troupe of Native American entertainers who played and danced for troops in France and Germany, just before the armistice. For her service, she received a commendation.

The opera Shanewis, with music by Cadman and libretto by Nelle Richmond Eberhart, was loosely based on Redfeather’s stories of Native American life. It debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in 1918 and toured the United States. Tsianina Redfeather sang the lead at some performances, including at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, in 1926.

In 1935, Redfeather retired from singing. She was one of the founders of the American Indian Education Foundation (AIEF), and spent thirty years on the board of managers for the School of American Research in Santa Fe.

Muscogee (Creek) Nation Launches App to Help Preserve Language

In an effort to preserve the Muscogee (Creek) Nation language, the nation has developed a mobile app as a way for citizens to learn the language more easily.
The Mvskoke (the traditional spelling of Muscogee) Language App is available free in the Apple store for iPhones and iPads, as well the Google Play Store for Android devices.

Ghost Sickness

People who are preoccupied and/or consumed by the deceased are believed to suffer ghost sickness. The sickness is attributed to ghosts, or sometimes witches and witchcraft. Ghost sickness is related to the belief that the dead may try to take someone with them. The sufferer may be mildly obsessed with death or a deceased person whom they believe to be the source of their affliction.

Putsch states that “Spirits or ‘ghosts’ may be viewed as being directly or indirectly linked to the cause of an event, accident, or illness”.

Ghost sickness is mainly reported to occur amongst Native American tribes, (including Navajo) making it a culture-bound syndrome. Reported symptoms include:

  • General weakness.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Suffocative sensations.
  • Recurring nightmares.
  • A pervasive feeling of terror.
  • Hallucination.
  • Depression. 

Religious leaders within the Navajo tribe repeatedly perform rituals to eliminate the all-consuming thoughts of the dead.

In the Muscogee (Creek) culture, it is believed that everyone is a part of an energy called Ibofanga. This energy supposedly results from the flow between mind, body, and spirit. Illness can result from this flow being disrupted. Therefore, “Indian medicine is used to prevent or treat an obstruction and restore the peaceful flow of energy within a person”. Purification rituals for mourning “focus on preventing unnatural or prolonged emotional and physical drain.

A common belief among the Kwakiuti Indians of British Columbia is that a child’s soul is weaker or less attached to their body than that of an adult. This would make children more vulnerable than adults to ghost sickness. In this society the children are commonly referred to as adults in order to protect their souls and mislead the ghosts.

The NYC Stands for Standing Rock committee is a group of Indigenous scholars and activists, and settler/ POC supporters. We belong and are responsible to a range of Indigenous peoples and nations, including Tlingit, Haudenosaunee, Secwepemc, St’at’imc, Creek (Muscogee), Anishinaabe, Peoria, Diné, Maya Kaqchikel, and Quechua. We have joined forces to support the Standing Rock Sioux in their continued assertion of sovereignty over their traditional territories. We welcome the support and participation of Indigenous peoples and allied environmental/ community/ justice organizations in the New York area.


This is an amazing piece of information that should be given to every university.

Don Cheadle’s, Ancestors Were Enslaved by Native Americans

the “five civilized tribes” which consisted of the cherokee, chickasaw, choctaw, creek/muscogee and seminole all owned african/black slaves. like don says “everyone was getting in on the black slavery game.” so if you wonder why there’s no love lost between african americans and native americans, there you go.

I don’t speak about this much because I look like a white lady and I identify as a white lady and I was raised as a white lady, but my grandfather was of the Muscogee Creek Nation. My aunt just let me know that there is a Mvskoke language app and I downloaded it for my phone. It’s a difficult language but I am interesting in the idea of at least hearing it because so many indigenous languages are in jeopardy. it makes me really happy that they have created something as accessable as a phone app to preserve their language! Right now I only know one word and it just means “toothless one” I think it is meant to be used for elders who had no teeth but my father used it for me when when I was little and lost teeth.


Jesse Davis - Golden Sun Goddess. (by 123c123c123c)

Kick Andrew Jackson Off the $20 Bill!

My public high school wasn’t the best, but we did have an amazing history teacher. Mr. L, as we called him, brought our country’s story to life. So when he taught us about the Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears, Andrew Jackson’s campaigns to force at least 46,000 Cherokees, Choctaws, Muscogee-Creeks, Chickasaws, and Seminoles off their ancestral lands, my classmates and I were stricken.

Five Students Earn Scholarships from Northwest Indian Bar Association

Five Native students attended law school in 2013-14 with support from the Northwest Indian Bar Association.This year’s scholarship recipients:Charisse Arce, Native Village of Iliamna, Seattle University School of Law.Tiffany Justice, Couer d’Alene, University of Idaho.Rhylee Marchand, Colville, University of Idaho.Ashley Ray, Muscogee Creek Nation, University of Idaho.Cara Wallace, Ketchikan Indian Community, University of Arizona.