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Reflections

 

Although their Nation has been rebuilt, the Muscogee believe it’s important to remember that 23,000 of their ancestors were removed from their homelands.

 
 

“It’s important for our people to remember the Removal, to remember what our ancestors endured…”

 
 

“We still have our culture,
we still have our language.
We’re moving forward.”

 
 

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Flag of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, ca. 2000–04, Oklahoma. National Museum of the American Indian, 26/5149.

Flag of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, ca. 2000–04, Oklahoma. National Museum of the American Indian, 26/5149.

 

The Muscogee flag is important to the Nation’s citizens and is a reminder that they survived removal.

 

Today, it is important to reflect on the injustice and brutality of removal and to ask why it happened and what can be learned from it.

 
 

“It’s about survival, it’s about helping each other, and it’s about never giving up.”

 
“A lesson everyone should learn from the removal history is that acts like these should never happen again.”

—Justin Giles

 
 

“Removal to me is using what was a negative, turning it positive, and gaining strength from it.”

 
 

In 2013, the Muscogee participated in a memorial bike ride to retrace the land route that some Muscogee walked nearly 200 years earlier.

 

In 2014, over 200 Muscogee people returned to Alabama to observe the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.

 
 

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Muscogee Creek Nation Stomp Dance at the site of the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, 2014. Courtesy Mvskoke Media.

Muscogee Creek Nation Stomp Dance at the site of the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, 2014. Courtesy Mvskoke Media.

 

Members of the Muscogee Nation perform a traditional dance to honor their ancestors who fought and died trying to hold onto their homelands.

 
 

“These acts serve as not only a way to remember the injustices of the past, but also a way to heal as a community and to look to the future.”

 
 

“We’re still Muscogee people. We’re still strong, stronger than ever.”

 
 

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College of the Muscogee Nation. Courtesy Mvskoke Media.

College of the Muscogee Nation. Courtesy Mvskoke Media.

 

The Muscogee Nation operates its own college to help educate and prepare its people for the future.

 
 

“And I think it’s important for our younger people to preserve the language, to preserve their culture…”

Discussion Questions • Reflections

 
  1. What lessons can be learned from studying this historical event?
  2. How do the current members of the Muscogee Nation honor their ancestors?