Wednesday, Jun 20, 2012
On June 2nd, Ocmulgee National Monument hosted the leaders of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation for the kickoff of a bike tour from the park to Okmulgee, Oklahoma.
Developed to commemorate, educate, and communicate to the public the Muscogee removals as well as the Muscogee history in the ancestral homelands in the Southeastern United States, the bike tour will honor the memory of Muscogee ancestors who made the 800 mile arduous journey and those 3.500 people who did not survive the removal to Okmulgee, Oklahoma.
In attendance were 100 Muscogee people, which made it the largest gathering of the Muscogee people in Georgia since their removal from their homelands in 1837. During the commemoration, they had a moment of prayer, and sang traditional songs to honor their ancestors and their ancestral homelands, Also in attendance were over 50 park visitors, including local citizens who rode their bicycles with the Muscogee Nation to the Butts County line.
During the kickoff ceremony, presentations were given by honored guests that included Principal Chief George Tiger, Second Chief Roger Barnett, Speaker of the National Council Samuel Alexander, John Beaver, Director of the Muscogee (Creek) Museum in Oklahoma, Justin Giles, Assistant Director of the Muscogee (Creek) Museum, Macon Mayor Robert Reichert, and Don Wollenhaupt, Chief of Interpretation and Education for the Southeast Region representing the regional director’s office.
John Beaver will be the lead rider on the “Ocmulgee to Okmulgee” bike tour as he will tell stories at various stops along the way, one of which will include Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, which commemorates the Battle of Horseshoe Bend and the conflict of the Creek Wars upon the Creek people. The bike tour started at the visitor center at Ocmulgee National Monument and will conclude on June 23rd at the 2012 Creek Festival in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.