Manataka American Indian Council Volume XI Issue 03 MARCH 2007
SMOKE SIGNAL NEWS
Manataka - Preserving The Past Today For Tomorrow
Faster download! The Smoke Signal this month is now on three web pages.
|2||Legends of Old:||Evening Star and Orphan Star|
|2||Religion:||Earth Works for Humanity|
|2||Letters to the Editor:||Free Will, Blessings of the Waters, Who Are Illegal Immigrants?|
|2||Politics:||OK Legislators Blast Language Bill|
|2||Mother Earth Watch:||Organic Consumers Association|
|2||Member Recognition:||Judy Filmore and Spirit Award Winners|
|2||Health Watch:||Frankenstein Food - Send in the Clones|
|2||Fluoride Watch:||National Tea Association Stands Up|
|2||Animal Rights and Wrongs:||A||Alaska Wolf Massacre|
|2||Sacred Site Watch:||Ocmulgee Old Fields|
LEGENDS OF OLD:
Evening Star And Orphan Star
A Caddo Legend
A poor orphan boy lived with a large family of people who were not kind to him and mistreated him. He could not go to play or hunt with the other boys, but had to do all of the hard work. Whenever the camp broke up the family always tried to steal away and leave the boy behind, but sooner or later he found their new camp and went to them because he had no other place to go.
One time several families went in boats to an island in a large lake to hunt eggs, and the orphan boy went with them. After they had filled their boats with eggs they secretly made ready to go back to the mainland. In the night, while the orphan boy was asleep, they stole away in their boats, leaving him to starve on the lonely island. The boy wandered about the island, eating only the scraps that he could find around the dead camp fires, until he was almost starved.
As he did not have a bow and arrows, he could not hunt, but he sat by the water's edge and tried to catch fish as they swam past him.
One day as he sat on the lonely shore he saw a large animal with horns coming to him through the water. He sat very still and watched the animal, for he was too frightened to run away. The monster came straight to him, then raised his head out of the water and said: "Boy, I have come to save you. I saw the people desert you and I have taken pity upon you and come to rescue you. Get upon my back and hold to my horns and I will carry you to the mainland. The boy were no longer afraid, but climbed upon the animal's back.
"Keep your eyes on the blue sky, and if you see a star tell me at once," the animal said to him.
They had not gone far when the boy cried, "There in the west is a big star."
The monster looked up and saw the star, then turned around at once and swam back to the island as fast as he could.
The next day he came and took the boy again, telling him, as before, to call out the moment that he saw a star appear in the sky. They had gone a little farther than they had the day before when the boy cried out, "There in the west is a star." The animal turned around and went to the shore. The next day and the next four days he started with the boy, and each time he succeeded in getting a little farther before the boy saw the star.
The sixth time they were within a few feet of the opposite shore when the boy saw the star. He wanted to reach the shore so badly that he thought he would keep still and not tell the monster that he saw the star, for he knew that he would take him back to the island at once if he did. He said nothing, and so the monster swam on until they were almost in shallow water, when the boy saw a great black cloud roll in front of the star. He became frightened and jumped off of the animal's back and swam to the shore. Just as he jumped something struck the animal with an awful crash and he rolled over dead.
When the boy came upon the shore a handsome young man came up to him and said: "You have done me a great favor.
For a long time I have tried to kill
this monster, because he makes the water of the lake dangerous, but until
now I could never get the chance. In return for what you have done, I will
take you with me to the sky, if you care to go." The boy said that he wanted
to go, as he was alone and friendless upon the earth. The man, who was
Evening-Star, took him with him to the sky, and there he may be seen as
Orphan-Star who stands near Evening-Star.
Traditions of the Caddo, By George A. Dorsey, collected 1903-1905,
under the auspices of the Carnegie Institution of Washington
Submitted by Blue Panther Keeper of Stories.
To All Manataka Members and Supporters:
Earth Works for Humanity is honored to be the coordinating organization for the Eagle tribes of North and Central America who will be traveling to the Elders Gathering at Lake Titicaca, Peru, over the Spring Equinox, 2007. As a part of The Institute for Cultural Awareness (ICA, an 18 year-old, 501c (3) non-profit organization), we are dedicated to providing a safe and healthy environment for cultural exchange and healing, bridging the gap between Elders and the children and creating Peace throughout the world. We are excited about this Elders Gathering and its mission to unite the Tribes of the Americas. We share the desire for peace and unity.
Aramu-Muru's Doorway - Peru
Click on picture for details
It is part of Earth Works for Humanity’s mission to provide all funding necessary for honored Elders to travel and participate in ceremonies like this one. It is estimated that 50-60 Elders will gather in Peru, and it is our intention to fully support them and their important work by raising the funds necessary for their travel, lodging, meals, and other associated expenses.
We ask for your financial support. The estimated cost for each Elder is $3,500. Please support the Elders and the cause of Peace by returning the attached form, indicating the number of Elders you will be sponsoring, along with your donation. If you would like your organization to become a sponsor of this event, please let us know so we can include you in our written materials.
We are also asking all Indigenous communities of the Americas to join with us in Spirit at Lake Titicaca by offering declarations of support for the intention of unity throughout the Americas. Each tribe’s resolution will be brought to the Gathering and incorporated into the ceremonies, linking your community to the whole. In addition, many simultaneous ceremonies will be held throughout the world on March 21, the Spring Equinox. If you are interested in coordinating a local gathering, please let us know.
Thank you for your support of Peace and Unity,
Adam “Yellowbird” DeArmon
President, Earth Works for Humanity
The Institute for Cultural Awareness/Earth Works for Humanity is a 501c (3) non-profit organization providing a safe and healthy environment for cultural exchange and healing
928-646-3000 ~ www.earthworksforhumanity.org ~ email@example.com
POB 1502 ~ Cornville, AZ 86325
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR...
Another Global Warming Perspective
It may be that human beings are so fearful of not having control that it's less scary to think we can stop global warming, but won't, than it is to think we can't stop it, no matter what we do. For my part, I think the latter is the case---that we have some influence, but that it's rather minimal. I accept my position as outcast in this minority opinion.
Of course, we all need to be responsible Earth inhabitants and avoid exacerbating the situation. But since group-think is a phenomenon to avoid, we should always inform ourselves even about unpopular facts. In doing some homework, I've learned a few of these.
We hear incessantly about global warming in relation to Earth these days, but I can't help wondering why we hear nothing in the media about Mars heating up. I learned about that quite awhile before recent reports of flowing water showing up on that icy planet ... but even those reports I heard never mentioned "global warming" on Mars as the cause. NASA predicts the polar ice caps on Mars will be completely eradicated by the year 2050. Why don't we hear about this? Earth isn't the only planet in the solar system losing its ice caps.
Why don't we hear that every planet in our solar system is being affected, from Mercury to Pluto? Pluto, the farthest from the sun, is heating up, and this was discovered in 2003... astronomers were perplexed because Pluto was heating up, despite its orbit taking it farther away from the sun.
Why don't we hear that Mercury--closest to the sun--has developed an ice cap? The hottest planet out there, with temperatures hot enough to melt lead, has formed an ice cap. That's astonishing, and yet somehow doesn't seem to be very newsworthy.
Why don't we hear that the atmosphere of Venus is rapidly changing? Or that Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are also heating up? That their radiation emissions have intensified? That their luminosity has increased from 50% to over 300% (depending on the planet)? Or that one of Jupiter's many moons has become so hot that if its temperature continues to climb, it's in danger of melting?
Why don't we hear that climate change is a solar system-wide phenomenon? Because it is truly and that.
We just might consider the possibility that tossing all our fluorocarbon spray cans and even stopping all the burning of fossil fuels would be akin to tossing a few sandbags in front of a tsunami.
I would never suggest that we don't need to make drastic changes in our often repulsive treatment of Mother Earth. Of course we need to stop the destructive behaviors and clean up our mess and clean up our act. This should be a given. But it is certain that, come what may, we share a common plight, and perhaps we need a new perspective.
Maybe if we accept our humble place in a Universe far larger than our collective human will or actions, we might concentrate more on cleaning up our hearts in these tumultuous times, and actually be the cause of the kind of global warming that only love toward all beings can bring. Maybe only then will loving behaviors toward our precious planet follow. And then, whatever comes, we'll be ready.
Life is a gift, as is free will. Free will means we get to choose whether we walk the Red Road in life or the Black Road. The Black Road is about focus on self and the Red Road is about love, about sharing the gift of life. The opposite of love isn't hate it's fear, hate of self and others comes from fear.
Free will is a powerful thing, for it allows change to happen... for those who desire to change. Insanity is doing the same thing time and again and expecting different results.
A friend in London said to that he doesn't believe in God. He reasons that if there was a God and if he loved man he would end war, feed the hungry, and bring relief to all who suffer. I said to him that he should forget about God and instead to think Good. Good is a force, an intent.
It's a fact that love exist, just as it's a fact that fear also exists. But then there's the power of free will.
A elder was telling a group of children how in the heart of every man live two wolves. One wolf represents love and the other fear, and these wolves are in a great battle. He stopped speaking and sat quietly until finally one of the children asked , "Grandfather which wolf wins?", The answer..."whichever you feed".
Mitakuye Oyasin,(we are all related)
BLESSING OF THE WATERS
I wanted to congratulate
and give my thanks THAN YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for "BLESSING OF THE WATERS" By
Liora Leah in a recent Smoke Signal. This was my first encounter with your
newsletter. It filled my heart with the sound of joy: water is life, life is
light...light is joy!
WHO ARE ILLEGAL IMMIAGRANTS?
writer needs to check his facts. He is completely erroneous in his claims that
Pequot are an extinct people, he erroneously infers that it was Jefferson who
was primarily responsible for the adoption of Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) influence
in the formation of the American government, and perpetuates the myth that the
western nations were the only peoples, or at least the peoples who suffered the
greatest at the hands of the whites during the development of America. The
following are quotes taken from his writing (in black) followed by my commentary
and corrections to his remarks (in brown).
There is no record of Jefferson having ever lived with the Haudenosaunee, or any
other nation. Jefferson was born into a wealthy and prominent Virginia
family, lived a life of luxury, and inherited his father's great wealth and vast
holdings. He was deeply committed to gaining knowledge and dedicated his early
life to gaining a broad based education. He mastered several areas of
knowledge, and eventually went into public service holding a number of
positions, including the Continental Congress, and eventually the presidency.
The policy towards the nations of the eastern seaboard by both the colonial
powers and the American government during the early years of the the American
nation, was not to drive the nations westward, but rather that of "assimilation
or annihilation". While those nations were systematically robbed of their
homelands through force and fraud, there was no policy to drive them westward.
The westward movement was a combination of the flight from the policies of
"assimilation or annihilation", as well as the result of the progressive loss of
their homelands to the European and American powers.
While the reservation system was, and is, not justifiable, it is still a much
more humane policy than that to which the eastern nations were subjected. At
least it allowed the nations to remain in existence as a cohesive people able to
preserve their culture, their language, their identity, and their existence.
The atrocities which were perpetrated against the eastern peoples in the late
16th century,17th century, and early 18th century were far more brutal and
devastating than anything suffered by the western peoples, with the one possible
exception of Sand Creek. Even today many people of eastern nations have had the
fear of being Indian, so deeply instilled in them from their ancestors, that
they will not admit to their heritage. So complete were the policies of
"assimilation or annihilation", that many do not even know they are Indian,
and many other peoples do not believe that we exist or that any Indians EVER
existed east of the Mississippi.......especially in the northeast. (Guess those
people never heard of the French & Indian War, King Phillip's War, Squanto,
Pocahontas, Massosoit, Hiawatha, Deganiwidah, Tamanend, Tecumseh, Thanksgiving,
the Haudenosaunee, Passamaquoddy, Mi'kmaq, Lënape, Susquehannock, Shawnee,
Mohegan, Mahekan, Abenaki, Wampanoags, Massachuset.....I think you get the
The two most tragic things though are:1) that even those of our own peoples who
fled to the west, deny that any of us still exist in the east, and many of the
western peoples deny that we are Indian at all; and 2) that our peoples, both
eastern and western, have fallen into believing the stereotypes that Hollywood
and literature have placed upon us, and many live their lives and play New Age
Indian based upon those stereotypes.
Legislators Blast Language Bill
Representatives Chuck Hoskin (Cherokee) and Scott BigHorse (Osage) are speaking out against a bill making its way through the Oklahoma legislature. The bill declares English the official language of the state of Oklahoma and requires that all government business be conducted in English.
"Oklahoma is a Choctaw word," said Rep. Hoskin. "Are we going to have to change the name of all the towns, rivers, counties and other entities that are named from Native American languages? Instead of shunning the cultures that helped form our state we should embrace them."
"This bill would have a negative impact on the economy," commented Rep. BigHorse. "It would decrease tourism and send a message to everyone outside the state that Oklahoma does not embrace diversity.”
State leaders, both Indian and non-Indian, decry the bill as a mean-spirited and bigoted throwback to the days when the American government forced Indians to speak English in their homes and schools. Not only is the bill discriminatory toward other cultures, but it serves no practical purpose beyond political gain.
Rep. Jerry McPeak (Muscogee Creek), is also a leader in the fight. "This is a slap in the face to every Native American nation in Oklahoma," said Rep. McPeak. "I'm embarrassed to be a part of a Legislature that takes part in legislation like this. I am sure that this piece of Legislation is nothing more than political fluff, designed to scare people." Racism and cultural discrimination in the halls of state legislatures and in the policies of our government must end if we are to move our country forward and create a country where diversity is allowed to enrich our lives instead of divide."
SOUNDS OF MANATAKA
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ALERT OF THE MONTH:
DEMAND A NEW "TRUTH-IN-LABELING" STANDARD FOR VITAMINS/SUPPLEMENTS
In order to make clear to the $20+ billion supplements industry that consumers want truth-in-labeling for vitamins & supplements,
"NATURAL" OR "ORGANIC" ARE YOUR VITAMINS & SUPPLEMENTS?
REMINDER OF THE MONTH:
TIP OF THE MONTH:
BOTTLED WATER ISN'T NECESSARILY CLEANER: According to the San Francisco Chronicle and lawsuits from the Environmental Law Foundation, 40% of bottled water is really just repackaged tap water. Maybe that's a good thing, considering federal standards for tap water are actually higher than those for bottled water.
BOTTLED WATER AND OIL: Supplying Americans with plastic water bottles for one year consumes more than 47 million gallons of oil, according to the Container Recycling Institute. That's enough to take 100,000 cars off the road and 1 billion pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Add in the additional amount of oil it takes to ship the bottles thousands of miles from extraction source to recipient, and your drink of H2O could be categorized with the "Hummers" of the world.
BOTTLED WATER AND BIODEGRADABILITY: Buddha's bones turned to dust a long time ago. But if he had been a bottled water drinker, that plastic would still be laying around. It takes two minutes to drink a bottle of water, but it takes thousands of years for that piece of plastic garbage to go away.
SOLUTION: Buy a water filter and a non-plastic water container of your preferred size. Fill it up in the morning before you go to work or school. Do a quick online search, and you can also find affordable portable water filters for when you are traveling. You'll save yourself and the environment a lot of expense.
GOOD NEWS OF THE MONTH:
HEALTH TIP OF THE MONTH:
This article is brought to you by
ORGANIC BYTES, a publication of
Organic Consumers Association
The honor of the people lies in the moccasin tracks of the women. Walk the good road....Be dutiful, respectful, gentle and modest my daughter....Be strong with the warm, strong heart of the earth. No people goes down until their women are weak and dishonored, or dead upon the ground. Be strong and sing the strength of the Great Powers within you, all around you." -Village Wise Man, Sioux
The Elders say the Native American woman will lead the healing among the tribes. We need to especially pray for our women, and ask the Creator to bless them and give them strength. Inside them are the powers of love and strength given by the Moon and the Earth. When everyone else gives up, it is the woman who sings the songs of strength. She is the backbone of the people. So, to our women we say, sing your songs of strength; pray for your special powers; keep our people strong; be respectful, gentle and modest.
One, bless our women.
Make them strong today.
By Don Coyhis
By Don Coyhis
Judy White Feather Filmore of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas holds a Presidential Proclamation declaring November as American Indian Month. President Bush personally sent the Proclamation to Filmore in recognition of her tireless work to have a national holiday declared by Congress in honor of the American Indian.
Filmore began distributing petitions in 2002 and has recently been in touch with Governor Mike Beebee of Arkansas to lobby for state recognition.
Judy is a long-time member and avid supporter of Manataka.
The Manataka "Spirit Award" for exemplary volunteer service to the organization and community was recently awarded by unanimous decision of the Elder Council to the following individuals:
We are very proud of the beautiful people!
Give them a pat on the back when you see them next.
FRANKENSTEIN FOOD – SEND IN THE CLONES
By Dr. Wayne Garland
"Where are the clowns?
Quick...send in the clowns.
Don’t bother, they’re here."
(Send In The Clowns, Stephen Sondheim, 1973.)
Despite a September survey that found that 64% of all Americans are repulsed by the idea of eating food from cloned animals, the FDA announced just this week that milk, eggs and meat from cloned animals will soon be allowed onto the market.
Ignoring a number of highly disturbing studies suggesting potential human health hazards, the FDA said "that meat and milk from cattle, swine and goat clones, is as safe to eat as the food we eat every day."
Consumer advocates, food safety and animal welfare groups have condemned the announcement, pointing out that cloning is inherently unpredictable and hazardous, and that the practice of cloning has led to a high number of cruel and painful deformities in experimental animals and their offspring.
Remember "Dolly", the first cloned sheep, who died a dreadful death, still unexplained??? Would you eat Dolly???
Why aren’t these terrible Frankenstein foods at least going to be labeled honestly so consumers can make a valued decision?
Follow the money
Recognizing that requiring labels on cloned food would lead to a massive consumer boycott, the FDA bowed to strong industry lobbyists by stating that there likely will be "NO REQUIRED LABELING OF FOOD PRODUCTS CONTAINING INGREDIENTS FROM CLONED ANIMALS."
The FDA’s controversial proposed regulations in the Federal Register will now be followed however by a three month "public comment period." So you have a strong chance to stop this madness.
Every sane person reading this, along with humane-minded individuals across this country, can now act to stop this outrageous and hazardous regulation from coming into force as Federal law.
Read on and see what you can do, simply, easily and instantly.
Who is behind all this Frankenstein Food madness?
All of this cloned food scam is directly connected to Human Genetic Engineering.
The FDA’s draft risk assessment document leans very heavily on the work of two infamous animal-cloning companies, Cyagra and ViaGen.
Over a quarter of the FDA’s 700-page draft is nothing less than a "data dump" from these two companies. ViaGen is part of the highly secretive "Exeter Life Science Group", which is owned by a mysterious billionaire, John Sperling, who also financed the notorious Genetic Savings and Clone caper. (I am not making this up, read on.)
Viagen’s chief scientist, Irina Polejaeva, was once GSC’s head of research and when GSC closed, ViaGen took over their gene banking operation. The cloned pets used, were rightly described by observers as "a footnote to John Sperling’s grand plan, and so are the cows and pigs". His plan very simply, is "people" and in turn, "people living forever".
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From Crystal Harvey, MAIC Correspondent
Fluoride Action Network
Read the following memo from the president of the US Tea Association.
Memo from: US Tea Association <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Tea & Fluoride Position Papers
To All Members:
A government office which is part of the National Academy of Sciences is about to publish a report on Fluoride. While the report is focused on Fluoride in drinking water and is reviewing EPA's Standards, it may prompt inquiries from consumers, the media, and other concerned groups about the Fluoride content of tea.
In anticipation of that possibility, the Tea Council of the USA has commissioned an independent scientific assessment of the amount of Fluoride in tea. Based on the findings of this group of experts, we have prepared a series of documents which are attached to this alert. Please review these documents as they contain the very best information available. In summary, the findings state that even heavy tea consumption (ten cups of tea per day) poses no risk to health even after all other sources of Fluoride in the typical USA diet are considered. This information will also be posted on our website for your ready reference. We are also attaching a summary of the latest health benefits attributed to tea.
As usual, it is our strong recommendation that any media inquiries on this subject be directed to me at the Tea Association for response. Dealing with the media is tricky especially with subjects that are potentially damaging to the industry.
Please direct any questions that you may have to my attention.
Tea Association of the USA, Inc.
No offense intended for any individuals or tribes.
Clinton was invited to address a major gathering of The American
Indian nation two weeks ago in upper New York State She spoke
for almost an hour on her future plans for increasing every
Native American's present standard of living, should she one day
become the first female President.
She referred to her career as a New York Senator, how she had signed "yes" for every Indian issue that came to her desk for approval. Although the Senator was vague on the details of her plan, she seemed most enthusiastic about her future ideas for helping her "red sisters and brothers".
At the conclusion of her speech, the Tribes presented the Senator with a plaque inscribed with her new Indian name - Walking Eagle.
The proud Senator then departed in her motorcade, waving to the crowds. A news reporter later inquired of the group of chiefs of how they had come to select the new name given to the Senator.
They explained that Walking Eagle is the name given to a bird so full of shit it can no longer fly
ANIMAL RIGHTS... AND WRONGS
Dear Members and Supporters of Manataka,
Another season of aerial gunning is underway in Alaska. And this year could be the bloodiest in decades, with the state seeking to eliminate as many 664 wolves through aerial gunning and other means in areas slated for aerial control.
Last year, more than 150 wolves were killed, shot down by gunners using low-flying aircraft. At least ten wolves have already been killed this year.
You can help put an end to this brutal practice. Please donate $35, right now to support our Campaign to Stop the Alaska Wolf Massacre.
Because they are such social animals, each wolf’s death can be damaging to its pack’s ability to hunt and survive. Yet gunners can indiscriminately kill any wolf, including pack leaders and pregnant mothers.
Allowing private individuals, rather than state personnel, to conduct aerial gunning also leads to increased wounding and suffering.
We need your support to end Alaska’s aerial gunning. Please make a donation online now to support our work in Alaska and on Capitol Hill to help save wolves.
Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund opposes aerial gunning, and we’re not alone.
Alaskans have twice voted to
restrict the use of aircraft to shoot wolves. Not surprisingly, many wildlife
supporters and hunters alike consider airborne wolf killing to be unsporting and
Scientists and conservationists worry that the programs’ goals of attempting to artificially inflate game numbers threatens not only Alaska wolves, but also the long-term health of local ecosystems wolves help balance.
Please help us end aerial gunning in Alaska. Fighting to save wolves has our time, resources and funds stretched to the breaking point. That’s why we need your help to raise $75,000 in the next two weeks to support these and other efforts to save wolves…
Federal lobbying. The new Congress offers a remarkable opportunity to finally spur federal action to end aerial gunning in Alaska. We’re already working to introduce and pass legislation to strengthen and clarify the Federal Airborne Hunting Act, the law passed in the 1960s to prevent programs like Alaska’s.
Grassroots mobilization. In Alaska and around the world, we’ve mobilized hundreds of thousands of dedicated activists in opposition to Alaska’s aerial gunning. Working with local conservationists and sportsmen, along with our sister organization, Defenders of Wildlife, we’ll also do everything in our power to support an upcoming state-based ballot initiative to restrict aerial gunning once again.
Wolves are dying right now. Please make the
most generous donation you can to support this important campaign and help us
For the Wild Ones,
SACRED SITE WATCH:
Ocmulgee Old Fields
The Eath Lodge
by Deborah Vess
One of the most significant archaeological and cultural areas in the American southeast is the Ocmulgee Old Fields. In 1999, the land was designated a Traditional Cultural Property. That earned it a place on the national Register of Historic Places. For some, though, it's little more than a handy route for a four-lane highway and they've proposed to gouge one through the middle of this cultural-and ecological-treasure.
Within the city limits of Macon, Georgia, lie a unique -- and threatened -- small wilderness and riparian wetland ecosystem. The Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT) has plans for a highway expansion through the middle of it.
But this place is much more than just another wetland facing yet another highway project. This one has a name: the Ocmulgee National Heritage Site. And it has deep and ancient meaning and significance. It contains the most ancient, sacred "old fields" and ceremonial earth mounds of the Muscogee Creek Indians and their ancestors, probably dating back as far as 12,000 years or more. Old fields are the long-abandoned open areas along southeastern rivers and streams where early American Indians lived and farmed.
The site's cultural significance has earned it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. The Old Fields lie adjacent to the Ocmulgee National Monument that preserves seven earthen ceremonial mounds of the ancient Mississippian Culture.
Important as Well
The Ocmulgee site bears considerable ecological significance, too. The fields provide part of a wildlife corridor that connects the Ocmulgee National Monument to the Bond Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, important to black bears, wood storks, bobcats, deer and a range of migratory birds. And the nearby Ocmulgee River creates important wetlands.
The Georgia DOT intends to build a four-lane highway, known as the Eisenhower Parkway Extension or the Fall Line Freeway there. The highway would bisect the Ocmulgee Old Fields and separate two sites within the Ocmulgee National Monument. It would run through the Ocmulgee River's floodplain and disturb the wildlife corridor that exists today.
Mound by Deborah Vess
Like many monumentally bad ideas this one isn't cheap and it's not the only alternative, though the DOT has so far spent little time exploring others. Estimated cost to taxpayers is $130 million. The cost of the cultural and ecological losses is incalculable.
The Wilderness Society, working in collaboration with the Muscogee Creek of Oklahoma and the National Parks Conservation Association, has been working to build public awareness of the damage a highway on this route would cause.
For More Information: National Parks Conservation Association
The most important reason to save these grounds is its spiritual importance The honorable people who once occupied Ocmulgee Old Fields.
Friends of the Ocmulgee Old Fields, in Macon, Georgia, opposes the proposed Fall Line Freeway which would bisect sacred lands known as the Ocmulgee Old Fields and the "Reserve Tract." In the oral tradition of the Muscogee people, these lands are their place of origin, first described to Bartram as, "the place where we first sat down." The lands were made sacred by this history, and by the many mounds, ceremonial squares, and burial grounds contained here. These lands were also the place or origin of the Muscogee Confederacy of tribes which eventually became the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Finally, the lands are called the "Reserve Tract" because the "mekkos", or chiefs of the tribes of the Confederacy, swore to each other to reserve these lands from all treaties. Principal Chief McIntosh violated this pledge and was executed. In the thirties, all of the remaining Old Fields were to be incorporated into a National Monument. Unfortunately, no federal monies were available and the monies raised locally were sufficient only for a large northern section and one southern section known as the Lamar Mound site, one of the few remaining spiral staircase mounds in the world. For further information contact Jack L. Sammons: email@example.com Jack Sammons is on the faculty of Mercer Law School in Macon, Georgia.
Submitted by Sheri Awi Anida Waya Burnett
Manataka American Indian Council
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