History is repeated every time it is ignored or falsely told or reported. Oklahoma is gearing up to celebrate the centennial, the centennial of land theft. Many of our tribes were forcibly "removed" to Oklahoma. Then lands were forcibly taken from us.
Kate Henderson offers this from the CreekIndians listserv:
My husband called this afternoon to state the company he works for (headquarters in Houston, Tx with subsidiaries nation and worldwide) was preparing for the Oklahoma Centennial. In preparation their office of 50 or so employees was divided into "teams". Each team would work together for the next year and should select, as their team name, a tribe represented in Oklahoma.
My heart fell thinking about the tribes forcibly marched in Oklahoma in winter conditions. A forced march where families were told by soldiers carrying guns to leave their homes, their belongings often in the middle of the night with no warning. My heart remembered the stories my grandfather told about his father and grandfather being spit upon and told to sleep with the livestock because even though they had money to pay no one would give them lodging. My heart remembered how my grandfather and his siblings hid in a tree to escape being murdered by white men who wanted his family's land.
And I thought, when will Oklahoma history be honestly taught? I want the truth to be told in all its horribleness and understood so that this and future generations become sensitive to why romanticized stereotypes hurt. I am sick to think of a group of adults forming a team and calling themselves The Creeks, The Choctaws, The Cherokees, The Comanches, or any one of the tribes forcibly removed to Indian Territory where yet another promise was made then broken. I cannot change the past, I can educate those in Oklahoma to the truth. This is where I take my stand.
(Thanks Kate Henderson for reprinting permission.)