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November 9, 2017

Muscogee (Creek) Nation welcomes SEAC

by: Amanda Rutland/MCNPR

TULSA, Okla. — Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief James Floyd opened The 74th Annual Southeastern Archeological Conference Nov. 8 with a welcome at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Tulsa.

This is the first time SEAC has been held in Oklahoma. The four-day conference with over 600 people in attendance. SEAC is targeted to those working in Southeastern archeology related fields, whether academically, working for federal agencies or culture resources.

“What’s unique about the conference coming to Oklahoma is this is the first time tribes will have a large presence and participation in the conference,” Muscogee (Creek) Nation Historic and Cultural Preservation Manager RaeLynn Butler said.

The tribal presence included the opening ceremony. MCN Historic and Cultural Preservation Traditional Cultural Specialist David Proctor worked with University of Tulsa Professor Dr. Thomas Foster to invite all the tribes that wanted to participate in a living cultural demonstration.

“The opening ceremony was organized to help give an invitation to everyone coming to Tulsa. The Creek Nation founded the city of Tulsa and so we felt that it would be good to show the attendees kind of like a good welcome and a cultural night,” Butler said.

Chief Floyd explained to the attendees that when MCN reestablished in Indian Territory town locations and names were retained.

“When we left the east and came here, we renamed every town pretty much after our old towns and aligned them the way you seen in Alabama, Georgia and Florida,” Floyd said. “We do carry out the traditions that many of you study. “

A field trip in planned for Saturday to the Tvlahasse Wvkokaye Ceremonial Ground.

“I know some of you, Saturday, are going out to Tallahassee Wvkokaye. You will see that we carried on those ceremonies, those traditions and culture that we did hundreds of years ago. We still make sure we retain those things that were our life,” Floyd said.

MCN Historic and Cultural Preservation helped organized a tribal historic preservation symposium to be held on Friday.

Butler hopes it will bring both archeologists and tribes together to listen and learn from each other.

Various tribes will be “showcasing tribal archeology, tribal preferences and perspectives on archeology and what’s respectful. We are also talking about repatriation and how that is important to tribes also,” Butler said.