Native American tribes are coming together in Muskogee this weekend to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Holiday Weekend.
“A lot of people think about Native Americans, just, you know, pow wow," said Megan Kelley, spokesperson for the Muskogee Oklahoma Native American Association. "But there’s so much more than that to our culture.”
As part of the celebration, they sang Native American worship songs and learned about different arts and languages. Kelley said they are hoping to teach others about their culture after being ignored for so long. They also hope to turn the day into a national holiday.
“Columbus said that he discovered America, but it’s kind of hard to discover America when there’s already living people here with living habitats," she said. "And we like to think of ourselves as being the first people that were here.”
A big topic of discussion this weekend is missing and murdered indigenous women. One tribe member says this national problem has affected her personally.
“My sister’s daughter was murdered here in Muskogee several years back," said Dana Tiger, a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. "Tragic. So we want to give voice to the people who have had such a horrible thing happen to them.”
Tiger wears red hand earrings that symbolize the voices of indigenous women being silenced. The group is holding a march Monday morning at Honor Heights Park in Muskogee to honor those indigenous women who are missing and murdered.
“The rates of women dying and being missing are astounding," Tiger said. "We want to come together and see what we can do, you know, to be heard.”
After the march, they will hear from speakers, honor Native American veterans and have story telling time.
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