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Creek-Cherokee Collaboration

Grassroots Creek-Cherokee collaboration gets results

Behind the scenes, Georgia Creeks who were tired of some Georgia North Carolina archaeologists marginalizing and changing their history, and North Carolina Cherokee Traditionalists, who are just plain fed up with everything the “Qualla Crowd” has done to harm their reservation, seem to have pulled a David versus Goliath victory. The enemy is tired and on the run everywhere. They were a bunch of obsolete Cretaceous Period dinosaurs anyway.

Although Creeks, Shawnees, Chickasaws and Yuchi’s don’t like the way academicians have been treating their heritage, the regular folks on the Qualla Cherokee Reservation are the biggest victims of all. Over 80% of the adults there have diabetes. The physical condition of their teenagers is abysmal. The commercial areas are controlled by the Russian Mafia. Hundreds of Slavic young people are brought onto the reservation each year to work with fake student visas – meaning few jobs available for Native Americans. There are minimal economic opportunities for North Carolina Cherokees other than working for the tribal government, working at the casino or receiving casino checks. The Cherokee elders are ignored and their traditional way of life is not even a memory. Meanwhile their leadership just fattens their own wallets.

Most of the Native Americans on the emailing list are vaguely aware of the series of events associated with the Track Rock Archaeological Site. For unknown reasons, it became a straw dog for right wing politicos in Georgia. Their strategy blew up in their faces.

This article is an overview of the events over the past two years that include grossly unprofessional activities by some employees of the USFS and some federal law enforcement officers, we think, based in Gainesville and Atlanta, GA. The professionalism of some archaeologists in the region is highly suspect. I have worked with too many anthropologists, archaeologists and geologists to believe that the taking of money to be a spokesman for a political activity, is a norm in their profession.

Let’s hope that grassroots collaboration on this issue will become the model for collaboration between Native Americans in the Southeast that will help do something to avert the pending human disasters on several reservations.

You can read the article:

Sometimes ya gotta fight to be a man (or a woman)

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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.

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