Georgia gave the Uchee (Euchee/Yuchi) Tribe a reservation in 1958!
MAJOR GAME CHANGER!
The Euchee Tribe of Oklahoma is currently a federally recognized division of the Muscogee-Creek Nation . . . although they have for many years sought to have separate federal recognition. What this information means, however, is that the Oklahoma Euchee could immediately claim residence in Georgia as a federally recognized tribe AND build a casino in that reservation. The current Muscogee-Creek Nation government did not exist before 1979!
This also means that any Uchee descendant, who is a citizen of Georgia and who was alive in 1958 or whose Uchee parents were alive in 1958, can automatically claim state recognition, without going through the formal process of a bill in the Georgia General Assembly.
The information from a Atlanta Journal-Constitution article was discovered in the archives of the Georgia State University Library. The People of One Fire uses the word, Uchee, because that name and Ogeechee were used exclusively by the Uchee, who greeted the first colonists of South Carolina and Georgia. Uchee and Ogeechee were also used exclusively in the colonial documents produced by officials in Georgia and the Carolinas . . . also later in Alabama.
The Savannah and Ogeechee River Basins compose the original homeland of the Uchee, but most moved to the Chattahoochee River Valley near Columbus during the mid-1750s. According to Uchee tradition their ancestors sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from the “Home of the Sun” and landed near the mouths of the Savannah and Ogeechee Rivers . . . eons ago.
The Atlanta-Journal Constitution article states:
“Marion Johnson. Roy Smith (Center) Presents Deed to 100 Acres to Yuchi Indians. Chief Samuel H. Brown [i.e. Samuel W. Brown] (left) and Council member Rufus George accept.” Caption is stamped “Jun 8 1958.” Chief Samuel Wayne Brown, known as the last of the hereditary Yuchi Indian chiefs, was also called Chief Yuchi Micco Fus Hucha yahola.
The dedication ceremony for the deeding of 100 acres to the Yuchi Indians was June 7, 1958. The land was around the Columbus, Georgia, area, and was a gift of the “people of Georgia” presented by the Columbus Museum of Arts and Crafts. The gift had been negotiated in October 1957, by Chief Samuel William Brown, Jr., who died in December 1957.“
During the middle and late 20th century Dr. Joseph B. Mahan (1921-1995) and Oklahoma Euchee Principal Chief, Samuel W. Brown, Sr. (1908-1990) worked closely together to develop an exceptional collection of Native American artifacts from the the Chattahoochee River Basin, which were put on exhibit at the Columbus Museum. After their deaths, no one in the Columbus Area picked up their torches. The new management of the museum ultimately removed the artifacts from the exhibit space, boxed them up and gave them away.
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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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