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Jacqueline Matte – They Say the Wind is Red

Jacqueline Matte holds master’s degrees in History and Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a B.S. from Samford University. She is the author of The History of Washington County, Alabama and the co-author of Seeing Historic Alabama. Ms. Matte testified as an expert witness before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearings for federal recognition of the Alabama Choctaw. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama.

They Say the Wind is Red

They Say the Wind Is Red is the moving story of the Choctaw Indians who managed to stay behind when their tribe was relocated in the 1830s. Throughout the 1800s and 1900s, they had to resist the efforts of unscrupulous government agents to steal their land and resources. But they always maintained their Indian communities—even when government census takers listed them as black or mulatto, if they listed them at all. The detailed saga of the Southwest Alabama Choctaw Indians, They Say the Wind Is Red chronicles a history of pride, endurance, and persistence, in the face of the abhorrent conditions imposed upon the Choctaw by the U.S. government.

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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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