It is important to recognize the longstanding history that has brought us to reside on the land which encompasses City Schools of Decatur and to seek to understand our place within that history. Land acknowledgments do not exist in a past tense or historical context: U.S. colonialism is a current, ongoing process, and we demonstrate mindfulness of that fact through this act. We stand in solidarity with Indigenous People; we acknowledge their sovereignty, culture, and enduring presence and we call for the rematriation of their land across Turtle Island.
CSD is on land that belongs to the Muscogee Creek. Muscogee ancestors built expansive towns and inhabited the present states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina for thousands of years. Yet, from 1739-1832 this indigenous population experienced involuntary removal from their land through many colonizing and genocidal actions; one of which was called “Indian land cession” (see below for an excerpt). This is just one example from a series of broken treaties and institutionally racist actions by the State of Georgia and the United States Government who carried out genocide, ethnic cleansing, and forced removal against the Creek as a way to acquire land. Yet, despite all efforts to remove the population, this is still land under the stewardship of the Indigenous peoples of this area. It will always be so.
Indigenous people are not relics of the past. They are still here and they continue to demonstrate their talents and gifts amidst a backdrop of systemic colonialism and oppression. The Muscogee Nation is the fourth largest tribe in the U.S. with 86,100 citizens and the Tribal headquarters of the Creek Nation is now located in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.
We honor and respect the indigenous people still connected to Turtle Island, the U.S., GA, Decatur, and the land on which we educate young people today. We stand with them as we take this moment to appreciate our place in their human family.