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: colonialism is a current ongoing process, and we demonstrate mindfulness of that fact through this act.
We are on land that belongs to the Muskogee Creek. Muscogee ancestors built expansive towns and inhabited the present states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina for thousands of years; yet, this indigenous population had this land forcefully taken from them on June 16th, 1802 through what colonizers called an “Indian land cession” (see below for an excerpt).
Both the State of Georgia and the United States Government carried out genocide, ethnic cleansing, and forced removal against the Creek as a way to acquire land. They broke many promises. Yet this is still Indigenous land. It will always be Indigenous land.
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 located in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.
We honor and respect the indigenous people still connected to this land on which we gather. We stand with them as we take this moment to honor their place in our human family.