County supports local Creek tribe seeking federal recognition

The Lower Muskogee Creek Tribe is preparing to petition the federal government for recognition and, on Tuesday, Grady County commissioners voted to go on record in support of the tribe’s petition.
Principal Chief Marian S. (Vonnie) McCormick and Dr. Peggy Venable appeared before the county commission this week soliciting the county’s support.
According to Dr. Venable, the Creek tribe has been in Grady and Decatur counties as far back as 1844.
Chief McCormick said that even when the federal government attempted to move the Creeks out of this area as late as 1858, there were still members of the tribe living in this area and their descendants are still in the area today.
“If any of you were to trace your background, you likely have some Creek blood,” Chief McCormick said.
The Lower Muskogee Creek Tribe is already recognized by the state of Georgia, and tribe officials are optimistic the tribe will achieve federal recognition.
With federal recognition, Chief McCormick and Dr. Venable say will come millions of dollars in federal grants and the creation of many jobs in Grady County.
“As you all know, any money that comes into our community rolls over and impacts everyone,” Chief McCormick said.
Tribe officials plan to submit their petition to the federal government no later than next April and possibly sooner.
Commissioner Elwyn Childs questioned what level of support is needed from the county. Chief McCormick said that all the tribe is asking for is a letter of support or a resolution in support of the tribe’s efforts to achieve federal recognition.
Chief McCormick also shared with the commissioners upcoming events planned at the tribe’s Tama Tribal Town located at 107 Tall Pine Drive, Whigham.
“One of the problems we have today is we don’t understand one another’s culture. I believe we are all brothers and sisters because we are all God’s children,” Chief McCormick said.
She said that through educational sessions for local school children the tribe attempts to educate youth about the Creek culture.
“Our people are connected to this land. Our people are buried in this land. We want to be an asset to the community, not a liability,” Chief McCormick said.

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