Principal Chief George P. Tiger
MUSCOGEE (CREEK) NATION — Yesterday was declared a day of mourning for the Hickory Ground ancestors. It was declared so because of the disruption to the sacred grounds that occurred because of the new Poarch Creek Casino built in Wetumpka, Alabama.
Principal Chief George P. Tiger of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation issued the following statement late Wednesday afternoon:
The Muscogee (Creek) Nation wishes to thank all who observed December 17, 2013 as a Day of Mourning for our Hickory Ground Ancestors. Over the last two years we at the Muscogee (Creek) Nation have vigorously opposed the desecration of our sacred burial and ceremonial grounds in Wetumpka, Alabama by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
Hickory Ground is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, due to its great cultural and historic significance. It was the last Capitol of the Creek Nation before forced removal from Alabama to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). It is the site of many cultural and religious ceremonies. It is the burial place of countless elders and chiefs, who are the ancestors of today’s Hickory Ground Tribal Town in Oklahoma, and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. As one of the starting places on the ‘Trail of Tears’ for the Muscogee Nations, it is a tragic memory still fresh in the minds of the Muscogee people.
The Muscogee Creek Nation is living proof that there is a culture and tradition to keep us strong even after the ‘Trail of Tears.’ We are forever connected to Hickory Ground and maintain a strong traditional and cultural base to our homelands. As traditional people we mourn that a tribal nation would violate such human standards. We deeply mourn that our ancestors and sacred place is now a tourist attraction, casino and hotel. We want to thank everyone who joined us and continue to join us in condemning the desecration of sacred places and especially for the support to Save Hickory Ground.
George P. Tiger