Muscogee Creek Council Oak -- Tulsa OK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 36° 08.176 W 095° 59.410
15S E 230930 N 4003205
Quick Description: This Burr Oak marks the end of the Trail of Tears for the Muscogee Creek nation, who were removed from their homes in Georgia and Alabama in 1834, and marched to Indian Territory. They stopped under this oak and established a new home in 1836.
Location: Oklahoma, United States
Date Posted: 3/21/2013 10:39:35 AM
Waymark Code: WMGMQC
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GEO*Trailblazer 1
Views: 28

Long Description:

Tulsa's small yet powerful Council Oak Park protects, explains, and preserves the history of the Muscogee Creek Nation. The Muscogee Creeks (with other Indian tribes) were removed from their homes in the Southeastern US by the US Government in 1834, and marched to the newly set-aside Indian Territory on the Trail of Tears.

The Muscogee Creek were forced from their homes in George and Alabama, and walked for 2 years to this spot. The large Burr oak tree they chose as their Council Oak still stands tall in an urban neighborhood SE of downtown Tulsa. It is located at 18th Street and Cheyenne Avenue.

For the Muscogee Creek people, this tree was the end of the Trail of Tears.

From the Exploring Oklahoma website: (visit link)

Creek Council Oak

The Muscogee (Creek) people are descendants of a culture that, before 1500 A.D. spanned the region known today as the Southeastern United States. In the early 19th century, the United States Indian policy forced the Muscogee and other Southeastern tribes to move beyond the Mississippi River.

These Southeaster tribes, know as the "Five Civilized Tribes;" Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole and Creek, were removed into Indian Territory (now Oklahoma)

About 1839, the first settlers, a band of Creek Indians, the Lochapokas, ended their journey at this historic site and began a new life in Indian Territory.

The garden features plants that were either cultivated or gathered by the Muscogee for food and fiber, or cermonial and medicinal purposes in their ancestral Georgia and Alabama homelands.

The Creek Council tree, a mature post oak, marks the traditional "ceremonial ground" chosen by the Lochapoka clan of the Creek Indians. In 1834, they had begun their involuntary migration from Alabama under the control of the U.S. Government. It was a slow and painful trek and 161 of the original group of 630 died en route. In 1836, at a point just before the Arkansas River made its great bend to the west, they stopped. Leading men of the group climbed a slight hill that rose from river's sandy banks. At its crest, they gathered beneath a large oak tree that towered mightily above the other trees nearby.

With the oak defining a southeastern corner, the people of Lochapoka proceeded to lay out a square for their new home. When it was complete, they marked their arrival with a solemn ceremony depositing ashes brought over the trail from their last fires in Alabama. The Tulsa-Lochapoka, a division of the Creek Nation, established their first "town."

And so it was that the people of Lochapoka, a daughter of Tallasi (where the name Tulsa is believed to be derived), came to the Indian Territory to begin a new life. The oak that provided them their first council site would survive. Now much older and even more stately, it stands between Seventeenth and Eighteenth Streets and Cheyenne and Denver Avenues in Tulsa, Oklahoma." [end]

The Muscogee Creek Nation hold special ceremonies here in this sacred place. (visit link)

"Tribe remembers Council Oak at annual fall ceremony
Gerald Wofford / Feature Writer

TULSA — Dignitaries, tribal royalty and members of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation met at the sacred Council Oak Park located at 1750 S. Cheyenne Ave., near downtown Tulsa Oct. 20. The annual event commemorates the historic site where the Locvpoke (pronounced low-kuh-bo-juh) people of the MCN gathered when they arrived in Indian Territory in 1836 after forced removal by the U.S. government.

“This will always be a special place for all of us to gather and remember this day,” said Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief George Tiger. “We have other events throughout the year that have special meaning to us like the Creek Nation Festival but this is a time when members of the ceremonial ground, community leaders and others from the tribe just come together to remember our history, our survival, in such a special place.”

MCN Second Chief Roger Barnett announced Oct. 20 as ‘Council Oak Day’ per a proclamation from city of Tulsa Mayor Dewey Bartlett.

The master of ceremonies for the event was Arnold Taylor of Apekv Ceremonial Ground. Raymond Meely and Ace Buckner, also of Apekv, helped light a special fire in remembrance of the Locvpokv carrying the ashes of their original fires to Okla., near this specific oak tree next to the Arkansas River.

In an interview with Mvskoke Radio co-host Gary Fife, Nuyaka Ceremonial Ground Mekko (leader) Eunice Hill mentioned how important it is to preserve the Council Oak Tree and what it means to the Mvskoke people. Hill was a member of a crew that worked for the city of Tulsa in the 1980s and was instrumental in instructing city officials to preserve the tree when the administration was considering cutting it down.

“Well to me when they traveled on the Trail of Tears, they had a lot of good things, like fire, medicine, water; they brought it over here and took care of the people on the way, and when they got here, they spread those ashes under that oak tree - that was the place they chose. To me, I feel good about that . . .good things happen because of that tree,” he said.

Jimmy Deere of Green Leaf Ceremonial Ground made a traditional call to mark the lighting of the fire. MCN Public Relations Manager Edwin Marshall and Sam Proctor of Tallahassee Ceremonial Ground spoke in the Mvskoke language and dismissed the crowd.

The MCN Tourism and Recreation Department coordinated the event, which also included a stickball game, traditional meal and stompdance for participants at the Tulsa Creek Indian Community Center after the ceremony." [end]
Routes: Northern Route

Address if available:
1750 S Cheyenne Ave
Tulsa, OK

Additional Information:

Marker Website: [Web Link]

Additional Coordinates: Not Listed

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