Muscogee Indians of Oklahoma Denied Access to Sacred Site at Wind Creek Casino & Hotel


By Brittany Bivins

Members of the Muscogee Creek Indian Tribe of Oklahoma are in Alabama to protest the Poarch Band of Creek Indians' expansion of Wetumpka's Wind Creek Hotel and Casino onto ancient burial grounds.

Muscogee leaders say their ancestors' remains were removed from the site, and on Thursday, they met for a prayer service on the land, known as Hickory Ground.

Muscogee leaders say they had planned to pray on the construction site where their ancestors' remains were once buried, but they say security and PCI Tribal Police told them to leave.

"We knew that was what's was going to happen. These people have shown greed from day one, we already had a plan to meet here, right when we get ran off, so it was no surprise," said Wayland Gray, who traveled from Oklahoma for the prayer service.

Instead, the group prayed in a parking lot joined by pastors from local churches. "We are all one in God, there is no distinction in God's eyes and I try to live that and pray for anyone who asks for prayer," said Jonathan Yarboro, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Wetumpka.

The feud began nearly a decade ago, when the Wind Creek Casino opened on Hickory Ground, land sacred to the Muscogee people.

"The lump in my throat just came out, disheartening, and I feel sad for my ancestors," said Mike Harjo, a descendant of Hickory Ground.

"It made me feel angry more than anything, it made me want to get ahold of them, but we're here in a peaceful action here," said Michael Deo, who traveled from Oklahoma for the prayer service.

However, not all members of the Poarch Creek Indians agree with the expansion. "When I was here, I seen them. I seen them dig up babies and women, children to put in this casino," said William Bradley, a Porach Band of Creek Indians tribal member.

The Muscogee Indians of Oklahoma say they have filed a lawsuit to stop the expansion and return the ground to its orginal condition. Muscogee leaders say more demonstrations and protests are planned.

The Poarch Creek Indians issued a statement Thursday, saying the Muscogee representatives were denied access to the construction site ongoing litigation and safety concerns.


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Save Hickory Ground said on Thursday, Feb 14 at 7:44 PM

To learn more about this case:

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Cynthia Long said on Friday, Feb 15 at 9:26 AM

Stop the desecration!!!!

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Fire water said on Friday, Feb 15 at 3:21 PM

Has anyone ever thought why the Creeks from Ok. wants this land and building site. Why did they not do something before now? Why did they not try to do something when the initial land sales were made? No one has stopped and ask the Creeks of Ok these question.

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Daysleeper said on Friday, Feb 15 at 7:24 PM

It wasn't sold land it was taken from the Mvskoke Creek Nation by the U.S. government in a little action called the TRAIL OF TEARS! This land was entrusted to this assimilated PCBI tribe (which isn't really a tribe) by the government to preserve the tribal, ceremonial and burial grounds and NOT TO DIG UP DEAD BODIES SO A CASINO COULD BE BUILT. Disgusting greedy pigs, not all PCBI but the ones who wanted the corpses dug up and thrown away like trash into a mass grave with no respect at all. Its not about land or money, its about respecting the dead!!

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Daysleeper said on Saturday, Feb 16 at 1:29 AM

FREE WAYLAND GRAY!!! $30,000 bond for bogus charges... all he was trying to do was PRAY for his deceased ancestors. These pigs have no conscience or morals!!

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Saundra M. Faulk said on Monday, Feb 18 at 11:58 PM

PRESS RELEASE CONTACT PERSON Effective Immediately Sandy Faulk, 334-313-2502 IDLE NO MORE – SOLIDARITY REACHES THE DEEP SOUTH February 23, 12 Noon, IDLE NO MORE, reaches Montgomery, Alabama, as Native Peoples from throughout the Americas, specifically in the Southeastern United States, dance to proclaim that The People will be IDLE NO MORE. Indigenous Peoples of Canada have repeatedly had their rights and their property taken from them through the legislative process. When treaties were signed, the mineral rights and the right to live with some freedom on their reserve lands were guaranteed. But, through the legislative process, the Canadian government has given mineral rights to large companies at a substantial profit for the government, with little to no regard for the rights of the actual owners, as determined through the treaty process. The People have formed, in solidarity, IDLE NO MORE. The People meet at designated places and “flash mob”

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