Thursday, May 8, 2014

Book Review: The Creek: Native American Histories

The Creek: Native American Histories, by: Liz Sonneborn, Lerner Publications Company, Minneapolis, MN, 2007.
This is a very interesting history.  Original Creek towns had high walls for protection.  They built round houses, and a large hall which sometimes could hold up to 500 people.
In some ways the Creek people mirror the Cheyenne.  Their original territory was more along the coast of Georgia.  They had similar contacts with the White community.  The Northern Creek went to war against the United States, and lost a battle in which the Red Sticks (as the Northern Creek were called) were ambushed by Andrew Jackson and the U.S. troops.  Over 900 Red Stick Warriors were killed.  Their leader, William Weatherford was forced to surrender, and give up much nearly 23 million acres.
After this the Creek passed a law that whoever gave their land to the whites would be killed.  William McIntosh negotiated a treaty giving up land.  His home was surrounded and he was killed by other Creeks.  His brother lead his group of people to Oklahoma, Indian Country. 
Eventually all the Creek were forced to Indian Country, except a few which were liked by the white community.  In 1836 they had their own trip to Oklahoma, some walking, some in wagon, and some by boat. 
The Creek tried to adopt White ways.  But even after moving to Oklahoma they were not left alone.  The government forced an allotment program on them which further reduced their lands.  The Muscogee nation (their official language) now has about 70,000 people across the country.  They try to preserve their culture and language.  There is also a group of Creek in the Southeast of about 1000 who are newly recognized and have a reservation.

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