California Mvskoke Connection joining communities together
Rita Courtwright, Managing Editor
VALENCIA, California-Close to 5000 at-large Muscogee (Creek) citizens reside in the state of California and Hope Craig is one of those working to bring them all together through the California Mvskoke Connection.
“Cultural preservation is coming together to make sure that we are teaching the young and listening to the elders,” Craig said. “As it stands now, our citizens are scattered throughout the state. And we have a feeling of disconnect, because we don’t live back home in Oklahoma.”
Craig went on to explain that sometimes she feels “less than” in California because people are struggling with their identity of having or knowing people that they can identify with. She hopes that with the California Mvskoke Connection, she can help break that stigma of identity loss by offering a community.
“When we are referred to as ‘at-large’ we are kind of pushed to the side,” said Craig. “I saw that in the recent candidate profiles when we were referred to as ‘they’ and ‘them’. That was hurtful. We are ‘us.’ Period.”
Craig hopes to get their own seat at the table.
“It would be unrealistic to have the expectation that a National Council seat can represent ‘at-large’ or District 9 citizens. How can you advocate for District 9 citizens when you don’t know the connections? You don’t know our needs; you have no experience.”
Craig is clearly aware of the needs of California citizens and that is what pushes her to visit Oklahoma several times a year to advocate for California Muscogee citizens. She hopes that what she is doing will inspire other ‘at-large’ citizens in other states to take on the same type of initiative.
“If we are not getting invited to the table, we create our own table. How? We vote!” said Craig.