“Santa sure loves to come to Creek country and see all the Mvskokvlke.”
Jason Salsman/Multimedia Producer
MCN celebrates Christmas season with tree lighting at Council House Square
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Cultural Center and Archives Department officially kicked off the Christmas season in downtown Okmulgee with a tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 10 at Council House Square.
CCA curator John Beaver said the location of the Council House, and the historical significance of the building’s relationship with the city makes for an ideal setting.
“We’ve been doing this the past couple years, and its great to be able to host it here in the heart of Okmulgee,” Beaver said. “They are having the Okmulgee Christmas Parade tonight too, we’ll have some singers out and I think I heard a rumor of an Indian Santa sighting even.”
Indian Santa did, in fact, show up just in time to light up the tree. Greeting everyone in his trademark red suit, which was Muscogee (Creek)-customized with ribbons.
He posed for pictures and checked off a few last-minute gift lists for the children.
“Hesci, stonko? Santa Clause cvhocefkv tos!” Santa said to the crowd, impressively displaying his knack for the Mvskoke language. “Santa sure loves to come to Creek country and see all the Mvskokvlke.”
Singers from Little Cussetah Methodist Church were on hand and serenaded the crowd with Mvskoke language versions of Christmas classics, ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Jingles Bells.’
The crowd was also treated to a Mvskoke Hymn, ‘Hvlwen Heckvyofvn,’ led by former Miss MCN and current Miss Indian Oklahoma, Amberly Proctor.
Principal Chief James Floyd addressed the crowd and admitted Proctor was a hard act to follow while welcoming everyone out to the ceremony.
“It’s a time for us to gather, be together and enjoy things,” Floyd said. “It’s that season of the year when we think about our family and friends. I want to thank each of you for what you all do to make our Nation a community, because it really comes down to that.”
Guests finished the evening with cookies and hot chocolate provided by the Cultural Center and Archives Department, and enjoyed the Okmulgee Christmas Parade as it passed by the Council House.