Gary Fife/Radio Specialist
Columbus out, Will Sampson films honored, election stuff
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — The wave of disliked statues being removed is heading in our direction.
No, not any Confederates, but a guy who was one of the original problems with colonial explorers, Christopher Columbus. Back in late August, the New York Post ran an article that a commission set up by New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio might contemplate removing the Columbus statue in Columbus Circle.
Citizens from the Italian-American and the Caribbean communities are vowing to make it quite a knockdown-drag out over the statue.
So far, city council members are picking their sides.
There’s a battle over a battle in Utah, as the Northwest Band of Shoshone Nation and their Ute supporters are calling on the town of Wellsville and its Mormon backers to stop re-enacting a fake attack on a peaceful wagon train of settlers.
Indianz.com reports locals dressed in ‘redface’ ride around the circled wagons until reinforcements for the settlers arrive.
There you are — the action plot for about 80 percent of the movies about Indians ever made.
According to WABI TV news, the City of Bangor, Maine is one of the latest cities to dump Columbus Day in favor of Indigenous People’s Day. The town council voted at the end of August to make the change.
The area is full of Native tradition and tribes. Among them are the Wabanaki, Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac and Maliseet.
There must be something in the air making people do the right thing because the City of Norman, Oklahoma city council also voted to approve an Indigenous Day on the second Monday of every October.
‘OU Daily’ reported, it did not, however, do anything to change Columbus Day, a federal holiday.
That big college that happens to be located in Norman, the University of Oklahoma, made the change a couple of years ago.
In the past three decades or so, there’s been activist attempts at ridding the University of Illinois of its ‘Indian’ mascot, Chief Illiniwek, (portrayed by a student in red-face) and stereotypical ‘war chant’ of the ugh-ugh variety.
Chief Illiniwek was finally disposed of in 2007, says the ‘Champagne News-Gazette,’ but the chant remained. That is — until August of this year, when the U of I banned it. However, the team name, the “Fighting Illini” was not changed. Supporters of the name said it was to honor the tribes who were part of the Illinois Confederacy.
Here in Mvskoke country, the first round of voting is over. The primary election has pared the field of candidates down to a list of those who will campaign again for Seats B in the Creek, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Tukvpvtce and Tulsa Districts.
There were winners in the McIntosh, Muskogee and Wagoner Districts.
Mvskoke Media will again be working to bring citizens the latest results as they come in from the Election Board. Watch the Mvskoke Media site on YouTube. We’ll be working on some debates, too.
Read ‘Muscogee Nation News,’ watch ‘Native News Today’ and listen to ‘Mvskoke Radio’ for campaign information.
Finally, beloved Mvskoke actor, the late Will Sampson was honored as the focus of this years’ Tulsa Film Festival.
It’s Will Sampson Retrospective featured “The Outlaw Josey Wales” in mid-September, with “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” Oct. 2. The final film “Poltergeist 2” will screen at the Circle Cinema, Oct. 13.
Sampson’s daughter, Andra Freeman lent her presence to the occasion.
Remember “Juicy Fruit?”
Hvtvm Cerecares — I’ll see you again.