We built this city on Council Oak

We built this city on Council Oak
(Liz Gray/Reporter) The Muscogee (Creek) Nation celebrated the Council Oak Ceremony Oct. 21.

Liz Gray/Reporter

Council Oak tree represents MCN presence in Tulsa

TULSA, Oklahoma — Chebon Kernell is sowing the seeds of culture and tradition through his children.

Kernell said that he and his children over the years have collected acorns that have fallen from the Council Oak tree and planted them.

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation held their annual Council Oak ceremony Oct. 21 to celebrate the Muscogee (Creek) Locv Pokv’s arrival in Tulsa.

The Locv Pokv placed ashes from their original fire at the base of an oak tree overlooking the Arkansas River and brought to life a new fire.

Kernell said the presence of the Council Oak tree is significant in the lives of contemporary Mvskoke people.

“When we look at history books, when we look at curriculum for our young people and our children, not many exists that talk about our origins as Native peoples which kind of brings an understanding to why this day is so important for us. Why this moment is crucial,” he said.

The Creek Nation Council Oak Park is located at 18th and Cheyenne and considered in Tulsa as the first city hall.

National Council member Del Beaver talked about the importance of the Council Oak tree and the connection between Tulsa and MCN.

Beaver grew up in south Tulsa, attended Jenks Public Schools from Kindergarten to 12th grade and considers Tulsa not only home for himself but for MCN.

He said as he sat through the ceremony, he began to wonder about how he first learned about the tree and the absence of it in his history books.

He wondered if his children are learning about this particular time in history through the current school curriculum.

“…I’m thinking are they learning about this stuff?” he said. “We have to do it, it falls on us.”

In attendance at the ceremony was MCN Principal Chief James Floyd and Second Chief Louis Hicks, as well as several National Council representatives. Following the ceremony, activities were held at the Tulsa Creek Indian Community.

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