Citizens represent heritage, culture during marches
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — Three Muscogee (Creek) citizens traveled together from Oklahoma to attend the first ever Indigenous Peoples’ March Jan. 18 in Washington, D.C.
One of those citizens, Brittany Cuevas, had heard about the march right before the holiday season and decided she wanted to figure out a way to afford the trip.
“I did two Indian Taco sales,” Cuevas said. “Which did pretty good.”
She said she was thankful for the support from others to help her reach her goal.
The march’s purpose was to bring focus on Indigenous people issues.
Cuevas wanted to shed light on missing and murdered Indigenous women, sex trafficking and highlight the preservation of Hickory Ground.
Cuevas wore a ‘Crazy Snake’ shirt to honor and represent Hickory Ground.
Cuevas started to become more active in her community once she joined the Idle No More movement, a grassroots movement for indigenous sovereignty, rights and respect for treaties.
“I feel empowered as a woman and to know I’m a voice for my community,” she said.
Terra Beaver also attending the march with Cuevas, both spoke on the importance of the event.
“I wanted to be part of history in the making,” Beaver said.
She said the atmosphere was remarkable as an Indigenous person.
“Being there was powerful with all these nations, all together,” she said.
Indigenous women helped lead the Women’s March the next day to show support for MMIW. Beaver, Cuevas and Brenda Golden attended while sporting red holding a banner that read, ‘sisterhood is sacred.’
Cuevas is an artist and wanted her sign to be distinguished with a nod to Native American history.
“I had to make something different so people would know, that we are Mvskoke,” Cuevas said.
Her sign was inspired by a quote from Indian agent Benjamin Hawkins’ letter that said, ‘Lord willing and if the Creeks don’t rise.’
Cuevas’ sign read, ‘Mvskoke Creeks are rising and the women are making waves.’
The signed was donated after the march and will be preserved for a future pop up exhibit in March at the New York Historical Society Center for Women’s History