Members of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation recently passed through eastern Oklahoma County as the first ever Mvskoke March came to a close.
Mvskoke March 2016 was a youth-led initiative focused on bringing awareness to teen dating violence.
Participants successfully caught the attention of spectators across the state as they marched from their tribal capitol in Okmulgee to the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City.
The Mvskoke March was from July 18-21, with participants coming through Harrah July 20, and starting the final stretch from Choctaw’s Veterans Memorial July 21.
The event at the historic Muscogee (Creek) Nation Council House on July 18 and ended 110 miles later with a teen dating violence awareness rally at the capitol building.
The group made history as the first native youth group to walk from their capitol to the state capitol.
Additionally, the walkers honored the 40th Anniversary of the United National Indian and Tribal Youth Organization. UNITY is a national network organization promoting personal development, citizenship, and leadership among Native American youth.
UNITY was created in Oklahoma by J.R. Cook who is a member of the Cherokee Nation.
The Mvskoke March ended just in the right time and place for the annual UNITY conference in Oklahoma City from July 22-26.
Mvskoke Nation Youth Council was in attendance for the march and conference as the mission of the MNYC is to empower Mvskoke youth by listening and taking action to enhance their voice by promoting positive changes and informed decisions, and affect all generations and sustain the Mvskoke way of life.
The walk was coordinated by Jay Fife who is the second speaker of the MNYC.
“We are calling attention and seek guidance on domestic violence and teen dating violence which is causing destruction within the Muscogee (Creek) Nation as well as the entire state of Oklahoma,” said Fife, as he addressed the Choctaw City Council during their most recent meeting. “Nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year, one in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence, and one in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend.”
The Choctaw City Council voted unanimously in support of allowing the Mvskoke March to continue their trek down NE 23rd Street, and the group continued to have escorts from law enforcement with Choctaw, Nicoma Park and Oklahoma County assisting in the final stretch.
“It sounds like a great mission, and we want to applaud the efforts of the Mvskoke March for addressing serious issues not only to their tribe, but the entire state and country,” said Choctaw Mayor Randy Ross.
The walkers traveled through the towns of Okmulgee, Okemah, Castle, Boley, Paden, Prague, Meeker, Harrah, Choctaw and the Oklahoma City metro on their journey.
Members of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation crossed paths with another high profile hike in Choctaw as they met Captain America.
Allen Mullins has been walking the roads of the United States since January 2009 on a mission to visit all 48 capital cities in the continental United.
Dressed as Captain America since last fall, he wants to raise awareness of the plight of veterans in this country and how many may have forgotten about them.
He started walking to get out and meet veterans, and has since scaled up his journey to help bring awareness to the living conditions of those who have served the country.
He passed through Choctaw July 21 donning his Captain America uniform in the nearly 100 degree weather.
With about 75 percent of this nation’s veteran’s being homeless I just want to know why, said Mullins.
“When you are out and about and enjoying the American dream and you see a soldier, please express your gratitude to them for volunteering to enter harm’s way, shake his or her hand, and tell them you appreciate their commitment to the service of our great country,” said Mullins.
Mullins himself is no stranger to homelessness as he grew up in an orphanage. With little family to miss while on the road he continues his march for awareness.