April 12, 2008

Countering Land Run celebrations

Bricktown parade to honor tribes' viewAmerican Indians will take part in a parade Saturday in Bricktown to counter '89er Day parades and Land Run celebrations and re-enactments planned in communities and schools this month.

Last November, the same group protested during the Oklahoma Centennial celebration. Members want to remind Oklahomans that for some, the Land Run is not an event worth celebrating.

The parade theme is "Honoring Our Past—Capturing Our Future.”

"It's meant to be a positive event as opposed to offensive re-enactments and re-creations,” said Brenda Golden, event organizer and member of the Society to Preserve Indigenous Rights and Indigenous Traditions. "What we're trying to do is celebrate. We're still Indian. We're still here. And sure, we can't change history, but we can remind them of what took place.”
The Oklahoma Land Steal?A group of Oklahoma Indians are on a quest to right history by conducting a parade to counter the state's celebration of the Oklahoma Land Run.

Organizers say they hope the April 12 parade here will raise awareness that Oklahoma history books are incorrect, along with history books in general, when it comes to Native Americans and the Great Land Rush of 1889.

The parade is sponsored by the Society to Preserve the Indigenous Rights and Indigenous Traditions (S.P.I.R.I.T.), made up of members of Native American tribes who support Native issues, families, personal education and human rights.

"We are looking for something to give our people to have pride in," said Brenda Golden, a Muscogee tribal member from Tulsa, Okla. "Some don't know who they are themselves, and the kids don't have anything to hold onto."

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