Muscogee return South nearly 200 years after forced removal

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Native Americans whose ancestors were forced out of the Southeast almost 200 years ago during a purge that cleared the way for white settlers returned Friday for a two-day festival with a name that sums up its purpose: “We have come back.”

A busload of Muscogee (Creek) Nation citizens and others in vans and cars traveled from their homes in Oklahoma and elsewhere for a celebration in the east Alabama city of Oxford, located on what once was part of Arbeka, a Muscogee community dating back 12,000 years. The people who lived there were forced to move west in 1836 during the “Trail of Tears,” a brutal journey of about 700 miles (1,125 kilometers) during which many died.

Land that once was a village inhabited by an es-timated 3,000 people is now the site of a city park with sports fields and a walking trail, said RaeLynn Butler, who manages the nation’s historical and preservation department.—AP

 

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