OKMULGEE, Okla.- Creek Nation Council House offered many different activities throughout the months of June and July. This would typically take place on the lawn of the historic downtown building, depending on the weather. Some activities were held inside due to extreme heat.
Muscogee (Creek) Nation Cultural Center and Archives Department Program Manager ShaVon Agee (Mvskoke) hosts different programs through the spring and summer breaks. She also occasionally hosts programs in the fall. Her department likes to host the craft-making events between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. to avoid the extremely hot afternoon temperatures.
The craft-making events are open for everyone to participate in, however the department’s target demographic is younger children, teens and adults.
“Last year we had people from Denmark while we had basket making so they were able to visit with other Creek citizens to ask some questions and to ask those instructors questions, it’s also a way for others who aren’t Creek to immerse themselves,” Agee said.
They are also able to schedule different groups to do activities. This included groups like the Tulsa Public Schools’ Native American summer group. According to Agee, the group was able to make clay with Britteny Cuevas (Mvskoke) and watch demonstrations with John Brown (Mvskoke).
The number of participants at previous craft-making events would fluctuate between 15-20 people. The painting event only had supplies to serve 20, making it a first-come-first-served basis.
When choosing the activities to provide, Agee’s department would ask other citizens or artists what they would like to do and if there is something they wanted to learn. As long as the craft was within the department’s budget, they were able to provide it.
Agee hopes the citizens that participate in these activities are able to use the skills they learn, and that they would have a desire to continue learning.
“This one year we had a beaded collar making, so from that someone started beading and now they are setting up as a vendor. So we hope someone can take away from it,” Agee said.
“Mary Smith I mean she just became a living legend, she’s eventually going to need to pass down what she knows to somebody. So we really need to cultivate that and have a chance for her to mentor others,” Agee said.
Agee recognizes these are short classes, however the activities are more of an introduction to the crafts.
Although most activities are hosted at Creek Nation Council House, Agee mentioned they are trying to add locations, such as a creative art center. This will provide hour-long classes that will allow instructors to go further in depth with the activities. These classes will teach cultural crafts like basket weaving or pottery. Introductory classes like the activity events from the past summer will still be provided.
Hosting this at Creek Nation Council House gave the event a lot of exposure, especially during a farmer’s market that was held downtown at the same time. According to Agee, when citizens were done shopping they would stop by Council House, curious to see what was going on
“If there’s anything that they see they should try it out. A lot of instructors know that it might be their first time so they are welcome to all questions and if they hadn’t been up to the Council House in a while we have a new exhibit at top so they can come see that,” Agee said.
For more information on activities and events at Creek Nation Council House, call 918-759-6979.