OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – The Muscogee (Creek) Nation National Council received a veto from Principal Chief David Hill on Jan. 5 regarding TR 21-158 to uphold and enforce the official name and seal of the MCN.
The resolution was passed by the National Council in a 14-0 vote then returned from Chief, and passed again with full support from the Council.
The legislation came about almost a year later after the executive branch implemented the new logo and name on shirts, cups, and other merchandise.
Confusion came after dropping the (Creek) from the name, which caused former MCN NC Representative Adam Jones III to bring forward the legislation to help clarify the appropriate name usage.
Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Muscogee Nation, Creek Nation and even Mvskoke, have been the most common used aliases for decades and with some Muscogee people having referred to themselves as Creeks for centuries.
In Section One, this legislation states, “The name of this Tribe of Muscogee (Creek) people shall be the “Muscogee (Creek) Nation”, and is hereby organized under Section 3 of the Act of June 26, 1936.”
The Nation’s Constitution was not amended during this process that would codify the “Muscogee Nation” as the official name.
Section Two describes the political jurisdiction of the MCN is based on treaties made between the United States of America and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
The third section demands the Executive Branch not utilize any name, seal or likeness not consistent with Article I Sections 1-3 of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Constitution for any communication or official correspondence without a Constitutional Amendment.
The resolution concludes that the name “Muscogee Nation”, associated branding logo shall not be used for any purpose within the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, with the exception of “Muscogee Nation” being used on the Nation’s tribal tags and in names of any businesses or entities of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
“Nothing in the use of the logo and the name “Muscogee Nation” is intended to replace the official seal and name,” Chief Hill’s veto message said.
Hill claimed the bill was in violation of Section One (a) of Article V of the Constitution.
“(Constitution) provides for the executive power to be vested in the Office of the Principal Chief,” Chief wrote. “Through this power, I approved the Nation’s Marketing & Tourism Department to develop, use, and promote for branding and marketing purposes a logo and the name “Muscogee Nation” to be used to help establish brand identity and loyalty with the general public who do business with the Nation.”
The veto message states the bill infringes on the Constitutional authority of the Office of the Principal Chief while directing the Executive Branch to comply and not the other branches of Government.
“Nothing in the Constitution authorizes the National Council to enact legislation that directs the Executive Branch Departments and personnel to abide by certain Nation business and marketing practices over the objection of the Principal Chief.”
Marketing & Tourism Director Kyle Lee worked closely with Hill in this development.
During the December Business, Finance and Justice Committee meeting prior to the passage of the resolution, former Rep. Lucian Tiger said that legislation for rebranding is something that should have come through the Council beforehand.
The Council had seen this before; Rep. Tiger mentioned how Chief Hill was on the BFJ committee at the time, when the use of “Mvskoke” was denied in committee.
“Someone directed you not to go through the Council,” Tiger said to Lee. “If it passed through Council, then it should have went to the citizens before any rebranding should have taken place.”
Lee claims it was a part of decolonizing the Muscogee name.
Tiger said the rebranding has had a major impact on the way the non-Natives and other Native tribes see us due to the fast-growing advertising of the “Muscogee Nation” name.
To protect the official name and seal, laws are being amended in support of the legal name.
Representative Darrell Proctor introduced legislation NCA 22-016, amending MCNCA Title 37, 1-101 Entitled “Official Muscogee (Creek) Nation Flag and Great Seal design and NCA 22-018, amending MCNCA Title 36, 3-108 entitled, “License Plate” in the February Regular Session.
The law was amended with the Council’s full support in keeping the original name and seal on the flags that represent the Nation.
The “License Plate” change clarified that: each license plate shall bear the name, “Muscogee Nation” due to space limitations on the license plate and shall mean the “Muscogee (Creek) Nation.”