UPDATE: Mvskoke Media staff has been informed by the author of the sign of a few spelling errors in the traditional language used in the sign and has corrected the the article to reflect such.
TULSA, Oklahoma–Citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Aaron Griffith has taken the opportunity to put a message out into the world in a special way. He created a short-term paid message with the help of Circle Cinema and their marquee.
Right now the Circle Cinema Marquee displays the message, “TVLSE LOCV POKV HEYV EKVNV PUM EKVNV ESTE MVSKOKVLKE PAKSVNKE MUCV NETTV PAKSE” in the Muscogee (Creek) Language and in English “NDN Country Rez Never Disestablished.”
It’s a message that Griffith feels encourages tribal citizens in light of the court case being considering in the USSC.
“Being a tribal citizen is more than a sacred lament card,” Griffith said.
Circle Cinema is Tulsa’s oldest-standing movie theatre that originally opened in 1928. Today the theatre now operates as the only nonprofit cinema in the area.
The establishment takes pride on being much more than a local cinema. It is marketed as “Celebrators of creativity, the arts and filmmakers from around the corner, and the world.”
The cinema operates 365 days a year through selected features and programs that expose and connect the community to global issues and environments and cultures. But since COVID-19 closed the doors, purchasing the marquee is a source of income to sustain the establishment.
It is that spirit of cultural connectivity that inspired Griffith to support the theater through a message that is spelled out in the Muscogee (Creek) language.
“In the process I wanted to make sure to support and promote our language,” Griffith said.
He thinks the message on the marquee is one that the community might find comforting.
“In an anxious and uncertain period of pandemic, I just thought that it was a great opportunity to bring a positive message of promise and progress for our people,” Griffith said. “It’s also doing something good to help sustain Circle Cinema, who have been a really great outlet for Indigenous expression, not just this Indigenous people from this continent but globally as well.”
He said that while it is a private advertisement he thinks the message stands alone and is not about the author.
“In these tough times any such expression of goodwill or gratitude should go towards the publisher Circle Cinema,” Griffith said. “It’s important to support those who support us.”
“The only gratitude or recognition or awards that I would seek aside from garnering more attention for Circle Cinema is to enlighten someone’s day with this message.”
He admits to one thing he might want from this.
“Maybe if people who are interested to go and snap a selfie for sovereignty so that this positive message of self determination can spread to a wider audience.”
The message will not last long. Citizens who might like to take a photo with the sign featuring the Muscogee (Creek) Language can only do so for the next 24 hours. Circle Cinema is located at 10 S. Lewis Ave, in Tulsa Oklahoma. For more information about the theatre visit their website circlecinema.org