Lani Hansen/Senior Reporter
OKEMAH, Oklahoma– Teaching the younger generation culture and tribal history has become a very important topic for the elders of the Seminole Treaty People.
The Seminole Treaty People is an organization that was started in 1975 from the International Indian Treaty Council. They are attempting to reach out to the young people and community and share the culture through the Maskokvlke Youth and Elder Camp.
“We are having this camp because a lot of our young people have not had the opportunity to be introduced to their culture,” Seminole Treaty People member Ted Underwood (Chickasaw/Seminole) said.
Many of the young people they are bringing in will be urban tribal members from Oklahoma City, Tulsa and other places. Underwood believes local tribal citizens will learn from this camp too, because their parents or family kept them from ceremonial grounds and churches.
Another Treaty People member Evan Haney (Seminole/Choctaw) added the camp is going to be focused on tribal history and traditions.
“Although we support the tribal ceremonial grounds, we don’t claim to be the spiritual people of any grounds,” Haney said. “But the history and interests of food sovereignty, getting back to the land, having an avenue for people to connect and passing on traditions is important for the history of our people.”
The 2022 Maskokvlke Youth and Elder Camp is a free cultural camp for the whole family. The camp will be held on Earth Day weekend April 22-23 at the Philip Deere Roundhouse, 104037 N. 3840 Rd. Okemah, OK 74859.
It is a 4-day camp full of camp activities and food, the first day will be camp set up then the next two days will be the events and breakout sessions and the fourth day is scheduled for camp break down.
On the schedule of events will be a sunrise ceremony at 6:30 a.m., breakfast at 8 a.m., convene general session at 9 a.m., welcome and history of the Roundhouse, lunch at noon, brief general session for instructions, breakout sessions at 1:30 p.m., brief general session for reports from breakout presenters, supper at 5 p.m. and entertainment/culture events at 6:30 p.m.
The breakout sessions consist of cooking over an open fire, camp and survival skills, stickball games, tribal history and culture, language lesson, environment climate change and seed exchange.
Camp speakers and demonstrators are Bon Deere, Jake Tiger, Jimbo Simmons, David Frank, Robert Mendoza, Jeremy Fultz, Kent Sanmann, Bob Burilson and more. There will be two youth delegates Kate Fixico and Elsie McGirt.
The Seminole Treaty People are searching for donations to help with camp, they have already received interests by an elders’ group in Montana and by the Florida Seminoles. Donations will be accepted until the camp.
“We just want to express our appreciation for the Philip Deere family and Roundhouse, for allowing us to use the traditional setting,” Underwood said.
To see a full listing of the breakout sessions and schedule of events go to: Maskokvlke Youth and Elder Camp on Facebook.
To make donations a QR code has been set up or contact: Ted Underwood at 580-665-7778 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and Evan Haney at 405-382-2903.