TULSA, Okla.- The Sons of Mvskoke and the Glenpool Creek Indian Community hosted an event at the Discovery Lab on Oct.17. This acted as a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) event for families to participate in hands-on activities like hydraulics and a water wheel.
CEO and founder of Sons of Mvskoke Monte Randall (Mvskoke) helped host the event. He was familiar with STEAM due to his position as the President of the College of the Muscogee Nation. The college aims to bring STEAM programs to students on campus.
Randall was interested in the Discovery Lab because he had visited it when it was previously located at a different location. After seeing the new location, he wanted to bring Mvskoke students out to enjoy the newer hands-on activity stations the lab had to offer. He believed the young men involved with the Sons of Mvskoke would enjoy the lab.
“What I see, it’s learning through play. Introducing all of these STEAM through play,” Randall said.
Randall initially had the idea for a STEAM night for students. He invited the Glenpool Creek Indian Community to participate and help make the event possible. The event was open for all ages to participate in, with a capacity limit of 500 people.
Randall hopes that everyone who attended had a fun time with their families. “I hope they had a good experience with their families and enjoyed the discovery lab. Being able to utilize all the learning fun environment with the other Mvskoke people,” Randall said.
Sons of Mvskoke
The Sons of Mvskoke has four mission tenets. According to Randall, members aim to bring spiritualism, Native American culture, physical wellness and leadership to the group. Through these tenets they seek to serve the community, including young Mvskoke students.
Sons of Mvskoke derived from the Warrior Honor Women group back in 2016. At the time it was run by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Family Violence Prevention Program, now the MCN Center of Victim Services. Randall’s vision for the group was to celebrate and partake in Mvskoke culture.
“Being together as Mvskoke people I hope we feel comfortable to share and use our language and culture is always present everytime we come together with our Mvskoke people. Hitting those tenets of culture, physical wellness and leadership I hope they see all of those tenets of what we try to promote through every activity,” Randall said.
Currently the group has 15 students and five adult mentors.
During Randall’s childhood he noticed youth groups like the Boy Scouts. Although the scouts would participate in constructive activities like camping, it was not a program that was financially accessible to all families.
When Randall founded the Sons of Mvskoke, he wanted it to be grant funded in order to provide opportunities for young Native students who otherwise might not be able to afford to participate in programs like the Boy Scouts. Randall wanted to bring a similar experience to Native students, however an experience where students were mentored by Mvskoke mentors.
The group meets biweekly on Tuesdays at the Glenpool Creek Indian Community Center. They also participate in Saturday activities as well.
The group’s past activities have included lacrosse, fishing, nerf gun battles, attending Oklahoma City Thunder basketball games and father daughter dances.
“We’ve been gifted a powwow drum, some of our members know those songs and know that way. We encourage all Native American culture of course. For me whenever I lead the group I focus on the Mvskoke culture and the language. We’ve done quite a bit over the last few years,” Randall said.
Randall conducted a study on youth from 2017-2018 regarding community readiness. During that time he conducted interviews and organized focus groups. Data from the study found that self esteem is an area the research subjects struggled with.
“The Native Americans that are Mvskoke people in general see a lot of that with our youth and particularly with Mvskoke boys or Native American boys who don’t have a positive male role model in their life,” Randall said.
The Sons of Mvskoke has no requirements or applications to join the group. Members are only asked to be present and participate at events. The program is grant funded, there are no annual fees.
For male mentors however, there are certain requirements that do need to be met. They must be active within a Native American, or the Mvskoke community.
For further information about the Sons of Mvskoke, contact them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, Further information can also be found on their website, sonsofmvskoke.com or by following their Facebook page.