CSU to Unveil Tribute to Creek Indians at Oxbow Meadows

[caption id="attachment_2876" align="alignright" width="300"]Display of Artifacts (© Graeme Wright/TerraXplorations, Inc./ Ft. Benning, Ga., Cultural Resource Management Branch) Display of Artifacts (© Graeme Wright/TerraXplorations, Inc./ Ft. Benning, Ga., Cultural Resource Management Branch)[/caption]

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Columbus State University and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission will unveil the next stop on the Creek Heritage Trail with series of historical educational panels, along with a Creek Indian artifacts display, at 4 p.m. Thursday, May 22 at CSU’s Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center, 3535 South Lumpkin Road. CSU President Tim Mescon will deliver remarks.

The four panels will depict various aspects of the lives of the Creek Indians who called the Chattahoochee River Valley home. The display also will highlight the Creek town of Cusseta, that was located on what is now Fort Benning. Panels will show:

  • The Creek Town of Cusseta

  • Creek Agriculture

  • Cusseta: A Center for International Diplomacy

  • Daily Life in Cusseta

“This event is the culmination of the CSU speaker series, ‘Chattahoochee Valley Indians: Paleo to Present,’ that began at the beginning of the year to bring attention to the community the history of the Creek Indians,” said Victor Salazar, director of CSU’s Ivey Center for Cultural Approach to History. “These permanently installed panels – like those you’d see at a Civil War battle site – will bear descriptions of the life and times of the Creek Indians.”

In addition to the panels, which will be located near Oxbow’s entrance, there will be an indoor display of artifacts that include arrowheads, pottery, buttons, copper works, and pieces of jewelry.

“The incorporation of native American artifacts and history fits well within the scope and vision of Oxbow Meadows ELC,” said Michael Dentzau, executive director of CSU’s Oxbow Meadows. “As with many cultures, the availability of natural resources played a significant role in determining where to settle in this region.  This simply starts to tell one aspect of the story.”

Columbus Water Works and Fort Benning are also partners in this effort.

The Creeks’ history in the area is rich. Ultimately, through a series of treaties and conflicts, U.S. troops, assisted by Georgia and Alabama militia, forcibly rounded up Creeks and sent them to Indian Territory, which later became known as Oklahoma.

Salazar said the Oxbow panels and display will help in developing resources for school systems in the Chattahoochee Valley — wherever the standards find it appropriate. Additionally CSU’s Ivey center is working with the Department of Defense Education Activity at Fort Benning.

The Ivey Center, established at CSU’s College of Education and Health Professions, is a resource center for pre-service and in-service teachers to promote the Cultural Approach to History.