Native American Legal Update

Muscogee Creek Nation Demands Halt to Poarch Band Wetumpka Casino Project

The Muscogee Creek Nation (currently located in Oklahoma) is demanding that the Poarch Band of Creek Indians (currently located in Alabama) halt plans to build a mega-casino on sacred land in Wetumpka, Alabama.  The site for the new mega-casino is located on the Muscogee Creek Nation's ancestral land--specifically, a grave site and ceremonial grounds.  Hickory Ground, known as "Oce Vpofa" in the Muscogee language, was the last capital of the National Council of the Muscogee Creek Nation prior to forced removal by the federal government in the 1830s.  

Muscogee Creek Nation Principal Chief George Tiger stated that the Nation is committed to protecting its sacred grounds.  "We have attempted to convey to the Poarch Band why it is wrong to disturb the peace of our ancestors and burial grounds.  However, the Poarch Band does not seem to share our cultural values and respect our traditional ways."

The Poarch Band, which already operates three casinos in the state, announced in July that it would expand its casino in Wetumpka.  The Band plans to expand its casino in Wetumpka by spending $246 million to build a 20-story hotel tower with 285 rooms and a 90,000 square foot gaming floor with more than 2,500 electronic gaming machines.

While the Poarch Band states that it is working to protect and preserve the remains, the Muscogee Creek Nation claims that the Band excavated approximately 60 human remains to build the current casino, and that the expansion will cause further desecration of the sacred site.  The Nation passed a law affirming support for protection of Hickory Ground and authorizing funding to protect the site, and plans to file legal action if construction does not stop.  The Nation also initiated a fundraising effort to save Hickory Ground.

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Comments (3) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Kristie McGhee - August 14, 2012 12:21 PM

I'm the wife of a Poarch Creek tribal member, also have a tribal son. I so totally agree with Musckogee Nations stand but I do wish you would not refer to the Poarch Creek people as a whole, this is their leaders doings! The tribe as a whole is not supportive of diggin their ancestors up. Most would agree this is sacred land an do not disrespect whats sacred! Those who don't care are only interested in the profit, to them I don't care! MVTO

Sue - August 18, 2012 2:08 PM

I agree with Kristie. I'm from the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma. I know we the people could use the money for our eople but to continue givng up what little was given our ancestors for their long hard walk here. Thats how my great-grandma got here. And here we are now


Janet Rodriguez - September 17, 2012 5:41 AM

YES, I AGREE STRONGLY WITH THE MUSCOGEE CREEK IT IS INMORALLY WRONG TO DISTURB THE DEAD. WE HAVE SPENT MILLION OF DOLLARS TO PRESERVE OUR CULTURE. WHAT KIND OF EXAMPLE IS OUR LEADERS SETTING FOR OUR NEXT GENERATION. BUT THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN GREED GETS IN THE WAY YOU LOSE RESPECT IN WHAT IS RIGHT AND WRONG. I AM A POARCH CREEK NATIVE AND VERY PROUD TO BE ONE. I DO NOT STAND WITH MY LEADERS IN THE MATTER.

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