Sigma Tau Delta dedicates a portion of our convention program and physical space to acknowledge and celebrate the Native American life that calls the land on which we convene their rightful home. Sigma Tau Delta specifically honors the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, also known as the Mvskoke, who belong to the land on which we hold this year’s convention, an extraordinary home and culture that once spanned much of the Southeastern United States. Furthermore, our convention site falls beneath the parameters of Cession 116, one of countless Indian land cessions that willfully exploited and betrayed indigenous trust toward colonizing forces, which the Muscogee ultimately fell victim to throughout history. While atrocities such as treaty violations, land theft, and forced displacement via the Indian Removal Act brutalized the Muscogee and violently evicted them from their home, we recognize their ancestors and contributions to culture stay with us now and forever, with descendants belonging to the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana and Alabama-Coushatta Tribes of Texas. We affirm the Muscogee connection and synergy with this land on which we convene as much as we envision a future that returns them to the place that they rightfully call home, as much as we live in a present that acknowledges their people’s unforgettable perseverance and joy.
As an honor society dedicated to the educational and academic pursuit of literature, storytelling, and meaning-making, we must do our part to lift the stories of displaced, marginalized peoples who call the land we occupy their home. We encourage all convention attendees to pay similar respect to the rightful harbingers of their chapter’s land, as well as to visit the Muscogee Nation’s official website to learn more about the tremendous Mvskoke culture and identity that continues to thrive today.
This statement was drafted by the Sigma Tau Delta Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Task Force, with careful attention to and consultation of online resources run by indigenous communities and institutions, including the Native Governance Center, the official Muscogee Nation website, and Native Land Digital.