Muscogee (Creek) Nation embarks on new era with inauguration of newly elected officials

Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital

OKMULGEE — The Muscogee (Creek) Nation is entering 2016 with new tribal leaders as it swore in a new principal chief, reelected second chief and the Nineteenth Session of its National Council on Jan. 2 at the Mvskoke Dome.

The traditional ceremony included Muscogee (Creek) hymns and the principal chief and second chief took their oaths of office in their Native language in front of more than 1,500 attendees, including tribal citizens, visiting chiefs from various Oklahoma tribes, tribal royalty, State of Oklahoma congressmen and other dignitaries.

Principal Chief James Floyd emphasized the significance of embracing Muscogee (Creek) traditions, elders, communities and working together to better the Nation.

“We must commit to find and nurture through any possible ways, to cultivate a spirit of love and respect for one another, especially for our elders. With each new generation, the knowledge of our past and cultural traditions is essential,” Floyd said.

Floyd, who began his career with the MCN in 1978, worked for many years in the health industry, including the Indian Health Service, and most recently, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs as the director of the VA Eastern Oklahoma Health Care System in Muskogee, Okla.

Floyd stressed that the tribe must return to its basic core values of remembering that the tribal government exists to serve its citizens.

“As our administration begins we know the road ahead will be hard,” Floyd said. “However, I am strengthened by many great people. Second Chief Louis Hicks believes as I do, that we are servants to our citizens. We will work together as a team. We will lead from the front.”

Floyd said the MCN government must commit to find and nurture through any possible ways, to cultivate a spirit of love and respect for one another, especially for our elders.

“With each new generation, the knowledge of our past and cultural traditions is essential,” Floyd said.

Louis Hicks was reelected as the MCN’s second chief after he ran unopposed in the Sept. 19 tribal general election. Hicks took office Jan. 17, 2015 to fill the second chief seat that was vacated by former second chief Roger Barnett in late 2014.

Hicks worked for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation from 2007 to December 2011 as the Director of the Human Development Department. He supervised seven major programs: Muscogee Language Program, Higher Education, Johnson O’Malley, Head Start, Eufaula Dorms, Reintegration and Employment and Training.

The Nineteenth Session of the Muscogee (Creek) National Council was sworn in by MCN Supreme Court Justice George Thompson. The council has 16 seats, with three newcomers, including Randall Hicks, Del Beaver and Rufus Scott. The 19th Session conducted its first meeting and elected Rep. Lucian Tiger as its speaker and Rep. David Hill as its Second Speaker.

All took office on Monday, Jan. 4.