The historical sites, amenities, and people of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation may not be new additions to the area, but promoting them as part of a cultural tourism program helps to bring them to the forefront of progress for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

 

Cultural tourism is a different approach to travel. Its focus doesn’t include amusement parks, shopping, or elaborate resorts. The focus is instead on the culture of a certain area, in particular on the people of the area and their history, art, religion, and other elements that helped shape their way of life.

 

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Tourism & Recreation has conferred with many tourism proponents for the development of a cultural tourism seminar. The invited speakers, from different areas of expertise and experience, will not only introduce the tribe and its surrounding communities to the idea of and details surrounding cultural tourism but also to the benefits of tourism to local communities and the entire state of Oklahoma. 

 

Gena Timberman, with the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum (AICCM) in Oklahoma City, will be speaking on the progress of cultural tourism in the state of Oklahoma. Timberman was appointed to the Native American Cultural & Educational Authority (NACEA) in December 1999.  She currently serves as the Executive Director for the NACEA, the state agency developing the American Indian Cultural Center & Museum.

 

Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins, 2010 Oklahoma state gubernatorial candidate and chair of the Oklahoma State Tourism and Recreation Commission, has been invited to speak on the economic and educational impact of tourism in the state of Oklahoma.

 

Melody McCoy, staff attorney with the Native American Rights Fund, will speak on managing cultural and intellectual property. This topic will focus on best practices for managing Indigenous knowledge, which includes traditional, contemporary, the recorded form, artistic, oral, creative, and written knowledge in the form of photographs, stories, oral histories, films, geographic and genealogical information, and information about plants and animals.

 

The individuals that maintain cultural activities by producing artwork specific to a culture are also very much integral when developing a cultural tourism program. For this reason, Peggy Paddyaker, with the Oklahoma Office of the Attorney General, has confirmed that she will speak about Federal and State laws governing the sale of Indian art and craft work. “We want to involve our artisans as much as possible when creating our tourism program. We want to make sure they are aware of the resources that are available to protect their works,” commented Cherokee Hicks, Director of the Department of Tourism & Recreation.

 

A recent addition to the lineup of guest speakers is John Harjo. John is the co-founder and editor of NDNSPORTS.COM and the game director for the Native All Star Game. Being a former coach of several different sports and being immersed in the world of Native American sports for over 10 years, John will speak on how Native American athletes can be an added bonus to a cultural tourism program.

 

The cultural tourism seminar is scheduled for Wednesday, November 10 in the Mound Building Auditorium on the campus of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation complex, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public. Contact the Department of Tourism & Recreation at (918) 732-7992 to pre-register for guaranteed seating. Other seating is first come, first serve.

 

For more information, contact the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Tourism & Recreation at (918) 732-7992 or tourism@muscogeenation-nsn.gov.

 

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Muscogee (Creek) Nation

Tourism & Recreation

Cherokee Hicks, Director

(918) 732-7992

(800) 482-1979

tourism@muscogeenation-nsn.gov