National Park Service site to help protect Native ancestral lands

MACON, Go. — A national historical park in central Georgia is more than doubling in size with a recent property acquisition that will help protect “some of the most significant prehistoric Indigenous mounds in North America.”

The Muscogee (Creek) Nation, National Park Service, Ocmulgee National Park and Preserve Initiative, National Park Foundation and the Open Space Institute announced the addition to Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park, noting the land had been in danger of development before being protected using the Land and Water Conservation Fund and private funding.

The new 951-acre property is located within the “Ocmulgee Old Fields,” also known as the Macon Reserve, which are made up of land retained by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation from 1805 until the Treaty of Washington in 1826, which, along with other treaties, resulted in the removal of the Muskogean people to Oklahoma, according to a National Park Service news release.

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“This additional property includes some of our most important unprotected ancestral lands,” David Hill, principal chief of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, said in the release. “The Muscogee (Creek) Nation have a long-standing history of preserving the Ocmulgee Old Fields-Macon Reserve. We have never forgotten where we came from and the lands around the Ocmulgee River will always and forever be our ancestral homeland, a place we consider sacred and a place with rich cultural history.”

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