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Oklahoma's birthday festivities include controversial event

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You know what they say about matches made in heaven? This apparently isn't that story.

 

Among Statehood Day events scheduled for Friday in Guthrie is a re-creation of the symbolic wedding between a Cherokee woman and white man, which in 1907 represented the joining of Indian Territory and Oklahoma Territory.

 

Brenda Golden, a member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, said the event, slated to take place around 9 a.m. at the Carnegie Library, "outraged" her as a display of greed and theft of Indian land, according to a story in The Oklahoman.

 

Golden and friends started a protest via MySpace and plan to call attention to the whole story " how many American Indians came to be in Oklahoma and its original purpose as a home for native peoples forever " via a protest march to the state Capitol Friday morning, according to the Oke.

 

William Savage Jr., a professor at the University of Oklahoma and unofficial history consultant at Chicken-Fried News, said he's glad to hear of the protest. Oklahoma Gazette covered the American Indian community's questioning of the ceremony's purpose and place this summer.

 

"It's a sexist, racist ceremony that has no place in the 21st century," he said. "If nobody questions it, that's a sadder comment on the state of Oklahoma in 2007 than the replication of the wedding ceremony."

 

The Oklahoman reported Blake Wade, executive director of the Oklahoma Centennial Commission, "had not heard one negative response" since centennial preparations began in 1999. Savage said he thought that would be difficult, unless one climbed inside "an old refrigerator and shut the door for "¦ eight years."

 

Wade did tell the Oke: "I hope they understand that we are not here to celebrate the centennial, but to commemorate the fact that our state is now 100 years old. I feel badly that they feel they need to protest that, but then again, I certainly understand."

 

As for Golden's questions, voiced in The Oklahoman " "Where is our side of this history? Who is making our voices heard?" " here at CFN, we're guessing it won't be the federal government. A sugary proclamation signed by President George W. Bush printed in the Oke feted the Sooner State, with nary a reference to American Indians or their place in its history.

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