Native American art and culture was on full display as Redstone Arsenal helped observe Native American Heritage Month.
“So many people in the State of Alabama do not realize that the Tribe is there. Do not realize how much the Tribe is involved in state affairs. And this gives us another opportunity to try and explain our situation, try to educate the people of Alabama,” said Eddie Tullis, the Tribal Treasurer of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
Several Tribes brought pieces of artwork to display at the Sparkman Center on Wednesday morning. They also began the presentation with an aboriginal dance, which showed off some traditional, festive garb.
Tullis said this was the first year the Poarch Band of Creek Indians was involved in the day of observance at the Arsenal. However, he pointed out that his Tribe has a long involvement with Redstone.
He said the Tribe has an aviation company on the Arsenal and contributed about a million dollars to help relocate Gate 9.
“(We) had a good motive, economic motive. When you go out Gate 9, the first hotel you come to belongs to the Poarch Creek Indians,” said Tullis. “So we’re involved in here, in Huntsville economically, politically and everything else. So we’re happy to participate in a day like today.”
The Principal Chief of the Alabama Indian Affairs Commission also spoke at the event. He represents several Tribes recognized by the State of Alabama, but not the federal government.
As of now, only the Poarch Band of Creek Indians is federally recognized.
“We support their efforts to do it. There is a process, there’s a federally established process for them to do it and we support those. If they can meet that criteria, then we welcome them aboard,” said Tullis.