One day your ancestors will speak to you

Published 7:49 pm Friday, May 10, 2024

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Michelle Gilmore, Tribal Chief of the Southeastern Mvskoke Nation and a Commissioner on Alabama Indian Affairs Commission, was the guest speaker at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama’s “Thunder on the Three Notch” annual event on April 27.   

Michelle Gilmore, presented “Their Life, Their Path, Their Story, My Ancestors” to a large group of museum visitors who wanted to know more about the Creeks, who were the largest, most important Indian group living in Alabama. They called themselves “People of Fire.”

The English traders called them Creeks because their villages were built primarily along creeks and rivers.

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Gilmore shared the history of the Creek Indians and the “Greatly Honored Man.” He vowed to fight only for a just cause and looked after the needs of his people.

The Indian society believed in taking care of their widows, orphans and needy.

There will come a time in your life when your ancestors start speaking to you and they are very loud,” Gilmore said. “Chief Menawa was my sixth great-grandfather and Chief Whitepath was my fifth great-grandfather. Generations later, their descendants will marry and become my grandparents, one Cherokee and one Creek.

Gilmore said she found it unbelievable that her grandfathers fought against each other at Horseshoe Bend.

“I wonder what they would say about that today,” she said. “I wish my dad and my grandfather had known about his history but they both passed away before I discovered it.”

Gilmore said there were times when she would stay up all night reading one discovery after another.

“Before I knew it, the sun was rising and I felt like I had walked the path with them,” the tribal chief said. “When my journey on Earth is done and I travel the Milky Way to find my clan’s campfire, I will find my grandparents and I will ask them, ‘Tell me, grandmother, tell me grandfather, what truly happened?”