FRANKLIN — A pow wow is set this weekend at Brush Creek Park in Heard County to celebrate the significance of Native American heritage along the Chattahoochee River, along with a Day of Peace event.
The Chattahoochee Old Town Pow Wow at Brush Creek Park is hosted by the Chattahoochee Archaeological Research Team. Since the 1980s, the nonprofit has “documented over 900 ancient and historic sites, and recovered and returned thousands of artifacts” to Native American descendants, said Steve Lane, park ranger for Brush Creek and a member of Chattahoochee A.R.T.
The park is at the site of the former Chattahoochee Old Town, a Muscogee settlement.
“For thousands of years this was one of the largest trade centers in the South,” Lane said of the park in a written statement. “The river was named after this town. The ‘Creek Trading Path’ splits through the park, running from Augusta, Georgia, to the Mississippi River. It may be the oldest road in the U.S. and can clearly be seen at the park.”
The Chattahoochee A.R.T. was originally organized by Muscogee descendants to help find the tribe’s settlements along the river, Lane said. The group later grew to include members of Seminole, Yuchi and Cherokee descent, helping them also locate sites of significance.
Chattahoochee A.R.T. plans to purchase two ancient ceremonial sites along the Chattahoochee River in Heard County, Lane said. Proceeds from this weekend’s events will go toward the purchase.
A Day of Peace gathering also is Saturday with events on tap, and a petition from the Chattahoochee A.R.T. that people may sign will be at the site. The petition encourages the federal government to give back two significant sites along the Chattahoochee River to Native American descendants, Lane said, releasing the areas from taxpayer-funded responsibility under the Corps of Engineers.
Lane emphasized that the Pow Wow will be a celebration for everyone.
“Come see some of the amazing things we’ve found in the last 30 years,” he stated. “Come hear lectures and stories concerning the Native Americans from this area. Come see demonstrations of fire starting, skin tanning, arrowhead making … Come see bald eagles and the ‘Old Town Mound.’ Come learn and be entertained.”
The pow wow is set for 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the park, 1328 Brush Creek Park Road, featuring music, food and dancing. The Day of Peace gathering is 6–8 p.m. Saturday at the park with a peace rally, open mic, bonfire and music.
A $5 donation per car is suggested for each event.
Anyone seeking more information may contact Lane at 706-675-2267 or 706-594-4921.
Reach the LaGrange Daily News at 706-884-7311.