Hundreds of people are expected to gather at a monument to the Land Run near Bricktown Saturday in both opposition and support of the massive bronze statues.
The group SPIRIT, the Society to Protect Indigenous Rights and Treaties, said the monument is offensive. Others who plan to attend the rally to defend the statues said they are a part of history.
“For there to be a so-called free land run over land that was ours is hurtful,” Muskogee (Creek) citizen and protest organizer Brenda Golden said. “People that are alive today have mothers and fathers that were actually alive during that time, so it’s fresh in our memory.”
SPIRIT is joining with Black Lives Matter OKC for a sit-in beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The group is asking for the land run monuments, sculpted by Muskogee (Creek) artist Paul Moore, to be taken down.
If the monuments are not taken down, the group asked that the plaques around the monument be updated to include the Native American perspective of the land run and for similar-sized statues of Indigenous people to be placed in the area.
“The literature here, none of it even mentions the fact that this was promised Indian territory, that there were people living here even before the tribes were relocated here,” Golden said. “Just give us our share of history. Acknowledge that this was Indian territory.”
Despite some on social media vowing to tear down or deface the statues, SPIRIT is calling for protestors to not damage the monuments. After all, Golden said it’s unlikely the 45 massive statues secured to the ground by concrete would budge.