Chief Earnest Calvin Marshall, of Decatur, Ga., saying he was leader of 17 Indian tribes, led a peaceful gathering across from the Coahoma County Courthouse Wednesday for what he said was the Muskogee nations claim to what he believed was rightfully theirs.
“This is (about) the Dancing Rabbit Treaty,” Marshall said. “The Dancing Rabbit Treaty is when 11 million acres of land was swapped for 15 million acres of land in Oklahoma. It started the first Trail of Tears.
“The Supreme Court three days ago gave the rights for the Muskogee nations to have sovereignty,” said Marshall. “We’re trying to organize and get everything together in which the government was supposed to have done themselves.
“It’s a pleasure to be in Mississippi, but we need to come in peace.”
The Supreme Court's decision has been defined as a win for tribal sovereignty. The ruling Thursday simply said a large portion of eastern Oklahoma remains a reservation.
Marshal said Wednesday's gathering was approved by Clarksdale City Hall. It is not known if a permit was obtained from police for the summit.
All local land deeds go back to the Dancing Rabbit Treaty. Declaring it null and void would tangle any claim to a clear title and the ability to sell or buy that land.
Marshall told the Coahoma County Board of Supervisors they just want to be compensated.
The Coahoma County Courthouse is built on high ground that allegedly was once Indian mounds.
When asked by Board of Supervisors President Johnny Newson if he had an attorney, Marshal said he “despised attorneys” and was pursuing the case through the courts himself.
Marshall, who was wearing a long Native American head-dress, that he said came from Hawaii, was accompanied by Chief Abu Bakari Zaffir Ali El Bey and Trainee Henok Yaisreal.
Marshall said people came from Texas, Illinois and many other parts of the country to the summit in Clarksdale. The plan was to go to Tulsa, Okla., shortly after leaving Clarksdale.
Gonda El, a Clarksdale activist, has been working with Marshall.
“The Native Americans are out here,” El said. “The indigenous Muskogee nations are out here. We’re out here to reclaim our land. We’re out here to reverse what Bill Clinton did in 1999 when he came to Clarksdale. He robbed the black man. He violated some treaties and he stopped the Mississippi Delta project, which was a contract with China to come in and bring back the black man indigenous control of the land and to give us back our cotton. Clinton was supposed to do that and he didn’t.”
El said people would provide a copy of their identification with their phone number and receive money from the White Spiritual Boy account where she said Pope Francis says he has all of the indigenous money. She said every account was moved Dec. 1, 2008 after Barack Obama was elected President.
“Obama reversed it and sent (2013 Clarksdale mayoral candidate) Marco McMillian here to do it and they killed him,” El said. “Now, we have to do what Marco McMillian couldn’t do.”
After the plantation is reclaimed and everyone is paid for plantation, slavery, cotton and land that was stolen for 400 years plus interest, El expects them to be well off.
“We will all be multimillionaires,” El said. “One account in the White Spiritual Boy account has over 50 something zeroes. That’s just one account and the Pope has made it clear that every penny belongs to the Black man.”