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Moving the Fire: The Removal of Indian Nations to Oklahoma

Moving the Fire: The Removal of Indian Nations to Oklahoma

November 5 – December 3, 2004
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From the inception of the American republic, United States leaders embraced the idea of establishing a separate and distinct homeland for Native Americans. Encroachment of Euro-American settlers onto tribal lands in the southeastern United State initiated conflicts, which the government settled by removing native peoples from their ancestral homelands.  Forced to travel long distances under harsh conditions, these native peoples suffered both physical and ideological trauma and loss. Their story is illustrated in Moving the Fire: The Removal of Indian Nations to Oklahoma, which may be viewed from November 5 – December 3, 2004 at the Guilford College Art Gallery.

Although the Native Americans left many things behind, they carried with them bundles of ash and cinders from their sacred fires, carefully nurtured and replenished throughout the journey.  The Southeastern tribes were quickly joined by tribes from throughout the country as the United States stretched its boundaries almost daily.  These tribes, too, moved their fires and their lodges into Indian Territory.

Moving the Fire takes up the story in the aftermath of removal.  The contemporary prints in this exhibition are accompanied by narrative labels to assist the viewer in understanding multi-tribal issues.

During the exhibition’s opening reception, the First Nations Women A Cappella Trio, Ulali will perform at 5 p.m.  Ulali will also present a full-length concert at 7:00 p.m. in Dana Auditorium.  This group sings music in the many styles and languages of their ancestors in the western hemisphere.  In ancient times a Tuscarora woman carried the name “ULALI” for her beautiful voice. ”ULALI” is a songbird (wood thrush) name given to Pura Fe, Soni and Jennifer, members of the trio.  Ulali was featured on the soundtrack of the Miramax film “Smoke Signals,” and they have performed at the Kennedy Center, the United Nations, and recently, the opening celebration of the National Museum of the American Indian.

Moving the Fire: The Removal of Indian Nations to Oklahoma will be on view Monday-Friday, 9-5 p.m. and Sunday, 2-5 p.m.  The Art Gallery will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday from 4:00 p.m. on November 24 until 9:00 a.m. on November 29.

Moving the Fire: The Removal of Indian Nations to Oklahoma is organized by the State Arts Council of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, and toured by ExhibitsUSA. The purpose of ExhibitsUSA is to create access to an array of arts and humanities exhibitions, nurture the development and understanding of diverse art forms and cultures, and encourage the expanding depth and breadth of cultural life in local communities. ExhibitsUSA is a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance, a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1972.

            ExhibitsUSA is generously supported by Altria Group, Inc.; The Brown Foundation, Inc.; James H. Clement Jr.; ConocoPhillips; the Cooper Foundation; Maureen and Robert Decherd; Douglas County Bank/Ross and Marianna Beach; DST Systems, Inc.; The Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation; Houston Endowment, Inc.; the Institute of Museum and Library Services; Edward Jones; the Helen Jones Foundation; the William T. Kemper Foundation, Commerce Bank, trustee; the Richard P. Kimmel and Laurine Kimmel Charitable Foundation, Inc.; the Meadows Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Courtney S. Turner Charitable Trust; The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation; the Woods Charitable Fund; and the state arts agencies of Arkansas, Kansas, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.