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Native American

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What is a Creek Indian Reservation?

By H.R. Childress
Updated: May 17, 2024

A Creek Indian reservation is an area of land in the U.S. that is reserved for members of the Creek Indian nation. As of 2010, there were just two Creek Indian reservations, one in Oklahoma and one in Alabama. Some Creek Indians also live on Seminole nation reservations in Florida.

The Creek Indians are also commonly called the Muscogee, which is sometimes spelled Muskogee. Muscogee tribes originally lived in parts of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida. The Creek were a confederation of sedentary tribes that farmed and built permanent dwellings. Early European settlers classified Creeks as one of the Five Civilized Tribes, possibly because they were farmers with a complex governmental organization and were one of the first tribes to convert to Christianity.

Creek Indian reservations are comprised of lands that are owned by the Creek Nation. This is like a country within a country — it has its own government and laws, but is still subject to the laws of the U.S. Creek Indians are citizens of both the Muskogee Nation and the United States.

Many Creeks are part of the Muscogee Nation, a Creek Indian reservation in the state of Oklahoma. Like most other tribes in the southeastern United States, the Muscogee were forced to take the Trail of Tears in the 1800s. Thousands of Muscogee were forcibly removed from their homelands to what was then called Indian Territory, which is now in Oklahoma, between 1836 and 1837. About 20,000 Native Americans are members of the Muscogee Nation in Oklahoma.

Some Muscogee remained on a Creek Indian reservation in Alabama. Members of this reservation are called the Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama. The Poarch Band was not removed from their homeland in Alabama, but live on a reservation in the same location. They are the only Indian Nation in the state of Alabama that is recognized by the federal government.

The Seminole tribe contains some Creek people as well. Seminoles came into being as an alliance between the Creeks and several other tribes in Georgia and Florida. Some, but not all, Creeks joined the Seminole alliance. Many Creeks who are part of the Seminole tribe live on Seminole reservations in southern Florida.

Not all Creek Indians live on a Creek Indian reservation. Some Muscogee live on their original homelands in the southeastern U.S. Others may be members of the Muscogee Nation, but do not necessarily live on tribal land.

America Explained is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By sunshined — On Feb 21, 2012

I have a friend who is half Native American and has spent some time on more than one American Indian reservation.

I am not familiar with how all the laws work, but she is able to receive very affordable housing if she stays on the reservation.

There are other benefits that are available to her, but I don't know what requirements have to be met in order to take advantage of them.

When I recently saw a list of current American Indian tribes, I was surprised at how many there are. I really had no idea there were so many tribes and reservations scattered all across the United States.

By bagley79 — On Feb 21, 2012

I am from Oklahoma and am familiar with the Creek Native American tribe. I have never been on their reservation, but hear something about them in the news every now and then.

I think one of the biggest reasons there are so many casinos on Indian reservations is because this is one way they have found to generate some income.

Whatever your feelings are about casinos or even about Indian reservations, I know a lot of them have profitable casinos on them.

By SarahSon — On Feb 20, 2012

When I was in elementary school, our family took a trip to Florida and we visited the Seminole Indian reservation in the Everglades.

Until reading this article, I didn't realize that the Seminole tribe also contains members of the Creek Indian tribe too.

Since this trip, I have always been interested in Native American history. Sometimes I have a hard time with the way some of these tribes were treated when they were forced to leave their home land.

The few reservations I have visited as an adult have not helped these feelings any. Many of them are living in very poor conditions with very little hope or a chance to make a decent living.

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