FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 1, 2016
The Mvskoke March 2016
Okmulgee, Okla. – The Mvskoke March 2016 is a youth led initiative focused on bringing awareness to Teen Dating Violence. The Mvskoke March was held July 18-21, 2016.
The event kicked off at 12:00 pm at the historic Muscogee (Creek) Nation Council House on July 18th, 2016 and ended 110 miles later at the Oklahoma State Capitol at 12:00 pm where a Teen Dating Violence awareness rally was held.
According to Love is Respect, nearly 1.5 million high school students nationwide experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year.
One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner, a figure that far exceeds rates of other types of youth violence. One in 10 high school students has been purposefully hit, slapped or physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend (loveisrespect.org).
Additionally, the walkers honored the 40th Anniversary of the United National Indian and Tribal Youth (UNITY) organization. UNITY is a national network organization promoting personal development, citizenship, and leadership among Native American youth. It was created in Oklahoma by J.R. Cook who is a member of the Cherokee Nation. UNITY is holding their annual conference in Oklahoma City from July 22nd – 26th.
Many of the walk participants are members of the Mvskoke Nation Youth Council (MNYC) who traveled to the UNITY Conference. The MNYC is a UNITY affiliate, and is comprised of Mvskoke youth ages 12-24.
The mission of the MNYC is to empower Mvskoke youth by listening and taking action, enhance our voice by promoting positive changes and informed decisions, and affect all generations and sustain the Mvskoke way of life.
The walk was coordinated by Jay Fife who is the 2nd Speaker of the MNYC. Jay had an opportunity to participate in the Longest Walk 5, which is a Native American rescue mission to heal America from the effects of drugs, violence, suicide, self-harm, and harm to the Earth. Afterwards, Jay was inspired to organize the Mvskoke March.
Jay commented “We will call attention and seek guidance on domestic violence and teen dating violence which is causing destruction within The Muscogee (Creek) Nation, and as well as the state of Oklahoma.”
The walkers traveled through the towns of: Okmulgee, Okemah, Castle, Boley, Paden, Prague, Meeker, Harrah, Choctaw, and finally enter the OKC Metro Area. They stopped and camped at three of those destinations along the way.
For more information on the walk you can go to http://www.mvskokemarch2016.weebly.com or the Mvskoke March 2016 Facebook page. If you are interested in donating, contact the Mvskoke Nation Youth Services program at (918) 549-2557.