Muscogee Nation of Florida
April 17, 2010
Good Morning and Welcome to the Muscogee Nation of Florida. I am Chairwoman Ann Denson Tucker of the Tribal Council, the government of our Tribal Nation. It is fitting that we be here today on Earth Day because this building we are here to dedicate is a building that was destined for a landfill. It was considered trash - no longer having any purpose. Before the man delivered the building, he called me and told me that he was embarrassed that this old portable schoolhouse was in the state that it was in and hoped that I could get some siding donated to make it look a little better. We really did not know what was showing up – but, when it arrived, we all came out and looked it over and looked at each other and said “this isn’t bad – it sorta looks like it belongs here, doesn’t it?”
Today, to me, this building is a symbol of the very best of local community – of old working with young, better off working with lesser off, race working with race, faith working with faith. And in the end, after 2 short months, all of those lines of separation have fallen away – and this project has become what we as a people should be – a community of people helping a community of people. That’s what rural relief is all about.
What a wonderful celebration when people are able to look no farther and expect nothing more than helping each other through hard times. I am so proud of all of the groups who have been involved in this project – the Tribal Council and members of Muscogee Nation of Florida, the local Churches, the County Officials, the students from UWF, and the many volunteers who said to me “I want to help because the way things are going in this country, I may have to come to Rural Relief…” Creator has known that our hearts were in the right place on this project, and he has stood with us to make this possible. Imagine how strong we could be as a Nation, if we simply remembered that our first obligation is as caretakers of one another.
We have dared to challenge those people who told us that the day we would be able to help the rural poor of Walton County would be “when pigs fly”. Well, the pigs are flying. And, I cannot think of a better example of Rural Relief than this building whose destiny was one of no hope and no future. I am honored today to be able to cut this ribbon and dedicate rural relief to the working class people of Walton County. We will be here for as long as you need us.