Danville museum provides living history on Native American cultu - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Danville museum provides living history on Native American culture

DANVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

A growing number of U.S. cities have removed Columbus Day as a holiday, replacing it with Indigenous Peoples Day. It has been controversial because it not only honors Native Americans but helps to educate about their genocide.

Alabama also recognizes Native American culture on the second Monday of October each year, but it is not controversial. A proclamation made by the state's last three governors, Don Siegelman, Bob Riley and Robert Bentley, designates the day as American Indian Heritage Day, a way to honor contributions made by Native Americans while promoting education about their history.

That education happens every day at one of the premiere prehistoric Indian sites in North Alabama. The Oakville Indian Mounds Education Center provides insight into prehistoric Native Americans, their lives and their culture.

"We have over 10,000 artifacts in our museum. We have two Indian mounds on our property. We have a platform square mound that was used for ceremonial purposes like feasting activities, and we also have one burial mound, which is a round conical-shaped mound," said cultural resource specialist Anna Mullican.

Mullican said the center provides a living, breathing history located where a village once thrived in the early middle Woodland time period about 2,000 years ago. She said there have been native peoples in all parts of Alabama for more than 14,000 years, and the education center helps us learn about Native American heritage.

"We teach our students that the difference between prehistory and history is the presence or absence of writing. These prehistoric peoples, we don't have written records,diaries, maps, photographs. So even the smallest artifact can really help us tell a much larger story about what their lives are like, the families they were building, and the cultural significance  of those peoples here," she said.

The Oakville Indian Mounds Education Center is open seven days a week, Donations are accepted, Admission is free. It is located at 1219 County Road 187 in Danville near Jesse Owens Park.

For more information, click here.

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