Gavels handmade by Miami Tribe member presented to Ohio Legislature
By Margo Kissell, university news and communications, kisselm@MiamiOH.edu
Miami Tribe of Oklahoma member Jody Gamble made the small ceremonial gavels using wood from a North American red oak tree believed to have been at least 225 years old. They were presented to the Ohio Legislature in honor of Statehood Day.
Two gavels that a member of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma crafted by hand were presented to the Ohio Legislature recently in honor of Statehood Day.
The Ohio History Connection presented the gavels — each with a small wooden plate adorned with the Ohio flag — during ceremonies in the House of Representatives and Senate on March 4. Tribe member Jody Gamble made the small ceremonial gavels using wood from a North American red oak tree believed to have been at least 225 years old when it was downed during a storm.
Chief Douglas Lankford of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma said the red oak — maamihkatiaahkatwi — had stood at the Newark Earthworks, one of the Ohio History Connection's American Indian sites.
Lankford wasn't able to attend the ceremonies due to the weather but wrote a letter that was read aloud.
"We wanted to make sure his voice was heard," said Emmy Beach, public relations coordinator for the Ohio History Connection, formerly the Ohio Historical Society.
Lankford said the tribal nation was proud of Gamble's craftsmanship and honored to have his work presented in that setting because of the history it represents.
Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger receives the Miami Tribe's gift of a carved gavel from Burt Logan, executive director and CEO of Ohio History Connection."It is my hope that its use serves as a reminder of our desire to maintain strong ties to our beloved homelands and continue nurturing our relationships with institutions such as the Ohio History Connection and our longtime friends over at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio," Lankford said in the letter.
The tree lived through "a period of time when our nations struggled to engage with and accept each other," Lankford wrote. "It grew strong as our homelands were transformed in the 17th state in the American Union and through the period when our ancestors were forcibly removed from the Midwest."
Lankford added that "the history witnessed throughout this tree's lifespan came full circle" when Gamble made the gavels, which were presented to House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger and Senate President Keith Faber.