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Richard Thornton is a Creek Indian architect, city planner, author and researcher into Native American history. His professional work in support of archaeologists began in college, when he received a fellowship to study Mesoamerican architecture and urban planning in Mexico. In 2004 he began carrying out research projects for Native American tribes that studied their cultural history. He is a founding member and newsletter editor of the People of One Fire, a national alliance of Native American scholars. In parallel, Richard has been then architect for the restoration of several hundred buidings dating back to 1746 throughout the Southeast. On his Caucasion side, he is a direct descendant of the first leader of the Georgia during the American Revolution, a Continental officer, and Creek Indian leaders, who were allies of the Patriots. Several of his historic preservation projects were associated with personalities or events of national importance, such as the American Revolution, Civil War battlefields, the Great Locomotive Chase, the Rev. Sam Jones, and several famous Southern writers. In 2009, he was the architect for Oklahoma's Trail of Tears Memorial in Tulsa, OK.

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