Cherokee Messenger
January, 1997

January Speaker

Clay Menard, accomplished craftsman and avid promoter of living history presentations will be out quest presenter at our first meeting of 1997. In keeping with our schedule for Red Nations Remembering, Mr. Menard will be showing leather crafts and a demonstration on moccasin making. This is to inspire some of us to start working on the moccasins to wear for the Moccasin Walk in March.


Otilia Sanchez/Yaqui was named the 1996 Outstanding American Indian Individual Award at the Fourth Annual Awards Banquet of the American Indian Chamber of Commerce in Dallas. Otilia is past-president of the AICC chapter in Houston and is well-known for her work with the Kickapoo Reservation, and as the coordinator of the Kickapoo Holiday Blanket and Toy Drive.

Red Nations Update

Red Nations Remembering is our event to honor those who walked on the Trail of Tears. On the second Sunday in March, March 9, 1997, we will gather together for a day of activities, education and sharing. We invite others from all walks of life, from all tribes, to also plan an event on this date to remember those ancestors who have walked before us.

In December, we continued with our promotion of Red Nations Remembering by collecting blankets and food to deliver to the Kickapoo Reservation. There was a time when our ancestors needed food and covering, and we do this in honor of them.

In January, we will be gaining skills to learn how to make our own moccasins to ready us for the Walk in March.

The location is being finalized for the event in March and will be announced next month. In the meantime, we are working to schedule activities and events for the entire family.

Members of CCS have been religiously wearing their feather lapel pins to show solidarity and support for American Indians. By asking everyone of Indian descent to wear a feather, we are raising awareness in our community about the American Indian community.

Several groups and organizations have contacted us from around the country and are also wearing feather and planning events on March 9. Please let us know what your community is planning and we will publicize it in this newsletter.

AniTsaLagi Svnoyihi - Cherokee Moons

by David Michael Wolfe
December is the Snow Moon, or Usgiyi in Cherokee.

The spirit being "Snow Man", brings the cold and snow for the earth to cover the high places while the earth rests until the rebirth of seasons in the Windy Moon "Anuyi". Families traditionally were busy putting up and storing goods for the next cycle of seasons.

Elders enjoyed teaching and retelling ancient stores of the people to the young.

David has a wonderfully illustrated poster of the months in Cherokee. Please contact him at (412) 487-7093 to order your copy.

Schedule of Children's Meetings

Beginning in January, there will be a children's meeting occurring at the same time as the "big" meeting in the craft room at Tracy Gee - thanks to the ladies of the Shawl Society! At the first meeting, Cindy Linnenkohl will be teaching the children how to make a medicine bag.

April : Patti Davis - Mother's Day Gift
June : Martha Sebastian - Things From Nature
August : Robin Rinker
October : Donna Allen

Please be sure to include your children in these activities. They will carry the fire for us when we're gone.

Cultivating the Rosebuds

The Education of Women at the Cherokee Female Seminary, 1851-1909.
University of Illinois Press
Author: Devon A. Mihesuah
Established in the Cherokee Nation in 1851 in present-day eastern Oklahoma, the nondenominational Cherokee Female Seminary was one of the most important schools in the history of American Indian education. Unusual among Indian schools because it was founded by neither the federal government nor by missionary agencies, the school offered a rigorous curriculum from elementary grades through high school that was patterned after that of Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. It offered no instruction in the Cherokee language or culture, but it was open only to full- and mixed-blood Cherokee girls. Many of the seminarians were acculturated Cherokees who welcomed the opportunity to study in an environment where "white ways" were held up as the ideal. more traditional Cherokees found the atmosphere oppressive.

Devon Mehisuah explores the school's history, examining curriculum, faculty, administration, and educational philosophy and showing how these elements affected the 2,300 women who were educated there. A number of the seminary's graduates went on to study at colleges and universities across the county, becoming teachers, physicians, businesswomen, and social workers. Even those former students who did not seek careers exerted considerable influence within their families and civic life.

The Qualla Paddle

Gene Norman Water Spirit - His Story.
My Dad was born on the Qualla Reservation in 1896. In 1920, he left the reservation and went to the St. Francis Reserve (Tuscorora) where he met and married my Mom. They returned to the US and he went to college. I was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1928. In 1931, we went to the Qualla Reservation to meet my Relatives and to get me registered. In 1933, we went back to Canada, at least we tried.

For some strange reason, the US Customs Agents didn't want us to leave so they shot and killed my Dad as we were crossing the border. They also wounded my Mom when she was on the Canadian side but she managed to get away and took the stuff we were bringing back to the St. Francis Reserve. I was put in a boarding school run by the Carmelites. A Jean Pierre LaStrange had sponsored me. I was there until I was 18 and then went to the Reserve where they told me my Mom had died from her wounds. Her Grave is on the Reserve. They gave me funding for my education and also gave me the Qualla Paddle as a keepsake from my Dad.

In time, when I finished my schooling, I was curious about this paddle that I had been carrying with me where ever I went. I had it radio- carbon dated at M.I.T. It was hand carved in 750 AD +/- 50 years! The Qualla Paddle is in the shape of an alligator with holes in the part that goes in the water. On closer examination, the holes were Venturis!!! A Venturi is a "modern" fluid flow measuring device!

The Quallas apparently used the paddle to measure the flow of water in streams as well as to paddle their canoes silently (instead of the "slapping" noise a normal paddle makes).

On October 6, 1996, I was presented the award of Fellow of the International Society for Measurement & Control. I accepted this Award on behalf of the Quallas and present the Qualla Paddle and an explanation of its age and how it was used to measure flow. This proof of the age of the Qualla Tribe and its scientific accomplishments will have a definite impact on the scientific community.

My wish is to return to the Qualla Reservation and to return the Qualla Paddle to the Qualla People to be preserved as part of their Heritage.

(This letter was sent to CCS via the internet in an attempt to contact the Qualla Reservation. If you have any information or contacts, please submit for forwarding. Thanks.)

Learning Aids for North American Indian Languages

UC - Davis - The Scout Report - May 24, 1996 (p8 of 22)
The Native American Studies Department at the University of California - Davis has made available Learning Aids for North American Indian Languages, a resource offering "information on published and 'semi-published' teaching and general reference materials for North American Indian languages or groups of languages." It is a page of pointers to citations for dictionaries, descriptive grammars, pedagogic materials collections of bilingual narratives, and tapes, among others.

This large resource is arranged alphabetically by language group, and also contains many cross references. Over 100 language groups are included, from Abenaki to Yukon languages. Citations contain bibliographic information and are thoroughly annotated. Learning Aids has been compiled from the "Society of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas Newsletter."

History Lesson

Mic Barnette, Houston Chronicle, 11/9/96
In 1904, the Eastern Cherokees won more than $1 million in a settlement with the United States for violations of the treaties of 1835 and 1845.

The moony was to be equally divided among all living persons, or descendants of deceased members, who had been members of the Eastern Cherokee nation at the time of the treaties.

In 1835, prior to the removal of the Cherokee to the west, the Cherokee lived in southeastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, northwest Georgia, and northwest Alabama. Many of the Cherokee were forcibly moved to land west of Fort Gibson, in what is now called Arkansas. They later were moved further west of Fort Gibson to present-day Oklahoma.

In his report in 1909, Guion Miller, the enrolling agent, certified that almost 46,000 separate applications had been filed representing about 90,000 individual claimants.

Of that number, more than 30,000 applicants were enrolled to share in the funds. A total of 3,436 persons lived east of the Mississippi River and more than 27,000 west of the Mississippi.

In certifying the eligibility of the Cherokee, Miller used earlier census and rolls that had been made of them by Hester, Chapman, Drennen, and others between 1835 and 1884.

Applicants had to prove descent from someone on one of the earlier rolls. Those who were unable to do so were allowed to have others familiar with their ancestry give testimony in their favor. More than 4,500 witnesses were examined in 19 different states.

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