Cherokee Messenger
January, 1998



Red Nations Update


Red Nations Remembering scheduled for Sunday, March 8, 1998, still takes much planning. Mark your calendar for a planning meeting: Sunday, January 11, 1998 6:00 p.m. at the home of Deborah Scott, 4407 Rose, in the Heights area. Come be a part of this exciting CCS project! RED NATIONS REMEMBERING was established by CCS in 1997 as a gathering to commemorate the Trail of Tears and to honor our Cherokee people. The 1998 gathering most likely will be at the West Montgomery County Park, Montgomery, TX.

Remembering our LOGO DESIGNING CONTEST, to select a new logo identifying this regional event. Leave your artistic mark on souvenirs-mugs, buttons, fans, t-shirts-by designing an award winning logo. Enter as many times at you like. A $5.00 entry fee per drawing applies. Keep the logo simple enough to be screen printed easily onto items. Your winning entry becomes property of CCS. For questions on Red Nations or the logo contest: Call Cindy Linnenkohl, 409-258-8441, or Joe Williams, 281-346-2765.


Shawl Society Monthly Meetings


Shawl Society Monthly Meetings resume in January, on the second Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Basketweaving, beadwork, shawl making and other native crafts and fun activities are open to women of all tribes. The Shawl Society is reaching out to all Native women to help share our traditions. No one needs to "prove" Native ancestry; no tribal "registration" is necessary. Join the enrichment, as this group continues to grow. Call B.J. for details, 713-668-0222.


"First Families" Due Date


CCS member Majorie Lowe reminds readers of a correction from earlier accounts of the First Families of the Cherokee Nation Applications: Charter Memberships will be offered through December 31, 1998, the 160th anniversary of the year the removal began, after which regular memberships will be issued. Earlier literature incorrectly used 1997 at the application due date. Charter membership permits your name to be on permanent display in the archives of the Cherokee Heritage Center, in Tahlequah. The Cherokee National Historical Society offers the memberships in seeking to recognize families who formed the Cherokee Nation, and it is limited to those persons able to document that their ancestor was a lawful resident of the Cherokee Nation East or West before the time of removal on the Trail of Tears, 1838-1839. One must complete an application. Anyone who is a Cherokee Nation tribal member is automatically entitled to join simply by completing the application and the lineage chart and enclosing a copy of their tribal membership card. However they still must submit their ancestry back to 1838. Persons without tribal membership can access documents listed as acceptable proof of residency in the Cherokee Nation.

Consult their website: http://www.powersource.com/heritage See the subheading "First Families." Further research information and assistance are available through the Cherokee National Historical Society Genealogy Office:

P.O. Box 515
Tahlequah, OK 74465
E-mail tsalagi@netsites.net
Phone 1-918-456-6007, or fax 1-918-456-6165.


A Health Note


The Cancer Information Service (CIS), national information and education network of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for more than 20 years, has 19 regional offices for all 50 states. It is a free source of the latest, most accurate cancer information. 1-800-4-cancer telephone service responds to calls about cancer issues. The outreach component works with partners to reach underserved populations and minorities, to ensure access to cancer information.

Region 14 of the CIS, a project of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, covers Texas and Oklahoma. Priority audiences include Hispanics, African Americans, Asians, and Native Americans. Because Native American communities are often difficult for outsiders to access, this population has not had the full advantage of what CIS offers. To increase outreach and ultimately to decrease cancer morbidity and mortality rates among Native Americans, CIS hopes to build partnerships with a wide network of Native American groups and to work with those who have similar goals of health improvement. Call Linda Moreno, CIS Outreach Manager, at (713) 792-3363 for more information.


Branded


by Janet Lian Johnson
Just who do you think you are!
I am seared flesh,
grey haired, blue eyed.
That crazy white Indian
Woman (with a card)

I suffer from an ancestral disease,
Mixed blooditis
Ainglish, Irish, Scottish, German.
Grandpa said, "Youíre Cherokee.
Donít forget it."

Fullbloods see wannabe.
Wannabe what?

Iím whatís left
after euroancestors
raped our mothers and sisters,
killed our fathers and brothers,
then began to annihilate our
Mother Earth.

Just what do you think I am?
I am Cherokee With a German Face
and Scottish/Irish eyes;
Ainglish is my tongue.
I am your neverbe
with a braid
that connects me to the Anií-Yun wiya,í
the Principle People,
Tsaílagi.í

Mixed blooditis?

Strong medicine surfaces
in my cedar spine,
heals the neverbe,
whateverbe
I am Cherokee.

Iya!*

*Iya-so be it (Cherokee)



In The Spirit of Crazy Horse, Remember The People-Serve The People


By Larry Sampson
Many thanks to the CCS board of directors for creating a forum for issues to be discussed in the Native American community. To be sure, not everyone will agree or approve of everything mentioned here: At times you may feel many different things about what you read in this "column," but if you have been moved in some way or made aware of something, I have done some good. I struggled with a title for this "article" (a term that should be very loosely applied!) "F.Y.I." (For you Indians) came to mind, but discretion got the better of me. After oh, ten second of intense thought, I realized most of the good titles were taken. So I did what any traditional, self-respecting Indian would do; I stole one! In all seriousness, to defer to a title that has come to stand for a drawing of a line in the sand and for what is right in our community seemed appropriate, especially since that is why this forum is generally agreed to have been created. With the absolute, utmost respect for Leonard Peltier and his struggle, In The Spirit, will be the working title for this effort. By the way, if you identify yourself as an Indian, Native American, Indigenous Person, or whatever, and you donít know about Leonardís struggle, shame on you. Itís time to get educated. (More on this later, I promise.)

One of my primary objectives is to bring into the open the absolute, appalling state of affairs of the Indian community in the Houston area. As of this writing, there is no proactive, socio-political organization making any impact at all. The organizations seemingly created for this very purpose have become nonentities, doing virtually nothing. Judging from their activity level and the issues they are not tackling, one must assume that everything is hunky-dory, and the Indian community members of the greater Houston Area are just as pleased as punch about every political, social, and moral issue you can think of. Also, the only activity I have seen has been by individuals who hardly gave a good impression of our ethnic group, since they have only worked to benefit themselves. I donít think it is too much of a stretch to say most native people in our area feel this way. It seems the majority of the caring, well-intentioned people who would like to affect some positive change have gotten frustrated and sort of faded away. Not that I can blame them, for who wants to bang their head on a wall continuously and get no results?

If you feel this way, I assure you that you are not a minority (at least not in our community), and you should let your voice be heard. There is a movement underway to change this depressing landscape and do some real good, similar to what the Los Angelos N.A. community has done. Although ours is not as big as their groups are, the communities of Denver, Cleveland, Dallas, and Austin all are smaller than our population (both overall and Indian) and do well. This is primarily because these groups are focused, motivated, and most importantly, united! These groups have a generally good reputation, and therefore, enjoy the surrounding communities; support. This is sorely lacking here in our neck of the woods, but we really have only ourselves to blame. It will take much work to alter this legacy, but that is our birthright, That is our culture!

There is much work to be done, and the time is now. There will be a get-together of everyone who is interested in working to change this situation, on January 16, at 7:00 p.m. at a location to be announced. Call for location info at 281-560-7081. This is a call to arms! Together we can make a difference! Spread the Word! There will be many issues tackled in the future editions of this column, along with proposed solutions to these problems. I do not suppose that my ideas are the best or smartest available, but hopefully, they give us a place to start.


Rally For Justice


A "Rally For Justice," on Indigenous Peopleís Day, is to be held during October 1998, on the mall in Washington, D.C. The occasion can be for all indigenous peoples worldwide to gather to show solidarity against tyranny directed at our people. Day Starr mentions it in another Cherokee newsletter and can be reached through: Back to the Blanket Journal, Box 527-524, Queens, NY 11352-7524. She would like to know of other groups who want to join a Native American pen-pal directory and requests help on organizing and funding the above mentioned rally.


Copyright © The Cherokee Cultural Society of Houston