Cherokee Messenger
February, 1999



Cherokee Cultural Society Meetings


The upcoming Cherokee Cultural Society monthly meeting is Thursday, February 4, 1999, 7:00 p.m. for the social gathering, and 7:30 p.m. for the program and meeting. Speaker (postponed from January) will be Efrain Martinez, Senior Conciliation Specialist & Director, Houston Field Office, Community Relations Service, United States Department of Justice. His topic will be "Native Issues and the Department of Justice".

Meetings are held at the Tracy Gee Community Center, 3599 Westcenter: One block south of Richmond, east of the Sam Houston Tollway West Belt. Guests are eligible for the door prize awarded that night. Special Thanks to Ken Caldwell, of the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, who shared fascinating rodeo history and details on how to participate in this annual world-class event. He graciously substituted as an 11th hour replacement speaker at our January meeting. Ken invited CCS members to ride in his Valley Lodge Trail Ride, an acceptable setting for families.


Annual RNR Event


Red Nations Remembering is set for Sunday, March 28, 1999, at Traders Village, 7979 North Eldridge Parkway, in Houston. The annual commemoration of the Trail of Tears promises to be a major success again in 1999. It will be under a covered area in case of stormy weather. Featured are Native American speakers; musicians; artists; dancers; crafts; games and storytelling; The Moccasin Walk; The Prayer Feathers Ceremony; historical presentations; raffles; plus a Native American Market of arts, crafts and food. This is an alcohol free and family-friendly event with free admission. (Note a $2.00 parking fee at facility entrance.) Contact Wade McAlister, tradewinds.wsm@pdq.net, or Judith Bruni, jbruni@us.ibm.com, to volunteer or offer other assistance. Prospective vendors can contact Cindy Linnenkohl, clinnenkohl@precisio.com.

Time to Make A Difference!


TRIBAL ELECTIONS ARE TURNING POINT IN NATION and WE MUST VOTE!

This year is a critical year for Cherokees. We will be having a constitutional convention in February that could change the way the business of the Tribe is currently conducted, and more importantly, we will have an opportunity to vote for a new chief. As expatriate Cherokees, it is a pivotal time for us. Each registered Cherokee adds money to the tribal coffers, yet what representation have we been allotted?

By registering in one of eight districts, our voice is effectively diluted - everyone represents us, and no one represents us. This issue, and many more, will be the topic at the convention and again during the election. If you want to change anything, you must be registered to vote - the deadline is March 1, 1999 - and you must request in writing an Absentee Ballot between February 1 and April 9, 1999. See the Cherokee Nation Website for this form.* Please make copies for every Cherokee citizen in your household and send them in!

Did you know that of the 190,000+ registered Cherokees (adults and children) in the US, only 30,000 ballots are printed, and only about 12,000 Cherokees voted in the last election? And did you know that only 1,500 or so of these were absentee ballots?

Expatriates make up the majority of tribal members, yet we are woefully negligent in fulfilling our voting responsibilities. During this important time in our peoples’ history, won't you get active and make a difference? Won't you vote? You won't be sorry!

*See the Cherokee Nation Website to download an application.

To vote in the Cherokee Nation election you must be: 18 years of age; Cherokee Tribal Member with a Blue Cherokee Nation Membership Card; fill out the application completely including your Blue Cherokee Nation Membership Card CO number; sign the form; pick a district and precinct. In boundaries [of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma] - it must be the district where you live and any precinct of your choice. Out of boundaries - you may pick any district and any precinct within that district. Mail it back to the address on the top of the form.

Voter Registration: If you need to register for the 1999 Cherokee Nation Election, you may print the Application for Cherokee Nation Voter Registration at the Website and return it to the address on the top of the form by mail. Cherokee citizens may register to vote until March 1, 1999.

Absentee Ballot Request: If you are already a registered voter, you may print the Absentee Ballot Request. MAIL THE ABSENTEE BALLOT REQUEST AFTER FEBRUARY 1, 1999. You may request an absentee ballot for the 1999 election from February 1, until April 9, 1999. Absentee ballots will be mailed April 26 and 27.

Remember...You must: Be a registered voter; fill out all the information requested; sign and date the form; mail it back to the address on the top of the form. May 22, 1999 is the General Election Day for the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Voting eligibility requires Cherokee Nation registration and the Absentee Ballot Request described above.

Phone Contacts for The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma: Election Commission Office at the Cherokee Courthouse in Tahlequah is 1-800-353-2895 or 918-458-5899.

Mailing Address: Cherokee Nation, P. O. Box 1188, Tahlequah, OK 74465-0948. Phone 918-458-5899 or 1-800-353-2895; fax 918-458-6101.

Website: http:/www.cherokee.org


Shawl Society Trip


The Cherokee Women’s Gathering, organized by the CCS Women’s Shawl Society, will leave for the basket weaving class in Tahlequah, OK, Friday, May 14, 1999. The daytime class of Saturday, May 15 will be followed by a visit to the local Stomp Dance Saturday evening. Return trip to Houston will be Sunday. Participants who do not know how to weave can join Houston area beginner classes in February and April. Women and men of all tribes are most welcome to share crafts, skills and camaraderie.

Contact for details: B. J., bj.callihan@bbs.hal-pc.org.


The Native American Health Coalition


The Coalition continues plans for a needs assessment survey for the Houston area. Anyone interested in assisting or obtaining more information, please call Deborah Scott, 713-861-6667, e-mail dpscott@sageways.com; or call Rhonda Randolph, Greater Houston Area Health Education Center, 713-592-6411. The Coalition works to improve the health of Native peoples.

Genealogy Note


In keeping with the continuing interest of those searching the family tree, we include a helpful resource given to us at the last monthly meeting by one of our CCS members who shared a valuable Website for the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Their snail mail address is:

PO Box 12927
Austin, Texas 78711-2927
Phn: 512-936-INFO
E-mail: pio@tsl.state.tx.us



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