Cherokee Messenger
March 2000

All Roads Lead To Red Nations Remembering:

"Blazing a New Trail."

The 2000 Commemoration of the Trail of Tears is an Intertribal Gathering and is sponsored exclusively by the Cherokee Cultural Society of Houston, Texas. Join us on Sunday, April 2, 10:30 a.m. to dusk, at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Conroe, Texas (maps provided upon request.)

Honored guest speakers include:
Chad Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
Hastings Shade, Deputy Chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma

CCS will share Native American culture through speakers, fine arts and crafts, Cherokee games, storytelling, music, a Commemorative Moccasin Walk, prayer feathers, face painting, demonstrations and food. This is a family friendly, free event which is open to the public. Absolutely no drugs and no alcohol allowed. Contact for event details: Judith Bruni, 281-556-1908 or e-mail

Booth space is available on site for $25, or $20 in advance. Vendors must donate a raffle item. Vendors contact Cindy Linnenkohl, (days) 281-458-0662 x 119 or e-mail

"But at the time of Red Nations -
Walk the Winds of the Mountain's Way,
And Listen to the Whispers in the Trees,
Sense the Rhythm of a Summer's Day
and Know the Soul of the Cherokee."
- Anonymous
Shared by CCS member and photographer Jim Gravino, March 6, 2000
The Portraits of the Cherokee Chiefs will be dedicated Saturday, May 6, 2000 at the opening of the Trail of Tears Art Show: Portraits of Chief John Ross through Chief Chad Smith were commissioned by Mr. and Mrs. K. S. "Bud" Adams, Jr. and were donated for permanent exhibition at the Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah, OK.

Anyone wishing to attend can contact the Heritage Center, 1-918-456-6007 or e-mail Descendants of the chiefs can contact Ellen Johnson, Cherokee Heritage Center, for a special invitation.

CCS Monthly Meeting

Join us on Thursday, April 6, 2000, 7:00 p.m., when the program will be "Cherokee Cultural Focus: History, Folklore and Genealogy." Enjoy this special preview of an upcoming CCS course with outstanding presenters Marjorie Lowe and Deborah Scott.

CCS Meeting Location: The Tracy Gee Community Center, 3599 Westcenter, one block south of Richmond, east of the Sam Houston Tollway West Belt. Guests are always eligible for the door prize awarded that night.

Join us for the May 4 Monthly Meeting when CCS former board member Steve Triplett will present a program on the Medicine Wheel - the background, the artifacts and why we reset it each June. Steve will answer all those questions you always wanted to know about this CCS tradition. A June date for the ceremony will be announced.

Other Events & Projects

As with all pow wows and other events, double check before making travel plans; events may change unexpectedly.

Elsewhere Across Indian Country:

As with all pow wows and other events, double check before making travel plans; events may change unexpectedly.

What's in This Name?

The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian hosted "The Mankillers," in celebration of Women's History Month during performances March 16 and 18 at their George Gustav Heye Center in Manhattan. An all-woman drum group from northern California, The Mankillers' members represent many North American tribes: Apache, Cherokee, Hupa, Karuk, Muskogee Creek, Jemez and Taos Pueblo, among others. Wilma Mankiller is the inspiration for the group's name, paying tribute to the first woman elected Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. They remain one of the few all-female Native American drum groups to release a professional recording (1997 Anya Music). The women sing in the northern style of Native American pow wow music in the same manner as men, dividing leads, chorus, and calls among each other. The Mankillers, organized in 1992 as a women's support group and mentoring circle, are community activists, teachers, and mothers who act as role models for youth. Their songs and educational workshops inspire and motivate women of all ages. "The group promotes the path of the drum in place of drugs, alcohol, and other forms of self-destruction," says manager Irma Amaro-Davis (Chicana/Yaqui).
- From an article entitled "All-woman drum group to perform in celebration of Women's History Month" at (March 6, 2000) Message forwarded from Sonja Keohane via

Monetary Victims Have Their Hearing

A $2.4 billion known loss by the U.S. government is of interest to Native Americans who are concerned over mismanagement of "Individual Indian Money" or IIM accounts. Special accounts are set up as a trust through the U.S. government's management of Indian allotted lands involving properties with oil and gas production, coal production, grazing leases or timber sales. Marcella Burgess-Giles, attorney and Seminole Nation attorney general, represents clients with IIM accounts in the Native American Rights Fund federal class-action suit. It culminates on behalf of 300,000 IIM account holders, dating back at least 80 years. Clients are "being cheated," she said, because they are not getting the right share or valuation of royalties from their properties. The most shameful part of the ordeal, says Giles, is that "most of our people live off production from property." That means they should be able to look at income from IIM account royalties for their month-to-month living. Checks have been irregular or not the right amount, which adds up to IIM account holders losing $100 to $200 per month, funds many could apply to essential living expenses.

The judge in the federal case recently ordered the government to be accountable for current IIM account holders and historical accounts, those of the deceased. They are now "accountable for every account open and closed," Giles said, adding that they have to ensure that all accounts are reconciled properly. Now that the situation has surfaced and mismanagement has been proven, notes Giles, everyone will benefit.

- From article an entitled "Lawsuit filed on behalf of 300,000 IIM holders," by Kimberley D. Morava in the Indian News (February 20, 2000) and forwarded March 7, 2000 by Gregg Howard

Poetry Corner

Wolf Pack
Come run with me
Through the shadows
Cast by Grandmother
Of the Round Silver Face.
Through the berry vines
Singing our chants
To the full moon
In the Silvery night.
Chanting our joy
To each other
In sheer ecstasy.
Taking joy from the
Chilly night
As the hairs on our back
Prickle from the cold
And the steam from our breath
Lights the air beyond our muzzles.
Changing Woman,
Running with the four-legged
Brothers of One Heart.
Into the night
Into the mists.
Singing because we must
In sheer joy
Of the secret we keep.
Humans? Yes.
Criaturas? Yes, again.
Loosed from bonds
Of creepy Civilization.
For a night.
For an hour.
For an eternity.
Running with our relations
On soft-padded paws
On leaf-padded pathways.
No one knows we're here
But the silvery wolves
We call brothers.
- Christy Crusott/Stormdancer
March 6, 2000

Kudos Corner

Appreciation goes to March meeting speaker, Jack D. Baker, President of the National Trail of Tears Association.

Special CCS thank you to Donna Allen, Barbra (B.J.) Callihan, Patti Davis, Lynette Lagow, Cindy Linnenkohl, Barbara Moore, Deborah Scott and Dawn Westerman for helping make Red Nations Remembering "starter baskets" in March. A very BIG thanks to Cherokee warriors Marc Case and David Corely, who helped to make RNR 2000 and future year's basket weaving a real community endeavor. We look forward to more men and women participating earlier next year, members and non-members alike. The basket weaving project is a key CCS fundraiser at which event visitors learn to weave from the basket bases prepared by these volunteers. Thanks to all who secured these "foundations."


The Cherokee Cultural Society of Houston is a registered nonprofit organization which is totally independent of all other Native American Indian organizations, locally, regionally and nationally. We do support the efforts of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Anyone with questions regarding CCS support of or affiliation with any Native endeavors, on a local or national scale, please contact us for clarification: Judith Bruni, President,, or Vicki Henrichs, newsletter editor, CCS thanks everyone for continued support of our organization, which has flourished since 1992.

Copyright © The Cherokee Cultural Society of Houston