Cherokee Messenger
March 1996

Next Monthly Meeting

Thursday, March 7, 1996
Tracy Gee Community Center, 3599 Westcenter, Houston TX 7:30 p.m.

Featured Speaker:
Marjorie Lowe, presenting a program on The Heritage Center of the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

Join us as a CCS member shares her expertise as a historian and genealogist. A Board member of the Cherokee Historical Society, Marjorie will describe resources at the Tahlequah, Oklahoma Heritage Center which will be very helpful to anyone tracing family roots.

Board Changes

Sammye Rusco, one of our long-time, loyal CCS members who has served faithfully on the Council Board and, more recently, as Social Chair, is stepping aside due to job related demands.

Joe Williams, who has been very active in making CCS plans come to life, has agreed to serve on the Board in Sammye's stead. We look forward to many great activities with Joe in this position.

As always, your CCS Board welcomes volunteers to help with future plans and activities.

Have E-Mail Will Travel...

...the internet that is. The "web" and email have arrived to help Cherokees and other Native Americans express ideas and stay in touch. CCS is collecting email addresses for all who have them. Send your email address to:

Ed Rogers, a Cherokee who lives in Finland, is very interested in establishing a global meeting site on the web for all interested in Cherokee culture and events. Stay tuned for updates as we gather forces on the Internet!

The Dandelion

from The Good Earth
by the Cherokee Lady, Lelanie Stone
The Cherokee Messenger continues with excerpts from an article by Ms. Stone. whom we thank for sharing this information with CCS readers.

Tremendous amounts of money are spent annually on herbicides. These are used to try to remove one of the most beneficial plants I know from lawns and gardens everywhere. I'm talking about the Dandelion!

You may know it by its botanical name Taraxacum officinale Weber, which comes from the Greek words, taraxos, meaning "disorder" and akos, meaning "remedy". This definition certainly tells of the dandelion's abilities to assist in treating a number of ailments.

This bright perky little flower has stamina! After years of us trying to kill it, it continues to survive! It produces seeds with or without pollination, and distributes them across the land. The dandelion was brought deliberately to the New World in the late 1600's by the European settlers.

The Native Americans were quick to discover the use of the dandelion. The Mohegans used the leaf of the plant in a "special tonic" tea. The Cherokee used the roots to alleviate heartburn and in the treatment of various other ailments. They used the flowers leaves and roots as food.

Dandelion leaves: full of iron, minerals, and vitamin A and C. They can be used as greens, eaten raw in salad, or cooked like spinach and turnip greens. The dried dandelion leaves can be used as a mild laxative.

Dandelion blossoms: can be harvested, dipped in a fritter batter, fried to a golden brown to eat. Boiled blossoms can be used to make a bright yellow dye.

Dandelion roots: can be dried, ground, roasted, and used as a coffee substitute. Boil roots to make a magenta dye. Dig young roots, peel and slice thing; boil them using two changes of water for about 20 minutes; adding a pinch of soda to the first change of water, cook till tender. Serve with butter to taste. Roots are effective in treatment of liver ailments and have been used for centuries as a tonic and as a diuretic.

The dandelion holds more iron, vitamins, minerals, proteins, insulin, pectin, potassium, and other nutrients than any other herb. Its predominant medicinal use has been in the treatment of liver and gallbladder problems, due to its highly effective actions reducing inflammation and increasing flow of bile. It is used as an alternative to antacids to treat indigestion and heartburn. The high nutritive content makes it useful in treating pernicious anemia. Native Americans used the dandelion to treat fevers, boils, diarrhea, eye problems, water retention, and for numerous skin problems. The dandelion is one of the many gifts from "The Good Earth."

Ada Deer In Houston

"Each day we have dues on the planet. That was then and this is now!"

Ada Deer, Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior, was in Houston February 9, 1996 as the keynote speaker at a meeting presented by the Mental Health Association entitled, "Cultivating Cultural Competence." Her informative presentation stressed the need to work diligently to promote social change and to educate.

Every year, it is important to educate newly elected politicians on the legal and political, government to government relationship with the tribes--a relationship that dates back to 1789. Educating these elected officials is critical to the continuation of support for Indian people. History, as these politicians learned it, and as it is presently taught in schools and through textbooks, does a great injustice to American Indians as well as others. It is important to get correct information to these lawmakers. As changes in Washington continue, the most important thing we can do is to vote.

"One person can make a difference." Ada Deer

CCS Launches Food Donation Project

CCS member Sue Ellen Strapp has an exciting way to help our Cherokee people in the rural, less prosperous section of eastern Oklahoma. According to the Cherokee Nation, they have a serious, ongoing need for nutritious produce to supplement minimal rations. As most of us know, "non-perishable" warehoused foods are usually canned goods or dried grains. Sue Ellen discovered how nutritious and tasty dehydrated foods can be, and they can be mailed safely in air-tight bags. What a great supplement to the limited diets of those with minimal food supplies and who suffer many of the health problems of the malnourished. Email Sue Ellen if you would like to help.

Copyright © The Cherokee Cultural Society of Houston