Cherokee Messenger
June, 1998

June 1998 Meeting

Thursday, June 4, 1998: CCS members and guests meet at 7:00 p.m. to visit and snack, 7:30 p.m., for the monthly meeting and program, at the Tracy Gee Community Center, 3599 Westcenter, one block south of Richmond, just east of the West Belt of the Sam Houston Tollway. Free and well lighted parking near building. Coming August 6 will be CCS member and genealogist Marjorie Lowe, who will speak on tracing family roots. Many new and longtime members still struggle with this task and are very interested in the topic. First-time meeting guests are always eligible for the door prize that is awarded the same night, so be sure to include them in your invitation to our meeting. YES, CCS will meet on July 2! Program to be announced.

CCS Welcomes New Board Member

This month we welcome new CCS Board Member Cynthia Louise Campbell Menard, known as Cyndie. She takes over the board position vacated when Carter Terry moved to San Antonio.

Born in Cushing, OK, she spent her childhood in the Oklahoma towns of Drumright, Gore, (near Tahlequah), Ponca City, parts of Arkansas, Hooks and Santa Fe, TX (where she graduated from Santa Fe High School in May, 1980), and finally moved to Dayton, TX in July that year. There she met Clabert in August, 1980, and on March 28, 1981, they married. Their son, Clabert Jay (C.J.), was born June 16th, 1982. "Yes, we will soon be the proud owners of a 16 year old boy," says Cyndie. Daughter Cassidy Danielle was born December 20th, 1987.

"I taught Preschool in a private Christian school for many years and decided to start college in 1995 at the ‘young’ age of 33," she continues. "I got my basics at Lee College in Baytown and transferred last fall to the University of Houston-Clear Lake. I am an Interdisciplinary Studies Major (that's fancy for Elementary Ed.) with a specialty in Reading and emphasis in Art and English. I intend to graduate in December of 1999 if everything goes as planned. That will give me six months to find a job so I can start paying tuition again - C.J. graduates from high school in May of 2000!"

"I suppose I always knew I was Indian, but when you live in Oklahoma, particularly close to Tahlequah, it certainly didn't seem unusual in any way. I never thought too much about it although I was always envious of my mother’s and brother's beautiful brown skin. I always felt that I had only my dad's Scottish features until a make-up lady who came to my high school home economics class commented on my cheek bones that were ‘like Cher's’. My mother told me that it was because Cher is Cherokee also. I felt very proud."

After she was older and married Clabert, who was so interested in history and reenactments, Cyndie really began to investigate her roots. "I started reading up and questioning my grandmother and became totally enraptured. After a summer vacation to Ft. Loudon, Tennessee, the original home of the Cherokee, it became very important to me and Clabert both that we do everything possible to make sure that people not just rely on Indian stereotypes, but know the truth about who not only the Cherokee were, but the individual traits and characteristics of all the various tribes. I guess the rest, as you say, is history."

Says our new board member, "I am really looking forward to working with all of you." And so are we, Cyndie!

Web Watch

"Watching Your Back" and Your Bucks on the Web: Several kind persons have warned us of recent Internet scams regarding "membership" and "offers" to join the Cherokee Nation or the "Cherokee Nation of Texas".

These "notices" to invite anyone of any ethnic group into the "tribe" have strings attached, as in send them your hard-earned dollars! We do not know of any such legitimate group that can "grant citizenship" in this fashion, and, in any case, sending payment is not wise when the source is not well known. The web is a reflection of life, with the good and the bad. So, know the source you are contacting and know them even better before parting with your money!! More than a few of our friends commented on the disrespect of granting "membership" in a tribe, as if it were a recreational group. That, my friends, is another whole thorny chapter. Please note in the next paragraph a very sound resource for Cherokee Nation citizenship.
Vicki Henrichs,
Your Cherokee Messenger Editor

From the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma Web site

REGISTRATION DEPARTMENT The registration department helps people complete applications for Certificate Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) and tribal membership cards. The department has birth certificate applications for persons who have no birth certificate and helps older persons obtain a delayed certificate of birth. For more information, call (918) 456-0671, ext. 2315, or e-mail

New Link to our Cherokee Messenger Site:
The Housing Authority of the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma invites all of us to visit its web site and see the innovative things the tribe is doing at "Visitors are always welcome at our house", says web geru Liz Pollard.
More Cherokee Connections:
Last month we invited our readers who have e-mail addresses and would like to contact one another to let us know their information. Anyone else who wants to do this can simply leave your name and e-mail address with your Cherokee Messenger editor: Additions this month:

Jim Gravino,
Cyndie Menard,
Clabert Menard,
Jonathan Hook,

Authentic Threads

At our May monthly meeting, historical costume and paraphernalia expert Clabert Menard gave more detail on clothing that members may want to purchase or make before next year’s Red Nations Remembering. Some of us may want our own authentic clothing just for the joy and enrichment it brings. Catalogues were circulated during the meeting containing resources for making or ordering clothing and accessories. Unless mentioned below, the catalogues are assumed to be free for the asking. Among those included were: (CCS has no affiliation with nor does it endorse any company listed above. Resources are included only as information. Readers are invited to provide consumer feedback for our mutual benefit.)

Cherokee Constitution Panel is Chosen

Cherokee Nation Chief Joe Byrd swore in six people April 24 to serve on a commission that will collect suggestions for rewriting the tribe's constitution. The tribe's 1975 constitution states that the question of a constitutional convention should be submitted to the members of the tribe for a vote at least once every 20 years. The appointees to the Constitutional Revision Commission carry a "grave responsibility," said Byrd. "In the 1995 election, citizens of the Cherokee Nation overwhelmingly approved a question that established a call for a constitutional convention," said Charles Gourd, senior administrative liaison for the tribe and one of the commission appointees. Joining him are: Elizabeth Sullivan, a former employee of the Bureau of Indian affairs; Jay Hannah, executive vice president for BancFirst Corp. in Oklahoma City; Paul Thomas, director of the Mayes County Community Service Program; Ralph Keen Jr., a lawyer who has represented Cherokee Nation Industries; and George Wickliffe, superintendent of White Oak Public School. The tribe's three branches each appointed two members to the commission, which will select a seventh member. None of the members can hold another elected or appointed position in Cherokee government.

The commission will establish its rules of conduct and determine the procedure for tribal citizens to make comments and suggestion for change. "We will give all citizens an opportunity to provide written comments and make oral testimony on an equal footing with all others."

- Excerpts from the AP Wire Service (April 25, 1998)

CCS Events

The Women’s Shawl Society meets Saturday, June 13 and features crafting of beaded spiders, taught by Kathleen Yzaguirre. Kits may be purchased from Kathleen for $12.50, with enough supplies to make two spiders, which are great wearables or sit-arounds. Thanks to Nici Davis, for her instruction in bead looming during the May meeting. The Shawl Society plans another Women’s Gathering, a one-day event at Brazos State Park. Women of all tribes are most welcome! Watch for the date in future newsletters. Call: B.J. for information and directions to meetings: 713-668-0222.

The Setting of the Cherokee Medicine Wheel, weekend of June 20-21, 1998, at the home of CCS member Steve Triplett, in Santa Fe, TX. To learn exact date and time, call the CCS hotline, 713-866-4085.

Shakey Hollow Ceremonial Ground, near Conroe, TX, is the site for dances which are held the last Saturday of each month. All are welcome at the pot luck dinner, starting at 6:00 p.m. Call for details and to request a map: 281-399-1661.

Calendar Gallop

Please check with the contact people listed at these web sites before making travel plans, since their plans can change also. We wish everyone happy gatherings all summer!

MOCCASIN TELEGRAPH, another great site for pow wow and event updates at

"RESOURCES": A multitude of links regarding pow wows in the U.S. and Canada. Details on etiquette, pow wow supplies, terminology, crafts, etc. at See the Pow Wow Calendar at

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