Cherokee Messenger
June, 1999

Cherokee Cultural Society Meetings

Cherokee Cultural Society meetings, are held at the Tracy Gee Community Center, 3599 Westcenter, Houston, Texas, 7:30 to 9:00 pm, the first Thursday of each month. All interested persons are invited to attend.

Speaker for the Thursday, July 1, 1999 meeting will be Dr. Dorothy Lippert, Curator of Native American Artifacts and Displays at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. She will speak on the gathering of sacred artifacts, with the stories and controversy surrounding this activity. A door prize is awarded to first time guests during the meeting.

Not To Be Missed!

The CCS Membership Contest is Off and Running

Bring in at least six (6) new CCS members by September 2, 1999 - be one of the top three (3) contestants - and you will be eligible to select one of the following prizes:

Contact Terry Thompson, e-mail, for membership applications. What a great way to have new CCS members join us, as we expand. What a great way to enjoy fabulous prizes!

Your Vote DID Count...

CCS member Marjorie Lowe recently gave us some news on the impact of absentee votes. Writes Marjorie: "The Tulsa World reported May 15 that Chad Smith outpolled Joe Byrd in absentee ballots. Joe won 6 of the 9 districts. Chad won one and Pat Ragsdale won one. However, Chad came in second in most of the others which gave him his total. I tallied about 2500 absentee votes, with Chad getting 962, Byrd 834, Ragsdale 791 and Birdwell 541. So the absentees are important in deciding the election. We must keep up the good work for the run-off."

Absentee Ballot Requests Reopen for Runoff Election

Remember that qualified voters can request an absentee ballot for the runoff election of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma set for July 24, 1999. Through July 6, 1999 registered voters can send their ballot requests, which must be in writing and contain the following information: name, date of birth, address, Cherokee Nation membership registration number, and signature.

The following totals and percentages of votes per candidate are from the Cherokee Nation website at

Principal Chief

Joe Byrd, 4140, 31.58%
Chad "Corntassel" Smith, 2535, 19.33%
Pat Ragsdale, 2162, 16.49%
Dwight W. Bridwell, 1909, 14.56%
Deputy Principal Chief
Hastings Shade, 3579, 27.33%
Bill John Baker, 3533, 26.98%
Paula Holder, 3033, 23.16%
Gary Stopp, 2003, 15.30%

Carter Center Oversees Election

According to the Carter Center, the Cherokee Nation primary election was held in a professional manner, but the tribe needs to get a greater number of its members into the voting process. The post-election observation came from the Atlanta based organization founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. It is the first time that a federally recognized Native American Indian tribe has utilized the expertise of the Carter Center for election monitoring. The Center previously assisted 15 foreign countries and the state of Georgia.

Noting that the election process had "some honest mistakes," but nothing that would take away "from the very positive big picture," Center observers watched as ballots were cast for principal chief, deputy chief, and 15 seats on the tribal council. This was the initial election for the Cherokee Nation to use electronic voting machines to cast ballots. A consulting company from New Mexico headed the election operation. The Carter Center expects to continue services during the July 24 runoff elections.

Among the 200,000 tribal members there are approximately 26,000 registered voters, but just over 13,000 votes were cast in the May, 1999 primary election.

~ Excerpts from "Monitor group gives election high marks", an article by Rob Martindale in the TULSA WORLD On-line (May 24, 1999)

Famous Cherokees Display Their Art

CCS member Charlie Strack, a very accomplished artist, had his sculptures of magnificent eagles on display May 15 in Tahlequah, OK. Charlie was one of the honorees at the 28th Annual Trail of Tear Art Show at the Cherokee National Museum. At the Cherokee Heritage Center, he was recognized as part of the Cherokee Honor Society. He and wife Sandy were in good company with other honorees, including opera singer Barbara McAlister, cousin of CCS president Wade McAlister, and actor Wes Stude. Says Charlie, everyone knew him when he got to Tahlequah, because of the Cherokee Cultural Society. His art helps a lot too. Congratulations, Charlie!

Cherokee Artist is the "Honored One" at Festival

Dorothy Sullivan was named the "Honored One" for the June 11-13 annual Red Earth Festival in Oklahoma City. From approximately 250 of the finest creators of Indian art worldwide, a single artist is selected each year. She works in acrylic, watercolor, oil, pencil, pastel and ink to depict Cherokee history and culture. The famous artist, who has been creating mostly western art for nearly 40 years, professionally for the past 15, and who has concentrated on Cherokee culture during the past 10 years, researches Cherokee history, legends and culture, expanding beyond books, to "make her art as authentic as possible." Her father, Harold Tidwell, inspired her "to be proud of my Cherokee heritage," she says. The native of Stilwell, OK is represented in the famous 1999 Cherokee Heritage Calendar in the month of March with her beautiful painting, "She Speaks for Her Clan".
~ Excerpts from the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma website at

Progress on the School Front

A multiracial panel within the Houston Independent School District was formed recently to address the elimination of Indian oriented mascots and subsequent race oriented issues. The decision was a result of discussions with Lorie Bricker of HISD. Contact Lawrence Sampson for more details.

You're Invited to "The Human Race"

Cherokee Cultural Society members and other Native Americans have an opportunity to participate in the October 10, 1999 Holocaust Museum 5K Run and Walk, "The Human Race", part of the "Celebration of Diversity". Planners are seeking representation from the Native American community and other ethnic groups. It promises to be a major Houston event which will see the Run/Walk traverse through several ethnic neighborhoods, and which will include major displays and artwork depicting life from many communities; music and dance will be on the agenda too. Lawrence Sampson, who is on the Steering Committee for the event, can be reached for questions: 281-932-5145/ At the museum, marketing director Julie Lambert can provide details, 713-942-8000 x 103.

The Holocaust Museum Houston is open to the public with free admission Monday-Friday, 9 am -5 pm, and weekends, 12 noon-5 pm, at 5401 Caroline Street in Houston. Their mission is "to promote awareness of the dangers of prejudice, hatred, and violence. By fostering Holocaust education, remembrance, and understanding, the Museum provides education about the uniqueness of this event and its ongoing lesson: that humankind must learn to live together in peace and harmony."


In Remembrance

Thomasina "Red Hawk Woman" Jordan, a civil rights activist and spiritual leader for Virginia's American Indians, died May 23, 1999 in Alexandria, VA of cancer. Her age was not released. In the 1980s she was instrumental in gaining recognition for eight American Indian tribes. Gov. George Allen appointed her as chairwoman of the Virginia Council on Indians in 1994, a post to which she was reappointed in 1997.
~ From the TULSA WORLD On-Line May 27, 1999

Recipe Corner: More REAL Indian Food

BEAN BREAD (tu-ya ga-du)
~ From the Cherokees of California, Inc. at

A Huge Thank You and A Call for Help!

We thank CCS loyal membership chairperson Terry Thompson, who has been our steadfast link to donated printing of this newsletter for several years through the S & B Engineers and Constructors in Houston. With corporate downsizing, we now find ourselves looking for a new friend in the community to sponsor our newsletter printing. Not everyone is so fortunate to enjoy the on-line Cherokee Messenger version, as many readers have "e-mail only" accounts or lack their own computers. Therefore, the print version of the newsletter remains an essential "messenger" from our group to powwow visitors and to our far-flung membership. PLEASE keep your antenna up for individuals or companies who can help us with this project! It requires photocopying front and back of paper measuring 11" x 17", in black and white only (no color). We need about 325 copies per month.

If you can help, contact CCS president Wade McAlister, e-mail, or the newsletter editor Vicki Henrichs, e-mail Our current donation ends with next month's issue, so time is short!

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