Cherokee Messenger
August 1996



Next Monthly Meeting


Thursday, August 1, 1996
7:00 Social Hour and 7:30 Program and Presentation
Tracy Gee Community Center
3599 Westcenter, Houston TX
(713) 266-8193

Our August meeting will feature Sabino Garza, Social Services Director for the Kickapoo Tribe. Sabino will be telling our group about the history, activities and programs of the Kickapoo Reservation.


A CCS Computer


Thanks to Judith Bruni and her employer, IBM, the CCS will now be receiving a new Pentium "Thinkpad" laptop computer with monitor and preloaded with Windows 95 software. This computer will be used to maintain the CCS mailing list, newsletter labels, and accounting. This will allow the CCS member actively responsible for these functions to have the tools at hand not to mention that the information will move with the job responsibilities.

Many thanks to CCS member Judith Bruni and Terry Steele with the IBM Corporation for their diligence and assistance!


A Completed Quilt


At 1:15 p.m. on Saturday, July 13, I got the call--the quilt is finished!

The quilt has been the ongoing project of the Ladies Shawl Society and they are to be congratulated for their wonderful work.

The quilt is a wonderful combination of energies from many CCS members and will proudly be displayed from August through October at the Cherokee National Historical Society in Tahlequah. We will be selling raffle tickets during National Holiday to visitors to Oklahoma as well as asking each and every one of us to be an active promoter of quilt raffle tickets. If we matched a raffle ticket for every hour put into the quilt, we would be raffling a very valuable quilt to say the least!

(Your tickets will be available at the next meeting.)


Trail of Tears Drama at Tahlequah


If you're planning a trip to northeastern Oklahoma between June 29 and August 17, be sure to attend the "Trail of Tears" drama at the Cherokee Heritage Center.

The drama was closed during the 1995 season due to financial and renovation concerns and this respite allowed for a refocusing. The Cherokee National Museum, both living history villages, and the Tsa-La-Gi amphitheater have received extensive renovations. The drama has a new director, Nat Eek of Oklahoma City, and a new choreographer, Frank Rey of Tampa, Florida. Five of the seven leads are fullblood Cherokee. It is very important to the Cherokee people that this drama make a successful return, and your are invited and encouraged to attend. Cost is Adults $10 and children $5. For reservations or information, call (918) 456-6007.


44th Cherokee National Holiday


Tahlequah--Plans are underway for the 44th Cherokee National Holiday scheduled for Labor Day weekend, ,Thursday, August 29 though Sunday, September 1.

Events will include traditional Cherokee games and skills such as the cornstalk shoot and a blowgun contest, plus gourd dancing, a powwow and much more.

Gourd dancing will be held at the Cherokee Cultural Grounds located south of the Crosswinds Golf Course, beginning at 5 p.m. August 30, and at 5 p.m. Saturday, August 31. The grand entry, social and contest dancing will be held immediately following the gourd dancing each evening. Competition will be held Friday and Saturday evenings with fancy, shawl, straight, traditional, northern shawl, buckskin, women's cloth, women's jingle, men's grass, junior boys, junior girls, and tiny tots competition, including a drum contest.

The cornstalk shoot registration will begin at noon, Saturday, August 31, next to the Cherokee gift shop.

The Horseshoe Pitch Tournament will be held at 9 a.m., Saturday, August 31, next to the gift shop.

The Region 8 Rodeo Finals will be held at 8 p.m. each night, August 30 - September 1, at the Tahlequah Round-Up Club Arena south of Tahlequah. More than $60,000 in prizes will be awarded to this year's top finishers. Top cowboys and cowgirls from across the country will be competing to qualify for a trip to the Indian national Finals rodeo.

Arts and crafts booths will open at 9 am, Saturday, August 31, at the Heritage Center and next to the Cherokee Gift Shop. Only traditional Indian arts and crafts will be sold at the powwow booths. Arts and crafts booths will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, September 1. Native American artists from across the country travel to Tahlequah to participate in this unique arts and crafts show.

New to the Cherokee National Holiday, a bass tournament will be held beginning at safe light the morning of Saturday, August 24, at Chicken Creek South on Lake Tenkiller.

A Quilt Exhibition and Show will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, August 31, in the new addition of the Cherokee Nation W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex.

A Cherokee National Holiday Parade will begin at 10 a.m. in downtown Tahlequah on Saturday. Immediately following the parade, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Joe Byrd will give the State of the Nation Address at the Cherokee Capitol Square, followed by the unveiling of a monument to Sequoyah.

Miss Cherokee 1995-96 will be introduced during the State of the Nation address. She will be crowned during the Aug. 16 Miss Cherokee pageant.

The Ninth Annual Master Craftsman awards will also be given during the Cherokee National Holiday. The Living National Treasures Craftsman Project of the Lost Arts Project presents awards to those craftsmen and women who have dedicated their lives to preserving the culture and traditions of the Cherokees through their work. It is the highest honor the Cherokee Nation can bestow upon its keepers of the culture and heritage of the tribe.

Children's events are scheduled from 1- 4 p.m. on Saturday. A variety of activities are planned and are free or at a nominal fee to the public.

A Language and Culture Workshop will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, next to the Cherokee Gift Shop.

An art workshop will be held all day Saturday and will begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday at the Heritage Center.

The Original Enrollees reception will begin at 2:00 p.m. on August 31 in the tribal council chambers of the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex. The Chief and Deputy Chief will be on hand to welcome the original enrollees.

A WW II Veterans Commemoration Reception will also be held at the tribal complex beginning at 3 p.m. on August 31.

A stickball exhibition and a stomp dance exhibition will also be held on Saturday. The stickball exhibition will be at 2 p.m. next to the gift shop and the stomp dance exhibition will beheld at 6 p.m. also next to the gift shop.

The Holiday Golf Tournament will be held at the Crosswinds Golf Course from August 30 through September 1.

The Holiday All-Indian Slow-Pitch and Fast-Pitch Softball Tournaments will begin at 6 on Thursday at the Sequoyah High School Softball Fields.

The 17th Annual Cherokee National Holiday Gospel Singing has been scheduled for two days, beginning at 6 on Friday and at 4 on Saturday next to the gift shop. The event is open free to the public.

Other events include co-ed volleyball, a fun run, a worship service on Sunday and a book signing at the gift shop on Sunday. For more information, call Teresa Tackett, holiday coordinator, (918) 456-0671 ext. 542.


Help With A Cherokee Wedding Blessing


An internet reader provided the following in response to a question about Cherokee wedding blessings:

While I cannot offer a traditional blessing or verse perhaps mention of some of the traditions surrounding a Cherokee wedding will be of use. The story of how strawberries came to be is given as an example of how and why couples should always "make up" right away after spats and strawberries or something representative is often kept in the home. Also, the bride will carry (in my experience) an ear of Indian Corn to signify her role as gatherer while the groom will carry a deer antler to signify his role as hunter...in this way the two provide for the home. Also, the groom will be given a "whip" of sweetgrass and told that he is to use sweetness as head of the household any time direction or correction is needed. Perhaps thinking of these items will help with creating the gift.


Tribal Election Services


The Cheroee Nation Tribal Election Services office has moved from the Cherokee National Capital Building to the Old Cherokee National Prison located at the corner of Water and Choctaw streets in Tahlequah.

Cherokee tribal members may now register to vote the for the next tribal elections which will be held in 1999. Applications for voter registration are available at the tribal election services office, health clinics and the main tribal complex. Persons must be 18 years of age to register.

The election services office will be open on Saturday, Sept 3, during the Cherokee National Holiday to allow tribal members visiting Tahlequah the opportunity to register to vote. For info, 1-918 458-5899.


Seed Saving Resources


The Organic Plan Institute
Peaceable Kingdom Foundation
PO Bos 313, Washington TX 77880-0313

They are a source of certified organic, heirloom and modern open-pollinated vegetables, flowers, and herbs. The varieties offered are tested for suitability for organic and low-input cultivation methods. Write for free catalog.

Peaceful Valley Farm Supply
PO Box 2209, Grass Valley CA 95945

They have an excellent selection of cover crop seeds that are available in small quantities and many gardening/farming accourtrements in addition to seed saving supplies.

Seed Saver's Exchange
Rte 3, Box 239. Decorah IA 52101

A non-profit organization that is rescuing traditional open-pollinated varieties from extinction. Members enjoy three publications yearly on what's going on in the world of seed saving. Annual membership is $25. If you would like to learn more about SSE before joining, send $1 to the above address for a four-page brochure that describes the organization's projects and publications.

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
PO Box 170 Earlysville VA 22936

A family-owned and operated seed company. They are a source for some hard-to-find seed saving supplies. SASE.



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