Cherokee Messenger
August, 1999

Upcoming Monthly Meeting:

Thursday, September 2, 1999
7:00 p.m. social gathering.
7:30 p.m. program: CCS founding member and past president DEBORAH SCOTT will give us a personal account of the recent Cherokee Nation Inauguration. Be sure to join us for this up-close look at a memorable event.

Location: The Tracy Gee Community Center, at 3599 Westcenter, one block south of Richmond, east of the Sam Houston Tollway West Belt. Guests are eligible for the door prize awarded that night. Look forward to great CCS programs and bring a friend to enjoy them too.

Upcoming Events

The Women's Shawl Society will hold its next meeting on Saturday, September 11, 1999, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Contact B. J. Callihan for details: e-mail

Benefit Pow Wow: Saturday, September 11, 1999 Grand Entry will be at 7:00 p.m. at St. Pious Catholic Church in Pasadena, TX. Northern Drum, raffles, cake walk, vendors and concessions; no covered dish dinner. Proceeds will be sent to the family of Ed Cornplanter to help defray funeral expenses. For more information contact: Connie Swearingen, 713-692-5306; Barbara Moore, 409-890-2300 or e-mail; or Pat Wheeler, 409-856-2782.

The United States Penitentiary in Beaumont, TX is looking for community members to be guests at the Fall Pow Wow on September 25, 1999, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. THIS EVENT WILL INVOLVE INMATES. Therefore, they need information for guest entrance clearance no later than September 13, 1999. For more information contact Rosie Munoz at 409-727-8188, ext. 4328 or e-mail

Inaugural Events at the Nation

Over 2,000 people attended the Saturday morning, August 14, 1999, swearing in ceremony conducted on the lawn at the Cherokee Nation courthouse square in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Former Principal Chiefs Wilma Mankiller and Ross Swimmer were at the side of the newly elected Principal Chief, Chad Smith, along with outgoing Chief, Joe Byrd. The latter departed after the swearing in, while Mankiller and Swimmer remained for a ceremonial tree-planting "gesture of peace" with the new Chief and the former leaders of the 204,000 member tribe. The pine tree planting is viewed as a symbol of "renewal, unity, growth and peace within the Cherokee Nation." Said former Chief Mankiller, "There are more grass-roots Cherokees here than I have ever seen at an inauguration," as she reflected on the overflow crowds standing under the courthouse square maple trees. Among the Houston area members attending were Deborah Scott, Marjorie Lowe and Kyle Smith (brother of the new Chief). Also present was Frank McLemore from Dallas. Smith, a 48 year old Sapulpa, Oklahoma attorney, said his task as the new Chief "is to put the Cherokee Nation back together again." He won by 56.5 percent of the vote over Byrd in the July run-off election, in which absentee voting had a significant impact. Also taking oaths of office were 15 council members and newly elected Deputy Chief Hastings Shade, who ran on the same ticket with Chad Smith. Officials had counted 12,747 votes for the Principal Chief, an increased voter participation of seven percent over the last election in 1995. Most observers anticipate constructive forces to mark the new administration and hope difficulties of the last few years remain in the past.

Visit The Cherokee Observer online for extensive coverage of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma events surrounding the Chad Smith inauguration and the post-Byrd era transition. These excerpts are from August 15, 1999 articles entitled "New Cherokee Chief Takes Reins," by Cherokee Observer staff writer Charles T. Jones, and "A New Direction," by TULSA WORLD senior staff writer Rob Martindale.

Congratulations to...

CCS member and honored Cherokee artist BOB ANNESLEY, who won third place in the recent Trail of Tears Art Show held in Tahlequah, OK. Of special interest to CCS is the original work that Bob entered, the image he designed for and donated to the 1999 Red Nations Remembering, which was imprinted on the souvenir t-shirts for the annual event. Want a "WINNING" T-SHIRT? Call Judith Bruni for your own copy of this classic, commemorating the Trail of Tears.

Invitation to Participate....

The Talking Circle, an informative gathering usually held at a local bookstore, was originally started by the American Indian Chamber of Commerce and later was associated with the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers & Storytellers. During the summer months, many distractions fragmented the group and we want to see if there is interest to resume it. The free-flowing program involved reading of original stories or poems, reading favorite works by others, discussing political issues or exploring Native history and traditions. Although the focus is on Native American Indians, all ethnic groups are most welcome. To test how many would attend, we tentatively scheduled the following: Talking Circle, third Sunday monthly, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m., at Barnes & Noble in the cafe area (Westheimer at Voss, in the shopping center on the northwest corner.) Next possible meeting would be Sunday, September 19. Please leave messages or offer comments to your editor, Vicki, e-mail Program ideas are welcome and original works by participants are much appreciated.

Educational Site

CCS member JoAnn St. Clair informs us that there is a website created by anthropologist Rolf Moore that provides educational information for school children on Native Americans in Texas. He is looking for sponsors for the multi-page site and would prefer to avoid commercial sponsorship. No advertising for alcohol will be accepted, as this is a site for children. Individuals or other sources interested in offering support can contact Rolf through the website He would also appreciate feedback and help in researching and preparing articles for the site.

Special CCS Welcome to...

BRANDY DEARMAN, who recently joined the CCS board of directors and will serve during the next few months as special projects chair. She has been active as a member of the Constitutional Convention and is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. We look forward to working with her during the coming year on many great CCS projects. Our sincere CCS thanks to CARROLL COCCHIA, who served the board over the past nine months. She recently moved to Conroe, TX and is involved in many Native projects in the area.

Another Great CCS Opportunity

Serving on the board of directors for our Cherokee Cultural Society provides wonderful ways to bring together our Cherokee community with rewarding experiences, as we make plans unfold and dreams come true. If you can offer help with special projects, events, membership, and serve in leadership capacities, now is your time to step forward! At the October 7, 1999 monthly meeting, the nominating committee will present a slate of candidates as possible officers for the coming year. Elections follow soon afterward. Contact any of our board members or the editor to learn more and offer participation:

CCS is Up and Coming!

In July we were notified that our newsletter, the CHEROKEE MESSENGER, is to become part of the American Native Press Archives, the world's largest archival collection of Native publications, based at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The archives began in 1983 as a clearinghouse for information on American Indian and Alaska Native newspapers and periodicals. Eventually the project became a joint effort of the Department of English and the Ottenheimer Library, with a newer mission to collect and archive the products of the Native press and materials related to Native press history, to collect and document the works of Native writers, and to construct bibliographic guides to Native writing and publishing. Visit their website at www.anpa.ualr.educ. It is developing into a good source for researchers. Since CCS was founded in November of 1992, our members have worked on many great projects, such as the Red Nations Remembering and our monthly newsletter. We hope to continue to bring our members news and events that offer satisfaction, fun, excitement and a feeling of community. Please add your comments and send us your news - we want to continue our success story!

*If anyone out there has hard copies of the CHEROKEE MESSENGER back to 1992 that are in clean, well preserved condition, and would like to donate them to send to the archives, please get in touch with Vicki, We thank you in advance!

Kudos Corner

Special Thanks to PATTY and JOE DAVIS, for their very informative, interesting program at the CCS August monthly meeting. They described traditions and current practices associated with the stomp dance and some traditional Cherokee games. It was a lively and meaningful evening by a hard-working pair who have dedicated much energy and time to preserving Native practices and bringing them to south Texas. Call for further event details: 281-399-1661. Appreciation also goes to AL HARRIS, who, over the past few years, graciously oversaw and often provided his own refreshments for the monthly CCS meetings. We thank all of our volunteers for making CCS the terrific organization it is!

What Will $20/Year Get You?

Now you can support CCS by mailing us your membership: Send $20 check or money order to The Cherokee Cultural Society of Houston, P.O. Box 23187, Houston, TX 77228-3187. CCS maintains a 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. Donate a membership for a loved one or a friend who lives in Indian Country.

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