Cherokee Messenger
September 2000

CCS Monthly Meeting

For the next monthly meeting of the Cherokee Cultural Society we will present Deborah Winn, Executive Director, American Diabetes Association, Houston, speaking on "Diabetes and Native American Health". Join us Thursday, October 5, 2000, 7:00 p.m., at the Tracy Gee Community Center, 3599 Westcenter, one block south of Richmond, east of the Sam Houston Tollway West Belt in Houston.

This program is open to all who are interested; no meeting fee is charged. Guests are eligible for the door prize awarded at the meeting.

October 5 is also the Annual Election of CCS Officers. Members, please attend and vote! If you have let your dues lapse, attend, pay dues then vote. See candidate introductions in this newsletter.

November CCS Meeting

Thursday, November 2, 7:00 p.m.
Enjoy a "Family Fun Night" with Potluck Dinner & Item Exchange Here's how it works - Along with your potluck dish, bring an item that is still usable that you no longer want or need - a way to "clean house". We will exchange with others attending that night. Your item can be a book, tape, utensil, or maybe a duplicate of something you want to keep. We will wait until the December meeting to bring our "White Elephants" for hearty laughs. Questions? Contact Deborah Scott at

Other Events & Projects

As with all pow wows and other events, double check before making travel plans; events may change unexpectedly.

Meet the Candidates

The CCS Nominations Committee offers the following candidates for positions on the CCS Board of Directors. During the October 5 monthly meeting, all dues paid members will be eligible to vote for three board members who will fill upcoming vacancies. The new board will meet thereafter to select offices to be held by each individual. We thank the Nominations Committee, chaired by Deborah Scott, which included Judith Bruni, B.J. (Barbra) Callihan, Cindy Linnenkohl, Marjorie Lowe and Jimmy Melton.


Words To Remember in Cherokee

Place names and weather

Gregg Howard, Cherokee linguist, teacher and storyteller, offers another sample of Cherokee language, presented here in abbreviated form due to space limitation. Only the English alphabet is used. For complete details on course materials and use of the Cherokee Syllabary, see his website at or contact Various Indian Peoples (VIP) Publishing Co., P.O. Box 833216, Richardson, Texas 75083-3216; phone 1-800-776-0842.

sun nv-da
sunshine a-ga-li-sgv-i
rain a-ga-sga
snow un-tsi
falling snow gu-ti-ha
ice u-ne-sda-la
forest i-na-ge-i
mountain o-da-lv-i
valley u-ke-da-li-yv-i
lake v-da-li
ocean/sea e-quo-ni

Health Access Notes

"It was disturbing for me to hear that some of our members do not have health coverage. I work for the Harris County Hospital District [in Houston] and we serve those who do not make enough to afford insurance. Please inform our members that they can utilize our services by applying for a HCHD Gold Card at the following locations:
  1. North East Registration, 7100 North Loop East, Houston TX 77026, 713-671-0334
  2. South Loop Registration, 5959 Long Drive, Houston, TX 77087, 713-643-3691
  3. Southwest Registration, 6654 Hornwood, Houston, TX 77074, 713-995-3500.
They will need to call weekdays for an appointment and inquire as to what documents they will need to bring."
Deborah Lane, Cherokee Cultural Society member

Reminder: Check the resources in your own county of residence for corresponding medical care. With the growing number of people lacking health insurance, this can be important lifesaving information.

Thank You

A Sincere Thanks To Hungry's International, located in Houston's Rice University Village, for hosting the Joe Davis Benefit on Saturday, September 23. Many CCS friends gathered to have a good time and to encourage Joe, who is recovering from bypass surgery.

("Hello" in Cherokee)

From Judith Bruni, CCS President
Thank you for the great job you all did September 9 at the Museum of Natural Science Heritage Day: "Native Americans and the Animal World," to make it a successful day!

Our day started with only one space to put all three of our activities: basket weaving, writing animal names in Cherokee, and two Cherokee games: the Peach Pit game and the Bean game. The Museum's Dorothy Lippert was able to revamp the booths. Amazingly, we ended up with three prime spaces where people walked in and out of the Museum from the parking, and almost everyone stopped by our table!

The day was a scorcher, and it hit us immediately, especially those of us in regalia...and yet...the enthusiasm and spirit of the event kept flowing in and refreshing the day as our members/volunteers showed up one by one! Everyone wore either regalia or a CCS t-shirt, so we were able to spot ourselves in the crowd.

It was heart warming to see new members step up and participate, like Suzy Devenney and her daughter Jacqui. Solid members who don't get to come to the meetings were there like Dawn Westerman and Donna Allen. Others we see less often helped too like Scott McAlister and Ruth Barret. On the sidelines were my husband, Mark, and mother-in-law, Pauli Bruni. Deborah Lane and Mary Zaborowski chipped in and we saw Dottie Pearle. I actually think we had more helping/attending this day than at our last Red Nations Remembering.

The basket weaving was a hit again this year. All the starter baskets were used and the last few had to start from scratch! Some of the results were BEAUTIFUL! Jim Gravino's daughter said she could hardly believe her accomplishment as she proudly showed me her work. A passerby showed me one that her son did and she was beaming. It was unbelievable a child could do that! Great job on the baskets from B.J. Callihan, Cindy Linnenkohl, Dawn Westerman, Ruth Barret, Deborah Scott, Julie Williams and Donna Allen!

Joe and Julie Williams started with the games. Gradually Jimmy Melton came in and Julie went to the basket weaving. We were able to expand the games to a whole table when we got the extra space. It was a big hit with all the kids, particularly the little boys. One came back to give Joe a radio station sticker they were passing out, he liked him so much. The wonderment in the children's eyes as Joe and Jimmy taught them the games was indescribable, and I could see the joy in their eyes as they taught them.

The poster of the seven clans and animal names Victor Carroll made for us stood prominently in the center of the booths and caught people's attention. I know Victor put it together at the last moment and drove to Tracy Gee Community Center just to deliver it for the event. It helped us attract lots of folks to the language table, which was as popular as the others this year. Barbara Moore brought her library of Cherokee translated animal names. Kids got to choose an animal to write. "Wolf" was the most popular due to the IMAX show and the live visiting wolf. Barbara did a great job, as she spoke the animal names in Cherokee and invited them to try it. Kids and adults left having learned a little about the history of our language and having tried writing Cherokee - a sense of accomplishment.

It was also a great tool to find out if people were Cherokee. We heard their stories and invited them to join us as they said, "My grandfather was 1/2 Cherokee" or "I'm a 1/16 Cherokee".

Archie Hass and Barbara played their flutes for passersby. Jacqui jumped in wherever she could make a difference, first with the basket weaving and sometimes at the language table. The other big help was Terry Thompson, who wore his dashing Ribbon Shirt. Every time I saw him he had an application and a CCS newsletter in hand, talking up membership to a passerby. You go, Terry! Vicki Henrichs helped Marj Lowe with the artifacts / genealogy table (in the air conditioned Hall of the Americas!) Jim Gravino, when he wasn't snapping photos, took over when they went on break. Marj found two people on the Dawes rolls! They gave out all the newsletters and had to get more. Wade McAlister, Scott and Mark helped tape the event for our Video Legacy tape series that Scott and I have begun planning/outlining/designing. We already had a request to see it. (If any of you want to chip in some way or have ideas about the Video Legacy series, let us know. Someone who can and knows how to tape would be helpful.)

I talked with Dorothy Lippert from the Museum, who was very happy with the day and expressed her acknowledgment for the success of our efforts. We discussed the heat and the possibility to do this next year during cooler months. Early November, during Native American Heritage Month, seemed to be a good choice.

This year I walked around and compared our work to other Heritage Day activities, which were mostly American activities about the Native American world. Other than the actual performers, ours were the only authentic Native American activities. The quality of what we did had us stand out in the crowd. You can be proud for what we provided that day.

The camaraderie was grand - thanks to all who assisted. Our exposure was large - thanks to the Museum's attendance. Our results great - getting the word out about the Cherokee Cultural Society of Houston. And our hearts were enriched - speaking our passions. Thanks to all for making this day a successful CCS event.

Judith Bruni, 2000 CCS President


The purpose of the Cherokee Cultural Society of Houston is to build community, to preserve Cherokee heritage, to perpetuate the Cherokee culture, and to build the future of our people. CCS, an independent Houston-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1992, is not affiliated with any other Native American Indian organization. CCS membership is open to all who are interested for $20/year. Dues include a hardcopy of the monthly Cherokee Messenger newsletter.

Copyright © The Cherokee Cultural Society of Houston