Cherokee Messenger
September 1996


In October, we will hold our fourth election for CCS officers. We have a total of seven positions and of these, three will be filled at this next election. We have four candidates vying for selection. These candidates are Judith Bruni, JoAnne St. Clair, Victor Carroll and Lois Ramirez. You will hear more from these members in the next newsletter as we ask them to briefly describe their goals and visions for CCS. According to the CCS by-laws, the general membership elects the board members, and at the following board meeting of these newly elected and returning board members, the officers are then selected. These new officers will be announced at the November meeting.

CCS Quilt

The CCS Friendship quilt was delivered into the hands of Mac Harris of the Cherokee Historical Society on August 3. The quilt will remain on display at the Cherokee Historical Society Museum, Tsa la gi, through October, 1996. Raffle tickets will be available to visitors of the quilt and we hope to make this the biggest fund-raiser ever for CCS. YOUR tickets will be available at the next meeting, and we ask that all members commit to selling at least ten tickets. The cost of a ticket is one for $3 and two for $5. If you need a packet of tickets, contact Cindy Linnenkohl at (409) 258-8441.

Disabilities Study

Many thanks to those of you who have contacted our office and volunteered to be a part of this study. Your information has been passed on to Virginia Ferrell who will be contacting you in the near future to complete the survey.

Pow Wow Schedule

We are in the process of setting up staffing schedule for the CCS table at the upcoming fall powwows. Volunteers at the table will provide information about CCS. We will also be able to distribute information on other areas of interest.

Many of our members came to us through outreach at other Native American events, and this contact is always important. The powwow schedules are usually the 2nd and 3rd Saturdays of the month, and the location varies. If you are willing to help staff the table, please call Deborah Scott at (713) 668-9998.

New Brochures

Just in time for our fall outreach is the arrival of our new CCS brochures. Many thanks to the University of Houston media class of Anne Clark, and student Michael Martin. Their efforts have resulted in a wonderful information piece about our organization. These brochures will be used to tell the story of CCS at a variety of future functions.

In Memorial

Bobbie Inahara, community volunteer for many of the local Native American groups passed away last month. Several years ago, Bobbie was instrumental in providing a meeting space for members of our group when we really needed help. She was a good and loyal friend and will be sorely missed.

News from Tahlequah

Julie Deerinwater, retiring Miss Cherokee will end her reign on August 16, but she will begin a new one as Miss Indian Oklahoma. She won the crown July 20 in a pageant held at Anadarko. She is the 24th Miss Indian Oklahoma to represent the state, and was awarded a $5,000 scholarship, a shawl, banner and pendleton blanket.

Julie visited our group last spring, and we are delighted with her success and wish her well!

Loyal Shawnee tribe requests separation from Cherokee Nation

Leaders of the Loyal Shawnee Tribe presented a resolution to the Cherokee National Tribal Council executive and finance committee, at a July 25 meeting, seeking to dissolve the 1869 treaty which made their tribe a part of the Cherokee Nation.

The request comes after the Cherokee council rejected the Shawnees’ proposal to build a bingo hall and casino Kansas during their regular meeting July 15.

Greg Pitcher, a member of the Loyal Shawnee council and a former Cherokee Nation council member, assured the committee the request for separation is not a result of the council’s refusal to allow the bingo hall and casino.

"If anything, it’s just the opposite," he said. "The purpose of the gaming proposal was to help us seek federal recognition."

If allowed to separate from the Cherokee Nation, the 7,000 Loyal Shawnee will then request federal recognition from the U.S. government, Pitcher said.

"The more tribes we have that are federally-recognized the better off we all are as an Indian people," Principal Chief Joe Byrd said at the meeting.

Pitcher also informed the council his tribe would not be seeking anything from the Cherokee Nation, including land.

"This is not the end of the journey this is only the first step," said Pitcher. "We want you to help us make this first step," he told the committee.

Byrd and the committee members supported the resolution to let the Shawnees leave the tribe especially since land will not be in question. The executive and finance agreed to bring the Shawnee resolution before full council on August 12.

"We are not expecting to have a land base in Oklahoma or anywhere else," Pitcher said.

Because the Cherokee Nation has been negotiating with the Delaware Tribe of Indians for a number of years trying to reach a compromise on their request for separation, Byrd said the Shawnee separation should be an easier process than the Delaware request has been.

Pitcher was asked by members of the committee about the Loyal Shawnees who may wish to remain a tribal member of the Cherokee Nation. He said the Shawnee will not require anyone to be one of them, and it would be up to the individual to stay with the Cherokee Nation or give up Shawnee tribal membership.

The Loyal Shawnee have headquarters in White Oak, OK.

Statue of Sequoyah created by Cherokee artist to be unveiled during Cherokee holiday.

Sequoyah’s creation of an 85-character syllabary helped the Cherokee people make great strides in a short amount of time in education and business.

For his historic efforts, Sequoyah has been honored time and time again in paintings and sculptures and the Sequoia National Forest, honoring a man who wanted his people to have their own "talking leaves."

Once again he will be honored. During the Cherokee National Holiday this year, a statue of Sequoyah will be unveiled in downtown Tahlequah. The hero-sized statue was created by Claremore artist Ed Rackleff, a full-blood Cherokee from the Rocky Ford community in northern Cherokee County.

The statue is an 8-foot tall bronze. Inscribed on the leaves, in Cherokee, is the title of the statue: "The Leaves Say It." In his left hand, crossed over his body, Sequoyah holds a scroll of leather partly inscribed with his syllabary. In his right he holds his ever-present smoking pipe.

Olympic Torch Stopped briefly in New Echota

Calhoun Times--
To pay tribute to the Cherokee Indian Nation which once covered most of North Georgia, ACOG officials chose New Echota as part of the 15,000-mile Olympic torch relay run. Deputy Principal Chief James Garland Eagle of the Cherokee Nation carried the torch from the Council House and through New Echota.

With his voice shaking with emotion, Deputy Chief Garland Eagle proudly accepted the 1996 Olympic Torch for all people--past and present--of the Cherokee Nation. "I cannot express the feelings on what an honor this is, " Eagle said. "If you are Cherokee, I am representing you."

Others in attendance were Principal Chief Joyce Dugan of the Eastern Band of Cherokees and Principal Chief John Ross of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees.

Stickball exhibition to be held during Holiday

A stickball exhibition is scheduled during the 44th Annual Cherokee National Holiday. According to the Cherokee elders, stickball is one of the most popular traditional games still practiced. The game traditionally teaches unity and harmony, besides providing recreation and physical fitness.

Stickball is a version of the older East-West game which is somewhat similar to lacrosse in that two opposing goals are used, at the east and west ends of the field.

East-West stickball was used primarily as a war game for battle training. It also was a way of settling disputes between clans, tribes and towns. Only men participated in the East-West games.

"The modern game played by Cherokees today isn’t as rough as traditional stickball due to the liabilities and courtesy rules, " Victor Wildcat, coordinator, said.

Today the social game of stickball is always played with men and women on opposing teams. Points are scored by using a small ball to hit a target, often a wooden fish, mounted on top of a trimmed cedar tree which can be 25 to 40 feet tall. Points can also be scored by hitting the pole with the ball within three or four feet of the fish.

According to traditional rules, each man uses two wooden sticks, from two to four feet in length, each with a cup-shaped pocket at one end. The sticks are used to hold, catch and throw the ball. Women always use their hands.

Traditionally, the ball was a round rock covered with deer or cow hair inside a sewn leather covering. A bean bag or Hackey Sack is used today for safety purposes during game presentations.

There are even number of players on each team, which can consist of 20 to 60 people depending on the individual game. The playing field for the pole game must be large enough for at least 60 people and is larger than a regulation basketball court.

"Stickball is kept alive by traditional groups of Cherokees in the southern portion of the Cherokee Nation," Wildcat said. "Many versions of the stickball game are played by the Creeks."

Urban Harvest

Urban Harvest is a non-profit organization with a mission of education about effective urban land use and sustainable horticultural practices, to relieve hunger by growing food for those in need, to revitalize neighborhoods, to increase self-reliance, to cultivate friendships and to build communities from the ground up.

Members of the organization work in community, school and market gardens throughout the entire Metropolitan Houston regions. It is currently affiliated with over 60 gardens in seven counties, the majority in inner city Houston.

Community gardens are distinguished from other gardens because they are mainly operated to benefit the community in some significant way. They produce a variety of vegetables, fruits and/or flowers and thrive in a variety of settings. To find out more about Urban Harvest, call (713) 880-5540.

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