Cherokee Messenger
September, 1998

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 p.m., the first Thursday of each month.

Upcoming programs are:

Other Calendar Items:

Poetry Corner

"Little Big Spark" by Yellow Flower (Blackfoot)*
It all started as a twinkle - a gleam -
Grew a bit - became a sparkle - then a flame -
The flame grew - consuming energy and dreams -
The flame grew to be a small fire.

The fire burned -

Burning fragilly at first, needing more substance -
The fire voraciously consumed - more energy - more dreams -
Becoming brighter - and stronger - larger -
The fire became a blaze.

The blaze raged -

Hot, consuming all it touched -
The blaze burned - day and night -
Serving as a beacon for all to see -
It could be seen for miles - and miles -

The blaze had become an inferno -

The inferno consumed all dreams -
Expending all energy -
Becoming all dreams – all energy -
The inferno had became a cause.

And the cause became a "unity"

The unity embodied all Native hope -
Enveloped all well-spend energy -
Becoming the reality of their dreams -
Representing the future that Grandfather designed for them.

At last, the unity grew to be a true and undivided,
harmonious Native American "Comm - unity".

*The poet is a member of the Houston Area Professional Chapter of the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers & Storytellers. This poem represents the "Dream behind the Festival", referring to the October 9 event described below.)

Native Music Festival Takes Off

Mark your calendar for Friday, October 9, at Trader’s Village for The First Annual Native American Music Festival. Gates are scheduled to open at 5:00 p.m., with the concert running from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m., but hours may be extended as the program develops. The pioneering event is a fundraiser to help build and operate a planned cultural center to serve the 10,000 plus Houston area Native Americans of all tribes. CCS member Lawrence Sampson (Delaware-Cherokee) originated the idea for the cultural center as a unifying point in the community which could house, among other facilities, a museum, auditorium, library, classrooms, pow wow grounds and exhibition space. The immediate plan is to build a scholarship fund to assist local Native American students. Other project planners are Judith Bruni, Carroll Cocchia, Deborah Scott and Pat Poland. Included in the star-studded concert are many Native American musicians. Come enjoy the talents of Robert Mirabal, Keith Secola, Blackfire, Ulali, The Americas, the Jimmy Melton Band, Blackbox, and Fireface. Canvases of Native artwork also will be on display and for sale at the Pavilion. Tickets are available from Cactus Music & Video for $10 in advance or $15 at the gate October 9. Children under 10 years will be admitted free. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs for seating. Food and drink vendors will be on site. Call with questions: 281-550-7081.

Web Watch

Cherokee and Other Native American Tidbits

Cherokee Constitution to be Rewritten
Hearings are scheduled to begin the process of rewriting the constitution, 22 years after the original twentieth century Cherokee document was established June 26, 1976. It was approved after the vote was authorized the previous year by the U.S. Commissioner of Indian Affairs. The rewriting could take more than a year, as hearings are scheduled not only in Oklahoma, but throughout the western United States. "We would like to have it ready for a tribal vote in the Cherokee Nation summer elections of 1999, but I doubt it,"' said Charles Gourd, chairman of the convention committee. Other members of the committee are Ralph Keen Jr. of Stilwell, OK; vice chairman and parliamentarian; Jay Hannah of Norman; Paul Thomas of Pryor; George Wycliffe of Kenwood; and Louella Coon of Stilwell. The first of a series of public hearings had been scheduled at 2:00 p.m., September 5, at the Net Building on the Northeastern State University campus in Tahlequah. The purpose was to accept oral and written opinions on the rewriting of the constitution. A second hearing was set at the Net Building at 1:00 p.m., September. 6. "The commission decided that the most appropriate time for the first public hearing would be during the Cherokee National Holiday. This is a time when Cherokee people come to Tahlequah. Although most come for fellowship and activities, this is also a time to participate in their government," Gourd said. Public hearings are planned in all of the nine districts of the Cherokee Nation as well as areas outside the Nation jurisdiction where there are at least 500 tribal members residing, including Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Albuquerque, Phoenix, northern California, southern California, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Kansas City. "We invite all Cherokee citizens to become actively involved in our work," said Gourd, the tribe's senior administrative liaison. "The commissioners have assumed a tremendous responsibility. As an independent commission, we have a trust relationship with our people, not any branch of government. Cherokee citizens are the ones to whom we are responsible."
- From an article entitled "Cherokees to Rewrite their Tribal Document," by Rob Martindale, World Senior Writer, in the Tulsa World On-Line, (August 20, 1998).

Useful Resource:

The Cherokee Quarterly, established during the winter of 1996, shares knowledge about the Cherokee people and history. Publication is in December, March, June and September. Stories are printed on heavy card stock in a loose leaf format. A one year subscription is 15.00. Back issues of the first two years are available for $35.00. Contact: Territorial Book Foundation, 2321 East 15 Street, Tulsa, OK 74104; 918-743-4605.

A Modern Telling of Our Story

For travelers to the Cherokee lands in North Carolina, there is a renovated museum to visit. The Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee, N.C. presents their Trail of Tears story and the history of our people. After a $3.5 million renovation, the exhibit has a narrative assembled with film, computer images, voice-over and displays that tell the story of the people. The opening marked the recognition of the Museum as an interpretive center for the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. Contact: The Museum of the Cherokee Indian, on U.S. 441 at Drama Rd.; 704-497-3481. Web site is
- From the Houston Chronicle (August 16, 1998)

Highlights of a Little Known Culture

Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, OK unveiled a new interactive exhibition August 8,1998 entitled Children of the Sun: Euchee Indian Culture and Tradition. It runs through October 25 and will introduce the traditions of perhaps the least well known of Oklahoma's Native American peoples. Gilcrease organized the exhibition in collaboration with Euchees, United Cultural, Historical and Educational Effort (E.U.C.H.E.E.). Known to outsiders as Euchees, the tribe’s own name for itself in its language is Tsoyaha, which means "Children of the Sun." Despite their anonymity, the Euchee were among the earliest modern settlers of the Tulsa region. The exhibition has a life-size model of a contemporary ceremonial dance with museum figures dressed in colorful, traditional clothing to illustrate the ceremonial dances central to community life. There is also a life-sized reproduction of an early twentieth-century family camp building representing the type of domestic life and architecture preserved today at the Euchee ceremonial grounds and churches. Other interactive components will document Euchee story telling, politics, history, farm life, foods. The exhibition also features a large loan from the American Museum of Natural History, New York. These are the only major group of Euchee objects in a public museum, and their return to Oklahoma will be the first time they have been exhibited outside New York. The Gilcrease has a web site at Their address and phone are: 1400 Gilcrease Museum Road, Tulsa, Oklahoma 74127; 918/596-2700.
- From Oklahoma Indian Times

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