Cherokee Messenger
September, 1999

Upcoming Monthly Meeting:

Thursday, October 7, 1999
7:00 p.m. social gathering
7:30 p.m. program

Program: Marble Making Exhibit and Video.
Video features Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief Hastings Shade, a designated Cherokee Master Craftsman. These marbles were used in the traditional Cherokee marble game, which is demonstrated annually with a marble tournament during the Cherokee National Holiday in Tahlequah, OK. Here is a chance to see one up close and personal and to learn the real-life story behind this ancient craft.

CCS Meeting Location: The Tracy Gee Community Center, 3599 Westcenter, one block south of Richmond, east of the Sam Houston Tollway West Belt. Guests are always eligible for the door prize awarded that night.

Upcoming Events

The Women's Shawl Society, welcomes women of all tribes each second Saturday monthly from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to share crafts and friendship. Call for details and meeting directions: B. J., 713-541-4170.

Remembering The Elders Gathering in Canton, Texas: October 2 & 3, 1999. Take I-20 55 miles east of Dallas, exit 523, go north 3 miles and follow signs. Phone Janie: 903-873-3311, e-mail

The Human Race: October 10, 1999, 2:30 p.m. Tour Houston Downtown and Midtown neighborhoods in an entertaining, informative set of activities to celebrate Houston's ethnic diversity. Sponsored by the Holocaust Museum Houston, CCS is a participant. Contact Brandy Dearman to volunteer for our group, 713-520-6397, or Agency contact for event details: 713-942-8000.

The Native American Health Coalition 1999 Wellness Conference, "The Healing Continues", October 15, 1999, 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m., at the United Way, 2200 North Loop West. Native Americans, all social workers, elder service providers, school counselors, mental health and other health care professionals will benefit from attendance. Registration by October 7 is $40.00; CEU's $6.00. Lunch provided. Contact: Maggie Heagy, 281-261-1869.

All are welcome at the Membership Gathering of the Northeast Texas Intercultural Alliance, held the weekend of October 16, 1999. They are developing 158 acres in Daingerfield, Texas into the Black Mountain Nature Center, part of Martha Sebastian's project. Contact for details: Linda Deermoon Turner, e-mail

The American Indian Art Festival and Market's 10th anniversary in Artist Square, Dallas, October 23 & 24, 1999, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Contact Jo Ann Holt, Holt & Associates, 972-298-1217. Presented by the American Indian Arts Council, Inc., it features a multitude of activities for all ages.

Great Promise/Red Voices/ 8th Annual Austin Independent School District Powwow & American Indian Heritage Festival: November 6, 1999, Toney Burger Activity Center, 3200 Jones Road, Austin, TX. Information: 1-512-459-7244;

The Task Force for Houston Homeless Veterans sponsors the third annual city observance of "National Homeless Memorial Day" December 21, 1999, at 6:00 p.m., at Root Park in Houston. Participants bring a candle to light in memory of those known homeless who have died. Persons with a name to include in the memorial roll call, please contact Lynda Greene, 713-794-7848, or e-mail

Come Vote For Your Board!

A slate of officers has been prepared by the CCS Nominations Committee and will be presented at the October 7 meeting. Voting will take place thereafter. The following names are on the ballot for the annual election of officers: B.J. Callihan, Brandy Dearman, Cindy Linnenkohl, Marjorie Lowe, Pam Morse and Deborah Scott. All dues paid members are eligible to vote and encouraged to attend. Nominations will be taken from the floor.

"Heritage Day: A Celebration of Native American Culture"

Saturday, Nov 27, 1999, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in the Hall of the Americas. Plans are under way for this major CCS outing. It is an exciting partnership with the Houston Museum of Natural Science, thanks to efforts of Judith Bruni, CCS Vice President, and Dr. Dorothy Lippert, who was our guest speaker in July. All are invited to wear regalia, join in the games, such as stickball, as well as the arts and crafts, flute playing, and other demonstrations of Cherokee culture. Plans are still developing as of this writing, but "all systems are go" for a great day to please all ages. Contact Judith Bruni, 281-556-1908, e-mail, for information, to confirm attendance and to join an activity! A kick-off planning meeting and potluck dinner at Juditih's house will be Friday, October 15, 6:00 p.m.

Cultural Planning Conference

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith announced in his State of the Nation Address at the Cherokee National Holiday that there will be a "Comprehensive Cultural Planning Conference". It is scheduled for two Saturdays, October 2, and October 23, 1999, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the Cherokee Nation Tribal Complex in Tahlequah, OK. He urged those who are interested in the preservation of Cherokee history, culture, development and education in the Cherokee language, and genealogy to attend and help to develop a plan for the next 50 years. Artists, writers, musicians, actors, media experts, historians, and all interested in the preservation and promotion of Cherokee culture can participate. There is an option for Cherokee elders to be interviewed in their homes if they cannot attend. Contact for this event: Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, 918-456-0671, James Locust, ext. 2379, or Dana Teague, ext. 2581, or tollfree 1-800-256-0671.

Looking North for Cherokee People

"Indians are no strangers in this strange land," begins a recent Tulsa World article on Cherokees in northeastern Oklahoma. Those of us known as "urban Indians" or others with fragmented, distant ties to our people can appreciate a positive media story about our own who still speak the Cherokee language and live peacefully in a multicultural setting. It is fascinating just to know that there are persons with English as a second language or who speak no English and still thrive, "think and live" in the Cherokee language. Many of us in the Houston area have attempted to learn Cherokee as a second language, only to realize how "alien" we have become among our own people. The Cherokee language, officials say, is spoken by about 15,000 persons. So, what is it like among a sample of our people in northeastern Oklahoma? There are many stories to be told, but here is a brief glimpse:

Adair County in northeastern Oklahoma, has 42 percent of its 20,112 residents claiming Native American Indian blood, according to the last U.S. Census figures. Long time resident Terry Mays, a non-Indian school official who was reared in what is known as Oklahoma's "most-Indian" county, believes that it is closer to 70 percent or 80 percent Indian. He attended Greasy High School, south of Stilwell, OK and is a fluent Cherokee speaker. Says Mays, now superintendent of Rocky Mountain Schools, "I learned the language because all my friends growing up spoke some Cherokee...and it was a simple but wonderful way to live. We ate together, went to school together and stayed over at each others' houses. I saw no differences among us...I can still go to the houses of my (Indian) friends and I bet there would be welcomes and food on the table."

Adair County often has Cherokee spoken at rural schools, such as Bell and Dahlonegah. Bilingual signs grace businesses and discussions of tribal sovereignty take their place among leading issues. Fourth of July attendance is equaled by that of the Cherokee National Holiday. Columbus Day is tolerated but not observed by many residents.

"White-Indian relationships" in Adair County remain friendly because both races accept one another on a meaningful level, claims Cheryl Sequichie, of the Cherokee Nation office in Stilwell, the county seat. "We respect white people because they respect us." She continues, "They don't look down on you when you speak your language, but it's a different matter in other counties. You can feel the stares and the intolerance."

Adair County District 1 Commissioner Roy Ogden observes that the Cherokee Nation cooperates fully with county government. A non-Indian, Ogden says, "I have nothing but positive things to say about the Cherokee...They work with us on the roads. They are involved in the schools. It's a solid, working relationship."

Excerpts from an article entitled "A Major Minority", By Omer Gillham, The Tulsa World On-Line (September 8, 1999)

Web Watch

See the Alabama-Coushatta website for scheduled activities and description of enhanced camping facilities.

Native American Resources of the Indian Health Services has a vast index from art, business, genealogy, recipes, storytelling, pow wows. Great links to educational resources and funding too.

Thanks to Millie Barnes, via Deborah Scott, for the following information: While researching genealogy, Millie discovered a site with much historical information related to the Cherokee Strip. The site was initially about the history of Fort Drum, NY, and Major Andrew Drum, a rancher on or near the Cherokee Strip in OK and came from newspaper articles, including one from the original Cherokee Messenger, published in Cherokee, OK, 1932. See

Kudos Corner

Thanks to DEBORAH SCOTT, for her fine presentation on the Cherokee Nation inauguration in Tahlequah, OK, at our September monthly meeting. She even had news clips from local television coverage, plus extensive hand-outs from the celebration. KYLE SMITH, who is a brother of the new Principal Chief Chad Smith, offered his observations also. We always appreciate stories of experiences when shared by those attending such events.

Many thanks to Marjorie Lowe for donating her past copies of the CHEROKEE MESSENGER. They will 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. (See their website at www.anpa.ualr.educ.)

Support CCS

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 tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. Donate a membership for a loved one or a friend who lives in Indian Country.

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