CCS members have been most generous in past years by providing items to these families, who subsist on migrant farm work and food stamps. Although a tribal casino has been established, only 54 of the 130 employees are from the tribe, and there is debt to pay from casino construction.
The 700 to 800 tribal members face many hardships resulting from historical injustices familiar to Native American. They were once residents of Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Mexico and Texas. Now the Texas Kickapoo live on a reservation of 125,32 acres held in Federal trust, land for which the tribe raised $100,000 as down payment for the purchase. Others are on reservations in Oklahoma and Kansas and in a village in Mexico. An informative brochure on the drive and the tribe is available from Otilia Sanchez (see contact information below).
In 1923 the lettering was submitted by Carl Kemmerer of Heavener to the Smithsonian Institution, who identified the letters as Norse runes. In 1948, research to discover what the letters said, when they were made, and by whom, was begun by Gloria Stewart Farley, who had seen the inscription as a child. She spent 38 years finding the answers to these questions and renamed it The Heavener Runestone in 1951. Based on her research, Runestone State Park emerged to preserve this stone in 1970. By 1967 the runes were believed to represent the date of November 11, 1012, with the runes used as numbers in a Norse cryptopuzzle, according to Alf Monge, a cryptanalyst who was born in Norway. The authenticity of the stone being made by ancient Vikings was supported by the finding of two more runestones in the vicinity of Poteau Mountain, another smaller inscription of eight runes at a foothill of Cavanal Mountain, 14 miles away, and another stone bearing five runes at Shawnee, OK.
In 1986, it was found that these five runestones apparently were made even two or three centuries earlier, before 800 A.D. Translations were made in words, not numbers, by Dr. Richard Nielson, whose doctorate was from the University of Denmark. By making an in-depth study of the ancient literature and hundreds of Scandinavian runestones, he determined that the second and eighth runes are actually variants of the letter L, which permitted him to say that the Heavener runes are G-L-O-M-E-D-A-L, meaning Glome’s Valley, a land claim. The similar Poteau runes are a memorial to the same man, meaning, "Magic or protection to Gloie (his nickname)." The Shawnee runestone is the name MEDOK, and was probably a gravestone, but had been moved because of construction work. The other two runestones on or near Poteau Mountain do not have enough runes for a translation, but the four stones were placed in a straight line, miles apart. These five inscriptions are all from the oldest 24-rune FUTHARK, used from 300 until 800 A.D. in Scandinavia. It is believed that these Norse explorers crossed the Atlantic, rounded the tip of Florida into the Gulf of Mexico, found the Mississippi River, and sailed into its tributaries, the Arkansas and Poteau Rivers, around 750 A.D. This date is indicated by the grammar used on Poteau Runstones.
There is much evidence that many Old-World cultures visited America centuries before Columbus, discovered by Gloria Farley and her colleagues, and presented in her book. In Plain Sight: Old World Records in Ancient America. One chapter of her book is devoted to the Oklahoma Runestones.
E-mail Gloria Farley for further information on the Heavener Runestone. Or click here to visit her home page.
Many thanks to these e-mail friends for sharing this information: hummingbird (by way of "J.C. High Eagle" ).
INTERTRIBAL COUNCIL OF HOUSTON, Call for details: John Croce, 713-991-2664, e-mail email@example.com.
THE ALABAMA COUSHATTA benefit pow wow is November 1, 1997, at the Livingston, TX Reservation. Call: 409-563-4391; toll free 1-800-444-3507.
November 1, 1997, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.: SEMINAR on Cherokee History, Culture, Ceremony and Genealogy, hosted by the Texas Gulf Coast Cherokee, at the Humble, TX Civic Center. $15 advanced sales; $20 at the door. Barbeque plates at noon for $5 each. Call Dan Crosby, 281-354-1163, or Pat Poland, 409-756-1264, or send a SASE to Gulf Coast Cherokee, P.O. Box 1619, New Caney, TX 77357.
November 14-15, 1997: "NATIVEWORDFEST: Honoring the Seventh Generation," Wordcraft Circle Regional Conference, Houston Museum of Natural Science. For details, call Janet Johnson, voice mail, 713-801-0895, or phone 281-931-3614.
Her Cherokee grandmothers influence her far more than she realizes, as she dispenses daily advice regarding herbal blends, healing oils, soothing teas, and a vast array of lavish incense. She’s knowledgeable in all the world’s major religions and professes a real interest in building and developing a large Native American section, where all may come and learn about their own particular culture in a caring atmosphere. "We’ve just purchased additional land next door to this building, where we hope to build an authentic sweat lodge, where Native ceremonies can be held with the respect and dignity they require and deserve," she says proudly.
Presently being exhibited at Spiritual Heights is the excellent work of Native artists, Bob Annesley (a CCS member) and Julia Nava-Head. In the future, the exquisite jewelry of Anna Manygoats and the authentic spirit drums of B.J. Quintana will be on display for our appreciation. Says Andrea, "I want Spiritual Heights to be an open and welcoming sanctuary for talented people of all cultures, where their talents can be show-cased for all to see and enjoy."
Spiritual Heights already hosts a variety of helpful, educational workshops, in many interesting fields, and is always "open to your suggestions for future programs and topics." Andrea shyly says, "It took me 44 years to arrive at this point in my life, where I feel I can trust my intuition-trust myself. I know I’m doing what I was created to do, and it’s a wonderful and fulfilling feeling. I’m a very happy person."