Cherokee Messenger
December, 1998

Cherokee Cultural Society Meetings

Meetings are held at the Tracy Gee Community Center, 3599 Westcenter, Houston, TX, 7:30 to 9:00 p.m., the first Thursday of each month. Door prizes for first time meeting visitors are awarded the night of the meeting. All are most welcome.


Congratulations to these new 1999 CCS Officers: Wade McAlister, President; Judith Bruni, Vice President; Cindy Linnenkohl, Treasurer; Cyndie Menard, Secretary; Terry Thompson, Membership Coordinator; Clabert Menard, Newsletter Coordinator; Carroll Cocchia, Special Projects Coordinator. Many thanks again to the 1998 officers, who served the organization with such dedication. We look forward to great times and support from the 1999 board of directors.

Cherokee and Native Tidbits

Mankiller Designated Christmas Parade Marshall
Wilma Mankiller, former principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, will serve as the parade marshal of the 63rd Annual Public Service Company of Oklahoma Christmas Parade of Lights. The parade is scheduled for December 12, 1998, 6 p.m., in downtown Tulsa, OK.
- excerpts from The Tulsa World On-Line (11-1-98)

Cherokee Writer Boosts Tradition
A book of interest to our readers is A CHEROKEE FEAST OF DAYS, (Volumes I & II) by Cherokee writer Joyce Seguiche Hifler. It offers an inspirational quote for each day of the year based on Native American wisdom, which she began to collect from early youth by keeping a journal. November 6, 1998 Ms. Hifler was inducted into the Indian Territory Hall of Fame in a gala at the Broken Arrow Community Center in Broken Arrow, OK . It was sponsored by the Indian Territory Arts and Humanities Council. As a nationally syndicated columnist who specializes in self-improvement for her readers, she is famous for the column and book entitled THINK ON THESE THINGS. Currently she is working on her ninth book, WHEN THE NIGHTBIRD SINGS, which is due for publication in the spring of 1999. Joyce Hifler’s Cherokee ancestors were survivors of the Trail of Tears, and she cites her Cherokee heritage as the source of her love of nature’s beauty and harmony which inspires her work.

- excerpts from an article "Indian Writer to be Honored", by Michael Smith, in The Tulsa World On-Line (November 5, 1998)

According to population projections, the nation's American Indian, Eskimo and Aleut population will grow to 3.1 million by the year 2020. This would mean that this racial group would increase faster over the next two decades than either the White or African American populations but slower than Asians and Pacific Islanders.

- from the web site of The United States Department of Commerce News, Economic & Statistics Administration Census Bureau Facts for Features, A product of the U.S. Census Bureau's Public Information Office. CB98-FF.13 (October 26, 1998)

Pet Lovers Corner

For those who know persons in the Houston area eager to care for their pets but who face difficult financial times, there is a service to aid their furry loved ones. The SPAY NEUTER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (SNAP) offers free spaying and neutering, rabies vaccinations for those treated through their program, plus city licenses for animals belonging to low income pet owners. However, the owners need to be clients of one of these public assistance programs to qualify: Food Stamps, WIC, Medicaid, Harris County Hospital District Gold Card, SSI/SSD, AIDS Foundation Houston, Major VA Disability, Section 8 Housing or TANF. Services are offered in a variety of Houston area locations. For details, call 713-522-2337.

Constitutional Convention Hearing

Mark your calendar for:
Friday, December 18, 1998, 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Location: S & B Engineers and Constructors, 3535 Sage Road in Houston.
Event: Hearing on possible revisions to the Constitution of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

Houston area Cherokees registered with the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma are invited to attend the hearing, which brings together representatives of the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation and local tribal members to exchange ideas and discuss possible changes to the Constitution of the Cherokee Nation. A series of hearings are held within Oklahoma; however, hearings are scheduled in other regions of the U.S. where there are significant numbers of registered Cherokees. Registered tribal members are due to receive a letter from the Nation regarding this meeting.

Poetry Corner

"Stepping Off The Train" by Meg Walker*
I woke up from my sleep
And adjusted my seat
So I could look out the window.
Lush rolling fields,
Bountiful wildflower yields,
The train had come to a standstill.
Other passengers with me
Too busy to see,
Tending children or reading the news.
I looked out again
Flowers ruffled in the wind,
The skirt of a beautiful muse.
Her hair was blue sky
White clouds smiled by
As she gracefully danced in the sun.
I felt so insane
As I stepped off the train
Touched her hand and started to run.
When I turned to look back
The train was well down the track
Carrying its families in boxes.
But here on the hill
Time seems to stand still
For me, the muse and the foxes.
I’d rather live here
In the light and the air,
Than ride down the track in a box.
I’ve been here twelve years,
Through laughter and tears.
I live in a den with the foxes.
They’re honest and true
And dance with me, too.
We all count the stars at night.
The muse visits often
With gifts often gotten
From the smiles of firefly lights.
*Meg Walker is a member of the Cherokee Cultural Society and active in the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers & Storytellers.

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