Cherokee Heritage Center tour guide Steven Daugherty demonstrates bow shooting with a Cherokee bow for visitors at the Ancient Village in Park Hill, Okla. He is one of two Cherokee-speaking guides for the Ancient Village. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Cherokee-speaking tour guides enhance Ancient Village

Cherokee Heritage Center tour guide J.D. Ross explains how a Cherokee blowgun is made and used for during a tour of the Ancient Village in Park Hill, Okla. He is one of two Cherokee-speaking guides for the village. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee Heritage Center tour guide J.D. Ross explains how turtle shell shackles are made and used for a Cherokee stomp dance during a tour of the Ancient Village in Park Hill, Okla. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Visitors to the Cherokee Heritage Center’s Ancient Village listen to tour guide J.D. Ross explain how Cherokee people constructed their homes in the 1700s. Also listening are Ancient Village Supervisor Tommy Wildcat, center, and tour guide Steven Daugherty. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Heritage Center tour guide J.D. Ross explains how a Cherokee blowgun is made and used for during a tour of the Ancient Village in Park Hill, Okla. He is one of two Cherokee-speaking guides for the village. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
08/05/2011 06:53 AM
PARK HILL, Okla. – It’s as it should be in the Cherokee Heritage Center’s Ancient Village because the Cherokee language is being spoken and heard daily.

Village tour guides J.D. Ross and Steven Daugherty, both fluent Cherokee speakers, use the language to explain the culture and traditions showcased in the village while using their first language.

This is the second year the men are serving as Cherokee-speaking tour guides.

Ross, of the Greasy Community in Adair County, said he enjoys speaking Cherokee and teaching others the language but finds it unfortunate that not many Cherokee-speaking people visit the village.

“Since we do most of these tours in English, it’s just passing some history on, how the Cherokee people lived back in the 1700s. That’s the century we are concentrating on right now,” he said.
He added that he and Daugherty take time to share Cherokee beliefs, traditions and the “old ways.”

Ross said some visitors want translations of English phrases, and the guides try to accommodate them, consulting with each other to ensure the translation is correct.

Visitors from around the world visit the Ancient Village, Ross said, with some relating to Cherokee customs and traditions because of similarities to their own traditions or customs.

“Sometimes we talk to them and just kind of compare notes,” he said. “Some linger back and kind of give us of little history of their heritage and their background.”

Daugherty, of the Bell Community in Adair County, said he welcomed the chance to return to the village to serve as a guide. He too wishes more Cherokee speakers would visit so that he and Ross could converse with them.

He said he does not mind helping non-Cherokee speakers who ask for translations. But he emphasized the guides are not able to spend time attempting to translate English names to Cherokee.

Daugherty said he wants visitors to know two things before they leave the village: how Cherokee people lived in the 1700s and that the language is still spoken.

Recently, the village was re-configured to reflect Cherokee life in 1710 rather than the 1600s as in previous years. There are plans to expand the village and hire more villagers to staff it, possibly within the next year.

A grant from the International Museum of Library Studies in Washington, D.C., helped get the language tours started, said Ancient Village Supervisor Tommy Wildcat.

“We thought it was very important to continue with the language tours,” he said.

He added that he thought it was important to rehire Ross and Daugherty because of their experience. Wildcat said the two guides are now more comfortable in their roles, easily entertain visitors and a valuable part of making the Ancient Village more authentic for visitors.

“It’s been a great success because we have a lot of people experiencing the Cherokee language,” he said.

Wildcat said the tours would continue through September. An introductory language tour is available at regular admission every Tuesday through Saturday at 1:30 p.m. For fluent Cherokee speakers and Cherokee language students, a complete and complimentary immersion tour can be reserved between Tuesday and Saturday. Tours are 30-45 minutes long.

Ross and Daugherty guide visitors through the village, stopping at nine stations where they or other villagers demonstrate basket making, bow and arrow making, the stickball game, flint knapping and the Cherokee blowgun. The guides also explain the Cherokee stomp dances and how the dances are performed.

Wildcat said for 44 years the Ancient Village has been sharing Cherokee culture with the world, but more importantly, it serves as a classroom for young Cherokee people to get hands-on training in how to make traditional Cherokee tools such as bows and arrows, blowguns and darts, arrowheads, baskets and pottery. Some former students have become award-winning artists and pass on the knowledge they learned as villager.

“Many have come through here learning these unique traditions perpetuated here by the villagers,” Wildcat said.

For more information, call 918-456-6007, ext. 6148, or email Susan Cro at susan-cro@cherokee.org.

will-chavez@cherokee.org • 918-207-3961

ᏣᎳᎩ

ᎠᏭᏂᏴᏍᏗ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎻ.-- ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏄᎾᏛᏁᎵᏙᎸ ᎠᏰᏟ ᏃᎴ ᎤᏍᏗ ᎦᏚᎲᎢ ᏴᏫ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗᎢ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎾᏛᎩᏍᎪᎢ ᏂᏚᎩᏨᏂᏒᎢ.

ᎾᎿ ᎤᏍᏗ ᎦᏚᎲ ᏴᏫ ᎠᏁᏙᎯ ᏗᎾᏘᏂᏙᎯ J.D Ross ᎠᎴ Steven Daugherty, ᎢᏧᎳ ᎧᎵ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏂᏬᏂᏍᎩ, ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎪ ᎠᏂᏬᏂᏍᎪ ᏓᏂᏃᎯᏎᎰ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏂᏧᎾᏛᏁᎵᏙᎸ ᎠᎴ ᏂᏧᎾᏛᏁᎸᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᏓᏂᎪᏩᏛᏗᏍᎪ ᎾᎿᏂ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎲ ᎠᏂᏃᎮᏍᎪ ᏣᎳᎩᎭᎢ.

ᏔᎵᏁᏃ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏓ ᏃᏊ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏂᏬᏂᏍᎩ ᏗᎾᏘᏂᏙᎲ ᏴᏫ ᎠᏂᎦᏖᏃᎵᏙ
ᏗᏂᏃᎯᏎᎸᏁᎯ ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎭ.

Ross, ᎾᎿ ᎪᎢ ᎾᎥ ᏄᎾᏓᎴᏫᏒ ᎡᎯ ᎠᎴ ᏓᏫᏍᎦᎸ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᎵᎮᎵᎪ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎬᏩᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎬᏪᏲᏗ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᎴᏗᏍᏊ ᎠᏩᏘᏍᎪ Ꮭ ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᏯᏁᏙᎰ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏂᏬᏂᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏍᏗ ᎦᏚᎲᎢ.

“ᏂᎦᏓᏊᏃ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏁᏙᎯ ᏓᏂᏃᎯᏎᎲ ᏲᏁᎦᎭ ᎨᏐ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏗᎧᏃᎯᏎᏗ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏂᏧᎵᏍᏔᏅᏍᏔᏅ, ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎤᎾᏕᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎦᎵᏆᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎣᏣᎦᏎᏍᏗᎭ ᏃᏊ ᎨᏒ.” ᎤᏛᏅᎢ.

ᏃᎴᏍᏊ Ross ᎠᎴ Daugherty ᏓᏂᏃᎯᏎᎸᏁᎭ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎪᎯᏓ ᎨᏒ, ᏂᏧᎾᏛᏁᎸᏍᏔᏅ ᎠᎴ “ᎤᏪᏘ ᎤᏂᏍᏓᏩᏛᏍᏗ.”

Ross ᎤᏛᏅ ᎢᎦᏓ ᎠᎾᏓᏩᏛᎯᏙ ᎤᎾᏚᎵᏍᎪ ᎠᏁᎳᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏲᏁᎦ ᎦᏬᏂᏒᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᏗᎾᏘᏂᏙ ᎠᎾᏁᎸᏗᏍᎪ ᎤᎾᏁᎳᏙᏗ, ᏓᎾᏓᏛᏛᎲᏍᎪ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎦᏪᏍᏗ ᏚᏳᎪᏛ ᎨᏒᎢ.

ᎠᎾᏓᏩᏛᎯᏙ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎡᎶᎯ ᏂᎬᏁᏛ ᏂᏙᏓᏳᏂᎶᏒ ᎠᏁᏙᎰ ᎠᎭᏂ ᎤᏪᏘ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏍᏗ ᎦᏚᎲᎢ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Ross, ᎢᎦᏓ ᎠᏂᏃᎮᏍᎪ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎤᏂᎲ ᎤᏅᏌ ᎤᏠᏯᏮᏃ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎨᏐ ᎠᏯ ᎢᎩᎲᎢ.

“ᎢᎦᏓᏃ ᏙᏍᏓᏟᏃᎮᏗᏍᎪ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏠᏱ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎨᏐ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.“ᎢᎦᏓᏃ ᎠᎾᏕᎯᏯᏍᎪ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎠᏁᏙᎲ ᎠᏂᏃᎮᏍᎪ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏄᎾᏛᏁᎵᏙᎸᎢ.”

Daugherty, ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎤᎭᎸᏂ ᎾᎥ ᏄᎾᏓᎴᏫᏒ ᎡᎯ ᎾᎿ ᏓᏫᏍᎦᎵ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᎵᎮᎵᎪ ᎠᏁᏙᎲ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᏕᎦᏂᎳᏕᎰ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᎵᎮᎵᎪ ᏓᏘᏂᏙᎲ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎬᏩᏃᎮᏓ ᎨᏒ ᏂᏧᎵᏍᏔᏅᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᏓᏘᏂᏙᎲᎢ. ᏃᎴᏍᏊ ᎤᏚᎵᏍᎪ ᎤᏂᎪᏛ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏂᏬᏂᏍᎩ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎢᏧᎳ ᏗᎾᏘᏂᏙᎯ ᏗᎬᏩᎾᏟᏃᎮᏙᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ.

ᏝᏃ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏰᎵᏍᎪ ᏧᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᏧᏟᏃᎮᏙᏗ ᎬᏩᏛᏛᎲᏍᎬ ᎠᏁᎸᏙᏗᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏗᎾᏘᏂᏙᎯ Ꮭ ᎡᎵ ᏳᎾᏜᏅᏓᏕᎰ ᎤᎾᏁᎶᏙᏗ ᏲᏁᎦ ᏚᎾᏙᎥ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᏧᏅᏁᏗᎢ.

Daugherty ᎤᏛᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏚᎵᏍᎬ ᎠᎾᏓᏩᏛᎯᏙ ᏔᎵ ᎢᏳᏓᎴ ᎤᎾᏅᏗ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ Ꮟ ᏄᎾᏂᎩᏓ ᎤᏍᏗ ᎦᏚᎲ ᎠᏁᏙᎯ: ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏄᏍᏛ ᏚᎾᏁᎳᏛ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎾᎿ ᎦᎵᏆᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏎ ᎠᎴ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ Ꮟ ᎠᏂᏬᏂᏍᎬᎢ.

ᎾᏝᎬᏊ, ᎾᎿ ᎤᏍᏗ ᎦᏚᎲ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᏁᏟᏴᏒ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎦᎵᏆᏚ ᎢᎦᏴᎵ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᏄᏅᏁᎸ ᎾᏃ ᎢᎬᏱ ᏥᎨᏒ ᏓᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ ᎨᏒ. ᏏᏃ ᎠᎾᏓᏅᏖ ᎤᎾᏔᏃᎯᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏴᏫ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎪᏛ ᏧᏂᎾᏢᏗ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ , ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓᏊ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎤᎾᏚᎵᎭ. ᎠᏕᎳ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎪᎸᏔᏅ ᎾᎿ ᎬᎾᏕᎾ ᎤᏂᏍᏆᏂᎪᏔᏅᎲᏍᏗ ᎪᏪᎵ ᏗᎦᏎᏍᏔᏅ ᏗᏍᏆᏂᎪᏙᏗ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᎾᎿ ᏩᏒᏓᏃᎢ, D.C., ᎬᏩᏂᏍᏕᎸᎲ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᏂᏬᏂᏍᎩ ᏗᎾᏘᏂᏙᎯ ᎤᎾᎴᏅᎲᎢ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᏪᏘ ᎤᏍᏗ ᎦᏚᎲ ᎤᎦᏎᏍᏗᏕᎦ Tommy Wildcat.

“ᎣᏣᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏓ ᎨᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎬᎵᏱᎵᏒ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏁᏙᎯ ᏗᎧᏃᎯᏎᎸᏗ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

ᎯᎢᏃ ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬ ᎤᎵᏍᎬᏗ ᏱᎩ ᎾᎿ ᏙᎦᎾᏢᏗ Ross ᎠᎴ Daugherty ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎠᏂᎦᏔᎾᎥ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎾᏕᎶᏆᎥ ᏚᎾᏛᏏᏗᏒᎢ. Wildcat ᎤᏛᏅ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎠᏂᏔᎵ ᏗᎾᏘᏂᏙᎯ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎤᎾᏕᎶᏆᎥ ᎤᎾᏅᏔ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏗ, ᎠᎯᏓ ᏄᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᎰ ᎠᏁᏙᎯ ᏧᏂᏃᏎᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎭᏂ ᎤᏪᏘ ᎤᏍᏗ ᎦᏚᎲ ᎤᎪᏛ ᏙᎯᏳ ᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ.
“ᎣᏍᏓᏃ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎠᏂᎦᏙᎲᏍᎪ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

Wildcat ᎤᏛᏅ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎠᏁᏙᎯ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᏍᏚᎢᏓ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ ᏚᎵᏍᏗ ᎧᎸ ᎢᎪᎯᏓ. ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᎾᏅᏁᎲ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᏗᎾᏘᏁᎦ ᎠᎵᏍᏚᎢᏍᎪ ᎤᏠᏯ ᎠᏴᏍᏙᏗ ᏔᎵᏁᎢᎦ ᏂᏕᎦᎵᏍᏔᏁᎬ ᎤᏙᏓᏈᏕᎾ ᎢᎪᎯᏓ ᏌᏊ ᎠᏰᏟ ᏒᎯᏰᏯᏗᏟ. ᎧᎵ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏂᏬᏂᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ, ᎧᎵ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᏴᏍᏙᏗ ᏧᏂᎾᎢ ᎡᎵᏊ ᏗᎵᏏᏅᏙᏗ ᎨᏐ ᏔᎵᏁᎢᎦ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᏙᏓᏈᏕᎾ. ᎢᎪᎯᏓ ᏓᎾᏘᏂᏙᎲ ᎠᏁᏙᎯ ᏦᏍᎪᎯ ᎠᎴ ᏅᎩᏍᎪ ᎯᏍᎩ ᏳᏔᏬᏍᏔᏅᎢ.

Ross ᎠᎴ Daugherty ᏗᎾᏘᏂᏙᎰ ᎠᏁᏙ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏍᏗ ᎦᏚᎲ, ᏐᏁᎳ ᏂᏚᏙᏢᏒ ᏓᎾᎴᏫᏍᏗᏍᎪ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎠᏃᏢᏅᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏃ ᏯᏛᎾ ᏔᎷᏣ, ᎦᎵᏣᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎦᏟᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᎠᎾᏁᏦᏍᎪ, ᏓᏫᏍᎦᎵ ᏅᏯ ᎠᏅᏗᎪ ᎠᏃᏢᏅᏍᎪ ᎠᎴ ᏚᏇᏍᏗ. ᎯᎠ ᏗᎾᏘᏂᏙᎯ ᏓᏂᏃᏎᎸᏁᎰ ᎠᎾᎵᏍᎩᏍᎪ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᏃᎮᏍᎪ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎲᎢ.

Wildcat ᎤᏛᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏅᎩᏍᎪ ᏅᎩ ᎾᏕᏘᏯ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏍᏗ ᎦᏚᎲ ᎠᏯᏙᎯᎲ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎡᎶᎯ ᏂᎬᎾᏛᎢ ᏂᏙᏓᏳᎾᏂᎩᏓ ᏚᏂᏃᎯᏎᎳ, ᎤᎪᏛᏃ ᎤᎵᏍᎬᏗᏴ, ᎾᏍᎩᏯᏮ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎩᎳ ᏗᎾᏛᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎤᏃᏢᏅᏗ ᎤᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎤᏅᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᎪᎯᎦ ᏥᎨᏎ ᏯᏛᎾ ᎦᎵᏣᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎦᏟᏓ, ᏚᏇᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏲᏍᏙᏗ, ᏓᏫᏍᎦᎵ ᏗᎪᏢᏔᏅ ᏗᎦᏟᏗ ᎢᏧᏅᏙᏗ, ᏔᎷᏣ ᎠᎴ ᎦᏓᎫᎫ. ᎢᎦᏓᏃ ᎤᎾᏕᎶᏆᎥ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎾᏓᎪᎾᏅᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᏂᏫᏛᎭ ᎤᏃᏢᏅᏅ ᎠᎴ ᎢᎬᏱ ᎠᏌᏍᏛ ᎤᏂᎩᏌ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏕᎶᏆᎥ ᎾᎿ ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎲᎢ. “ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᎤᏂᎶᏌ ᎠᎭᏂ ᎤᎾᏕᎶᏆ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏄᎾᏛᏁᎵᏙᎸ ᎤᎾᏕᎶᏆᎠ Ꮭ ᏳᏅᎨᏫᏍᎪ ᏄᏍᏛ ᏗᎩᎶᏒᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Wildcat.

ᎤᎪᏛ ᎠᏕᎶᎰᎯᏍᏗ ᏲᏚᎵ, ᏂᏓᏣᏟᏃᎮᏓ 918-456-6007, ext. 6148, or email Susan Cro at susan-cro@cherokee.org.

About the Author
Will lives in Tahlequah, Okla., but calls Marble City, Okla., his hometown. He is Cherokee and San Felipe Pueblo and grew up learning the Cherokee language, traditions and culture from his Cherokee mother and family. He also appreciates his father’s Pueblo culture and when possible attends annual traditional dances held on the San Felipe Reservation near Albuquerque, N.M.

He enjoys studying and writing about Cherokee history and culture and writing stories about Cherokee veterans. For Will, the most enjoyable part of writing for the Cherokee Phoenix is having the opportunity to meet Cherokee people from all walks of life.
He earned a mass communications degree in 1993 from Northeastern State University with minors in marketing and psychology. He is a member of the Native American Journalists Association.

Will has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 20 years. He has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a reporter and a photographer for the Cherokee Phoenix for more than 18 years. He was named interim executive editor on Dec. 8, 2015, by the Cherokee Phoenix Editorial Board.
WILL-CHAVEZ@cherokee.org • 918-207-3961
Will lives in Tahlequah, Okla., but calls Marble City, Okla., his hometown. He is Cherokee and San Felipe Pueblo and grew up learning the Cherokee language, traditions and culture from his Cherokee mother and family. He also appreciates his father’s Pueblo culture and when possible attends annual traditional dances held on the San Felipe Reservation near Albuquerque, N.M. He enjoys studying and writing about Cherokee history and culture and writing stories about Cherokee veterans. For Will, the most enjoyable part of writing for the Cherokee Phoenix is having the opportunity to meet Cherokee people from all walks of life. He earned a mass communications degree in 1993 from Northeastern State University with minors in marketing and psychology. He is a member of the Native American Journalists Association. Will has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 20 years. He has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a reporter and a photographer for the Cherokee Phoenix for more than 18 years. He was named interim executive editor on Dec. 8, 2015, by the Cherokee Phoenix Editorial Board.

Culture

BY STAFF REPORTS
03/15/2017 12:45 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Discover your family history and Cherokee ancestry at the Cherokee Heritage Center’s 16th annual Cherokee Ancestry Conference June 9-10 at the Tribal Complex. The event provides participants with the tools to research their ancestry with Cherokee historical records and features a variety of discussion topics, including historical events before and after the removal, inter-tribal relationships and advancements in social media and its effect on genealogy research. Participants will also learn about various CN records available online as well as resources available in their local area for Cherokee ancestry research. A discount is given to those who register before June 3. Pre-registration is $60 for Cherokee National Historical Society members and $75 for nonmembers. The deadline is June 3. Registrations after June 3 are $70 for CNHS members and $85 for nonmembers. The Cherokee Ancestry Conference will be held in the Osiyo Room at the Tribal Complex. It is located at 17725 S. Muskogee Ave. in the same building as Restaurant of the Cherokees. For more information, including accommodations and registration, call 918-456-6007, ext. 6162, or email <a href="mailto: ashley-vann@cherokee.org">ashley-vann@cherokee.org</a>.
BY STAFF REPORTS
03/09/2017 12:15 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Visitors to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., have the opportunity to learn about the history and culture of the Cherokees from March 31 to April 2.   For the fourth consecutive year, the Cherokee Nation, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians are partnering to host Cherokee Days at the museum, which is free to attend. “We have established an excellent partnership with the National Museum of the American Indian that annually celebrates the shared history and heritage of the Cherokee people,” Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “This event is a unique showcase and educational opportunity focused on our tribal lifeways. Our artisans, culture keepers and historians from the federally recognized governments of the Cherokee are able to come together as family and share our rich story that is so prominent in America’s history.”  Cherokee Days shares the history of the Cherokees through a timeline exhibit, live cultural art demonstrations and cultural performances. Among the art demonstrations are pottery making, basket weaving, carving and textiles. “You will learn the tribal stories of the Cherokee Nation, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee. Our history is interwoven in the stories of survival, enrichment and the golden years,” UKB Principal Chief Joe Bunch said. “Cherokee Days at the Smithsonian promises to be a highly informative and enlightening learning experience. We have a wonderful opportunity to share our unique story and our culture with thousands of visitors in Washington, D.C.” As part of the event, there will be a make-and-take experience that provides children an opportunity to create traditionally inspired Cherokee items. “Cherokee Days is a unique opportunity for visitors and guests to experience the rich culture and history of the Cherokee people," Eastern Band Principal Chief Patrick Lambert said “At a time where there is increasing demand to learn more about the First Americans, working together the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the Cherokee Nation and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee weave an incredible experience in the heart of the nation's capital. We look to not only showcase our historical Cherokee values, we want to show how we have evolved and retained our culture in a modern world.” The Cherokee Phoenix will also have a booth at the museum with subscription forms during the three-day event. Those unable to attend can watch by visiting <a href="http:www.CherokeeDays.com" target="_blank">http:www.CherokeeDays.com</a>.  The site provides a detailed agenda of daily activities and performances, access to information and photos from each tribe’s social media accounts and live streaming throughout the event.
BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
03/07/2017 09:15 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee National Treasure Vivian Cottrell has shared her knowledge of basket making at the Cherokee Arts Center for the past two months. Specifically, she taught “the old Cherokee traditional basket style of double weave” using river cane. “It’s our old traditional Cherokee style of weaving, and I am trying to teach it to others,” she said. “I’ve been weaving for approximately 45 years, since I was 13. My mother taught me, and she was also a (Cherokee) National Treasure. Her name was Betty Scraper Garner.” Cottrell, of Flint Ridge, said for the past four or five years she has been studying river cane – how to split it, peel it and dye it – as her Cherokee ancestors did in the old Cherokee Nation in eastern Tennessee, northern Georgia and western North Carolina. There the cane was abundant along the region’s many rivers. Her home is near the Illinois River, which allows her to walk to the river to gather cane and other basket-making materials. “And over that time I’ve also been weaving it, and once I felt comfortable...then I was able to pass that on. It was very important for me...to pass that knowledge on to others,” she said. Cottrell said she learned from her mother the importance to pass on her knowledge, so she recently took advantage of a CN program that recruits Cherokee National Treasures to teach classes to share their artistic skills. Cottrell said Cherokee people used double-weave baskets for storing and carrying items and are known for creating double-weave or double-wall baskets. The double-weave style is “labor intensive,” she said. A double-weave basket is two baskets with one inside the other, woven together at the rim. The weaver begins at the base of the inside basket and works upward to the rim. At the rim, the cane is bent downward, and the outside is woven from the top to the base, which makes the basket sturdier. Candice Byrd said she had “foundational knowledge” on how to make a double-weave basket having studied with Cherokee National Treasures Bessie Russell and Shawna Morton Cain. Byrd said she makes round-reed baskets where buck brush, honeysuckle reed or commercial reed is used, however, she said she wanted to study under Cottrell because she admires her basket-making work. “I’ve seen it at art shows, I’ve seen it at Cherokee Art Market, and I wanted to learn from her how she did her technique on how to do the double woven because in involves a lot of counting and it’s very specific,” she said. “It’s very hard to do, and it’s not something we see as often in these parts, as often as we seen it with the Eastern Band of Cherokees. I think it’s important that we have basket weavers who know different types of techniques.” Cottrell said she did not expect her students to weave an entire basket in one day, but as they gained experience they began to weave faster. Some of her students made three or four baskets in two months. Sally Briggs said she was glad to be invited to learn with Cottrell. She also knew how to weave baskets using various types of reeds, but learning how to make a Cherokee double-weave basket was something she has wanted to learn for years, she said. “I’ve never accomplished this basket until now,” she said. “I think, the (Cherokee) National Treasures and the Cherokee Nation, it was something they wanted to do to encourage more people to learn this basket and to make it.” She said she once tried to learn how to make a river cane, double-weave basket by reading a book but wasn’t successful. “It took Vivian teaching it to me because there are several intricate points in it, and it is a more difficult basket than what I was used to doing. So, it has been a fabulous opportunity to learn something that is one the Cherokee’s oldest style of baskets,” Briggs said.
BY STAFF REPORTS
03/06/2017 04:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Northeastern State University Center for Tribal Studies has set the 45th annual Symposium on the American Indian for April 10-15 in the University Center at NSU’s Tahlequah campus. This years theme is “Indian Givers: Indigenous Inspirations,” and the event will include the return of the NSU Powwow. According to the symposium’s website, the symposium “will focus on the many ways in which American Indians have contributed to mainstream, western culture through art, literature, government and other areas of the humanities.” The symposium’s film series will kick off the week with two screenings. “Violet” will be shown at 6 p.m. on April 10 and “Medicine Woman” will be shown at 6 p.m. on April 11, both in the W. Roger Webb Educational Technology Center’s auditorium. The opening ceremony is set for 9:30 a.m. on April 12 where the Native American Student Association will welcome guests with comments from Center for Tribal Studies Director Sara Barnett and NASA President and Cherokee Nation citizen Jacob Chavez. The ceremony will also include a presentation of colors from the CN Color Guard, the Miss Native American NSU Crowning Ceremony and a special presentation from the Wewoka High School students and first year students of Maskoke Seminole Language class. Several keynote speakers will be at the symposium including CN citizen Dr. Jeff Corntassel, associate professor and graduate advisor in the School of Indigenous Governance at the University of Victoria; Jacklyn Roessel, Navajo, founder of Grown Up Navajo and former education and public programs director at the Heard Museum; and more. The symposium will end with the NSU Powwow on April 15. The day will begin at 2 p.m. with a Gourd Dance, dinner at 5 p.m. and the Grand Entry/Intertribal powwow from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.nsuok.edu/symposium" target="_blank">www.nsuok.edu/symposium</a>.
BY STAFF REPORTS
03/06/2017 09:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Speakers Bureau will be held Thursday March 9, 2017 from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. We will meet in the Community Ballroom that is located behind the Restaurant of the Cherokee. All Cherokee speakers are invited to attend. If you want to bring a side dish or a dessert, feel free to bring it. Come speak Cherokee and enjoy food and fellowship. For further information about the event, please contact the Language Program at (918) 453-5151; John Ross at (918) 453-6170; or Roy Boney Jr. (918) 453-5487. Tsalagi aniwonisgi unadatlugv dodvnatlosi Nvgineiga Anvyi 9, 2017, ganvsulvi 12:30 p.m. adalenisgi 4 p.m. igohida. Na anitsalagi tsunalisdayetiyi tsigotlv unaditli wayvsdi onadilvyvi utani kanvsula dodvnatlosi. Nanivanitsalagi aniwonisgi otsitayohiha uniluhisdii. Alisdayvdi ayohisdi yodulia. Dodayotsadatlisani aledodayotsalisdayvna hilutsvi. Ugodesdi tsadulihesdi tsadelayohisdi hiina wigehiyadvdi: Tsalagi Gawonihisdi Unadotlvsv (918) 453-5151; John Ross (918) 453-6170; or Roy Boney Jr. (918) 453-5487.
BY STAFF REPORTS
02/27/2017 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes Language Committee will be hosting a two-day Language Summit April 12-13 at Northeastern State University. The summit will run concurrently with NSU’s annual Symposium of the American Indian. The summit’s theme is “Breaking the Inhibitions” and topics will focus on overcoming inhibitions that stand in the way of successful language learning among tribal communities, challenges of creating adequate social spaces for language learners and dealing with generational trauma caused by government policies that suppressed Indigenous languages. The keynote speaker for the summit will be Dr. Colleen Fitzgerald, professor of linguistics at the University of Texas at Arlington and National Science Foundation Program Director for Documenting Endangered Languages. Entry to all summit sessions is free and open to the public. However, due to limited seating, attendance for the keynote luncheon will be capped at 70 attendees. Tickets are required for entry to the keynote. Tickets will be $20 each and include a BBQ buffet meal. Melanie Frye, Seminole Nation language education specialist and president of the Inter-Tribal Council Language Committee, said she encourages all who can to attend. “Our languages are the sacredness that holds our cultures together and helps the cultures and peoples flourish. Our languages allowed us to converse with one another, govern ourselves, perform our ceremonies and teach our youth. The peoples of each tribal nation are meant to be the caretakers of their language and culture. We all need to work as a collective in order to find ways to save our languages. We are coming together to share our ideas and to learn more ways to fight language loss amongst our respective nations. We would like for you all to join us at the 2017 Inter-Tribal Council Language Summit,” Frye said. For more information, email Teresa Workman, Chickasaw Nation language manager, at <a href="mailto: teresa.workman@chickasaw.net">teresa.workman@chickasaw.net</a> or Melanie Frye at <a href="mailto: frye.m@sno-nsn.gov">frye.m@sno-nsn.gov</a>. A flier and registration form for the summit may be downloaded at <a href="http://www.fivecivilizedtribes.org" target="_blank">www.fivecivilizedtribes.org</a>. Make checks payable to “ITC Language.” Bring the registration forms and checks to the first day of the summit. Receipts will be provided.