http://www.cherokeephoenix.orgCherokee 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 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
Video with default Cherokee Phoenix Frame
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 WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
04/27/2017 08:15 AM
ROCK FENCE, Okla. – Leading a school bus of Greasy School fifth and sixth graders in his pickup truck, Cherokee Nation ethno botanist Roger Cain stops near a bridge overlooking Little Lee Creek, east of the Adair County school. After the children and teachers unload, he leads them to a nearby river canebrake where he shows them how cane grows, discusses how Cherokee people used it for tools and weapons and to hide in when they were attacked by enemy tribes. For the past few years, Cain has researched and catalogued river cane fields in the tribe’s jurisdiction for the Cherokee River Cane Initiative. The initiative encourages people to understand better and preserve dwindling river cane fields in the jurisdiction. Since January, Cain has visited fifth and sixth graders at Greasy School to teach them about river cane and how Cherokee people used it. The students have had opportunities to shoot blowguns made from river cane and learn how to throw river cane spears using an atlatl, which gives the spear more force. “We’re finally finishing up the school year by coming out to a canebrake and seeing what a canebrake looks like and how it impacts the environment,” Cain said. “We’ve been talking about river cane and how it’s used for baskets, for blowguns, atlatls as well how it’s good for the environment...for water quality. Cain also told students how he uses Google Maps to map and catalog river canebrakes in the CN. Next fall he said he plans to show the students how he creates his maps. Teaching Greasy students about river cane and how it affects their environment is needed, he said, because 99 percent of river cane found in Adair County is located near the school. “What we figured (through the initiative) is we need to start addressing this with the local school systems and working at keeping them (canebrakes) clean and teaching how important the ecosystems are. Hopefully we’ll expand the coverage area for future use and future Cherokees,” he said. “I’m hoping to continue it and expand it into other schools next year.” During the April 13 field trip, Cain also showed students other plants and their importance to Cherokee people such as the bloodroot plant, which is used for medicine as well as dye to color woven baskets including baskets made from river cane. Greasy student Sadie Ritter said she’s learned a lot about river cane including how it grows, where to find it and how it can be made into various things. “I learned about (river cane) rhizomes and how to find it on Google Maps. It’s really cool to learn about it,” she said. Sixth grade teacher Marilyn Bynum said she believes her students learned a lot about their environment from Cain and the role it played for Cherokee people. “The children have had the opportunity to use the blow darts and throw the atlatl and experience hands on some tools their ancestors had used for many years, and it really brought it to life. It was like living history,” she said. “Today, we have talked about the natural resource (of river cane) and how it protects the banks of the river. We’re at Little Lee Creek in Adair County, and Roger has shown us how the river cane helps maintain the soil along the banks.” For more information, visit the Cherokee River Cane Initiative page on Facebook.
BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
04/18/2017 08:15 AM
PARK HILL, Okla. – Sac and Fox artist Tony Tiger took home the grand prize award for his work “Metamorphosis” at the Cherokee Heritage Center’s 46th annual Trail of Tears Art Show. Winning artists for the show were announced April 7 during an opening-night celebration for the show, which can be viewed through May 6. The TOTAS is the longest-running Native American art show in Oklahoma and features a variety of authentic art. Featured artwork is available to purchase throughout the show’s duration. CHC Interim Director Tonia Hogner Weavel said the show is open to any federally recognized tribal citizen. Artists competed for more than $14,000 in prize money in seven categories: paintings, graphics, sculpture, pottery, basketry, miniatures and jewelry. “The art is the most prestigious in the country, and it is for sale to the public. The art show gives people the opportunity to see some of the most contemporary artists that are being featured nationally. So, we are pleased and happy to host this show,” she said. Tiger said he has been participating in the art show for about 10 years, and this is the first time he’s won the grand prize. “I was very surprised,” Tiger, who is also Seminole and Creek, said. “Artists have to have opportunities to exhibit their art, to sell their art, and this (TOTAS) is a wonderful way to do that.” Cherokee Nation citizen Renee Hoover entered her contemporary double-wall baskets using round reed material in the show and won a first place award for her “My Mother’s Basket.” “The Trail of Tears Art Show is really a special show. It recognizes the wonderful traditions of Native people and the artistry that we have. I especially like participating in it because of the quality of the art is outstanding. It’s very competitive, and I always come in worried ‘will I be good enough, will I be juried in?’ So, there’s a lot of anxiety,” she said. “It’s wonderful to also appreciate the artwork that’s here and the way we as Native people use our art to continue to allow our traditions and culture to thrive.” For a complete list of awardees, visit www.Anadisgoi.com. <strong>2017 TOTAS Winners & Awards</strong> Painting: Roy Boney Jr., Cherokee Nation, “She Led Her By the Hand ” Sculpture: Troy Jackson, Cherokee Nation, “Exodus, The Assembling of Displacement” Basketry: Renee Hoover, Cherokee Nation, “My Mother’s Basket” Pottery: Chase Earles, Caddo Nation, “Caddo Story of the Flood: Respect Land and Animals” Jewelry: Toneh Chuleewah, Cherokee Nation, “Copper Style Bracelet” Graphics: Brenda Bradford, Cherokee Nation, “Light Through Fire” Miniature: Merlin Littlethunder, Cheyenne Nation, “Chiefs Meeting on Water Rights” Emerging Artists: Kellie Vann, Cherokee Nation, “Bath Time for Super Heroes” Bill Rabbit Legacy Award: Karin Walkingstick, Cherokee Nation, “Tsi-s-du” Betty Garner Elder Award: Paul Hacker, Choctaw Nation, “The Chief”
BY STAFF REPORTS
04/11/2017 12:45 PM
PARK HILL, Okla. – Learn the history of the Cherokee National Female Seminary during a lunchtime discussion on April 21 at the John Ross Museum. Retired educator and local historian Beth Herrington will lead the one-hour discussion beginning at noon. Construction began on the Cherokee National Female Seminary in 1847 under the direction of Principal Chief John Ross. It opened in 1851 as one of the earliest schools of higher learning established for women west of the Mississippi. The building was later destroyed by fire on Easter Sunday in 1887. Rebuilt 130 years ago, the building represents the oldest structure on what would come to be known as Northeastern State University. The event is open to the public and free to attend. Guests are encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch. The museum will also offer free admission throughout the day. The museum highlights the life of John Ross and houses exhibits and interactive displays on the Trail of Tears, Civil War, Cherokee Golden Age and the Cherokee Nation’s passion for education. The museum is housed in an old, rural school building known as School No. 51 and sits at the foot of Ross Cemetery, where John Ross and other notable CN citizens are buried. The museum is located at 22366 S. 530 Road.
BY LINDSEY BARK
Staff Writer
04/11/2017 08:15 AM
PRYOR, Okla. – Five years after her father Bill’s death, Cherokee Nation citizen Traci Rabbit is continuing her family’s artistic legacy with her ability to create and reproduce art for the studio they operated together – Rabbit Studios. “(I’m) so just very blessed that I’m able to support quite a few people in my family…carrying on my dad’s legacy. Doing the only thing I knew to do,” Traci said. Traci said her father was “progressive” when he started reproducing art to sell as a means of income to support a family. She said artists are realizing the value of reproductions and how to make a living as an artist. For the Cherokee Phoenix’s second quarter giveaway, she donated an 18-inch-by-24-inch giclee (reproduction) on canvas of her “Gifts of Life” painting. “I chose ‘Gifts of Life,’ which depicts a Native American woman with four hummingbirds representing the four directions, the four seasons, different stages of life. When people look at my work, I may try to convey one message but they see another. With spring coming, I thought that would be a good piece and people might like it,” Traci said. “The color palette that I used was to depict spring and the renewal of life and starting over. So that was what I was thinking when I painted that piece.” Most of her art depicts Native American women. She said she is inspired by the women in her family. “I would say that the reason that I do (paint Native American women) is from an early age my parents always empowered us kids. My mother is a very strong woman. The people in my family and the people that I was around and raised by, they were all very strong women. So, I guess growing up around that I admired their strength and their determination and their ability to rise above bad circumstances,” Traci said. At Rabbit Studios, all work and reproductions are done in-house on items such as art tiles, clipboards, mouse pads, cell phone covers, coffee mugs, coasters, scarves and handbags. Traci said her schedule throughout the year is “crazy.” From August to March, she travels to one or two art shows a month in and out of state, including wholesale shows. From March to July, she creates new art and decides what will come next in her product line to get ready for the next season’s schedule. Not only does she have to think creatively for her art, but she also get into a business mindset to determine what products she wants to sell. “Not only do I create the art, but being able to do the business side of it is, I think, so important for artists today. They should know both sides. That way they’re not fumbling through, not understanding. At least have an understanding of…that other side if you’re going to do it for a living because it is very important,” Traci said. Her art and merchandise can be found at billandtracirabbit.com. For more information, email <a href="mailto: orders@billandtracirabbit.com">orders@billandtracirabbit.com</a> or visit Rabbit Studios at 231 S. Taylor. On July 1, the Cherokee Phoenix will draw a winner for Rabbit’s “Gifts of Life.” For every $10 donated to the Cherokee Phoenix Elder/Veterans Fund or spent on Cherokee Phoenix goods one entry will be entered into the drawing.
BY LINDSEY BARK
Staff Writer
04/10/2017 08:00 AM
SNAKE CREEK, Okla. – From the dirt to the plate, spring is when many Cherokees are in the woods and hollows gathering a delicacy known as wild onions. For the Standingwater family, it’s a long-standing tradition passed generation to generation. Cherokee Nation citizen Stephanie Standingwater-Cutrer said she’s gathered onions for more than 30 years and remembers going with her grandmother. “I remember going with my grandma when I was old enough to walk. (I would) follow her. I didn’t know what she was doing. I just pretty much played in the dirt. She was always picking something. I would see her gathering everything up and take them and clean them,” Standingwater-Cutrer said. “I don’t remember actually being taught, I just was around it.” CN citizen Willa Standingwater said she remembers what her dad told her about Cherokee people. “Dad used to say that Indians lived off the land during spring and summer. Like in the woods, they’d go get onions and all these different kind of plants that you can eat. During the winter they’d eat off the animals.” Standingwater-Cutrer said she “picked up” on how her grandmother identified onions, looking for the “brightest green” stalks and ensuring they were “big enough” to be ripe. She said there is a right time to pick the onions. If they are too small, they taste sweet. If they are too big then they are “about to go to seed” and turn tough because of seeds growing in the bulbs. “I just know from the middle of March to the end of March they are pretty good to eat. Like this year they came out early,” Standingwater-Cutrer said. She said when it’s the right time to gather, onions can “smell up the house,” leaving an odor on clothing. Standingwater-Cutrer said she learned techniques from her grandmother and father for unearthing onions. She uses shovels, screwdrivers, sticks or her hands. Standingwater said she uses a butter knife and is teaching her children the same technique. When it comes to cleaning onions, Standingwater-Cutrer said she takes them to a nearby creek and runs them through the water. Then she peels back the first layer on the onion bulb and pinches the end to remove the roots. After learning where onions are located, how to identify them and using different unearthing techniques, Standingwater-Cutrer said she’s able to pass on the tradition to her son, whom she has taken on wild onion excursions since he was a baby. “Later on they’ll realize how important it is,” she said. As for cooking onions, Standingwater said she learned from her mother. After onions are cleaned, she prepares a frying pan with about two tablespoons of grease and chops the onions into 1-inch pieces. She then places three to four handfuls of chopped onions into the pan and lets them fry until the stalks turns dark green. After darkening, Standingwater adds salt and about a quarter cup of water and cooks the onions until the water evaporates. The last ingredient is whisked eggs. She cooks until the eggs are done. The whole process takes about 20 minutes. Standingwater-Cutrer and Standingwater said they enjoy getting out to their wild onion locations annually to gather as much as they can before the season ends. “They only come in season. You can’t get them anywhere (else), and there’s a lot of work that goes into it, too. A lot of the older people can’t really get out in the woods anymore and get down on the ground and get them like they used. A lot of them depend on us to get them some onions,” Standingwater-Cutrer said.
BY STAFF REPORTS
04/06/2017 04:00 PM
INDIANAPOLIS – One of downtown Indianapolis’ top artistic and cultural celebrations returns June 24-25, for its 25th anniversary: the Eiteljorg Museum Indian Market and Festival. Visitors can meet Native American artists from more than 60 tribes and purchase their handmade art, including jewelry, pottery, beadwork, cultural items, basketry, paintings, sculpture and weavings. The weekend also will feature performances from renowned Native American musicians Arvel Bird and Tony Duncan, as well as family-friendly cultural demonstrations of Native art, cooking and storytelling. The Indian Market and Festival will take place on the Eiteljorg Museum grounds from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) on both days, with artists’ booths located outside and inside the museum. A special feature this year will be a museum gallery exhibit celebrating 25 years of collecting Native American art during previous Eiteljorg Indian Markets. “As the Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival developed over the past 25 years, many Native American artists from all over the U.S. and Canada have traveled to Indianapolis to show their art and cultivate new collectors here in the Midwest – friends who return to Indian Market each year to see their favorite artists’ latest works,” said Eiteljorg President and CEO John Vanausdall. “This silver anniversary of Indian Market and Festival is especially meaningful, as longtime collectors and a second generation of visitors converge on the Eiteljorg Museum to experience Native American art and culture and share in this important community event.” After a modest start in 1993, the Eiteljorg Indian Market and Festival has grown into one of the top Native American art markets in the nation, and thousands of people attend the event held on the weekend after Father’s Day each year. Artists are chosen through a juried selection, and for artists to be eligible to participate, all entries must be handmade within the past two years by the artist entering the piece. Entries must be available for purchase during Indian Market and Festival and not include any part of a species of a protected animal. To ensure authenticity of artwork, all artists must provide documentation confirming they are members of a state-recognized tribe or citizens of a federally recognized tribe under the Indian Arts and Crafts Act. Judges who review the artwork will present awards to artists in multiple divisions, including a youth division. New to the Indian Market and Festival this year is veteran storyteller Ramona Moore Big Eagle (Tuscarora/Cherokee). As the oral historian and legend-keeper of the Tuscarora Nation of North Carolina, she is an educator and motivational. Returning storyteller Teresa Webb (Anishinaabe) also will talk about her culture, accompanied by flute, rattle and drum. For the performance schedule, visit <a href="http://www.eiteljorg.org" target="_blank">eiteljorg.org</a>. Admission to the Indian Market and Festival, which also gets visitors into the museum, is $13 for adults and $11 for seniors. Youth 17 and under are free. Eiteljorg members enjoy free admission. Discount tickets can be ordered in advance by calling 317-636-9378. Parking for a fee is available in the White River State Park garage. To enjoy early shopping before the crowds arrive, enthusiasts of Native American art can attend the Indian Market and Festival Preview Party on June 23. For party details and admission prices, see <a href="http://www.eiteljorg.org" target="_blank">eiteljorg.org</a>.