Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith, center, and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Michell Hicks, left, carry torches on April 16, 2009, to relight the Eternal Flame of the Cherokee Nation located at Red Clay State Park in Cleveland, Tenn. The park is hosting the commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Trail of Tears on Aug. 3-4. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Trail of Tears commemoration set at Red Clay
CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Red Clay State Park will host “Honor and Remember” on Aug. 3-4 to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the Trail of Tears.
The event will be held 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. While the event is free and open to the public, there is a $5 donation fee per vehicle.
Re-enactors will demonstrate 18th and early 19th century southeastern life featuring Cherokee and non-Native settlers. The event will also include Cherokee foods, music, dancing, storytelling and demonstrations of traditional crafts and skills. Park rangers will lead hikes and speakers will give lectures discussing various topics related to the Cherokee and the Trail of Tears.
“Red Clay’s commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Trail of Tears is a great opportunity for visitors to view a depiction of Cherokee life in the 1700s and early 1800s,” park manager Erin Medley said.
For more information on the anniversary event, call Red Clay’s park office at 423-478-0339 or visit www.tnstateparks.com/RedClay
Red Clay State Historic Park is located in the extreme southwest corner of Bradley County, just above the Tennessee-Georgia state line and is the site of 11 of the last 12 Cherokee Council meetings before the infamous Trail of Tears.
The park encompasses 263 acres of narrow valley and forested ridges and features picnic facilities, a loop trail and amphitheater. The park also contains a natural landmark, the Blue Hole Spring, which arises from beneath a limestone ledge to form a deep pool that flows into Mill Creek. The Cherokee used the Blue Hole Spring as their water supply during council meetings.
For more information about the park, visit www.tnstateparks.com/RedClay
VANCOUVER, Wash. – American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian artists are invited March 10-12 to connect with the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation at free Oklahoma outreach presentations in Tahlequah, Tulsa and Oklahoma City.
The foundation will share information about how individual artists can apply for the 2015 NACF Artist Fellowship. The annual award recognizes Native artists in the disciplines of performing arts, filmmaking, literature, music, traditional arts and visual arts with a prestigious award and support ranging up to $20,000 per artist. The deadline to apply for the fellowship is 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on April 6.
“We are looking forward to meeting Oklahoma artists interested in this award and we are very grateful to our hosts, the Southeastern Indian Arts Association, the Philbrook Museum and the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum,” NACF Program Officer Andre Bouchard said.
An NACF outreach meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. March 10 at the Cherokee Arts Center at 212 Water Ave. in Tahlequah. The Southeastern Indian Arts Association is helping host the meeting.
On March 11, a second outreach meeting will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the lobby at the
116 E. M. B. Brady St. in Tulsa, and the third meeting will be held from noon to 1:30 p.m. March 12 at the American Indian Cultural Center & Museum at 900 N. Broadway Ave., Suite 200 in Oklahoma City.
Additional information about the events will be shared via social media at <a href="http://www.facebook.com/nacfmedia" target="_blank">http://www.facebook.com/nacfmedia</a> and <a href="http://www.twitter.com/nacfmedia" target="_blank">Chttp://www.twitter.com/nacfmedia</a>.
Artists who are members of federally and state-recognized U.S. tribes, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities can review criteria and complete an application for the fellowship at <a href="http://your.culturegrants.org" target="_blank">http://your.culturegrants.org /a> before the April 6 deadline.
The foundation will announce award recipients in August. For questions and technical support, email Bouchard at email@example.com or call (360) 314-2421.
One of the only opportunities in the U.S. of this magnitude dedicated to supporting Indigenous culture makers, the foundation’s national fellowship has been awarded to 41 American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian artists in past years. Past fellows include Tulsa-based multidisciplinary artist Shan Goshorn (Eastern Band Cherokee) and Oklahoma poet Santee Frazier (Cherokee).
To learn more about the foundation’s mission and artists who have been honored with the award, visit <a href="http://www.nativeartsandcultures.org" target="_blank">www.nativeartsandcultures.org</a>.
CINCINNATI (AP) – A utility crew in southwest Ohio has discovered a rare Native American pendant dating to the fifth century.
Officials with the suburban Cincinnati village of Newtown and the Cincinnati Museum Center said a shell pendant called a gorget (GOR'-jit) was recently found amid Native American human remains and artifacts uncovered while a crew dug a trench. The decorative pendant is engraved with an unidentified animal.
Archaeologists hope studying the pendant will teach them more about the early portion of the late Woodland period and the people who lived in the area.
An archaeology curator at the museum says gorgets with animal depictions are rare and there are only about eight of that style and period in the United States.
LONDON – Following the success of its first-ever photography competition, Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, has announced its second worldwide photography contest, which aims to celebrate photography as a powerful medium for raising awareness of tribal peoples, their unique ways of life and the threats to their existence.
Both amateur and professional photographers are encouraged to enter. Photographs can be submitted in the guardians category, which are images showing tribal peoples as guardians of the natural world; the community category, which are portraits of relationships between individuals, families or tribes; and the survival category, which are images showing tribal peoples’ diverse ways of life.
The judging panel consists of Survival’s Director Stephen Corry, Survival Italy Coordinator Francesca Casella, The Little Black Gallery Co-Founder Ghislain Pascal and Max Houghton, senior lecturer in photography at the London College of Communication.
The 12 winning entries will be published in Survival’s 2016 calendar with the overall winner’s image featured on the cover. The closing date for entries is April 30.
For more information, visit: <a href="http://www.survivalinternational.org/photography" target="_blank">www.survivalinternational.org/photography</a>.
DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The next meeting of the Georgia Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association will begin at 10:30 a.m. on March 14 at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega.
The speaker will be GCTOTA board member Walter J. Knapp, instructor of Native American Culture and History at UNG. The topic will be “Successes and Challenges for Native Americans Today and in the Future”.
Visit <a href="http://ung.edu/visitors/campuses/dahlonega/driving-directions.php" target="_blank">http://ung.edu/visitors/campuses/dahlonega/driving-directions.php</a>
for directions to the university. The meeting will be held in the Adult Education building across from the main entrance to the campus between a pizza place and a Dairy Queen. The address is 82 College Circle Drive.
The Trail of Tears Association was created to support the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail established by an act of Congress in 1987. The TOTA is dedicated to identifying and preserving sites associated with the removal of Native Americans from the southeast. The association consists of nine state chapters representing the nine states that the Cherokee, Creek and other tribes traveled through on their way to Indian Territory, now Oklahoma.
The GCTOTA meetings are free and open to the public. People need not have Native American ancestry to attend the meetings, just an interest and desire to learn more about this fascinating and tragic period in this country’s history.
For more information about the TOTA, visit the National TOTA website at <a href="http://www.nationaltota.org" target="_blank">www.nationaltota.org</a>
and the Georgia Chapter website at <a href="http://www.gatrailoftears.org" target="_blank">www.gatrailoftears.org</a>. For questions about the March meeting, email Tony Harris at <a href="mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Cherokee National Treasure Martha Berry will teach a beginners-level beadwork class from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 11 at the Oklahoma History Center at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive.
Participants will learn how to make a lady’s purse. All supplies and lunch is included in the cost.
For enrollment or cost information, call OHC Director of Education Jason Harris at 405-522-0785 or email him <a href="mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>.
Beadwork artist Martha Berry was born and raised in Tulsa. Her grandmother and mother taught her how to sew and embroider at age 5, and she later became a professional seamstress. As a Cherokee artist Berry creates elaborately beaded bandolier bags, moccasins, belts, knee bands, purses and sashes inspired by the styles of Southeastern tribes including the Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, Yuchi and Alabama. Her work is displayed in museums throughout the country.
Berry, 66, of Tyler, Texas, taught herself the craft of beading and continues to research the beadwork of Southeastern tribes. She is credited with helping bring back the art form to the Cherokee people and makes time to teach others her craft.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – During a Feb. 7 benefit stomp dance, more than 400 people gathered at the Tahlequah Community Building to raise money for a local Cherokee family that suffered a horrific car accident in January.
The stomp dance was originally planned to raise money for the Echota Ground, a Cherokee stomp ground in Park Hill. Echota Ground Chief David Comingdeer said the event raised more than $3,500 with half going to the Flynns to help with their expenses.
Family members suffered multiple injuries and totaled their vehicle in the accident.
“This evening here in Tahlequah we’ve called all our ceremonial grounds together from the Cherokee Nation, Muskogee Creek, Eucha, Shawnee, Seminole, Seneca Cayuga, even Peoria and Ottawa,” Comingdeer said. “We’ve all come together to help a family, a Cherokee family, a ceremonial family who got in a really bad wreck. We’ve decided to do what we can to help them.”
The Flynns, driving a 2004 Chevy Trailblazer, were hit in a head-on collision on State Highway 51 by Randall Welch, of Welling, who was driving a 2002 Nissan Frontier.
Welch was taken by Tulsa Life Flight and admitted for injuries while the driver of the Trailblazer, Jack “Red” Flynn, was taken to Arkansas with external trunk, leg and head injuries.
Jack’s passengers were Kathy Gann, Jimmy Ross and Nellie Flynn, all family members of Jack. Ross suffered injuries to the head trunk and leg, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Nellie, Jack’s mother, was taken to a Tulsa hospital with similar injuries.
Nellie was unable to make it to the event because of continual problems with the injuries she suffered. Jack, Ross and Gann were present during the dance along with several other family members.
Some family members said the accident had put the family in a financial bind with hospital visits and losing the vehicle.
“Their going back and forth to the hospital. Both him (Jack) and Nellie are going,” Linda Christie, a Flynn family relative, said.
She said the funds would help with gas, food, travel and anything else unforeseen.
Jack said without the benefit assistance the family would be forced to suffer more with the financial hardship in which the accident put them.
The Flynns and Ross will have a long road ahead of them for full recovery, family members said, but they were appreciative of the donations and support from those who attended.
Stomp dance attendee Celia Xavier said witnessing the fundraiser “felt like a throwback to the way our earlier societies were.”
“Moving in the same direction, giving a helping hand when one needed it. What affects one, affects all. We are supposed to help each other,” Xavier said. “The antithesis of today’s ‘me society.’ It was interesting to see kindness through the actions of the chief of the Echota Grounds. He is giving half the donations to the Flynn family, who was in dire need of help. It was a moving and spiritual experience.”
The family is a member of Stokes Ceremonial Grounds, but Comingdeer said it doesn’t matter what ground one is from.
“They may not be from our ground, but they’re from another ground and we have a lot of respect for each other. We always support each other, try to love and understand each other,” he said. “You can take everything away from us, even our land. You can take all of our corporation away, as long as we still have our beliefs and our tradition we can build a fire, have our dances and take our medicine, speak our language, then we’re still a tribe. Tonight is the foundation of our culture. It’s the foundation of our tribe, and this is how we help each other.
For those interested in donating to the Echota Ground or the Flynns can do so by mailing a check to Route 4 Box 1570, Stilwell, OK 74960. Make checks out to Echota Ground and indicate in the memo where donation is to go.