http://www.cherokeephoenix.orgThe Echota Ceremonial Ground in Park Hill, Oklahoma, has a history older than the state. A benefit stomp dance will be held for the ground on Feb. 7 at the Tahlequah Community Building. Members from all ceremonial grounds are welcome to come and fellowship and raise funding for improvements to ground. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
The Echota Ceremonial Ground in Park Hill, Oklahoma, has a history older than the state. A benefit stomp dance will be held for the ground on Feb. 7 at the Tahlequah Community Building. Members from all ceremonial grounds are welcome to come and fellowship and raise funding for improvements to ground. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Echota Ceremonial Ground has long history in area

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BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
01/17/2015 08:00 AM
PARK HILL, Okla. – The Echota Ceremonial Ground operates with the assistance of the Cherokee Nation and with the assistance of its members and other ceremonial grounds in the area.

The ceremonial ground is on CN land near the Cherokee Heritage Center. It moved to Park Hill in 2001 from Adair County.

“It (land) was provided by the (Tribal) Council for the relocation of our fire. We were losing the property where we were at, but before we did we started looking for a new home, and the Council offered several pieces of property and we chose that one for our use,” Echota Ceremonial Ground leader David Comingdeer said. “Since then we’ve had a healthy land-use agreement with the Tribal Council and our chiefs.”

The Echota Ceremonial Ground’s history is older than the state’s, Comingdeer said. It began near the Peavine Community in Adair County and later moved to Coon Mountain, also in Adair County. There the ground struggled as its leadership aged or became ill until the ground was turned over to Comingdeer, who was serving as second chief, in 2002.

“It’s a struggle to keep the ground going, but it’s very rewarding at the same time,” he said.

A benefit stomp dance will be held for the Echota Ceremonial Ground from 7 p.m. to midnight on Feb. 7 at the Tahlequah Community Building located at 908 S. College Ave. Members from all ceremonial grounds are welcome for fellowship and fundraising for improvements to the ground. The emcee will be Opv Mack.

Raffles, cake walks, an auction and drawings for grocery baskets will be a part of the fundraiser. Also, a concession stand will be available for guests.

Comingdeer said some maintenance needs to be done to the ceremonial ground and he wants to update the restrooms available to members and guests.

“There are so many people who come out there. We have primitive restrooms, and we just want to improve things a little bit for our visitors and make it more comfortable when they come,” he said.

Comingdeer said he’s proud that the Echota Ceremonial Ground is still a member of the “Four Mothers’ Society.” He said it is the only Cherokee ground that is still a member of the more than 100-year-old society.

The society began because Cherokee ceremonial people, along with Muscogee (Creek) ceremonial people, opposed the allotment of the tribal lands during the Dawes Commission allotment period in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The people feared it would open up “surplus lands” to white settlement, which did occur.

He said several Muscogee (Creek) ceremonial grounds are still part of the “Four Mothers’ Society.” At the ceremonial grounds stomp dances, stickball games, meetings and ceremonies are held.

“My ancestors from that ground (Echota) and the other core families from that ground, allied with the Creeks,” he said. “To this day, when they have meetings in the Creek Nation, I get invited to meet with the Creek ceremonial chiefs to discuss different issues. The Creeks still acknowledge us as part of the alliance.”

Comingdeer said he expects to receive support at the benefit stomp dance from Muscogee (Creek) ceremonial grounds and local Cherokee groups. He said members of the Echota Ceremonial Ground also support the Muscogee (Creek) grounds with their fundraisers and events.

“We are a Cherokee community, and we embody the Cherokee ceremonial culture. We work hard to perpetuate, nor preserve, our ceremonial values and ceremonial ways the way they were passed down to us,” he said. “That’s what makes us a tribe. It’s not enterprises or businesses or whatnot. You can take all that away as long as we still have our ceremonial ground and our language and our ceremonial beliefs, we’re still a tribe. That’s what gives us our federal recognition...so it’s important that we uphold that.”

Members of the Echota Ceremonial Ground have five dance meetings during the spring and summer with the first dance in April.

For more information about the benefit stomp dance, call Comingdeer at 918-822-2302.
ᏣᎳᎩ

ᎠᏭᏂᏴᏍᏗ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ. – ᎢᏦᏗ ᎦᏘᏲ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᎤᏂᎩᏏᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᏍᏕᎵᏍᎬ ᎠᎴ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏁᎳ ᎠᏁᏙᎯ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏐᎢ ᎦᏘᏲ ᏚᏙᏢᏒ ᎠᏂᎷᎪ ᏓᎾᎵᏍᏕᎵᏍᎪᎢ.

ᎾᏍᎩ ᎦᏘᏲ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏤᎵᎪᎯ ᎤᏙᏢ ᎠᎴ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᏧᎾᏓᎴᏅ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎾᎥᎢ. ᎤᎷᏨ ᎠᎭᏂ ᎠᏭᏂᏴᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏌᏊ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᏂᏓᏳᏂᎩᏓ ᏓᏫᏍᎦᎵ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ.

“ᎦᏙᎯ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎪᎸᏔᏅ ᎾᎿ ᏗᏂᎳᏫᎦ ᎤᏂᎲᏍᏗ ᎤᏂᏲᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᏥᎳ ᎤᏂᎲᎢ. ᎣᎩᏲᏎᎲᎢ ᎦᏙ ᎣᎩᎲ ᎾᎿ ᏦᎪᏢᏒᎢ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᏙᎯᏳ ᏃᎩᏲᏎᎸᎾ ᎣᎦᎴᏅᎲ ᎢᏤ ᎤᏙᏢᏗᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᎿ ᏗᏂᎳᏫᎦ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎪᎸᏔᏅ ᎢᎸᏍᎩ ᏂᏚᏙᏢᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎾᎿ ᏥᏃᎦᏛᎾ ᎣᎦᏑᏰᏒᎢ,” ᎤᏛᏅ ᎢᏦᏗ ᎦᏘᏲ ᏗᏓᏘᏂᏙ David Comingdeer ᏧᏙᎩᏓ. “ᎾᎯᏳ ᏂᏓᎬᏩᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᎾᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᏙᎦᏓᏁᏤᎸ Ꮭ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎡᏍᎦ ᏱᎩ ᏗᏂᎳᏫᎦ ᎤᏠᏯ ᏃᎴᏍᏊ ᎤᏂᎬᏫᏳᎯ.”

ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎢᏦᏗ ᎦᏘᏲ ᎤᏙᏢᏅ Ꮟ ᎤᎪᏓ ᎢᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎾᎿ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅᎢ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Comingdeer. ᏧᏓᎴᏅᎲᏃ Peavine ᎾᎥ ᎨᏒ ᎠᎴ ᏓᏫᏍᎦᎵ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎣᏂᏴ ᎤᏂᎲᏒ ᎾᎿ Coon ᏦᏓᎸ ᏭᏂᏅ, ᎾᏍᏊ ᏓᏫᏍᎦᎵ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎨᏒᎢ. ᎾᎿᏃ ᎤᏓᎴᏅᎲ ᎡᏍᎦ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᏍᎬ ᏗᏓᏘᏂᏙ ᎤᏔᎾᏯ ᎨᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏓᏂᎵ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅ ᎾᎯᏳᏃ ᏓᏥᏲᎯᏎᎸ Comingdeer, ᏔᎵᏁ ᎠᏓᎴᏁᎯ ᎨᏎᎢ ᎾᎯᏳ, ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏔᎵ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ ᎨᏒ ᎾᎯᏳ.

“ᎡᎵᏃ ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᎩᏍᏙᏗ ᎦᏘᏲᎢ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᏰᎸᏗ ᎠᏓᎷᏤᎰᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᏙᏗ ᎠᎾᎵᏍᎩᏍᎨᏍᏗ ᎢᏦᏗ ᎦᏘᏲ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎬᎢ ᎦᎵᏉᎩ ᎠᏟᎢᎵᏒ ᏒᎯᏰᏱ ᎠᏓᎴᏂᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏒᏃᏱ ᎢᎪᎯᏓ ᎾᎿ ᎧᎦᎵ ᎦᎵᏉᎩᏁ ᏓᎵᏆ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎠᏓᏁᎸ ᎠᎭᏂ 908 S. College Ave. ᎠᏁᎳᏗᏙ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎤᎳᏗᏢ ᎦᏘᏲ ᏧᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᏓᏂᏯᏂ ᎢᎦᏓᏟᏐᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎤᏂᏟᏐᏗᎢ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᏳᏅᏙᏗ ᎦᏘᏲᎢ. ᎦᏬᏂᏍᎩ ᎾᎯᏳ ᎤᏒ ᎯᎠ Opv Mack.

ᎠᏆᏂᏲᏍᏗ ᎤᏳᏍᏗ ᏓᏂᎾᏕᎨᏍᏗ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᎠᏓᏒᎲᏍᏙᏗ, ᎤᎦᎾᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᏓᏒᎲᏍᏗ ᎤᎬᏩᏟ ᎠᎾᏂᎩᏍᎨᏍᏗ, ᎠᏂᎾᏕᏒᎲᏍᎬᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏓᎾᏎᏏᏍᎨᏍᏗ ᎪᏪᎵ ᎠᏓᏒᎲᏍᏙᏗ ᏔᎷᏣ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏴᏓ ᎦᎵᏗᏓᏅᎢ ᎠᏓᏒᎲᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎮᏍᏗ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎠᏂᏟᏏᏍᎬᎢ. ᏃᎴᏍᏊ ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏴᏗ ᎠᏂᎾᏕᏒᎲᏍᎨᏍᏗ ᎠᏁᏙᎯ ᎤᏂᏩᎯᏍᏗ.

Comingdeer ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎢᎦᏓ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᎬᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎦᏘᏲ ᎠᎴ ᏙᏯ ᏧᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᏗᏤᎯᎨ ᎢᏧᏩᏗ ᎤᏚᎵᎭ ᎠᏁᎳ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎾᏓᏩᏛᎯᏙ ᏧᏅᏙᏗ.

“ᎤᏂᎪᏓᏃ ᏓᏁᏙᎰ ᏳᏟᎢᎶᏞ ᏧᏂᎷᎯᏍᏗᎢ. ᏧᏪᏘ ᏙᏯ ᏧᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᏙᎪᏢ, ᎠᎴ ᎣᎦᏚᎵ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᏦᎬᏗ ᏗᎬᏙᏗ ᎣᏣᎴᏅᎲᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

Comingdeer ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎤᏰᎸᏐ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏦᏗ ᎦᏘᏲ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᎾᏍᎩ Ꮟ ᎨᎳ ᎨᏒ “ᏅᎩ ᏳᏂᏥ.” ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏩᏌ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏘᏲ Ꮟ ᎨᎳ ᎨᏒ ᎾᎿ ᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎠᏂᎩᏚᏩᎩ.

ᎾᏍᎩ ᏅᎩ ᏳᏂᏥ ᎤᏓᎴᏅᎮ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏘᏲ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ, ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎤᎾᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᎹᏍᎪᎩ (ᎠᏂᎫᏌ) ᎦᏘᏲ ᎠᎾᎵᏍᎩᏍᏏᏙ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎠᏂᏍᎦᎩ ᎦᏓ ᏥᏕᎨᏥᏁᎮ ᎾᎿ ᏙᏒ ᏥᎨᎦᏎᏍᏗᏍᎨ ᎤᎵᏍᏆᏗᏗᏒ ᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎢᎬᏱ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ. ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎠᏂᏍᎢᎲ ᎾᎿ “ᏯᎵᏍᏚᎢ ᎦᏓ ᏓᎲ” ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏲᏁᎦ ᎤᏂᎩᏍᏗᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅᎢ.

ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎢᎸᏍᎩ ᎹᏍᎪᎩ(ᎠᏂᎫᏌ) ᎦᏘᏲ ᏚᏃᏢᏒ ᎾᏍᎩ Ꮟ ᏅᎩ ᎤᏂᏥ ᏚᎾᏙᏢᎯ.” ᎾᎿ ᎦᏘᏲ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎩᏍᏗᎢ, ᎤᎾᏁᏦᏗᎢ, ᏧᎾᏠᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎦᏘᏯ ᏓᏍᏆᎵᏍᎪᎢ.

“ᎠᏯ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏗᏋᎾ ᏂᏓᏳᎾᏓᎴᏅ ᎦᏘᏲ (ᎢᏦᏗ) ᎠᎴ ᏗᏐᎢ ᎠᏂᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᏂᏓᏳᎾᏓᎴᏅ ᎦᏘᏲ, ᏚᎾᎵᎪᏁ ᎠᏂᎫᏌ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎪᎯᎢᎦ ᏥᎩ, ᏱᏚᎾᏠᏏ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᎫᏐ ᎠᏰᎵ, ᏗᎬᎩᏯᏂᏍᎪᎢ ᏦᎦᏠᎯᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎦᏘᏲ ᎤᏂᎬᏫᏳᎯ ᏚᏂᎧᎲ ᎣᎩᏃᎮᏗ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓᏊ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ. ᎠᏂᎫᏌ ᎾᏍᏊ Ꮟ ᎨᎪᏟᏍᏗᏍᎪ ᏗᎦᎵᎪᎯ ᎨᏒᎢ.”

Comingdeer ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᏚᎩ ᎤᏩᎯ ᎤᏂᎫᏍᏛᏗ ᎯᎠ ᎠᏕᎳ ᏥᏓᏲᏥᏟᏌᏅ ᎾᎿ ᎹᏍᎪᎩ (ᎫᏐᎢ) ᎦᏘᏲ ᏂᏙᏓᏳᎾᏂᎩᏓ ᎠᎴ ᎾᎥ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎾᏓᏡᎩ. ᎠᏁᎳ ᎾᎿ ᎢᏦᏗ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎩᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᏊ ᏓᏂᏍᏕᎵᏍᎪ ᎹᏍᎪᎩ (ᎠᏂᎫᏌ) ᏱᏧᏂᏍᏆᎸᎡᎵ.

“ᎣᏥᏣᎳᎩ ᎣᏥᏍᎦᏚᎩ, ᎠᎴ ᎣᎪᎯᏳ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᏳᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎤᎲᎢ. ᏍᏓᏯ ᏙᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎰ ᏂᎪᎯᎸ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ, ᎣᎩᏍᏆᏂᎪᏙᏗ, ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏓ ᏦᎦᏠᎯᏍᏗ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗᏳ ᎠᎴ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎣᎩᎲᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏂᎯᏯ ᎡᏘ ᏣᏁᎲ ᎠᏯ ᏃᏊ ᎣᎬᏙᏗ,” “ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᏃᎬᏁᎭ. ᏝᏃ ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎦᎾᏗᏁᏓ ᏱᎩ. ᏂᎦᏓᏃ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏍᏗᏓᏂ ᏯᏂᎩ ᎠᏎᏃ ᎦᏘᏲ ᎠᎴ ᎣᎩᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎣᎪᎯᏳᏒ ᏰᎭ ᏏᏛ ᎣᏥᎾᏍᏓᏢᎢ ᏱᎩ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᏫᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᏍᎪ ᏩᏥᏅ ᎢᏗᏢ ᎣᎪᎵᏍᏙᏗ…. ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᎩᏍᏗ ᏂᎪᎯᎸᎢ.”

ᎠᏁᎳ ᎢᏦᏗ ᎦᏘᏲ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᏍᎩ ᏃᏣᎵᏍᎩᏍᎪᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎪᎨᏯ ᎠᎴ ᎪᎦ ᎾᎿ ᎢᎬᏱ ᎠᎵᏍᎩᏍᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎧᎸᎢ ᎧᎸᎢ.

ᎤᎪᏛ ᎠᏕᎶᎰᎯᏍᏗ ᏲᏚᎵ ᎾᎿ ᎦᏘᏲᎢ, ᏩᏟᏃᎮᏙᏗ Comingdeer at 918-822-2302.

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.

Multimedia

BY ROGER GRAHAM
Multimedia Producer – @cp_rgraham
05/22/2018 04:00 PM
AKINS – Visitors to the first “Sequoyah Day” event held May 20 experienced all things Cherokee such as art, music, lectures, performances, demonstrations and National Treasures all on the grounds of the historic Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum where the Cherokee syllabary creator lived. “This is a chance to celebrate Sequoyah’s life and his legacy,” Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Director Travis Owens said. “We’ve had a flute-playing performance, the Cherokee National Youth Choir performed. We had the Girty Family Singers and presenters on our language today.” Others attending the event included Cherokee National Treasures Lorene Drywater and David Scott, as well as Cherokee artists Roy Boney, Jeff Edwards and Mary HorseChief. Tribal Councilors Bryan Warner and E.O. Junior Smith, and 2017-18 Miss Cherokee Madison Whitekiller also attended. Another highlight was the Traditional Native Games competition. CN citizen and games coordinator Bayly Wright said “Sequoyah Day” was a great place to hold Cherokee marbles, cornstalk shoot, horseshoes, blowgun, a hatchet throw and chunky competitions. “Today is the second of the five competitions leading up to the championships, which will be held on Aug. 25, the weekend before the Cherokee National Holiday,” she said. For more information on cultural events, visit <a href="http://www.visitcherokeenation.com" target="_blank">www.visitcherokeenation.com</a> or call 1-877-779-6977.
BY KENLEA HENSON
Reporter
05/18/2018 08:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH – Every year on May 7 the Descendants of the Cherokee Seminaries Students Organization hold its annual reunion at Northeastern State University where it awards two NSU students with scholarships. This year’s recipients were Cherokee Nation citizens Bryley Hoodenpyle and Marilyn Tschida. Both students received a $1,000 scholarship based on their GPAs, activities and interviews. Hoodenpyle said her fourth great-grandmother’s aunt and two cousins attended the Cherokee Male and Female seminaries, which she discovered through online research and NSU’s archives. She said after college she plans to attend NSU’s optometry school. “It means a lot to me to receive this scholarship just because this university has given so much to me and has helped me grow personally,” Hoodenpyle said. “NSU has developed me as a student and as a leader so its really awesome to me that my family played a part in that story however many years ago.” Tschida is an education graduate student and plans to graduate in December. She said she found her grandmother’s name in the Cherokee Female Seminary roll book in NSU’s archives and decided to apply for the scholarship. “I am really proud to accept it, I think she would be very proud for me to have gotten something on her behalf,” Tschida said. On May 7, 1889, the Cherokee Female Seminary reopened north of Tahlequah after a fire destroyed it two years earlier. So, no matter what day May 7 falls on, the descendants of students who attended the Cherokee Male and Female seminaries gather to honor their ancestors and their time at the schools. DCSSO President Rick Ward said the reunion is the oldest tradition on NSU’s campus, accruing annually for 167 years with the exception of one year during World War II. “It started out as a picnic, but it wasn’t the descendants getting together it was the actual students of the seminaries coming together, bringing food and visiting out in front of the sycamore tree,” he said. After noticing the number seminary students fading away, Jack Brown established the DCSSO in 1975. Brown served as the executive vice president of the Cherokee Seminaries Students Alumni Association for years. He wanted to get the descendants of the alumni involved in the activities of the association as well as keep the tradition alive. In 1984 the name officially changed to the Descendants of Cherokee Seminaries Students Organization. The state bought the Female Seminary in 1909, which now serves as Seminary Hall and the centerpiece of NSU. DCSSO Secretary Ginny Wilson said she wants to keep the reunion tradition alive for her grandmother, who was a student at the Female Seminary. “I do this for my grandmother. We used to bring her up here to this reunion. It was always the one thing in her life she wanted to do,” Wilson said. Wilson said the DCSSO follows the same format as their ancestors did during their reunions, which consists of the organization’s meeting, lunch, a speaker, the Cherokee choir and Miss Cherokee. “We follow that format as close as we can to just do the same thing. It’s gotten a whole lot smaller, but that’s what we do as descendants in memory of those people,” she said. Since the DCSSO established a scholarship for students who are descendants in the early 2000s, its goal is to continue to provide that scholarship. “Our biggest plan is to increase our scholarship amount. That’s the most important, but also to keep the (May 7) tradition going at Northeastern. Otherwise it will die,” Wilson said.
BY STAFF REPORTS
05/16/2018 12:00 PM
SALLISAW – Enjoy a day of traditional Cherokee art, music and more, honoring legendary statesman and inventor of the Cherokee syllabary, Sequoyah. The event will be held in conjunction with Cherokee Nation’s Traditional Native Games. Sequoyah Day begins at 10 a.m. on May 19 at Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum. “We are proud to bring to life an event like Sequoyah Day. It’s a unique daylong celebration of Cherokee history and culture at the home of the man who pioneered the Cherokee syllabary,” Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “Now that Cherokee Nation owns and operates the Sequoyah Cabin Park, we can organize these types of family-driven events that are both educational and fun for all.” The event runs until 4 p.m. and features live performances, activities for children and cultural demonstrations such as pottery, flint-knapping, bow-making, stone carving and graphics. The event includes multiple performances from the Cherokee National Youth Choir and a special language presentation at 1:30 p.m. Sequoyah built the cabin in 1829 and welcomes more than 12,000 visitors each year. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1966 and a National Literary Landmark in 2006. The homestead includes a one-room cabin and nearly 200 acres. Prior to reopening under CN management in 2017, Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum received much-needed repairs and renovations. The museum now features large displays that share the story of Sequoyah, his development of the Cherokee syllabary and the Cherokee language today. The museum also features a retail space offering Cherokee Nation apparel, gifts and souvenirs. The museum is located at Highway 101, 7 miles east of Highway 59. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.VisitCherokeeNation.com" target="_blank">www.VisitCherokeeNation.com</a>.
BY STAFF REPORTS
05/09/2018 12:00 PM
PARK HILL – Explore the messages of John Ross in his correspondences with fellow tribesmen and political allies throughout his 38 years as principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. “The Letters of John Ross” is the tribe’s first digital exhibit and allows guests to view documents that are usually off view and housed in collections at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa. Featured writings address topics such as delegation nominations, potential resolutions, rumors of assassination plots and the possible removal of Cherokee people to Mexico. “This is the first exhibit of its kind for Cherokee Nation, and we are eager to see how the public responds,” Travis Owens, Cherokee Nation Businesses cultural tourism director, said. “The digital format enables guests to focus on their specific interests in an interactive and engaging way.” The exhibit runs May 4 through Jan. 31 at the John Ross Museum, which highlights Ross’ life and legacy and houses exhibits and interactive displays on the Trail of Tears, Civil War, Cherokee Golden Age and tribe’s passion for education. The museum is housed in an old, rural school building known as School #51 and sits at the foot of Ross Cemetery, where Ross and other notable CN citizens are buried. The museum is located at 22366 S. 530 Road. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For information, call -1877-779-6977 or visit <a href="http://www.VisitCherokeeNation.com" target="_blank">www.VisitCherokeeNation.com</a>.
BY STAFF REPORTS
05/09/2018 10:00 AM
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Speakers Bureau will be held Thursday May 10, 2018 from 12:30 – 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. Tsalagi aniwonisgi unadatlugv dodvnatlosi Nvgineiga Anisgvti 10, 2018, ganvsulvi 12:30pm adalenisgi 4 p.m. igohida. Na Anitsalagi tsunalisdayetiyi tsigotlv unaditli wayvsdi onadilvyvi utani kanvsula dodvnatlosi. Naniv Anitsalagi aniwonisgi otsitayohiha uniluhisdii. Alisdayvdi ayohisdi yodulia. Dodayotsadatlisani ale dodayotsalisdayvna hilutsvi. Ugodesdi tsadulihesdi tsadelayohisdi hiina wigehiyadvdi: Tsalagi Gawonihisdi Unadotlvsv 918- 453-5151.
BY STAFF REPORTS
05/08/2018 08:00 AM
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – The Museum of Native American History will host storytelling and a beadwork class on May 12. The museum is located at 202 S.W. “O” St. Admission is free, and the events are open to all. From 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., MONAH staff will share traditional Yup'ik (Alaska) and Cherokee stories about how berries came to be just in time for berry season. “Our stories for the day include ‘Berry Magic,’ written and illustrated by Teri Sloat and Betty Huffmon, and ‘The First Strawberries: A Cherokee Story,’ retold by Joseph Bruchac and illustrated by Anna Vojtech. Stick around after the stories to make a self-portrait using nature and try akutaq, a traditional Yup'ik dish made with berries,” MONAH Director Charlotte Buchanan-Yale said. Storytime is geared toward ages 4 and up, but kids of all ages and their adults are welcome. A Creative Visions artist will host and teach a “Beadwork for Beginners” class beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the museum. Join Cherokee beadwork and jewelry artist Carolyn Chumwalooky for an in-depth introduction to the intricate art of beading. This hands-on workshop will lead participants through the process of creating a beaded keychain to take home. Registration is free and required. Supplies and refreshments will be provided. For more information, call the museum at 479-273-2456 or visit <a href="http://www.momah.us" target="_blank">www.momah.us</a>.