McAlister provides voice lessons for students

BY D. SEAN ROWLEY
Senior Reporter
09/16/2019 08:45 AM
Audio Clip
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation citizen Barbara McAlister has taken the stage with The Washington Opera, Arizona Opera, San Diego Opera, Tulsa Opera, Florentine Opera, New York Grand Opera and Opera New England, and has performed in numerous opera houses in Europe. Here, she is shown performing in Germany as Azucena in Verdi’s “Il Trovatore.” COURTESY
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee opera singer Barbara McAlister performs the role of Preziosilla in the Verdi opera “La forza del destino.” The photograph was taken during the 10 years that McAlister sung repertory opera in Germany. COURTESY
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Barbara McAlister, Cherokee Nation citizen and CN Vocal Class instructor, performs a “welcome” song for those attending the Vocal Class’s spring recital on April 28, 2016, in Tahlequah. ARCHIVE
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Barbara McAlister
TAHLEQUAH – Where there are young Cherokees with singing talent, Barbara McAlister is likely nearby.

The Cherokee Nation citizen and mezzo-soprano from Muskogee has been under contract for nearly 10 years with the CN teaching classical voice, and her classes typically number 18-20 students.

“There is amazing talent here, just in Green Country,” McAlister said. “I have a lot of Cherokee students wanting lessons. I’m welcoming them.”

The reason she’s in high demand: her distinguished career as an international opera singer, which spanned decades and included more than 50 roles in the United States, Europe and Hong Kong.

Her lessons are free, and several former students have entered reputable collegiate programs or found careers in the arts.

She also received some esteemed recognition recently when she was presented a Governor’s Arts Award for long-standing leadership and contributions in the arts.

It might have not happened that way. McAlister loved barrel racing and rodeo riding, and wanted to be a jockey until her growth spurts accumulated to 5 feet, 8 inches.

She comes from a musical family. Her mother was a pianist, and her father became fluent in German while singing in a Lutheran church choir in Omaha, Nebraska, where he was in medical school.

By her college years, first at the University of Tulsa, then at Oklahoma City University, McAlister had decided to sing.

“I left myself no way out,” she said. “I didn’t study education. During college, my voice teacher had contacts with Dallas summer musicals. She sent some of us to audition, and I got hired, so I was in professional theater right off the bat. I forgot what I was going to sing. I had to ask my accompanist. I tripped going onstage. Everything went wrong, but I must have stood out...So I got into Dallas, and it was three months of working with people like Ginger Rogers, Carol Burnett and Werner Klemperer.”

McAlister also found other supporters, including Oklahoma actor Clu Gulager while performing at his summer stock theater in North Carolina. Before she returned home, Gulager told her if she was ever “at loose ends” to move to California.

She discovered years later that her father provided early morning transport when young Gulager couldn’t find a ride to band practice.

“I did move to California,” McAlister said. “I met my master voice teacher, Lee Sweetland, in Hollywood. He worked with Barbra Streisand briefly when she was working on ‘Funny Girl.’ (Sweetland) saved my voice. I had a tiny voice. I worked with him a year, and suddenly the higher I’d go the more powerful it became. I always thought something was there but could never grab hold of it until he explained it: speech-based singing. You get a good solid low breath, and it’s based on how you speak.”

McAlister said she would never have met Sweetland had she not met Gulager and that she owed her voice to the instruction of Sweetland and his wife, Sally.

“They were always positive; never said you can’t do it,” she said. “I studied with him nine years, and was singing in Hollywood – chorus or whatever I could get. I just kept singing.”

Her career is well-documented. She is an Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame member. She apprenticed with the Santa Fe Opera Company and Central City Opera Company and has performed with The Washington Opera, Arizona Opera, San Diego Opera, Tulsa Opera, Florentine Opera, New York Grand Opera, Opera New England and the Cherokee Heritage Center.

She won the Loren Zachary Competition in Los Angeles and has sung mezzo-soprano in the opera houses of Passau, Koblenz, Bremerhaven and Flensburg in Germany, as well as Monte Carlo, Cannes, Modena, Ferrara, Paris, Lisbon and Hong Kong. She toured France with the New Bulgarian Opera as Ortrud in “Lohengrin” and returned the next year as the mezzo soloist in the Verdi “Requiem.”

She’s performed solo at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and Weill Recital Hall. She’s given recitals for the Mid-America Arts Alliance and Oklahoma Arts Council touring programs. She’s also sung opera arias and Native American songs in the Cherokee, Chippewa and Winnebago languages, and played Selu in the Trail of Tears musical “Mountain Windsong” at the CHC amphitheater.

Now she’s teaching, which started off slowly until she asked for a few changes.

“I was hired by (former Principal Chief) Chad Smith,” McAlister said. “I sometimes sat for days, or I would find something to do and file two hours. I knew I wouldn’t be able to make a living, so I suggested that the students don’t pay, that they attend free of charge, and I be paid by the tribe to teach. It worked out. I’ve been doing this nine years.”

She’s now seeing her students starting to go to college. “Six Cherokee students of mine are at Tulsa Youth Opera. Two former Cherokee students are at OCU in music. One is at University of Central Oklahoma in music. One is at Dartmouth. One is at University of Oklahoma but studying medicine. Two will go to Northeastern State University this fall, one of whom performed the lead in Tulsa Opera’s ‘The Snow Queen.’”

Recalling her shyness as an emerging singer, McAlister encourages students to believe in themselves. “I remember in college my voice teacher gave me a book titled ‘I Can.’ So many people don’t want others to succeed. They say you can’t do it because you are too shy, too tall, too short, too fat. You can, and you need a burning desire where no one can stop you. It doesn’t mean you are going to be world famous, but it does mean you will be doing what you love to do, more than anything else in the world.”

McAlister sees her instruction as an exquisite bow to tie around her prodigious career.

“Thanks to the people I worked with, I have something now to give,” she said. “I know what I’m doing, I know how to teach it. In New York I was called a master teacher and master singer. When you are ready to pass something on, you need to know what you are giving and how to give it. If people are ready to receive it, that’s wonderful.

“One has to have accumulated the tools in order to teach – acquired over years of learning, listening, working with music coaches to know styles of music,” she added. “The voice is an instrument. Training for a career in singing, both in music theater and opera, is like training for the Olympics. You have two small vocal cords that have to be developed to sing for hours a day. These surrounding muscles are developed over time, not overnight. I have been fortunate. I love teaching such lovely, smart Cherokee people. I thank my wonderful Cherokee Nation.”
ᏣᎳᎩ

ᏓᎵᏆ - ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎤᎿ ᏓᏁᎲ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗ ᎢᎬᏩᎾᏛᏗᏱᎩ, Barbara McAlister ᏄᏓᎷᎸᎾ ᎡᏍᎦᏂ ᎡᏙᎱᎢ.

ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎡᎯᏯ ᎠᎴ ᎺᏍᏐ-ᏩᎦᎸᏗᏴ ᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᎫᏐ ᏂᏓᏳᏓᎴᏅᎢ ᏍᎪᎯ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎪᏪᎳᏅᎯ ᎬᏗ ᏗᏓᏁᏤᎸᎯ ᎤᎾᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏗᏕᏲᎲᏍᎩ, ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏒ ᎧᏃᎩᏍᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᏓᏕᏲᎲᏍᎬ ᏁᎳᏛ-ᏔᎵᏍᎪᎯ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎾᏂᎪᎢ.

“ᎤᏍᏆᏂᎪᏍᏗ ᎤᏂᎦᏙᎲᏒᎯ ᎠᏂ ᎠᎭᏂ, ᎠᎭᏂᏊ ᎢᏤᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ,” McAlister ᏄᏪᏒᎩ. “ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᏕᏥᏰᏲᏗ ᎤᎾᏚᎵᎭ. ᎢᏯᏂ ᏕᎦᏥᏓᏁᎸᎦ.”

ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᏍᎬᏃ Ꮎ ᎠᎨᏯ ᎠᏂᏔᏲᎯᎯ: ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏥᎸᏉᏔᏅᎩ ᏚᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎸᎩ ᎾᎾᎢ ᏍᏆᏂᏱ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏚᎾᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᏩᎦᎸᏗᏴ ᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᏗᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ, ᎢᎸᏍᎩ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎠᎴ ᎯᏍᎪᎯ ᎤᎶᏒᏍᏗ ᏅᏓᎴᏒ ᎤᏛᏁᎸᏅ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎾᏓᏚᏕᏫᏛ ᏗᎦᏚᎿᎢ, ᏳᎳᏈ ᎠᎴ ᎰᏂᎩ ᎪᏂᎩ.

ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎨᏴ ᎠᏎᏊ ᏓᏕᏲᎲᏍᎪᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎢᎸᏍᎩ ᎢᏯᏂ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᎲ ᎤᎾᏓᏴᏎᎸ ᏦᏍᏓ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᏱ ᏧᏔᎾ ᏚᎾᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏚᏂᏩᏛᎲ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏍᎩ ᏳᎾᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ.

ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎨᏴ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎦᎸᏉᏗ ᎤᎾᏓᏙᏟᏍᏙᏗ ᎤᎩᏍᏒ ᎯᎠ ᎾᏞᎬᏭ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ ᎾᏳᏃ ᎠᎨᏴ ᎠᏥᏁᎸ ᎾᎢ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ ᎠᏥᎸᏉᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎪᎯᏓ-ᎤᏓᏅᎯᏒ ᏥᎶᏒ ᏗᏓᏘᏂᏙᎯ ᎨᏒᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎵᏍᎪᎸᏔᏅ ᎾᎿ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎾᏓᏅᏖᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᏳᎾᎵᏍᏙᏗᎢ.

ᎡᎵᏊᏃ ᏝᏍᎩ ᏱᏂᎬᏩᎵᏍᏔᏁᎢ. McAlister ᎤᎸᏉᏛ ᏐᏈᎵ ᏧᏙᎩᏯᏍᏙᏗ ᏧᏒᏙᏂ ᏗᏕᏯᏍᏙᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏩᎦ ᏓᏂᏍᏝᏗᏍᎬ ᏐᏈᎵ ᏧᎩᎸᏙᏗᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎤᏚᎵᏍᎬ ᏐᏈᎵ ᏗᏙᎩᏯᏍᏗ ᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗᎢ ᎩᎳ ᎯᏍᎩ ᏱᎳᏏᏗ, ᏣᏁᎵ ᎢᏏᏔᏗᏍᏗ ᎤᏛᏏᏗᏒᎢ.

ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᎨᏴ ᏗᏂᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᏏᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᏂᏓᏳᏓᎴᏅᎢ. ᎤᏥᎢ ᏗᏐᏍᏙᏗ ᏗᎧᏃᎩᏍᏙᏗ ᏗᎧᏃᎩᏍᏗᏍᎩ ᎨᏒ, ᎠᎴ ᎤᏙᏗᏃ ᎠᏓᏥ ᎤᎩᏌᏛ ᎤᏬᏁᎯᏍᏗ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅᎩ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ ᎸᎧᏓᎾᏫᏍᏗ ᏧᏂᎳᏫᏍᏗ ᏗᏂᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᏕᎧᏃᎩᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎣᎹᎭ, ᏎᎷᏱ, ᎾᎿᎢ ᏅᏬᏘ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏓᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬᎢ.

ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏔᎾ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏥᏓᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬ, ᎠᎬᏱ ᏔᎵᏏᎢ ᎤᏔᏅ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᏱ, ᏃᏊᎴ ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ ᏗᎦᏚᎲ ᎤᏔᏅ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᏱ, McAlister ᎾᏍᎩ ᏚᏬᎪᏔᏅᎩ ᏧᏃᎩᏍᏗᎢ.

“ᎤᏜᏃ ᎬᏩᏏᏅᏍᏓ ᏱᎨᏎᎢ,” ᎠᎨᏯ ᏄᏪᏒᎩ. “ᎥᏝ ᏱᏚᎦᏎᏍᏔᏁ ᏗᏕᏩᏆᏍᏗᎢ. ᎾᎯᏳ ᏥᎨᏒ ᎤᏔᏅ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᏱ, ᏗᎧᏃᎩᏍᏗ ᏗᏪᏲᎲᏍᎩ ᏫᏚᏟᏃᎮᏔᏅ ᎾᎢ ᏓᎳᏏ ᎪᎩ ᏗᎧᏃᎩᏛ. ᎢᎦᏓ ᏫᏙᎩᎧᏅᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎣᎦᏁᎸᏙᏗ ᏗᎧᏃᎩᏍᏗᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎥᎩᎾᏢᏅᎢ, ᎠᏯ ᎩᎶᏫᎪᎯᏓ ᏫᏓᏤᏢ ᎤᎾᏛᏁᎸᏗ ᏗᏥᏃᏍᎩᏍᎩ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅᎩ. ᎠᏮᎨᏫᏒ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏙᏓᏥᏃᎩᏏᏒᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᏐᏍᏗᏍᎩ ᏗᎧᏃᎩᏍᏗᏍᎩ ᏥᏯᏛᏗ ᎾᏩᎵᏍᏓᏁᎸᎩ. ᏗᎧᏃᎩᏍᏗ ᎠᏲᏓᏜᎥ ᏩᎩᎾᏍᏆᎶᎲᎢ. ᎢᏳᏍᏗᏊ ᎨᏒᎢ ᏚᏓᎴᏨᎢ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎣᏏᏊ ᎠᏎ ᎾᏆᏛᏁᎴᎢ…ᏓᎳᏏ ᎠᎩᏴᏢᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᏦᎢ ᎢᏱᏅᏓ ᏓᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎸᎩ ᎯᎠ ᎢᏳᎾᏍᏗ ᏴᏫ Ginger Rogers, Carol Burnett ᎠᎴ Werner Klemperer.”

McAlister ᎾᏍᏉ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᏚᏩᏛᎲ ᎬᏩᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ, ᎤᏨᏯᏍᏗ ᏬᎦᎴᏆᎷ ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ ᎠᏛᏁᎵᏍᎩ Clu Gulager ᎾᏳᎢ ᏕᎧᏃᎩᏍᎬᎢ ᎤᎾᎢ ᎪᎩ ᎠᏓᏁᎳᏅ ᎤᎾᏛᏁᎸᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏴᏢ ᎦᏯᎴᏅᎢ. ᏏᏃ ᎾᎢ ᎠᎨᏯ ᏅᎷᏨᎾ ᏧᏪᏅᏒᎢ, Gulager ᏄᏪᏎᎸᎩ ᎢᎸᎯᏳ “ᏍᏔᏯ ᏂᏣᎵᏍᏓᏁᎮᏍᏗ” ᎭᏓᏅᏒᎢ ᎾᎾᎢ ᎠᏕᎳᏧᏢᎢ.

ᎢᎸᏍᎩ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎩᎳ ᎤᏕᎳᎰᏒ ᎠᏫᏅᏣ ᏥᎨᏒ Gulager ᏏᎾᎴᏗᏟ ᎤᏄᎸᏅᏍᎬ ᎤᏩᏛᏗ ᎤᏓᏣᏁᏗ ᎾᎢ ᏗᏂᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᏗᎾᎵᏏᎾᎯᏍᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ Ꮎ ᎠᎨᏯ ᎤᏙᏓ ᎤᏍᏕᎸᎲᎩ ᎠᎾᏓᏘᏂᏙᎯ ᎤᏦᏗᎢ.

“Ꮭ ᎠᏕᎳᏧᏢ ᏱᏩᎩᎷᏉᎢ,” McAlister ᏄᏪᏒᎩ. “ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏒ ᏗᎧᏃᎩᏍᏗ ᏗᏕᏲᎲᏍᎩ ᏙᎩᎾᏑᏒᎩ, Lee Sweetland, ᎾᎿ ᎠᏓ ᏧᏑᏩ. Barbra Streisand ᎡᏧᎳᎭ ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎸᎩ ᎾᏳᎢ ‘ᎤᏬᏢᏗ ᎠᎨᏳᏣ’ ᏥᎪᏢᏍᎬᎢ. (Sweetland) ᎠᏍᏕᎸᎲ ᏗᎩᏃᎩᏍᏗᎢ. ᎡᏲᏪ ᎠᎩᏃᎩᏍᏗ ᎨᏒᎩ. ᎹᏕᏘᏅᏓ ᎢᎪᎯᏓ ᏙᎩᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎸᎩ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎩᎳᏫᎪᎯᏓ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏯᎩᏃᎩᏌ ᎤᏟ ᎢᎦᎢ ᎤᏟᏂᎩᏓ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᏍᎬᎢ. ᏂᎪᎯᎸ ᎠᏩᏛ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎠᏎᏃ ᎠᎩᏄᎸᎲᏍᎬ ᎠᎩᏂᏴᏗᎢ ᎩᎳᏃ ᎠᎩᏃᏎᎳ: ᎧᏁᏍᏗ-ᏗᎳᏏᏙᏗ ᏗᎧᏃᎩᏍᏗ. ᎤᏍᏓ ᎡᎳᏓ ᎧᏬᏓᏕᏍᏓ ᏱᏨᏓ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏓᎳᏏᏛ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎯᏬᏂᏍᎬᎢ.”

McAlister ᏄᏪᏒᎩ Ꮭ ᎡᎸᎯᏳ Sweetland ᏱᏙᎦᏓᏩᏛᎮ ᎾᏍᎩ Gulager ᏂᏙᎩᎾᏓᏩᏛᎥᎾ ᏱᎨᏎ ᎠᎴ Sweetland ᏓᏪᏲᏅᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᏩᏂᏌᏓ ᎠᎩᏃᎩᏍᏗ ᏥᏄᏍᏓ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎤᏓᎵᎢ, ᏌᎵ.

“ᏂᎪᎯᎸᎢ ᎤᏃᎯᏳᏒᎩ; Ꮭ ᎢᎸᎯᏳ ᎥᏝ ᏱᏂᎨᎭᏛᎦ ᏳᎾᏛᏁᎢ,” ᎠᎨᏯ ᏄᏪᏒᎩ. “ᏐᏁᎳ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏓᏈᏲᏅᎩ, ᎠᎴ ᎠᏓ ᏧᏑᏩ ᏕᏥᏃᎩᏍᎬᎢ – ᏗᏂᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎢᏳᏍᏗᏊ ᎨᏒᎢ. ᏂᎦᏯᎢᏒᏊ ᏕᏥᏃᎩᏍᎬᎢ.”

ᎠᎨᏯ ᏚᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎸ ᎧᎵ ᎪᏪᎳᎾᎢ. ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ ᏗᎧᏃᎩᏍᏗ ᎠᏤᎸᏬᏔᏅᎢ ᎨᎵ ᏧᏓᏃᏣᎵ ᎨᎵ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᏚᏕᎶᏆᎡᎸ ᏎᏂᏔ ᏇᎢ ᏩᎦᎸᏗᏴ ᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗᎢ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎦᏚᎲ ᏩᎦᎸᏗᏴ ᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗᎢ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᏊ ᏚᏃᎩᏒ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏩᏒᏓᏃ ᏩᎦᎸᏗᏴ ᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗᎢ, ᎡᏩᏐᏅ ᏩᎦᎸᏗᏴ ᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗᎢ, ᏎᏂ ᏗᎡᎪ ᏩᎦᎸᏗᏴ ᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗᎢ, ᏔᎵᏏᎢ ᏩᎦᎸᏗᏴ ᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗᎢ, ᏠᎢᏂᏘᏂ ᏩᎦᎸᏗᏴ ᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗᎢ, ᏄᏯᎩ ᎤᏢᏉᏗ ᏩᎦᎸᏗᏴ ᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗᎢ, ᎠᏂᎩᎵᏏᎩ ᏩᎦᎸᏗᏴ ᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᏗ ᎠᏰᏟ.

ᎾᏍᎩᏃ Loren Zachary ᎠᎾᏓᎪᏅᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ Los Angeles ᎤᏓᏠᏒᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏧᏃᎩᏓ ᎺᏍᏐ-ᏩᎦᎸᏗᏴ ᎾᎿ ᏩᎦᎸᏗᏴ ᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᏓᏁᎸ ᏆᎹᎠ, ᏬᏈᏁᏃ, ᏈᎹᎸᎾᏓ ᎠᎴ ᎵᏍᏬᎩ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏓᏥ, ᎾᏍᏊᏃ ᎹᏘ ᎦᎶ, ᎩᏂᏏ, ᎼᏕᎾ, ᏇᏆᎠ, ᏈᎠᏏ, ᎵᏍᎪᎳ, ᎠᎴ ᎰᏂᎩ ᎪᏂᎩ. ᎠᎨᏯ ᎤᏪᏙᎵᏙᎸ ᎦᎸᏥ ᎤᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᎢᏤ ᏊᎵᎨᎵᎠᏂ ᏩᎦᎸᏗᏴ ᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎣᎩᏓ ᎾᎿ “ᎶᏂᏰᏍᎩ” ᎠᎴ ᏐᎢ ᏬᏕᏘᏴᎯ ᎤᎷᏨ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎺᏍᏐ ᎠᏏᏴᏫ ᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᏇᎠᏗ “ᎴᏈᎻ.”

ᎠᏏᏴᏫ ᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᎦᎺᎩ ᎦᎳᏅᏛ, Alice Tully Hall ᎠᎴ Weill Recital Hall. ᏓᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎠᏰᏟᏴᎢ-ᎠᎹᏰᏟ ᎠᎾᏓᏅᏖᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᏅᎾᏛᏅᎢ ᎤᎾᎵᎪᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ ᎠᎾᏓᏅᏖᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᏅᎾᏛᏅᎢ ᏗᏂᎳᏫᎩ ᎠᏁᏙᎵᏙᎲ ᏚᎾᏙᏢᏒᎢ. ᎠᎨᏯ ᎾᏍᏊ ᏚᏃᎩᏒ ᏩᎦᎸᏗᏴ ᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᏈᎠᏍ ᎠᎴ ᏅᏁᎯᏯ ᎠᎹᏰᏟ ᏗᎧᏃᎩᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ, ᎠᏂᏆᏔᎸᏛ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏓᏠᏁᎠᎪ ᎦᏬᏁᎯᏍᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᏚᏃᎩᏍᏒ ᏎᎷ ᎾᎿ ᎠᎩᎵᏱ ᏗᎨᏥᏱᎸᏍᏔᏅ ᏗᏂᏃᎩᏍᎩ “ᎣᏓᎸᎢ ᎤᏃᎵᎧᏃᎩᏍᏗ” ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᏗ ᎠᏰᏟ ᏙᏯ ᎤᎾᏚᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗᎢ.

ᏃᏊ ᏗᏕᏲᎲᏍᎦ, ᏍᎦᏃᎵ ᎤᏓᎴᏅᎲᎩ ᎠᎨᏯ ᎩᎳ ᎤᏔᏲᏢᎩ ᏍᏗᎩᏓ ᎦᏁᏟᏴᏍᏗᎢ.

Chad Smith (ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ ᏳᎵᏍᏔᏅ) ᎠᎩᎾᏢᏅᎢ,” McAlister ᏄᏪᏒᎩ. “ᏳᏓᎭ ᏂᏚᎩᏨᏂᏒᎢ ᎠᏬᏢᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏥᏩᏘᏍᎬ ᏯᏩᏛᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎪᏪᎵ ᏕᏥᏍᏆᏂᎪᏗᏍᎬ ᏔᎵ ᎢᏳᎵᎧᎸᏗ. ᎠᏩᏛᎩ Ꮭ ᎡᎵᎢ ᎬᏩᎴᏗᏍᏗ ᏱᎨᏎᎢ, ᏅᏊᏃ ᎠᎩᏁᎢᏍᏔᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ Ꮭ ᎤᎾᏈᏗ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ, ᎾᏍᎩᏂ ᎠᏎᏊ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᎠᏯ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᎬᏩᏈᏴᎡᏗᎢ ᏕᎦᏕᏲᎲᏍᎬᎢ.

ᎣᏍᏓ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅᎩ. ᎯᎠ ᏐᏁᎳ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏂᎦᏛᏁᎰᎢ.

ᎾᏍᎩᎾᏃ ᏃᏊ ᏓᎪᏩᏘ ᏧᏪᏲᏅ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎠᎾᎴᏂᏍᎬ ᎤᏔᏅ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᏱ ᏓᏁᎬᎢ. “ᏑᏓᎵ ᏯᏂ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᏗᏆᏤᎵ ᎾᎾᎢ ᏔᎵᏏᎢ ᎠᏛᏍᎩ ᏩᎦᎸᏗᏴ ᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᏁᎸᎢ. ᏔᎵ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᎲ ᎾᎿ OCU ᏧᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗ ᏫᏓᎾᏕᎶᏆᎢ. ᏌᏊ ᎤᏔᏅ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᏱ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ ᎾᎿ ᏗᎧᏃᎩᏍᏗ ᏓᏕᎶᏆᎢ. ᏌᏊ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏓᎹᏘ, ᏌᏊ ᎤᏔᏅ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᏱ ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ ᎠᏎᏃ ᏅᏬᏘ ᏓᏕᎶᏆᎢ. ᏔᎵ ᎤᏴᏢ ᎧᎸᎬ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎤᏔᏅ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᏱ ᏙᏛᎾᏕᎶᏆᎢ ᎯᎠ ᎤᎳᎪᎲᏍᎩ, ᏌᏊ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏩᏍᎪᎵᏴ ᏗᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵᏏᎢ ᏩᎦᎸᏗᏴ ᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗᎢ ‘ᎾᏍᎩᏃᎤᎾᏥ ᎤᎬᏫᏳ ᎤᎵᏏ.’”

ᎦᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬ ᎤᏕᎰᏌᏘ ᎨᏒ ᎠᏙᎷᏩᏘᏍᎬ ᏗᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ, McAlister ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎤᏃᎯᏳᏗ ᏱᎬᏩᎾᏛᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ. “ᎦᏅᏓᏗᏍᎪ ᎾᏳ ᎤᏔᏅ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᏱ ᏥᏕᎦᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬ ᎧᎧᏃᎩᏍᏗ ᏚᏃᏴᎬ ᏗᏪᏲᎲᏍᎩ ᎪᏪᎵ ᏓᎩᏅᏁᎸ ᏚᏙᎲᏃ ‘ᏱᏂᎦᏛᎩ.’ ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᏴᏫ Ꮭ ᏳᎾᏚᎵᏍᎪ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏳᎾᎵᏓᏁᏗᎢ. Ꮭ ᏱᏂᎨᎭᏛᎦ ᎠᎾᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᏍᎬᏃ ᏣᏕᎰᏌᏗᎢ, ᎢᏂᎿᏔ, ᎡᎳᏗᎿᏔ, ᎯᎵᏦᎯᏗ. ᎡᎵᏊ ᏱᎾᏛᎦ, ᎠᎴ ᏲᏚᎵᎭ Ꮭ ᎩᎶ ᏱᎨᏣᎴᏫᏍᏙᏓ.” ᏝᏃ ᎡᎶᎯ ᎢᎩᏓ ᎡᏣᎸᏉᏗ ᏱᎨᏎᏍᏗ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎯᎠ ᎦᏛᎥᎢ ᏣᎸᏬᏛ ᎾᏛᏁᎮᏍᏗ, ᎤᏟ ᎢᎦᎢ ᏏᏃ ᏂᎦᎥ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎠᎭᏂ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎡᎶᎯ.”

McAlister ᎠᎪᏩᏘᏍᎪ ᏓᏕᏲᎲᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏲᏍᏛ ᎠᏯᏢᏗ ᎠᎧᏁᏍᏗ ᎬᏩᏕᏱᏓ ᎠᎨᏯ ᎤᏍᏆᏂᎪᏗᏳ ᏚᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎸᎩ.

“ᎦᎵᎮᎵᎦ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᏙᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎸᎩ, ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎠᎩᎭ ᏃᏊ ᎠᏓᏁᏗ,” ᎠᎨᏯ ᏄᏪᏒᎩ. “ᎠᏩᏔ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏂᎦᏛᏁᎲᎢ, ᎠᏩᏔ ᏯᏛᏗ ᏗᏕᏲᏗᎢ. ᎾᎿ ᏄᏯᎩ ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏒ ᏗᏕᏲᎲᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏒ ᏗᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᎬᏉᏎᎲᎩ. ᎾᏳᏃ ᏣᏛᏅᏍᏕᏍᏗ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏗᏣᏕᏲᏗ, ᏣᏘᏍᏗ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎠᏓᏁᎲᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎢᏯᏛᏗ ᎠᏓᏁᏗᎢ. ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎤᎾᏛᏅᏍᏔᏅ ᏱᎩ ᎤᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ, ᎣᏏ ᎠᏰᎸᏗ.

“ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏏᏴᏫ ᎤᎦᏙᎲᏒ ᎬᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏯᏛᏁᏗ ᏧᏕᏲᏗᎢ - ᏂᏚᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏙᎲᏒᎢ, ᎠᏛᏓᏍᏙᏗ, ᏚᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎲ ᎢᏧᎳᎭ ᏗᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᏗᏕᏲᎲᏍᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎣᏔ ᏳᎵᏍᏙᏓ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏱᎬᏗ ᎾᎢ ᏗᎧᏃᎩᏍᏗ,” ᎠᎨᏯ ᏄᏪᏒᎩ. “ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎧᏃᎩᏍᏗ ᏚᏃᏴᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎬᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ. ᎠᎾᏓᏕᏲᎲᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏗᎧᏃᎩᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏗᎦᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗᎢ, ᎡᏧᎳ ᏗᎧᏃᎩᏍᏓ ᎤᎾᏛᏁᎸᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏩᎦᎸᏗᏴ ᎧᏃᎩᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᏃᎩᏍᏗᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏠᏯ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎥᎵᏏᎾᎯᏍᏗᏍᎬ ᎣᎵᎻᏈᎩ. ᏔᎵ ᏧᏍᏗᎢ ᎤᏁᎢᏍᏗ ᏓᏏᎳᏕᏫᏒ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏓᏏᎾᎯᏍᏔᏅ ᎧᏃᎩᏍᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎢᎸᏍᎩ ᎢᏧᏟᎶᏛ ᏏᎦ. ᎯᎠᏃ ᏚᏓᏕᏫᏍᏛ ᎭᏫᏯᎭ ᏧᏇᏓᏟ ᏓᏙᏢᏍᎪᎢ ᎠᏟᏱᎵᏒᎢ, ᎥᏝ ᏑᏒᎯᏓ ᏱᎨᏐᎢ. ᎣᏏ ᎢᏯᏩᎵᏍᏓᏁᎸᎢ. ᎠᎩᎸᏉᏗ ᏗᏩᏕᏲᏗᎢ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎠᏓᎨᏳᏗ, ᎠᏂᏌᏑᏗ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ. ᎦᏥᎵᎮᎵᏉᎢ ᎠᏆᏤᎵ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᏟ.”

– TRANSLATED BY JOHN ROSS

About the Author
Comi ...
david-rowley@cherokee.org • 918-453-5560
Comi ...

People

BY STAFF REPORTS
10/11/2019 04:09 PM
Cherokee Nation citizen...

BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
10/03/2019 11:16 AM
They are among 52 elders from Oklah...

BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
09/27/2019 08:24 AM
For three Cherokee men who fought...

BY LINDSEY BARK
Reporter
09/24/2019 08:22 AM
Cherokee Nation citizen Stua...

BY STAFF REPORTS
09/04/2019 03:12 PM
For more than 43 years,...