Stomp dance raises money for Cherokee family
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.
ᏓᎵᏆ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ. – ᎾᎯᏳ ᎧᎦᎵ ᎦᎵᏉᎩᏁ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎩᏒᎩ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎠᏂᏟᏏᏍᎬᎢ, ᏅᎩᏧᏈ ᎤᎶᏒᏍᏓ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎤᎾᏓᏟᏌᏅ ᏓᎵᏆ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎠᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎤᏂᏟᏐᏗ ᎤᎬᏩᏟ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᏙᏗ ᎾᎥ ᎠᏁᎯ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᎩᏟᏲᏨ ᏗᎦᏚᎴᏂ ᏚᎾᏓᏛᏂᏍᏔᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏃᎸᏔᏂ ᏥᎧᎸᎢ.
ᎾᎿᏃ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎩᏍᏗ ᏚᏄᎪᏔᏅ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎤᏂᏟᏐᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎢᏦᏗ ᎦᏘᏲ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᏙᏗ, ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏘᏲ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᎠᏭᏂᏴᏍᏗᎢ ᏚᏙᎥᎢ. ᎢᏦᏗ ᎦᏘᏲ ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏒ David Comingdeer ᎤᏁᏨ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᎤᏂᏍᏆᎸᎡᎸ ᎤᏙᏢᏅ ᎠᏕᎳ ᏦᎢ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᎯᏍᎩᏧᏈ ᏄᏂᏛ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎢᏴ ᏙᏛᏂᏁᎵ ᎠᏂFlynns ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᏙᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ.
ᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᎠᏁᎳ ᎤᏂᎩᎵᏲᏨ ᎤᎪᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᏲᏣᏁᎸ ᏗᎦᏚᎴᏂ ᎤᏂᎲᎢ.
“ᎪᎯ ᏒᎯᏰᏱ ᎠᎭᏂ ᏓᎵᏆ ᏙᏥᏯᏂ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎦᏘᏲ ᏚᏙᏢᏒ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵᎢ, ᎹᏍᎪᎩ ᎠᏂᎫᏌ, ᎠᏂᎤᏥ, ᎠᏂᏌᏂ, ᎠᏂᏏᎹᏃᎵ, ᎠᏂᏌᏂᎦ ᎧᏳᎦ, ᏃᎴᏍᏊ Peoria ᎠᎴ ᎣᏔᏩ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Comingdeer.
“ᏂᎦᏓᏃ ᏙᎩᎷᏨ ᏙᎦᏓᏟᏌᏅ ᏙᏥᏍᏕᎸᎲ, ᎯᎠ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏏᏓᏁᎸᎢ, ᎠᏂᎦᏘᏯ ᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎪᏓ ᏚᏂᏐᏅᏅ ᏗᎦᏚᎴᏂ ᏚᎾᏓᏛᏅᏍᏔᏅᎢ. ᏙᎫᎪᏔᏅ ᎢᎦᏲᎦᏛᏗ ᎨᏒ ᏦᏥᏍᏕᎸᏗᎢ.”
ᎠᏂFlynn’s, ᎤᎾᏦᏛ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏅᎩ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎤᏃᏢᏅ Chevy Trailblazer, ᎨᎬᏂᎴ ᎢᎬᏯᎢᏗᏝ ᎠᎦᏘ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏔᏅ ᎦᏅᏅ ᎯᎦᏍᎪ ᏌᏊ ᎪᏪᎵ Randall Welch ᎤᏅᏂᎴ ᏪᎵᏂ ᎡᎯ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏰᎴᎲ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏔᎵ ᎪᏢᏅ Nissan Frontier.
Welch, ᏩᏥᎸᏅ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎳᏏ ᏓᏅᏅ ᏗᏂᏂᏙ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏥᏴᏔᏅ ᎤᏐᏅᏅᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎠᏱᎴᎯ Trailblazer, Jack “Red” Flynn, ᎠᏥᎾᏫᏛᎲ ᏙᏧᏯᏓᏛᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎦᏁᏥ, ᏗᎦᏅᏍᎨᎾ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏍᎪᎵ ᎤᏐᏅᏅᎢ.
JackᏃ ᎬᏩᏣᏁᎸ ᎯᎠ Kathy Gann, Jimmy Ross ᎠᎴ Nellie Flynn, ᏂᎦᏓ ᏚᏓᏘᎾᎥ Jack Ross ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᎸᏅ ᏗᏂᏁᏥ, ᏗᏂᏍᎪᎵ, ᎠᎴ ᏗᏂᏅᏍᎨᎾ, ᎠᏃᎵᎬ ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ ᏕᎦᏅᏅ ᏧᎾᎦᏎᏍᏗ. Nellie, Jack ᎤᏥ, ᏔᎳᏏ ᏧᏂᏢᎩ ᎠᎦᏘᏅᏒ ᎤᏠᏯ ᎤᏐᏅᏅᎢ.
Nellie Ꮭ ᎬᏪᏓᏍᏗ ᏱᎨᏎ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎠᏂᏟᏏᏍᎬᎢ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ Ꮟ Ꮭ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏱᎩ ᎤᏐᏅᏅᎢ. Jack, Ross ᎠᎴ Gann ᏂᎦᏓ ᎠᏁᏙᎲ ᎾᎿ ᎦᏘᏲ ᏃᎴ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᏚᎾᏓᏘᎾᎥᎢ.
ᎢᎦᏓ ᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᎠᏂᏃᎮᏍᎬ ᎯᎠ ᏄᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᎸ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᏙᏗ ᏄᏂᎲᎾ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅ ᎦᎾᎦᏘ ᏓᏁᏙᎲ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎦᏚᎴᏂ ᏄᏂᎲᎾ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅᎢ.
“ᏂᎪᎯᎸ ᏩᏁᏙᎲ ᏧᏂᏢᎩ. ᎢᏧᎳ (Jack) ᎠᎴ Nellie ᎠᏁᏙᎰ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Linda Christie, ᎠᏂFlynn ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎠᎾᏓᏛᏂ.
ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎯᎠ ᎨᏥᏁᎸ ᏛᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᏙᏔᏂ ᎾᎿ gas, ᎠᎵᏍᏓᏴᏗ, ᎠᏁᏙᎲ ᏂᎪᎯᎸ ᎠᎴ ᏄᏓᎴ ᎤᏂᏂᎬᏎᎲ ᏂᏗᎪᏩᏘᏍᎬᎾ.
Jack ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬ ᏂᎨᏥᏍᏕᎸᏓ ᏱᎨᏎ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᎢᎦ ᎤᏦᏎᏗ ᏱᎨᏎ ᎠᎵᏍᏕᎸᏙᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᏍᎬ ᏃᎦᎵᏍᏓᏁᎸᎢ.
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏂFlynn’s ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂRoss ᎪᎯᏓ ᎤᏓᎷᎳ ᎧᎵ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᏳᎾᎵᏍᏓᏁᏗᎢ, ᎠᎾᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᏂᏏᏓᏁᎸ, ᎢᎦᏃ ᎠᎾᎵᎮᎵᎬ ᎯᎠ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎪᎸᏔᏅ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏕᎸᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏚᏁᏙᎸᎢ.
ᎦᏘᏲ ᎡᏙᎯ Celia Xavier ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᎪᏩᏘᏍᎬ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎠᏂᏟᏏᏍᎬ “ᎤᏠᏯ ᎨᏒ ᎪᎯᎦ ᏥᎾᎾᏛᏁᎲᎢ.”
“ᎠᏂᎩᏍᏗ ᎤᏠᏯ ᏚᏳᎪᏛ, ᎠᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᎩᎶ ᎤᏂᎬᎬ. ᎾᎿ ᎤᏕᏯᏙᏗᏍᎬ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎤᎾᏕᏯᏙᏗᏍᎪᎢ.
ᏂᎦᏓᏃ ᏗᎦᎵᏍᏕᎸᏓ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Xavier. “ᏝᏃ ᏂᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏱᏄᏍᏗ.’ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᎪᏩᏛᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎤᏓᏅᏘᏴ ᎦᏘᏲ ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏒ ᎢᏦᏗᎢ. ᎠᏰᏟᏃ ᎢᎦ ᎤᏂᏟᏌᏅ ᏚᏁᎸ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂFlynn ᏏᏓᏁᎸᎢ, ᎾᎿ ᎤᏂᏂᎬᎬ ᏗᏍᏕᎸᏗᎢ. ᎤᏍᏆᏂᎪᏓ ᎠᎴ ᎦᎸᏉᏙᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ.
ᎠᏂᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᎨᏒ ᎦᎨᏙ ᎦᏘᏲ ᎠᏁᎳ, ᎠᏎᏃ Comingdeer ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Ꮭ ᏱᏓᏓᎴᎦ ᎠᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᎤᏣᏘᎾ ᏂᏓᏳᏂᎩᏓ.
“ᏝᏃᏙᎢ ᎠᎭᏂ ᎠᏁᎳ ᏱᎩ, ᎤᏣᏘᎾ ᎦᏘᏲ ᎠᏁᎳ ᎠᏎᏃ ᏙᎦᏓᎨᏳᏐᎢ. ᏂᎪᎯᎸᏃ ᏙᏣᎵᏍᏕᎵᏍᎪ, ᏃᎩᏤᎲ ᎢᎦ ᏙᎦᏓᎨᏳᏐ ᎠᎴ ᏙᏣᏓᏙᎵᏤᎰᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᏂᎦᎥᏃ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏱᏍᎩᎩᏌ, ᎦᏙ ᎾᏍᎩᏊ. ᎣᎦᏙᏢᏒ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏱᏍᎩᎩᏌ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎢᎪᎯᏓ ᎣᎪᎯᏳᏒ ᎠᎴ ᏃᏣᏛᏁᎲ ᏲᎦᏛᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎡᎵᏊ ᎣᎪᏗ, ᎦᏘᏯ ᎣᎩᏍᏆᎸᎡᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏅᏬᏘ ᎣᎦᏙᏗ, ᎣᎬᏌ ᎣᎩᎲ ᎣᎩᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ, ᏏᏊᏃ ᏂᎬᏩᏍᏗ ᎣᏥᏅᏍᏓᏢ ᏱᎩ. ᎪᎯ ᎤᏒ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎵᎫᏍᏛᏛ ᎣᎦᏤᎵ ᏯᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎣᎩᎲᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏃᏣᏛᏁᎰ ᏙᏣᎵᏍᏕᎵᏍᎬᎢ.
ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏓ ᏂᏣᎵᏍᏓᏁᎲ ᎢᏣᎵᏍᎪᎸᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎢᏦᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂFlynn ᏏᏓᏁᎸ ᏂᏓᏣᏁᏗ ᏣᎵᏍᎪᎸᏔᏅ ᎾᎿ Route 4 Box 1570, Stilwell, OK 74960. ᎢᏳᏃ ᎠᏕᎳ ᏗᏎᎯᏍᏓ ᏱᏗᏣᏅᎾ ᏦᏪᎶᏗ Echota Grounds ᎠᏎᏃ ᏦᏪᎶᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎩᏍᏗ ᎭᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
– TRANSLATED BY ANNA SIXKILLER