There are over 15,000 citizens of the Cherokee Nation in California. Some are from families who have been here for three or four generations; others arrived from Oklahoma last week. Almost all have come for reasons of employment or other opportunities. Almost none have forgotten their family or tribal roots in northeastern Oklahoma.
For years, even decades, the Cherokee Nation has had little ability to interact with its citizens in California. Even now, retaining connections with such a far flung population is difficult.
But that is changing....
From the September 2008 meeting brochure
Cherokee Quotes and Historical Footnotes:
FRIENDS: Never ask for food.
NATIVE FRIENDS: Always bring the food.
FRIENDS: Will say 'hello'.
NATIVE FRIENDS: Will give you a big hug and a kiss.
<>FRIENDS: Call your parents Mr. and Mrs.
NATIVE FRIENDS: Call your parents Mom and Dad
FRIENDS: Have never seen you cry..
NATIVE FRIENDS: Cry with you.
FRIENDS: Will eat at your dinner table and leave..
NATIVE FRIENDS: Will spend hours there, talking, laughing, and just being together and help clean up.
FRIENDS: Know a few things about you.
NATIVE FRIENDS: Could write a book with direct quotes from you.
FRIENDS: Will leave you behind if that's what the crowd is doing.
NATIVE FRIENDS: Will kick the whole crowds' back ends if you are being left.
FRIENDS: Would knock on your door.
NATIVE FRIENDS: Respectfully walk right in and say, 'I'm home!'
FRIENDS: Are for a while.
NATIVE FRIENDS: Are for life.
FRIENDS: Might ignore this..
NATIVE FRIENDS: Will forward this to all their NATIVE Friends!
"We are now about to take our leave and kind farewell to our native land, the country that the Great Spirit gave our Fathers, we are on the eve of leaving that country that gave us birth...it is with sorrow we are forced by the white man to quit the scenes of our childhood... we bid farewell to it and all we hold dear."
Charles Hicks, Tsalagi (Cherokee) Vice Chief on the Trail of Tears, August 4, 1838
Historical Footnotes: October 12th is Columbus Day, and in the 1970's the American Indian Movement renamed it American Indian Day. Wilma Mankiller was among those who captured and held Alcatraz Island during this era. Also in the seventies Ross Swimmer revived the government of the Cherokee Nation as a sovereign nation, disbanded by the federal government since shortly after the Civil War, on a budget of $10,000.
If you have stories and/or quotes you would like to submit. Please, feel free to contact Darlene at firstname.lastname@example.org.