Georgia TOTA Chapter meeting May 12 in Chatsworth

BY STAFF REPORTS
04/24/2018 10:00 AM
CHATSWORTH, Ga. – The next meeting of the Georgia Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association will begin at 10:30 a.m. on May 12 at the Vann House.

The meeting will be the second in a series of meetings commemorating the 180th anniversary of the Cherokee removal. The guest speaker will be former association president, Leslie Thomas. Her presentation is titled “The Round-up and Life in the Encampments.” The meeting is open and free to the public.

The U.S. Army established Fort New Echota in 1836 during the Cherokee Removal period in present-day Calhoun, Gordon County, Georgia. It was later renamed Fort Wool in 1838 and abandoned later in 1838 after Cherokee people were rounded up and sent west.

The TOTA was created to support the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail established by an act of Congress in 1987. It is dedicated to identifying and preserving sites associated with the removal of Native Americans from the southeastern United States. The Georgia TOTA chapter is one of nine state chapters representing the nine states that the Cherokee and other tribes traveled through on their way to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma).

GCTOTA meetings are free and open to the public. People need not have Native American ancestry to attend GATOTA meetings, just an interest and desire to learn more about this tragic period in this country’s history.
http://www.hardrockcasinotulsa.com/the-joint-tulsa/nanyehi/

NSU features Cherokee artist Troy Jackson

BY LINDSEY BARK
Reporter
04/24/2018 08:30 AM
TAHLEQUAH – Northeastern State University’s John Vaughan Library Special Collections is displaying the works of Cherokee Nation citizen and award-wining artist Troy Jackson in an exhibit called “The Arrival” that runs April 5 to May 4.

During an April 5 reception, the public was invited to view Jackson’s work and speak with the artist.

“I’m honored to have him here. We try to make it a point to be a cultural destination and really represent culture in the area and the Cherokee people. So certainly having Mr. Jackson’s art on display here is an honor for us but it’s also in line with our mission,” NSU Director of Libraries Steven Edscorn said.

Edscorn added that NSU’s library is a “cultural repository” and the Special Collections focuses on American Indian studies and history, specifically on the tribes of Oklahoma.

Jackson, a NSU alumnus, began his love for art as a child with the ambition to become a painter. While in college in 1977, he was inspired by a ceramics class to learn pottery. It wasn’t until 2010 that he began to sculpt.
Cherokee Nation citizen and artist Troy Jackson talks with attendees at a reception of his art exhibit titled “The Arrival” at Northeastern State University’s John Vaughan Library on April 5 in Tahlequah. The exhibit is expected to run through May 4. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX “The Arrival” is one of 10 sculptures on display at Northeastern State University’s John Vaughan Library showcasing the works of Cherokee Nation citizen and artist Troy Jackson. The exhibit, in conjunction with NSU’s Symposium on the American Indian, runs through May 4. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX A close-up of the sculpture “Exodus” shows gears, cogs and fish as part of Cherokee Nation citizen and artist Troy Jackson’s intent to mix industry and nature in his work. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen and artist Troy Jackson talks with attendees at a reception of his art exhibit titled “The Arrival” at Northeastern State University’s John Vaughan Library on April 5 in Tahlequah. The exhibit is expected to run through May 4. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

Five Tribes Ancestry Conference set for June 7-9

BY STAFF REPORTS
04/22/2018 04:00 PM
SULPHUR – Explore your Native American heritage at the Five Tribes Ancestry Conference on June 7-9 at the Chickasaw Cultural Center.

The Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes, whose mission is to unite the governments of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee Creek and Seminole nations, has endorsed this first-of-its-kind conference.

“The Five Tribes have a shared history due to the creation of the Dawes Rolls at the turn of the last century,” Cherokee Heritage Center Executive Director Dr. Charles Gourd said. “The vast majority of our visitors at CHC are interested in researching their family heritage, but they just aren’t sure where to start. Working with the Five Tribes, we have created a one-of-a-kind conference that will provide a better understanding of genealogical methodology and introduce available records to aid individuals in their family research.”

The three-day event is expected to provide tools to research Native American ancestry and discussion topics with guest speakers, including keynote speaker Dr. Daniel F. Littlefield Jr., director of the Sequoyah Research Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

“Archives, historical societies and other genealogical institutions, especially in the south-southeast, have all seen an increase in the number of people seeking information about their family ancestry,” Littlefield said. “The majority of researchers are focused on validating their family’s claim to Indian ancestry and, thus, tribal citizenship. It is our responsibility to assist these individuals to the best of our ability while educating the public about the realities of the search.”
http://cherokeepublichealth.org

CHC offers cultural classes promoting traditional Cherokee art

BY STAFF REPORTS
04/20/2018 04:00 PM
PARK HILL – The Cherokee Heritage Center is hosting cultural classes designed to preserve, promote and teach traditional Cherokee art.

The Saturday workshops are held once a month and provide hands-on learning opportunities with various traditional art forms.

Registration is open for the May 5 class on flat reed basketry and plant dyes and the June 2 class on flint knapping. Both classes are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and cost $40 each.

Early registration is recommended as class size is limited. For more information or to RSVP, call Tonia Weavel at 918-456-6007, ext. 6161, or email tonia-weavel@cherokee.org.

The CHC is located at 21192 S. Keeler Drive.

Cultural artists begin working in CHC interactive exhibits

BY STAFF REPORTS
04/19/2018 10:00 AM
PARK HILL – The Cherokee Heritage Center recently received nearly $12,000 in grants from the Oklahoma Arts Council to support three new cultural artists in its interactive exhibits for the 2018 tourism season.

“The addition of these artists to our staff will aid in our efforts to provide an engaging and interactive environment for visiting guests,” CHC Executive Director Dr. Charles Gourd said. “We are thankful for the support of the OAC, which continues to support our mission to preserve, promote and teach Cherokee history, art and culture.”

Cherokee Nation citizens Lily Drywater and Geoff Little are providing cultural demonstrations in the ancient Cherokee village, Diligwa, which authentically portrays Cherokee life in the early 1700s. Drywater performs traditional finger weaving, and Little demonstrates the art of bow making.

CN citizen Charlotte Wolfe has joined the team in Adams Corner Rural Village, which represents Cherokee life in the 1890s before Oklahoma statehood. Wolfe demonstrates Cherokee basketry and cornhusk dolls.

“As a young girl, I had a hunger for my heritage and a desire to immerse myself in the Cherokee culture,” said Wolfe. “That spark has fueled my career, and I have had the privilege to study a variety of Cherokee art forms, many from Cherokee National Treasures. I feel that each one is a gift passed down to me, and I take great pride in sharing that knowledge with guests visiting the heritage center. I hope that each guest leaves with a better understanding of Cherokee culture, and that they feel inspired to learn more.”
https://www.facebook.com/CASA-of-Cherokee-Country-184365501631027/

Powwow concludes NSU Symposium on the American Indian

BY STAFF REPORTS
04/18/2018 12:15 PM
TAHLEQUAH – Following the Native film series and keynote speakers throughout the week, the Northeastern State University 46th annual Symposium on the American Indian will conclude with the NSU Powwow.

The powwow begins at 2 p.m. on April 21 in the University Center Ballroom.

Kelly Anquoe will begin the day by teaching a dance workshop that will provide an opportunity for individuals to learn about the styles of dance and types of regalia that will be seen during the powwow. There will also be time for questions related to powwow protocol. The Learning Traditional Dance Workshop will be at 2 p.m.

A Gourd Dance will begin the powwow at 3 p.m., followed by a dinner break from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and the Grand Entry/Intertribal will begin at 7 p.m. and conclude at midnight.

Event leaders include the master of ceremonies Stanley John (Navajo), head lady dancer Robyn Chanate (Cherokee/Kiowa), head man dancer Daniel Roberts (Muscogee Creek/Aleut/Choctaw), head gourd dancer Chris Chanate (Kiowa/Cherokee), head singer Joel Deerinwater (Muscogee Creek/Cherokee), Color Guard from the Mvskoke Creek Nation Honor Guard and the arena director Tony Ballou (Cherokee/Creek/Navajo).

Jackson wins Trail of Tears Art Show grand prize

BY KENLEA HENSON
Reporter
04/18/2018 08:15 AM
PARK HILL – Cherokee Nation citizen Troy Jackson won the grand prize for his sculpture “Adadolisdi – The Prayer” at the Cherokee Heritage Center’s 47th annual Trail of Tears Art Show.

Winners were announced during an April 6 ceremony and opening-night reception for the art show, which runs through May 5.

The TOTAS is the longest-running Native American art show in Oklahoma and features authentic Native American artwork from artists of different federally recognized tribes. This year the show received 172 submissions from 89 artists representing 12 tribal nations. All featured artwork is available for purchase throughout the show’s duration.

CHC Curator Callie Chunestudy said the show received a record number of entries and has about 16 new artists who have previously entered the show.

“It’s a great opportunity for artists both new and seasoned to display their work and have it in a tribal museum. I think you will see a lot more variety. People are really starting to come into their own with things like graphic arts and coming out of the box a little more with sculptures and some of what people consider kind of the more traditional arts. So you get to see some new and interesting things you may have not seen before,” she said.
Video Frame selected by Cherokee Phoenix
The 2018 Trail of Tears Art Show grand prize was awarded to Cherokee Nation citizen Troy Jackson for his sculpture “Adadolisdi – The Prayer.” The show runs through May 5 at the Cherokee Heritage Center in Park Hill. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Artwork from the Cherokee Art Market Youth Competition can also be viewed until May 5 at the Cherokee Heritage Center in Park Hill. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee Nation citizen John Gritts received first place in graphics at the Trail of Tears Art Show for his pen and ink drawing “Keep, Out, Indian Reservation, Government Property.” KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
The 2018 Trail of Tears Art Show grand prize was awarded to Cherokee Nation citizen Troy Jackson for his sculpture “Adadolisdi – The Prayer.” The show runs through May 5 at the Cherokee Heritage Center in Park Hill. KENLEA HENSON/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

‘Four Moons’ tells Native ballerinas’ stories, showcases Cherokees

BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
Reporter – @cp_bbennett
04/16/2018 08:15 AM
TAHLEQUAH – The Encore! Performing Society on April 8 previewed its reimagined production of “Four Moons,” which highlights the careers of five Native American ballerinas.

“The history of the five ballerinas was always interesting to me because they are so unique. There’s only a handful of Native American ballerinas in the world,” “Four Moons” Director Lena Gladkova-Huffman said.

The production features 12 female dancers, nearly all of who are Cherokee, and uses digital backdrops with archived footage, pictures and interviews to showcase the life and careers of Yvonne Chouteau, Rosella Hightower, Moscelyne Larkin and sisters Maria and Marjorie Tallchief.

The group became known as the Five Moons and rose to prominence in the mid-1900s during a time when ballet was largely considered a Russian art form. The women represented the Cherokee, Osage, Choctaw and Shawnee tribes.

Four of them danced together for the original 1967 production, which occurred during the Oklahoma Indian Ballerina Festival. It was titled “Four Moons” because the Tallchief sisters were highlighted together.
Video Frame selected by Cherokee Phoenix
“Four Moons” Director Lena Gladkova-Huffman, far left, poses with the cast of her reimagined production during an April 8 preview at the Armory Municipal Center in Tahlequah. The production tells the story of Native American ballerinas Yvonne Chouteau, Rosella Hightower, Moscelyne Larkin and sisters Maria and Marjorie Tallchief known as The Five Moons. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee Nation citizen Natalie Walker, left, and her partner perform a dance honoring the younger and older versions of Yvonne Chouteau during a preview performance on April 8 in Tahlequah. Chouteau was a citizen of the Shawnee Tribe and a famous ballerina. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Cherokee Nation citizen Hadley Hume portrays an older version of Rosella Hightower during an April 8 preview performance of “Four Moons” in Tahlequah. During her career, Hightower studied at the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and directed several major ballet companies in Europe. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX Young ballerinas from the “Four Moons” production pose in traditional dress after a preview performance in Tahlequah. Encore! Performing Society Vice President Dayna Hume was responsible for costuming, but said she received help from Cherokee National Treasures, including Tonia Weavel and Noel Grayson, when it came to accurately portraying traditional Native American dress. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
“Four Moons” Director Lena Gladkova-Huffman, far left, poses with the cast of her reimagined production during an April 8 preview at the Armory Municipal Center in Tahlequah. The production tells the story of Native American ballerinas Yvonne Chouteau, Rosella Hightower, Moscelyne Larkin and sisters Maria and Marjorie Tallchief known as The Five Moons. BRITTNEY BENNETT/CHEROKEE PHOENIX

NMAI to open ‘Trail of Tears: A Story of Cherokee Removal’ exhibit

BY STAFF REPORTS
04/12/2018 04:00 PM
WASHINGTON – The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian on April 13 will open its “Trail of Tears: A Story of Cherokee Removal” exhibition, which the Cherokee Nation curated.

Running until January, the exhibition contains reproductions of historical documents, drawings and portraiture, first-hand accounts and contemporary voices. According to the NMAI, the 40-panel exhibition takes a deeper look at Indian removal from the Cherokee perspective and dispels misconceptions about the Trail of Tears while providing a realistic look at the cost of greed and oppression.

For more information, visit http://nmai.si.edu/explore/exhibitions/item/?id=967.
Jennie Fields CHEROKEE NATIONAL ARCHIVES
Jennie Fields CHEROKEE NATIONAL ARCHIVES

Culture

Guess-Perdue shares life story in CCO series
BY ROGER GRAHAM
Multimedia Producer – @cp_rgraham
04/09/2018 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – Cherokee Nation citizen Winnie Guess-Perdue recently shared her life’s journey as part of the CN’s Community and Cultural Outreach’s Lunch and Learn series.

According to CCO’s Facebook page, she was recognized as one of the five women featured in the tribe’s exhibit “Cherokee Women Who Changed the World.”

Guess-Perdue is a direct descendant of Sequoyah and an accomplished ballerina, fancy dancer and artist. A lifetime athlete, she has competed in the Oklahoma Senior Olympics and the National Senior Games. In 2002, she competed in Melbourne, Australia, at the World Masters Games and in 2004 was named Oklahoma’s Senior Athlete of the Year.

She is one of two to three females in history to have mastered the old school traditional version of the Hoop Dance and is recognized as an honored elder of early female “fancy dancers.” In addition to awards and honors, she was a finalist in the 1957 Miss Indian America competition, received the Moscelyn Larkin Greater Tulsa Lifetime of Cultural Achievement Award in 2008, and in 2015 she accepted the Oral Roberts University Lifetime of Global Achievement Award. She serves on the Greater Tulsa Area Indian Affairs Commission. She has also performed on television shows, including the Ed Sullivan Show and Today Show.

To view Guess-Perdue’s March 15 presentation visit, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQPab0qW4lk.

Education

Symposium on the American Indian honors tradition, culture
BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
Reporter – @cp_bbennett
04/25/2018 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – Climate change concerns, preserving Indigenous languages and storytelling though music and art were just a few topics at the 46th annual Symposium on the American Indian held April 16-21 at Northeastern State University.

“This symposium has been a long standing part of the community,” NSU Center for Tribal Studies Director Sara Barnett said. “This is a space for everyone to learn about our people, to learn about our culture, to learn about our perspectives and why we feel certain ways about different things.”

This year’s theme was “Walking with our Ancestors: Preserving Culture and Honoring Tradition.”

“It means to reflect on the experience that American Indians have in terms of walking in two worlds. We have our tradition, our culture, but we also have to operate within mainstream society and balance those two things and integrate them when possible,” Barnett said. “Also, if you travel outside of Oklahoma people don’t believe that you’re a real Indian. They say, ‘we thought you guys were all dead.’ But we’re not. Our culture is here and alive.”

The symposium hosted several keynote speakers, including Dr. Daniel Wildcat.

Wildcat, a Yuchi citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, is a professor at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas, who has studied climate change for more than a decade. He used his April 19 session to present “More Trails of Tears: Intergenerational Trauma in an Age of Climate Change.”

“My presentation really focuses on the way that climate change is presently impacting Indigenous people around the globe and is likely to affect a lot more nations and Indigenous peoples in the next century,” he said. “We’re seeing people right now that are really looking at having to relocate.”

Wildcat said there could be as many as “200 million climate refugees by 2050” and that Indigenous people will be taking a “leadership role in the next century” to address climate change.

“The systems that have created the problem aren’t Cherokee systems. They’re not Pawnee systems. They’re not Seminole systems,” he said. “These are systems that came from other people and other parts of the world. I think it’s time for us to speak up and really live up to our caretaking responsibilities for this Mother Earth, and I think we can do so.”

The symposium also hosted smaller sessions on topics including cultural identity, lifeways, tribal research and language revitalization.

Cherokee National Treasure Betty Frogg, a Cherokee Immersion Charter School second grade teacher, brought her students to the symposium on April 18. She, along with NSU Coordinator of Academic Services Dr. Angelina Dayton, showcased how virtual reality technology helps her classroom learn the Cherokee language.

“I think it’s important because it’s what the kids know and everybody keeps saying, ‘technology is the future of learning.’ I think we’re going to be doing some grant writing so we can get everything that we need,” Frogg said.

Showcased on April 20 was Dream Warriors Management, a group of Native artists who uplift others with their creative talents. It consists of poet Tanaya Winder, as well as hip hop and rap artists Frank Waln, Mic Jordan and Tall Paul.

They answered questions about projects that inspired them and when they decided to pursue their passions full time before concluding with performances at the NSU Jazz Lab.

Winder, a Southern Ute/Duckwater Shoshone/Pyramid Lake Paiute Nations citizen, performed spoken word poems from her two books “Words Like Love” and “Why Storms Are Named After People and Bullets Remain Nameless.”

She said the Dream Warriors are “stronger together” and set a “family” example for Indian Country. “Just all of us coming together is kind of like a map of what Indian Country is and can be when it’s at its healthiest, like family. I think just seeing us celebrate our differences is what makes Dream Warriors so successful because people can see themselves in us, and hopefully that empowers them to follow their own path, whether that be art or not.”

Waln, a Lakota from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, followed performances by Winder, Mic Jordan and Tall Paul. His songs included “Born on the Rez,” “What Makes the Red Man Red” and “My Stone” with Winder. He said he hopes his success and that of his fellow artists will leave a “blueprint” for others.

“Hopefully it will leave some of the younger Native people here with somewhat of a blueprint on how to work together as young Native people to build something or our communities that will last past our lifetimes,” he said.

Council

Smith, Golden honored with CN Patriotism medals
BY STAFF REPORTS
03/20/2018 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation honored U.S. Army and Navy veterans with the tribe’s Medal of Patriotism during the March 12 Tribal Council meeting.

Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden acknowledged Fields Smith, 84, of Vian, and Kenneth Golden, 68, of Stilwell, for their service to the country.

Sgt. Smith was born in 1933 and drafted into the Army in 1955. He completed basic training at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas and trained to become an infantryman. Later, he completed Fire Directing Control School and was sent to Fort Polk in Louisiana where he spent the remainder of his two-year service term. During his service, Smith completed non-commission school and received a sharpshooter medal for his rifle skills. Smith received an honorable discharge in 1957.

“I want to thank the Chief, the Deputy Chief and the Tribal Council for all of the good work that they do for our people,” Smith said.

Sgt. Golden was born in 1949 and enlisted in the Navy in 1968. Golden completed basic training in Chicago. After basic training, he was transferred to the Naval Air Station Cecil Field in Jacksonville, Florida, where he served as an aviation boatman mate. During his service, Golden was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and received an honorable discharge in 1972.

Each month the CN recognizes Cherokee service men and women for their sacrifices and as a way to demonstrate the high regard in which the tribe holds all veterans.

To nominate a veteran who is a CN citizen, call 918-772-4166.

Health

Cherokee stays positive amid Hodgkin Lymphoma battle
BY BRITTNEY BENNETT
Reporter – @cp_bbennett
04/25/2018 09:30 AM
SALLISAW – When Cherokee Nation citizen Shacotah Sanders lost his hair after undergoing chemotherapy for Stage 2 Hodgkin Lymphoma last year, his mother, Tammie Simms, shaved her head in solidarity.

“Chemotherapy is a really long process. It’s painful. It’s stressful. It’s really emotional because I lost all my hair,” Sanders said. “That was something I was really scared of right there, but the main thing that keeps me going is my mom. She’s like the only one that really keeps me going.”

This familial support is once more a shoulder for Sanders to lie on because while his hair has grown back, so too have the cancerous spots in his neck. It is a possibility that he had accepted after going into remission in October.

“I had prepared myself for it because there’s always that possibility that it could come back,” Sanders said. “Every three months I have a checkup, a PET scan, and we decided to do one in early March this year. We did it, waited about two weeks to get the results. We went back to my oncologist doctor, and he said that it came back, but it wasn’t as big as last time and not as bad. He said it was in the same spot and at the same stage, Stage 2.”

Sanders began undergoing 22 rounds of radiation on April 3 to again battle the cancerous disease, which starts in the white blood cells called lymphocytes. It causes uncontrollable cell reproduction that can potentially invade other tissues throughout the body and disrupt normal tissue function, according to the American Cancer Society.

Sanders travels from Sallisaw to Tahlequah’s Northeast Oklahoma Cancer Center five days a week for his radiation sessions and will have checkups every three to six months after the treatments.

“The radiation, they take you to a back room with a really big machine and you just lay on it, like a flat surface, and then they put a mesh mask over your face and tilt your head back so they can get to the spots where the cancer is. There’s no needles involved or anything. It’s just a big machine shooting radiation down on your body,” he said.

The first time Sanders noticed something amiss with his health was in March 2017.

“Every time I went running I noticed my breathing was off quite a bit, so I was just feeling around on my neck and I found these lumps on the right side of my neck, below my jaw. It was just affecting my breathing a lot, so I went to the doctor and had them check it out,” he said.

After a PET scan and surgery, doctors removed two of Sanders’ lymph nodes.

“They sent them off to be tested and they came back cancerous. They told me it was Stage 2 Hodgkin Lymphoma and we started treatment last year in April,” Sanders said.

Doctors prescribed Sanders four rounds of chemotherapy at Warren Clinic Medical Oncology in Tahlequah.

“I was supposed to do four, but three rounds did it,” Sanders said. “During that time, I still went to work, and I didn’t feel good at all going to work, but I still worked my eight hours a day. I still went to work, put a smile on my face. I had a really good attitude about it.”

Though the cancer has returned and forced Sanders to put classes at Carl Albert State College on hold while continuing to work, he remains positive and recommends anyone going through a diagnosis to do the same. “Just have a positive attitude about everything. Surround yourself with positive things, people, family and friends,” he said.

Sanders has a GoFundMe account to help with expenses. To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/hodgkins-lymphoma-fight.

Symptoms and Info

Possible symptoms of Hodgkin Lymphoma include fever, drenching night sweats and weight loss constituting at least 10 percent of a person’s body weight over the course of six months, according to the American Cancer Society. For more information, visit www.cancer.org/cancer/hodgkin-lymphoma.html.

Opinion

OPINION: The Information Super Highway
BY KEITH AUSTIN
Tribal Councilor
04/03/2018 12:30 PM
In today’s world, the term “information super highway” refers to the internet. While this term is modern, the idea behind it is as old as civilization. The idea is to create the shortest and most efficient route to move information. For as long as a thousand years, Indigenous people have used a route of travel not far from here because it was the most efficient route to deliver information and supplies. This route has been referred to at various times as the Osage Trail, the Seminole Trail, the Texas Road and the Military Highway.

A decade before the Trail of Tears, the Cherokee Nation’s first Supreme Court Justice, John Martin, brought his family from their home in New Echota, Georgia, to Indian Territory. His son, Joe, was only 8 years old in 1828 when they settled on the Grand River. He took to his new home quickly. In 1840 when he was just 20, he had already established a ranch that would become known as Greenbrier near the community of Strang.

To call Greenbrier a ranch is a bit of an understatement. By the time the Civil War started in 1861, the Martin family ranch and the river beside it both could be referred to as Grand. It consisted of around 100,000 acres of leased Cherokee land, about the size of what is now Mayes County. On this land was a good portion of the route then referred to as the Texas Road or the Military Highway. Before the war, the route saw many cattle drives from Texas to Kansas.

As the war progressed, it was described as “a critical route for information and supplies” for troops of both the North and the South. It was the shortest route from Fort Scott, Kansas, to Fort Gibson, Indian Territory, and Fort Worth, Texas. Two battles during the war were fought on the route. The North was the victor of the first battle. A year later the South had a much bigger victory by capturing hundreds of mules and wagons. This victory also interrupted supplies bound for Fort Gibson valued at over $1.5 million.

After the War Between the States ended, Greenbrier never regained its former glory. Today there is little more than a few historical markers to prove it once was there. Within a few years of the end of the war, the KATY Railroad followed the route from Kansas to Texas. In the early years of statehood the route developed into what is now known as U.S. Highway 69 and remained a critical route for information and supplies.

In recent years, technology giant Google established a data center complex in Mayes County. This data center could be described as a key component of the “information super highway.” It is fitting that the data center sits a short distance from the Grand River, within sight of Highway 69 and the railroad once known as the KATY. Now, as then, this route can accurately be described as “a critical route for information and supplies.”

People

Haggard helps his NSU fishing team win Texas tournament
BY STAFF REPORTS
04/12/2018 12:00 PM
DENISON, Texas – Cherokee Nation citizen Blayke Haggard of Gans, Oklahoma, made up one half of the winning fishing team from Northeastern State University to win the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake Texoma on April 8.

Haggard and his teammate Cody Metzger of Wagoner, Oklahoma, caught their five-bass limit for a winning weigh to 19 pounds, 4 ounces.

The victory earned the Riverhawk bass club $2,600 and a spot in the 2019 FLW College Fishing National Championship.

The duo said that they spent the day targeting smallmouth bass on main-lake points, about 5 to 8 miles away from the takeoff ramp at Highport Marina.

“We focused on the points where the wind was blowing the hardest, fishing the mid to southeastern areas of the lake,” Haggard, a sophomore majoring in cellular and molecular biology, said. “We had five or six points that we rotated through that all looked very similar, fishing in 4 to 10 feet.”

The Riverhawk club cited citrus shad-colored Bandit 200 crankbaits and a prototype Bandit squarebill crankbait as its most productive lures. Club members said that they caught 10 to 12 keepers.

“We had great execution,” Haggard said. “I caught a 4-pounder early, then three casts later Cody put a 3½-pounder in the boat. Those early fish clued us in that we were doing the right thing. It also helped that we didn’t lose any fish all day.”
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