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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


September 22, 2001 - Issue 45


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Cherokee Nation Holds Cultural Camp


 by© Cherokee Nation

TAHLEQUAH— Dozens of people attended a three-day Cherokee cultural camp on tribal lands in Little Kansas, Okla. Camp attendees gathered to learn about Cherokee heritage, traits, and experience traditional foods all free of charge.

“I think this camp was a great success, even though it was kind of a ways out, the turn out was great and the overall camp was wonderful,” said Diana Mouse, a volunteer who helped run the Cherokee Youth and Elder camp.

The camp brings elders and children together to help pass on cultural knowledge. People from Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas gathered on tribal lands to learn more about the Cherokee way of life. During the two-night, three-day camp, campers were given the opportunity to learn everything from basket weaving to stickball making.

“I thought this camp was a resounding success,” said Roger Barr, a Cherokee Nation employee and treasurer for the Youth and Elder Committee. “I was so glad to see the turn out that we had and know that next year will be even better.”

Friday’s events included the making of stickball sticks and a story telling by Sequoyah Guess. Saturday’s activities ranged from a traditional hog fry to a stomp dance that went into the night. Tables were set up all around the campsite with different crafts for campers to partake in such as clay beads, finger weaving and more.

Mary Mead, Volunteer Coordinator for the Cherokee Nation, showed patrons how to make a traditional cornhusk doll to take home with them. Mead, who has been a participant at the Youth and Elder camp for quite a few years, has been making cornhusk dolls for 10 years.

“By having this camp it helps us, as Cherokees, to preserve our culture,” Mead said. “It gives the elders the opportunity to pass on their traits to the youth, who in turn, are our future.”

Volunteers who gave their time cooking, as well as teaching others about the Cherokee way of life, put the entire event together.

“If we don’t teach our youth what the elders know now, then it will never be passed on to future generations,” Mead said. “This camp gives us that chance.”

The Youth and Elder Camp will be conducting a mini camp on October 26 and 27 at the Cherokee Cultural (Powwow) Grounds. The camp is free and is open to everyone. For more information you can contact Marilyn Cochran at (918) 458-6170 or Diana Mouse at 918-456-0671, Ext. 2937.

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Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.


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