Cherokee Nation, Eastern Band Councils to Meet
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RED CLAY, Tenn. — The Tribal Councils of the Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will meet in a joint council meeting in Red Clay, Tenn., as part of a special three-day festival that will include the running of the eternal flame from Cherokee, N.C., to Red Clay.
The event, which will be held April 16 – 18 at the Red Clay State Historic Site near Cleveland, Tenn., will commemorate the Red Clay Reunion of 1984, when the Eastern Band and the Cherokee Nation met together for the first time since the National Council met at Red Clay in 1837, the last Council meeting before the Trail of Tears. This year marks the 25th anniversary of that meeting.
“This is truly an historic event,” said Chad Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. “It will be a great celebration of the reuniting of our two Councils, and will also provide others to celebrate with us and share in the history and culture of Cherokees.”
Headliners for the event include Gayle Ross, storyteller and descendent of John Ross, Principal Chief at the time of the Removal; the Cherokee National Youth Choir; internationally acclaimed Cherokee flute player Tommy Wildcat; and the Warriors of AniKituhwa, the official cultural ambassadors for the Eastern Band. Demonstrations of stickball, blowguns and Cherokee marbles will also be given during the event.
“Red Clay has been a beautiful gathering site for Cherokees for more than 10,000 years,” said Meredith Frailey, Speaker of the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council. “Both tribes have triumphed over tragedies and sufferings to become leaders among Indian people. This historic meeting pays tribute to our forefathers who suffered and died on the infamous Trail of Tears. It also continues the harmonious relationship of both tribes in working together to further effect the future direction of self-determination and the betterment of Cherokee people everywhere. I consider it a privilege to be a part of this historic celebration.”
A limited number of display areas will be available to cultural demonstrators and artists who are Cherokee Nation citizens or members of the Eastern Band. Applications are available at the Cherokee Heritage Center, Cherokee First and the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council House. Applications and two photographs of your work must be returned by Friday, March 20, to Carey Tilley at the Cherokee Heritage Center. All work should be handmade and of high quality, and will be juried by the Red Clay Reunion Committee of the Eastern Band.