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Official Website of the Free Cherokee
"We, the Free cherokee, a Hoop of people from all walks of life, come together to honor and respect the Native American Way. By respecting the traditions, teachings, elders, ourselves and our children, we celebrate our connection to Mother Earth, Father Sky, and all there is. We create a Hoop for the spiritual growth of tribe and family and bridge the culture of the past 7 generations to the future 7 generations by living, teaching, and advocating the Native American Way."
Adopted by the Council of Chiefs, 1992
Welcome to the official Website of the Free Cherokees. It is an inter-tribal organization founded in 1989 to provide an national umbrella under which independent bands and clans can organize to practice traditional Native American ceremonies, customs and spirituality.
We are people with Native American ancestry, mostly from the Woodland tribes of the Midwest and East Coast. We consist of sub-groups which are located in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Massachusetts, Ohio and Tennessee.
We are not federally-recognized nor do we have any official ties to local, state or federal governments. We intentionally do not seek government funding or recognition. We are a totally independent organization, and operate independently in keeping with traditional ways.
Our motto is “Independent and Proud”. We are proud of our heritage, and seek to preserve it and pass it on to the generations that follow us. We function a lot like a family (band/clan), and get together for seasonal Gatherings that create a sense of community.
Artwork by: Blue Corn Child
This web-site originally began as an online newsletter called the New Phoenix, but it was not updated for a time. We have changed the format from a newsletter to an informational site where you can get an idea of who we are, what we do and how to join us.
The previous online articles from the newsletter have been placed in an archival format under different headings (see the column to the left in the margin). Please feel free to read them. They will give you an idea of what each band or clan does, along with pictures, stories, events and activities over the past ten years or so.
The next Free Cherokee Gathering in 2013 will be in Florida at the
Fox Lake Farm in Titusville on Sunday March 3rd through Sunday March
10th. There is a country kitchen, outdoor and indoor meeting areas,
and space for camping or parking an RV. The Gathering is hosted by the
Wolf Clan of central Florida. For directions and more information,
please contact Desert Wolf at (321) 267-6003.
After that, the Spring Gathering of Free Cherokee will be held in
McArthur, Ohio during the week following Memorial Day weekend from
Sunday May 26th through Sunday June 2nd. There is camping available,
as well as a kitchen and other facilities on two acres of land. For
directions or more information, please contact Chief Spirit Shadow at
(740) 596-4974. The Gathering is hosted by the Three Spirit Clan of
For both Gatherings, most activities are during the second weekend
on Friday and Saturday and ending on Sunday. Activities are planned
throughout the week, including seeing local sites of interest,
ceremonies, socializing and informal workshops. Family and friends are
Like any organization, The Free Cherokees have undergone changes over the years and decades since its inception. There have been three Principal Chiefs serving an average of seven years. When the Principal Chief changes, so does the address of the National Office as well as the contact information.
In 2010, the National Office moved to Ohio - home of Chief Spirit Shadow. Please refer to the section “National Office” for the most current contact information. There is also additional information under the heading “Principal Chief” about the new Principal Chief.
The Free Cherokees were founded in 1989 as the result of a vision by Grandfather Sings-Alone. In the 1990s, there were dozens of bands and clans with hundreds of people registered on the national rolls. Over time, the organization has changed and evolved. Today, there are fewer members, but there is a strong core group of people that comes together to practice the principles of Native American spirituality.
We are an informal, self-supporting organization whose primary purpose is to meet a few times a year, and function as a tribal community in a family atmosphere to learn and practice traditional Native American ways.
Each band or clan operates under the leadership of a chief who directs and guides activities of their particular group. All chiefs belong to the Free Cherokee Chiefs’ Council, which meet during Free Cherokee Gatherings. Each band or clan serves a particular geographic area. Most local or regional activities take place at the band/clan level.
When you join the Free Cherokee, we ask that you become a member of an existing band or clan unless they are forming a new band/clan. We have other bands and clans that are in the process of formation, and we always welcome new groups and members.
Chiefs of the bands and clans meet in Chiefs Council at least once a year. There is also a Peace Chief, Chief of the Warriors’ Society, Chief of the Medicine Society and others as may be selected by the Principal Chief or Chiefs’ Council. The Council operates in a democratic fashion. Decisions may also be made by the Women’s Council or other groups or sub-groups formed for a specific purpose.
The National Office of the Free Cherokees changes addresses as the Principal Chiefs change. The address for the National Office is the same as the residence of the Principal Chief. Over the years, the National Office has been in Bowdon, Georgia and then in Titusville, Florida.
The National Office is now located at McArthur, Ohio where the new Principal Chief, Spirit Shadow, resides. The address is as follows:
Free Cherokee Nat’l Office
60028 Mt. Zion Rd.
McArthur, Ohio 45651
For more information write or call at (740) 596-4974. The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Artwork by: Blue Corn Child
WHO WE ARE
Native American people had a culture that reflected certain beliefs about life, spirituality and the sacredness of all things. At one time, it was the dominant culture on Turtle Island.
That culture was dismantled over a period of a few hundred years. The original Native American people were placed on reservations or fled to other areas. Despite this, they have managed to keep certain traditions alive.
Today, while that culture is no longer dominant, there are people who still seek to preserve and continue traditions, philosophies and practices that have been handed down through many generations.
We are one of those groups who have Native American ancestry, and had fled or stayed behind in certain geographic areas attempting to preserve, as best we could, the traditions of the past. We are a group learning to re-connect, and re-discover our roots and our heritage.
This was the original vision that led to the formation of the Free Cherokee - to bring together those of Native American ancestry who would otherwise be lost in the now-dominant culture. The vision was to help bring them back to the old ways, philosophies and values that worked so well for thousands of years.
PLEASE CONTACT US IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS!!!
For more information about the Free Cherokee
contact: Chief Spirit Shadow