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Free Cherokee

Independant and Proud


As the current acting chief for the Sweet Potato Clan, I am happy to give an update to the Free Cherokee Fall Gather 2014.  The Sweet Potato Clan stepped up to become the host when there were last minute venue changes.   Phoenix Pharms, home of the Sweet Potato Clan, was quickly made ready to accommodate 13-22 people.  At one count we had 50 people in attendance, camping and commuting, in order to commune together.

Thanks to the Turtle Clan for bringing a big shelter to start out the kitchen.  We ended up with quite a camp set-up and a couple of willing hands.  Thanks to Kenneth of the Sweet Potato Clan for stepping up and becoming the head cook.  Thanks to the 3 Spirit Clan for their night of cooking as well.  I think we all agree that we eat real well at these things.  Thanks to all the people who helped set-up, prep food, cooked, and cleaned up.  Working together is how we are able to allow everyone to have a good time.

Thanks to Dan of the Sweet Potato Clan, Tim from the Turtle Clan, and KoKo of the Bird Clan for all of their help to put together a camp and keep things flowing smooth, including fire-tending.  We tried to accommodate everyone and there were a few challenges, especially the uneven ground and the ghosts that took over some of the wheelchairs, but for the most part, I think everyone enjoyed themselves.  There were so many people that stepped up to help out in so many ways, that I want to give us all a big shout out for cooperation.

Thursday night we had a drumming circle that turned into an impromptu music fest.  Along with the drumming, we had rhythmic hand instruments, and chanting, and making up little diddies for everyone to sing along.  After the drumming, Thursday night was also the only night we had rain.  We had the obligatory leak, and mattress deflating, but after the first night everything else went fairly smooth.




We had a number of children attending the event, and there was plenty of noise and fun.  It was Sophie’s first time at camping and in the beginning she was not happy with this whole arrangement.  Before the weekend was over, she decided that she loved camping especially with all the children who are the focus of the Turtle and Sweet Potato Clans.  All of the children ran and played with each other, made crafts and even sat still during the final pipe ceremony that was held to honor Blue Crow Brother who had crossed over earlier this summer.  His wife, Little Knife brought his pipe with prayers already packed to share with the Free Cherokee and we were blessed with a flock of crows joining us overhead.

The trade blanket was a huge success and many people walked away with their treasures and being grateful for their good trade.  I think the picture of Screaming Eagle with his good trade demonstrates the joy and excitement of the trade blanket event. 


There were many clans that were unable to send a representative and we missed all of you.  In the future, I hope we can hook up by skype or telephone calls.  We passed around the phone when Papa Jim Bear called from England.  It started with him giving us messages to tell so and so hello and he missed them, and turned into him calling during the final closing ceremony, and talking to everyone in attendance at that time.  It was a beautiful ceremony and his timing was perfect, as usual.

The chief’s council also desire to get set up for a new position to take some of the load off of the principal chief.  For the business meeting in spring, we are looking to add another position to complement the principal chief, and the corresponding secretary, which has been filled by spouses of the principal chief most often in the past.  We are looking to find someone to be the financial secretary/treasurer, who will also be accountable to the chief as another system of checks and balances.  With the growth of the Free Cherokee, and more clans coming together from all areas of the country, it is extremely important to keep good records of financial transactions as well as all of the membership issues.  Thank you Chief Spirit Shadow and Crow Talker, as well as past chiefs Desert Wolf and Butterfly, Blue Crow Brother and Little Knife, and Grandfather Duncan Sings Alone and Priscilla, for all you have done to make and retain the success of the Free Cherokee.  It remains a place to come share our diversity and contribute to the group where we can all walk a good path down that red road.

All my relations,
(Sweet Potato Clan member, Sweet Potato Elder Council and Acting Chief for Sweet Potato of FC)

For more information about the Free Cherokee
contact: Chief Spirit Shadow