The Cherokee Healing and Wellness Coalition is extending an invitation to participate in an event whose time has come and that will change history, a time of courage and healing for the Cherokee people. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the Cherokee Nation and the United Keetowah Band in Oklahoma join to initiate a collective healing that will transform their communities, families, children and our world.
“We are now about to take our leave and kind farewell to our native land, the country that the Great Spirit gave our Fathers…that gave us birth…it is with sorrow we are forced to quit the scenes of our childhood…we bid farewell to it and all we hold dear,” said Charles Hicks, Tsalagi (Cherokee) Vice Chief on the Trail of Tears, August 4, 1838.
Coalition officials related, “We know we must find a way to deal with our feelings about the removal from our Land, our Ceremonies, our Language, our Culture and its devastating consequences to our People. We pledge ourselves to free our people from the bondage of poverty, substance abuse, child abuse and all our suffering.”
On May 19 – 24, representatives from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, including some Cherokee youth, are traveling to Tahlequah, Okla. to unite with participants from the Cherokee Nation and the United Keetoowah Band for this Journey to Forgiveness and Healing. There will be a 1 ½ day conference in Tahlequah to explore the effects of Inter-Generational Trauma we have experienced. The three bands will join symbolically to retrace the northern route of the Trail of Tears returning HOME to North Carolina, stopping at significant locations to perform healing ceremonies. This Journey is open to enrolled members of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes and their invited guests. If you are interested please call 631-3903 or visit the website www.cherokeehealing.com by April 15.
On May 25, the Homecoming, which is open to enrolled members of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes for free, will begin at 9am at Kituwah mound near Cherokee. The group will celebrate the survivors of a strong and powerful People and honor the Cherokee who take this journey at the Homecoming. The Coalition asks you to join them in this time of cleansing, offering thanks to the Creator, and drawing all people together in peace and harmony with All Our Relations. The day will include ceremonies, speakers, cultural events and, refreshments and two meals. Registration requested to plan meals for the day.
On May 26, the Universal Gathering, beginning at 9am (registration begins at 8:30am), is open to the public at the mother town, the ancient and Sacred Kituwah grounds near Cherokee. The group will celebrate as survivors of a strong and powerful People and honor the Cherokee who take this journey with a sacred Cherokee Homecoming and a Universal Gathering. There is a $75 fee (enrolled members attend for free) which includes two meals, speakers and cultural events. You must be registered to attend. Registration requested to plan meals for the day.
A limited number of partial scholarships are available for students, elders, and others with limited incomes. For more information and registration go to: www.cherokeehealing.com or 631-3903.
The registration deadline for Homecoming and Universal Gathering is April 30.
– The Cherokee Healing and Wellness Coalition