By RICHARD G. SNEED
Throughout the month of October, I traveled throughout North Carolina. I visited with staff at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Education has long been the focus of tribal leadership. It is vital to provide educational opportunities for our tribe. I hope that large educational institutions will view our tribe as a critical partner to enhancing the educational experience for all their students.
I also meet with several state senators and representatives. Our relationship with North Carolina leaders is important and we are fortunate to have support in Raleigh. We have many common goals and issues and continuing to meet with state leaders keeps our issues front and center.
I also traveled to Camp Lejeune for a program for active duty military serving our country. It was good to be back at Lejeune where I was stationed while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps. Telling our story is important because, so few students learn about Native communities.
It was great to hear the per capita amount has increased again. The earnings of our casino are a direct result of the hard work of casino employees and the leadership of the TCGE. I want to say thank you to those who give their holidays and family time to contribute to the success of our gaming enterprise. I also want to commend our finance team for their dedication to getting our per capita to tribal members every six months.
I joined senior citizens from the John Welch Center, Snowbird Senior Center and Tsali Manor along with staff for their holiday dinner. It is always good to visit with our seniors. Fellowship is important to identify issues that are important to our community, but it is also vital to let our seniors know we think of them often. Our busy schedules often keep us from spending time with our families so it’s great to take a day to visit.
I hope your thanksgiving was wonderful. As we begin the countdown to Christmas I hope you and your family have some time to celebrate together and that you find a meaningful way to give back to our community. Our Cherokee Tradition has been to care for one another and there are many opportunities to continue that tradition this holiday season. We can also celebrate at the Cherokee Christmas Parade which was rescheduled to Saturday, Dec. 16.
The Cherokee Braves Football team continued their stellar season this week with the win over Thomas Jefferson Academy. The Braves travel to Mitchell on Friday, Dec. 1 for the Regional Championship. Go Braves!