Published On: Fri, Dec 15th, 2017

Merry Christmas from Principal Chief Sneed


LET THE GAMES BEGIN: Annie Owens (left), an EBCI tribal elder from the Yellowhill Community, plays shuffleboard with Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed on opening day of the new Cherokee Senior Athletic Center on Thursday, July 13. (SCOTT MCKIE B.P./One Feather photos)

I want to take this opportunity to say Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas! As we end 2017, our people and community is strong and ready to celebrate this Christmas season. We look to a New Year with optimism and hope.

We have so much to be grateful for; the blessings and gifts of the year. Your government is working in unity for the betterment and wellbeing of our people. From Tribal Council to the Executive Office and Tribal programs, everyone is focused on making the lives of our people better. We are creating more effective laws and systems for our Tribal Elders, youth and children. We are strengthening our law enforcement and emergency service systems to serve and protect our people. We are finding compassionate solutions to the issues of addiction among our people.

During the course of 2017, many of our beloved tribal members have passed from the Earth. We remember, along with their loved ones, the good memories and substantive contributions each made to our families and to our community.

Recently, our Cherokee Braves have shown the strength of our community by bringing home the first North Carolina State Football Championship trophy for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.  Our entire community came together to support one of our most important resources, our youth.

HONORED: Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed (right), U.S. Marine Corps veteran, presents a Veterans Certificate of Appreciation plaque to Johnny Biddix of Cherokee during a Veterans honoring ceremony during the Cherokee Indian Fair in October.

Cherokees have endured hardship for many generations and we have shown our youth that when they work hard, they can accomplish every goal and fulfill every dream.

As we take time to be with family and friends this holiday season, it is my sincere hope that you will remember the greatest gift ever given was God’s only Son. Through Him, we have an eternal hope and love and the promise of forgiveness. Let this Christmas season be a time of renewal.  A time where you experience the freedom that comes from receiving forgiveness from God, and the freedom that comes as we forgive others. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

As Cherokee people, we demonstrate what it means to be a Tribe. We have survived the many challenges to our people with humor, with grace, and with resilience. A new year is upon us and we have a renewed faith in our Creator, in ourselves, and in our Tribe.

I hope this holiday is full of joy, hope and celebration for you and your family. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Go Braves!