With all of the talk going on about Cherokee groups not being recognized, we would like to comment. We are just as much Cherokee as anyone else. Our ancestors where left for dead, ran away, or hid in the mountains during the Trail of Tears. Some even fell in love with some of the soldiers and they ran away. That doesn't mean we are less Cherokee.

On April 10, 2015, we became a recognized tribe by the federal government. We are very proud of that accomplishment. We will not use casinos or smoking shops to make our money. Yes, it is taking us longer to start making our funds than other tribes; but we feel

like the money should stay home for our families to be able to care for each other.

We are not acknowledged yet. That takes a lot of hard work — which we are doing. We have a fine chief, James L. Warnix, who is working very hard to see that things are run right.

We have said all of that to ask you, our Cherokee neighbor. If you are not a part of a tribe and you would like to be, we would like to invite you to our next meeting. We do not care what nationality you are. If you have Cherokee blood, you are one of us. It does not matter if you are young or old; we welcome you. If you are another Native American and do not belong to your particular tribe you can come join us.

District #9, Springfield District, will be meeting 1-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18 at the Library Center Auditorium, 4653 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield.

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