Native American Culture is being kept alive and is actually growing; at least if the Southern Cherokee have anything to say about it. The Southern Cherokee Nation of Kentucky, the oldest Native American presence in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is to be a big part of the Bluegrass Festival slated for this coming weekend, August 9 - 10, at the Audubon Mill Park in downtown Henderson, Kentucky. Henderson is also the headquarters of the Southern Cherokee Nation and home of the "tribal lands".
Principal Chief Michael "Manfox" Buley, Chief Mother Margaret Buley, Vice-Chief Marilyn Cleveland, and others of the "SCN" are presenting many aspects of the early Native Americans who owned most of this state before it became part of the United States. Included will be bow and arrow making, beadwork, "ribbon" shirts, and teaching the history of this once proud Cherokee Nation. It seems that Cherokee Pride is still very much alive and these active folks are teaching everyone about their ancestral traditions.
This event follows on the heels of the annual "Greencorn" festival which was held on the tribal lands just two weeks ago. Greencorn is an annual event wherein the Native Americans give thanks to the Creator for bountiful harvests. This year, the Southern Cherokee made history again by signing a Treaty of peace and cooperation with the Platform Reservation of Shawnee from Ohio. The Shawnee Chief, Charlie "Two Hats" Banta was on hand for this historic occasion and the two great Chiefs echanged gifts from each others cultures.
Kentucky currently has no "officially" recognized Indian tribes but two Governors have issued declarations recognizing the Southern Cherokee Nation of Kentucky. This could be another history making event for the SCN.