RCCA  hosting popular Cherokee storyteller

The Rogers County Cherokee Association (RCCA) will meet on Sunday, January 13, at 2 pm for their regularly scheduled monthly meeting.  

The January RCCA meeting meal of hominy and pork stew with contemporary frybread will be hosted by Dr. Cara Cowan Watts.  Following the business meeting led by newly elected President Amy Pinkerton, famed Cherokee storyteller Robert Lewis will share contemporary and historical Cherokee stories with attendees.

Robert Lewis is a Cherokee National Treasure and an award-winning storyteller, author, and artist of Cherokee, Navajo, and Apache descent. 

Robert works for the Cherokee Nation as a school and community specialist and conducts outreach classes and services in art, culture, and storytelling.  He is also Adjunct Professor of Art at Northeastern State University, where he teaches classes in art and native crafts.  Robert has appeared on local television and radio programs to share the wisdom and beauty of Native stories.  

As part of the Cherokee Nation cultural outreach program, he also travels the country to perform before a wide variety of Native, school, college, museum, festival, and art market audiences.  He is the winner of the Dreamkeepers Perry Aunko Indigenous Language Preservation Award and the Cherokee National History Society Seven Star Tradition Bearer Award.

Robert was first introduced to the world of storytelling by his parents. He relates how “At the age of seven I heard my first traditional story and it came from my father, Yazzie Lewis, on a family vacation. We had stopped at a rest area and he brought our attention to the night sky and started telling about the creation of the Milky Way and why the stars are scattered across the sky. I had stories read to me by my mother, Lou Aline (Kingfisher) Lewis, from books but to hear an explanation for the universe while looking at the starry sky was an extraordinary experience and I never forgot it.”

Robert became a storyteller in spring 2003 while he was working at the Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, as a tour guide for the ancient village.  Robert Lewis said, “I had the opportunity to tell this story to a group of schoolchildren and parents waiting for a tour to begin. During the course of the tale, Barbara Girty, who at the time was in charge of group tours for the museum, heard me and so began this unique journey I find myself on.”

Robert's work may be found on YouTube and Facebook if you have not seen him in-person perform.

Each business meeting consists of a brief business meeting for the non-profit, questions and answers with Rogers County's Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilmembers Buel Anglen, Janees Taylor and Keith Austin as well as a cultural or government presentation.

RCCA officers and Board members for the 2019 year are President, Amy Pinkerton of Claremore, Vice-President, Lynn Wilson of Claremore, Treasurer, Sandee McClure of Catoosa, Secretary, Danielle Culp of Claremore, Board Chair, Kathy Klawitter of Claremore, Board Vice-Chair, Ken McSpadden of Chelsea, and Board Member, Barbara Rutherford of Owasso.

RCCA meets monthly except September and December on the second Sunday of the month at 2 pm.  RCCA meets in their own building located in Tiawah, OK at 15488 East 523 Road, Claremore, OK 74019 which is East of Tiawah-Justus School's North campus.

Mark your calendars for the Sunday, February 10, for Cherokee pottery with acclaimed Cherokee artist Crystal Hanna.  Other upcoming meetings and events include tips on growing Cherokee heirloom seeds, Cherokee basket making, songs from the Cherokee National Youth Choir, and much, much more in 2019.

To learn more about RCCA, visit the RCCA website at http://www.rogerscountycherokees.org/ or Facebook 'Rogers County Cherokees.'  To contact RCCA, email rogerscountygwys@gmail.com, mail P.O. Box 142, Claremore, OK  74018 or call (539) 777-2898.