Preparations Underway for the 18th Protecting Mother Earth Conference

In preparation for the Protecting Mother Earth conference, the Eastern Cherokee Organization (ECO) welcomed our IEN family to our ancestral homelands for a two-day site visit.

Saykola Kindness (IEN Board Advisor), Faith Gimmel (IEN Board President), and IEN Executive Director Tom Goldtooth attended.

The two-day on-site visit was filled with community, planning, preparation, and love, and we are thankful to our IEN family for creating new and meaningful connections.

Day One

Breakfast at Peter’s Pancake began the day’s activities, followed by a meeting with Principal Chief Michell Hicks and his staff, Secretary of Commerce Shawn Ross, Paxton Myers, and Sheyahshe Littledave. The meeting went well, and our executives showed excitement.  After the meeting, we ate lunch with the elders at Tsali Manner.

Then, we met with Jakeli Swimmer, Cultural Resource and Archive Officer, at the New Kituwah Academy’s Speakers Council building.

To finish the day, we visited Tyson Sampson, head cook for the PME conference for a traditional dinner. We ate deer stew, chestnut bread wrapped in hickory leaves, sochan, ramps and potatoes, mushrooms, candied roasted pumpkin cake, and sassafras tea.

Day Two

We all headed to our mother town, Kituwah, to visit Tommy Cabe (EBCI’s Forest Manager) and Grandma Amy Walker. We spent time at Amy’s Garden site, where she planted 300 pounds of vegetables for the Protecting Mother Earth conference.

We also visited the conference site to meet with Tiny Taylor, EBCI Housing Division secretary, and Daniel and Teresa Tramper from Deer Clan Production to discuss layout plans for the property for the conference. The site is located along the river, and we can’t wait for our PME visitors to experience our home.

All enjoyed a late lunch at Granny’s Kitchen. In the evening, we went to the Didanisisgi Gadagwatli: A Showcase of Pottery from the Mud Dauber Community Workshop, located at the Museum of the Cherokee People. We met with museum staff and examined the pottery enrolled members made. The Museum of the Cherokee People has agreed to collaborate with ECO for future workshops leading to the Protecting Mother Earth conference.

We look forward to seeing your beautiful faces this summer!


Content submitted by: Eastern Cherokee Organization, Mary Crow, IEN IJT Organizer, and Lisa Montelongo, IEN PME Community Organizer


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