Os da su na le i (Good Morning,) u do hi yu ga lv gwo di yu tsi’ tsi lu gi ( I’m honored by your presence/attendance. ) u li he li sdi a gv ya di tlv ni ga dv na de gv i hia de ga si’ta’di sgv i (I am grateful to take this oath before you).
Today is not a day we have made. It is day we have realized. It is a small piece in a much larger plan, but it is a day that also comes with immense responsibility. I have sworn an oath before you and (the) Almighty God (Creator), an oath long understood, if not recorded, by our ancestral leaders, an oath of honest, forthright, and just leadership. An oath that does not name me your leader, but instead names us all partners in discerning the future direction of the Eastern Band.
We celebrate today, a moment not of political victory, not of prescribed ceremony, nor merely of inevitable transition. Instead, we are summoned here today to acknowledge an eternal promise, the celebration of one people, not of one person; and together, reconcile all things… to realize our mutual destination.
Before the Cherokee were a collective, before our identity as one people was written into the soil of this earth, a promise was spoken. This promise assures us that one day all Cherokees will return to the place of our ancestral birth, Kituwah, and once again join together as brothers and sisters to protect the eternal flame as one blood; no longer Eastern Band, Western Band, United Kituwah; no longer divided by political factions or selfish wants. This day, though yet unrealized, colors our horizon and plots our path. ...Read the full article