Originals Gallery

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No tribe has the right to sell, even to each other, much less to strangers.  Sell a country! Why not sell the air, the great sea, as well as the earth!  Didn’t the Great Spirit make them all for the use of his children? Tecumseh, Shawnee

About The Land

What is man without the bests?  If all the beasts were gone, men would die from great loneliness of spirit; for whatever happens to the beasts, also happens to man.  All things are connected.  Whatever befalls the earth befalls the children of the earth. Chief Seattle

Children Of The Earth - All Things Are Connected

By riverboat, wagon and horseback - but mainly on foot - the Cherokee began their forced exile across the Mississippi.  Over four thousand men, women, and children died on that fateful journey.

Cold, Cold, Ground

The treaty of 1835 established terms under which the entire Cherokee Nation ceded its territory in the southeast and agreed to move west to the Indian Territory. Although the treaty was not approved by the Cherokee National Council nor signed by Principal Chief John Ross, it was amended and ratified by the U.S. Senate in March 1836, and became the legal basis for the forcible removal known as the Trail of Tears.

Deed For Lost Lands

In 1861, Principal Chief John Ross tried desperately to keep the Cherokee Nation out of the white man's war. By the end of the summer a treaty was negotiated with the Confederacy.  In spite of the alliance with the Confederacy, many Cherokee had no affection for the Southern States who had forced them from their homeland in the East. Ross traveled to Washington to try to convince President Lincoln that the Confederate Treaty was signed under duress and the majority of Cherokee were loyal to the Union. The National Council rescinded the Confederate Treaty and emancipated slaves in the Cherokee Nation. However, it was another year before Federal Troops effectively controlled the Cherokee Nation. The Nation was essentially a no-man's land. While thousands of Loyal Cherokee refugees were starving in Kansas, the families of the Southern Cherokee were refugees in Texas and Arkansas.


Native American diets and food practices have possibly changed more than any other ethnic group in the United States. Although the current diet of Native Americans may vary by tribe, and by personal traits such as age (e.g., young versus old), it closely resembles that of the U.S. white population. Their diet, however, is poorer in quality than that of the general U.S. population.

Fast Food, Then And Now

In the beginning there was no fire, and the world was cold, until the Thunders sent their lightning and put fire into the bottom of a hollow sycamore tree which grew on an island. The animals knew it was there, because they could see the smoke coming out at the top, but they could not get to it on account of the water, so they held a council to decide what to do. This was a long time ago. Every animal that could fly or swim tried  to go after the fire, but they all failed.  The birds, snakes, and four-footed animals, all had some excuse for not going, because they were all afraid of the fire.  At last the Water Spider said she would go.  So she spun a thread from her body and wove it into a tusti bowl, which she fastened on her back. Then she crossed over to the island where the fire was still burning. She put one little coal of fire into her bowl, and came back with it, and ever since we have had fire, and the Water Spider still keeps her tusti bowl.

First Fire

Stereotypes are absorbed from popular literature, folklore, and misinformation. For instance, many children (and adults) incorrectly believe that fierce native warriors were universally fond of scalping early white settlers and soldiers. In fact, when it came to the bizarre practice of scalping, Europeans were the ones who encouraged and carried out much of the scalping that went on in the history of white/native relations in America.

French Orders For Bounty

From “Sacred Fire” to “Space Walker”, Commander John Bennett Herrington, (enrolled member of the Chickasaw nation, born September 14, 1958), was the first Native American Indian Astronaut to go into outer space. (On the back of the original, Awards, John Bennett’s signature,  and a photograph of the artist and John Bennett)

From The Sacred Fire To Space Walker

Like the beautiful, lone bird which lived in ancient times in the Arabian desert for 500 to 600 years and then set itself on fire, rising renewed from the ashes to start antoher long life;  the Cherokee Nation and the Cherokee Phoenix newspaper arose from the ashes of the TRAIL OF TEARS, to rebuild in Indian Territory, present day Oklahoma.

Leaving New Echota

Like the beautiful, lone bird which lived in ancient times in the Arabian desert for 500 to 600 years and then set itself on fire, rising renewed from the ashes to start antoher long life;  the Cherokee Nation arose from the darkest period in time , (known today as the TRAIL OF TEARS), to rebuild a great nation in Oklahoma.

Out Of The Darkness

After approximately three weeks and 950 miles, the 2017 “Remember The Removal Bike Ride” cyclists formed bonds that will last a lifetime.  After seeing sites such as New Echota in Georgia, Red Clay in Tennessee and mantle Rock in Kentucky and other locations where Cherokee traveled the Trail of Tears’ northern route, they ended their journey on June 22, 2017 at the Cherokee Nation Courthouse Square.

Remember The Removal Bike Ride

October 2014, with a light breeze blowing and dawn breaking across the hills, a herd of bison took the first steps on their return to the Cherokee Nation. May 9, 2016, the bison became the first national mammal of the United States. Elevating it to the giddy heights of symbolism currently occupied by the bald eagle.  Little more than 100 years since it was virtually exterminated in America in a manic bid to demolish Native American resistance, the bison now has establishment status.


Minuit is generally credited with orchestrating the purchase of Manhattan Island for the Dutch from the Native Americans called the Lenape, which later became the city of New Amsterdam, modern-day New York City, which was the core of the Dutch colony of New Netherland and the later British colony of New York. (There is a surviving deed for Manhattan and Long Island for the value of 60 guilders, but this was made well after this initial Manhattan purchase, when the Dutch had already been inhabiting the island for several decades.)

Sell This Land, 1645 & 1649

In Cherokee mythology, Selu was the First Woman and goddess of the corn. (Her name literally means "maize" or "corn" in the Cherokee language.) Selu was killed by her twin sons, who feared her power; but with her dying instructions she taught them to plant and farm corn, so that her spirit was resurrected with each harvest.


Dragging Canoe was a great Cherokee War Chief of the 1700’s.  He defide the U.S. for over 50 years . . . and he predicted the Trail of Tears.  “We had hoped that the white men would not be willing to travel beyond the mountains.  Finely the whole country, which the Cherokees and their fathers have so long occupied; will be demanded, and the remnant of the Real People, once so great and formidable, will be compelled to seek refuge in some distant wilderness.”

Some Distant Wilderness

Cherokees!  The President of the United States has sent me, with a powerful army, to cause you, in obedience to the Treaty of 1835, to join that part of your people who are already established in prosperity, on the other side of the Mississippi.  Unhappily, the two years which were allowed for the purpose, you have suffered to pass away without following, and without making any preparation to follow, and now, or by the time that this solemn address shall reach your distant settlements, the emigration must be commenced in haste, but, I hope, without disorder.  I have no power, by granting a farther delay, to correct the error that you have committed.  The full moon of May is already on the wane, and before another shall have passed away, every Cherokee man, woman and child, in those States, must be in motion to join their brethren in the far West. General Winfield Scott

Time Of The Trail Walkers

Much of the U.S. Constitution came to reflect the First Americans ideas, but did not include them until the 20th. Century, resulting in the loss of lives and removal of many tribes from their homelands.

We The People (May 2016)

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All reproduction rights reserved by artist - Ron Mitchell
2018 - Designed by John G Matthews in cooperation with Ron Mitchell