The Native Cultural Circle (NCC) of Clarksville held its nineteenth annual Intertribal Powwow this month with festivities all weekend long. Attendees came from all walks of life and enjoyed learning about and exploring Native American culture and traditions.
The Powwow is held each year in a location with special significance to Native peoples. According to the website, “during the Indian Removal of 1838, the Cherokee nation was taken from their traditional homes in Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and Alabama, and forcefully relocated to the Indian Territories in what later became Oklahoma. The Powwow grounds lay along the northern land route. Diary records of the removal identify Port Royal, as ‘the last stop before leaving Tennessee, and as an encampment site where the Cherokee stayed overnight or longer to re-supply, grind corn and rest.’”
During the removal, an estimated 4,000 – 6,000 Cherokee died. The journey became known as “The Trail of Tears” or, as a direct translation from the Cherokee Nunna daul Tsuny, “The Trail Where They Cried.” The powwow is a time to commemorate the Trail of Tears and special ceremonies are held in remembrance of it.
This year, Rebecca Carter, a volunteer from The Way to Happiness Association of Tennessee (TWTH-TN) was welcomed to the powwow to distribute booklets written by humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard in the early 1980s. The Way to Happiness booklet contains a common sense moral code that is interreligious and can be used by anyone. Carter said, “This booklet, when distributed to people in need, has such a great effect. You see whole communities uplifted once they learn the values contained within.” Two-hundred booklets were distributed to those attending.