Cherokee Nation honors Loretta Shade as Cherokee National Treasure

July 16, 2019

 (L-R) Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Cherokee National Treasure Loretta Shade and Principal Chief Bill John Baker (L-R) Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, Cherokee National Treasure Loretta Shade and Principal Chief Bill John Baker

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. - The Council of the Cherokee Nation joined Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden in honoring Loretta Shade, of Hulbert, as a Cherokee National Treasure Monday night.

Shade is the widow of former Cherokee Nation Deputy Chief Hastings Shade. In 2018, she was selected as a Cherokee National Treasure for her contributions to preserving the Cherokee language, but because of illness, she was unable to receive the honor in person at that time.

“It is such an honor to recognize Loretta, a first-language Cherokee speaker, for dedicating much of her life to teaching and sharing our language and culture,” said Council of the Cherokee Nation Deputy Speaker Victoria Vazquez. “Loretta is the epitome of a Cherokee National Treasure, having spent 20 years teaching Cherokee reading and writing courses at Northeastern State University and teaching many other Cherokee language courses throughout the tribe.”

Cherokee National Treasure is an honor given by the tribe to individuals who are keeping Cherokee art, language and culture alive.

The Council also passed a resolution requesting disaster assistance funds from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Funds are being requested to address immediate and short-term needs resulting from historic flooding that impacted Cherokee citizens in May and June.

In other matters, the Council of the Cherokee Nation:

• Recognized Lizzie Duvall for her 50 years of service at Cherokee Nation Industries in Stilwell

• Authorized submission of the fiscal year 2020 Indian Housing Plan to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

• Reappointed Tommye Sue Bradshaw Wright as a board member of Cherokee Nation Businesses

• Voted to reject the report from the Citizen’s Committee on Compensation

The next meeting of the Council of the Cherokee Nation is scheduled for 6 p.m., Aug. 12, at the Cherokee Nation W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex in Tahlequah.