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Ted Wright -- last update 4/18/2006 (TrailOfTearsAwards.html)
Copyright 2006 -- Collinsville, Oklahoma

Collinsville, Oklahoma
April 18, 2006
Cherokee Nation Tsa-La-Gi Trail Of Tears
Awards of Excellence
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Collinsville Students Honored at Annual Banquet April 5th

Three 8th Graders
And Five Seniors

Previous Coverage
L-R: Janice Fields (Indian Ed. Coordinator), Phillip McMullen (8th Grade), Rebyl Richardson (12th Grade), Clint Swango (12th Grade), Chad Smith (Cherokee Chief), Jayce Crowder (8th Grade), Amber Schaffner (8th Grade), and Mindy Gillespie (12th Grade). Two other 12th graders not available for the photograph were Kelsey Hewlett and Justin Shults.
Rebyl, Phillip, Clint, Jayce, Amber and Mindy with their award certificates.

The Cherokee Nation held their annual "Tsa-La-Gi" Trail of Tears Awards of Excellence banquet in Tulsa at the Southern Hills Marriott Hotel on Wednesday, April 5, 2006. Collinsville had three eight grade students (Phillip McMullen, Jayce Crowder and Amber Schaffner) and five seniors (Rebyl Richardson, Mindy Gillespie, Clint Swango, Kelsey Hewlett and Justin Shults) receive awards.

Rebyl Richardson and Clint Swango were picked as the Cherokee Nation District 8 Senior Award winners. They received a beautiful plaque, wind breaker with the Cherokee Nation logo on the back, small back pack and a t-shirt.

The "Tsa-La-Gi" Trail of Tears Award for Excellence began in 1987 as an honors assembly to recognize Indian students graduating from senior high and middle schools throughout the Cherokee Nation. For the past eighteen years, the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council has continued to honor that tradition.

Former Councilwoman Patsy Morton was the key influence in establishing the awards ceremony. As past chairperson of the Education Committee, Mrs. Morton said, "I think so many Indian children don't realize their potential. I want to try to do things to develop their potential. The annual awards ceremony recognizes Indian youth and brings the students together from schools throughout the Cherokee Nation to let them know we are interested in them."

The "Tsa-La-Gi" Trail of Tears Award for Excellence recognizes students who have displayed outstanding merit in at least one of the following eight area: academics, art, citizenship, civic organizations, Indian cultural activities, music, school clubs and sports.

The annual ceremony honors 700 to 800 Indian students each year from more than 70 schools in the Cherokee Nation. A new award was established by the Tribal Council in 1993 for outstanding male and female seniors from each of the nine Cherokee Nation districts.

Submitted by:
Janice Fields, Indian Ed. Director,
Collinsville Public Schools (371-5449)

Photos by Lenora McMullen

Rebyl Richardson and Clint Swango were named the Cherokee Nation District 8 Tsa-La-Gi Award Winners.