Due to record flooding in northeastern Oklahoma, our June 2019 meeting had to be relocated from our Adair county land tract to the tribal complex in Tahlequah. We used this opportunity to repeat the Fall 2018 lesson of making traditional cornbread from scratch, as well as to discuss the program so far and plan for future activities. Repeating this activity allowed the students to gain a better grasp of the process. Overall, this meeting was a good opportunity to take stock of the first year of the program and to envision next steps together. Elder Crosslin Smith also prepared a special lesson for the students around sacred Keetoowah symbolism and its meaning.
Over the past year, we have held numerous community meetings to introduce the research project and the research team (CELP students and Principal Investigator Carroll). This process is an instrumental part of a community-based research project. We successfully coordinated introductions with three Cherokee communities: Greasy, Marble City, and Kenwood. We began this process in Fall 2018, and continued to meet with community leaders and attend community events in Spring 2019, in conjunction with the planned group activities for the education program. In June 2019, we began the community surveys to enlist participants into the study and acquire referrals. We totaled 30 surveys (11 Kenwood, 16 Marble City, 3 Greasy). Our goal is 30 in each community, so we will be returning in the Fall to complete this phase of the research.