by Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Condition. Discussion »
It was a quiet afternoon before the EF3 tornado hit the Cherokee Nation. The storm that went through Delaware County, Oklahoma with speeds up to 140 miles per hour produced destruction in its wake. Witnesses said the tornado sounded like a train. In its aftermath, there were 20 damaged homes and debris on the Cherokee Nation.
Then the storm headed towards Joplin - an hour’s drive away.
By the time, the storm hit Joplin, it turned into a deadly EF5 tornado. It left behind a city that was 30 percent destroyed; at last count 132 dead and 10 unaccounted for. It is reported the tornado is the deadliest single tornado in the United States since modern record-keeping began in 1950.
Even with the difficulties experienced on their reservation, the Cherokee Nation sent people to aid with the relief and rescue operation in Joplin. Fourteen students and two instructors from the Talking Leaves Job Corps, operated by the Cherokee Nation went there to assist in the efforts. Additionally, the Tribe sent members of its Cherokee Nation Marshal Service to assist with the rescue and recovery efforts.
The Cherokee Nation also began collecting personal supplies, such as toiletries, water, diapers, baby formula and batteries to be taken to Joplin.
American Indians are taught to be humble and I would suppose the Cherokee Nation would not choose to gloat or revel in their humanitarian efforts.
The Cherokee Nation’s rescue effort should not go unnoticed. Their effort should be recognized and applauded.
posted June 1, 2011 4:57 pm et
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