By SCOTT MCKIE BP
STICK WITH A FEATHER
Ton stage and in the spotlight is nothing new for Cece Lambert. She has performed for years with the Cherokee Chamber Singers and as part of the Cherokee Central Schools musical theater program. But, she was on a national, albeit virtual, stage on Monday August 17 as she represented the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the entire Indian country while singing the national anthem to open the Democratic National Convention (DNC).
While the other young singers were shown onscreen with their state’s name under their faces, Lambert was shown with “Cherokee” under his. Several years ago, she and the rest of the Chamber Singers performed a piece called “Si Otsedoha” which translates from the Cherokee language as “We’re Still Here”.
Lambert continued this “we’re still here” message by singing for the world at the DNC.
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to interview him on several occasions for various shows and concerts. A quote she gave me in September 2018, before the Chambers Singers began a series of performances with the North Carolina Symphony, rings true indeed.
“One of the most important messages we found personally was that we try to tell people that we are still here because a lot of people still see us as not real – that Native Americans are made up or that we are off now.
She continued, “We really want people to know that we are not the Indians that they present to us on television, and that we are not the Indians that they come to see. We are real people. We are our own sovereign nation and we try to be a part of modern society if the people allow us.
Lambert graduated with honors from Cherokee High School (CHS) in May.
Michael Yannette, director of the Cherokee Chamber Singers, who led Lambert while she was at CHS, said: “I must applaud the DNC for committing to wanting to include a singer from the Native American nations and not just representatives of the 50 States. . They contacted me just a few days before they needed a recording and were specifically looking for a very talented person with a specific vocal part. Cece did the job perfectly and they absolutely loved her! She did the recording within 24 hours of receiving the music like a pro!
He added: “I am very, very proud of her! She has beautifully represented the Cherokee community, the Cherokee Chamber Singers and Indigenous Nations across the United States!
The motto of the 2020 CHS Class was “Don’t Talk, Just Act. Don’t say, just show. Don’t promise, just prove.
Well, with his global performance, Lambert took steps to show the world his talent and prove that the Cherokee and all Native Americans not only still exist, but thrive.