I am Stephen Carr Hampton, a registered citizen of the Cherokee Nation. My father, Albert Hampton, is from Grove, Oklahoma. He grew up attending the Green Corn Dances, proud of his elders, some of whom held prominent positions in the Cherokee community (such as Jefferson Thompson Parks, brother of my great-grandmother Susan Parks). I am a direct descendant of Oconostota, a principal chief of the Cherokee in the 1700s. Unlike him, I’m no battlefield tactician, but I hope to honor him with my words. I have never lived on a reservation (and the Cherokees don’t have one) so I cannot speak from that perspective.
My father was part of the diaspora from Oklahoma to California (see the map showing where Cherokees are today). That’s where he met my mother, a second generation Slovak from Ohio. I came along after that, in the yellow area in southern California. I’ve since moved to northern California where there is also an active Cherokee community.
I currently work as a tribal liaison (among other roles) for California Department of Fish & Wildlife’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response. We deal with oil spills and other pollution events. All opinions expressed here are purely my own. All information referred to here is publicly available.
This blog is dedicated to Native American history and issues. I aim especially to provide historical context and parallels to current events.