Creator Spotlight - Traci Sorell

Creator Spotlight

This week we talked to Traci Sorell about her book, We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga. Traci also shared a special video of her reading her book, just for us!

Just like the Cherokee people featured in my book, We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, I grew up within the tribe’s reservation located in northeastern Oklahoma. My family has lived in the area since the Cherokee Nation’s forced removal from our original homelands in the Southeast. While it has been called the Trail of Tears by others, Cherokee people say “where they were driven” because the US government rounded up our ancestors and drove them like livestock. 

Even though my ancestors endured these hardships, one of our central values has always been gratitude. Being grateful for not only wonderful things but also for challenges we experience is how we’re taught to live every day in every season. 

When you see the family gathered sharing a meal and listening to elders sharing stories in the book, that is how I spent a lot of time during my childhood. As the oldest grandchild on both sides of my family, I enjoyed hearing adults tell jokes, reminisce about my ancestors, and spin stories. 

I also loved being outside with my mother, learning to identify different plants. Which ones could we eat or use as medicine? She also grew a garden, and I’d help plant, weed and harvest the food we grew. Nothing tastes better to me than a sun-ripened strawberry or tomato! 

I hope as you read the book, you’ll think about what you can do each day in each season to show your gratitude for the world around you.

Find Traci on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or her website!

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