Steve Morales, a Cherokee who lives in Monticello, will present a lecture on Native Americans and Native American culture in the early years in this area, on March 18 at 7 p.m. at the Guachoya Cultural Art Center in Lake Village. The lecture is free of charge and open to the public.

Morales, originally from Tahlequah, Oklahoma, owns the Scissortail’s Trading Post in Monticello. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and is a former U.S. Army Special Forces staff sergeant who served from 2002 through 2009.

“I joined the Army to get off the reservation,” Morales said. “There aren’t a lot of opportunities open to young people there, so military service provides a chance to follow our Native American warrior tradition and opens pathways to education and advancement.”

Morales’ name and the name of his store, were derived from his Cherokee Nation clan. There are seven different clans within the Cherokee Nation; his clan is the Bird Clan and his Cherokee name is Tsunidigwuntski, which means Scissortail (a bird), thus the name of his store, Scissortail’s Trading Post.

Morales sells genuine Native American merchandise in his store, which is located at 114 North Main in Monticello. At the lecture, there will be a display of some of his merchandise along with handmade baskets he and his wife make.

Guachoya is located at 1652 Hwy. 65 & 82 South in Lake Village. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and on Friday, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

For more information about the lecture or the Guachoya Art Center, call 870-265-6077.