“Osiyo” - The Traditional Cherokee Greeting - Sets The Tone

Seal of the Cherokee Nation Cherokee Nation Culture Tourism
Kelli Bruer at (918) 384-7974
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August 28, 2009

“Osiyo” - The Traditional Cherokee Greeting - Sets The Tone

“Osiyo” - The Traditional Cherokee Greeting - Sets The Tone For The New Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Brand Advertising Campaign
“Osiyo” - The Traditional Cherokee Greeting - Sets The Tone For The New Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Brand Advertising Campaign

To support the Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism program a new brand advertising campaign was recently introduced with “Osiyo” (Cherokee for hello) as the main message point, while focusing on the unique elements of the Cherokee culture with the slogan: “Cherokees Say Hello Like No One Else.”


     A strategy focusing on cultural references, specific achievements and overcoming misperceptions are the inspiration for the creative elements featured in the headlines:

     “If You Come Expecting Smoke Signals, Prepare To Be Surprised,” which refers to the Cherokee Nation’s printing of the first Native American bilingual newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix. This early use of “non-primitive” communication shows how industrious and progressive Cherokee society was in the 19th century;

“If You Come Expecting Teepees, Prepare To Be Surprised,” which refers to Cherokees having never lived in teepees. In fact, Cherokee Nation established the first institute for higher learning for women west of the Mississippi and later rebuilt The Cherokee Female Seminary in Gothic architectural style complete with turrets and gables. The regal structure is still in use today at Northeastern State University.

     “Now, Planning A Cherokee Tour Is As Easy As A-B-C,” which refers to Sequoyah, a Cherokee Silversmith, who created the first written Native American language and the first written language created by someone not literate in another language. This achievement provided the Cherokee people with their own written language and led to an immediate increase in literacy rates among the majority of the Cherokee speakers; and, of course,
     “Meet The Man Who Never Met A Man He Didn’t Like”for Cherokee native Will Rogers who considered himself a Cherokee first and was born in Indian Territory to a prominent Cherokee senator and judge.
The spirit of the campaign captures the heart of the program with the consumer call to action: “Osiyo is the traditional Cherokee greeting. Come say ‘hello’ and plan your tour at or (877) 779-6977.”


The new advertising campaign is currently running on television, radio, online, outdoor and transit. In addition, collateral and signage is being distributed to supplement the branding efforts.

“The brand advertising campaign is built around the idea that a simple greeting of a person’s culture can reflect a deeper meaning and true essence of its people and way of life,” says David Stewart, CEO of Cherokee Nation Entertainment, which manages the Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Department. “Osiyo is to Cherokee culture what Aloha is to Hawaiian culture. The greetings are unique in their own way, yet each has a very broad-based appeal.”


     Striking a unique balance between historical reality and cultural integrity, Cherokee Nation set out to create a cultural tourism program with authentic perspective and experiences.

      The foundation of the program rests in its cultural, historical, natural and recreational resources of the Cherokee Nation, which includes the 14-county area located in northeastern Oklahoma that spans 7,000-square miles. The Cherokee Nation Jurisdiction is home to more than 149,000 Cherokee citizens.

     The Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism program was formally introduced in January 2009 with the debuted of its four all-new historically authentic tours including the Cherokee History Tour, Cherokee Old Settler Tour, Civil War History Tour and Will Rogers History Tour. Each tour is $35 per person and includes lunch.


     Cherokee Nation’s Cultural Tourism Department launched its new Web site functionality features with the ability to book the tours online, research Cherokee Nation history and visit notable locations all at For more information on Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism tours, please visit the Web site or call (877) 779-6977.