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Cherokee Nation celebrates Native Heritage Month with Presentations, Crafts

10/27/2011
October 27, 2011

Cherokee Nation Seal

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation is celebrating Native American Heritage Month in November with traditional activities and events on Wednesday, Nov. 9 and Thursday, Nov. 10 in Tahlequah at the W.W. Keeler Complex, 17675 S. Muskogee Avenue. Native American Heritage Month has officially been recognized since 1994 to honor the significant contributions the first Americans made in the establishment and growth of the United States. 

On Wednesday, Tim Garrison from Portland State University will open the two-day event with a presentation on a little-known part of Cherokee history, a failed removal plan proposed in 1832 by attorney Elisha Chester. Garrison is an accomplished author and scholar of Cherokee history and directs Native American Studies at Portland State University in Oregon. The presentation will take place from 10:30 a.m. to noon in Cherokee Nation’s Tribal Council Chambers. 

Wednesday afternoon a film about the 2011 Remember the Removal Bike Ride will be aired in the Tribal Council Chambers from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. The film highlights the nearly 1,000 mile journey 18 Cherokees took during the summer on bicycles from Cherokee, N.C. to Tahlequah in remembrance of the Trail of Tears. 

On Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Tsalagi Community Room visitors can learn about and participate in traditional arts and crafts such as basket making, corn husk dolls, pinch pots, beaded key rings and lanyards, braiding and finger weaving. Freeman Owle of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will also be on hand to teach stone-carving. He will have a limited number of stone-carving kits, so please arrive early to participate in this activity. All supplies for all arts and crafts will be provided at no charge to attendees. 

Those with more active, adventurous spirits can learn how to play stickball on Thursday from noon to 3 p.m. on the field west of the Cherokee Nation complex. Stickball is a traditional Cherokee game that resembles modern European lacrosse. Shane Dominick will coordinate the game. Spectators are encouraged to cheer on the players. 

All Native American Heritage Month activities hosted by Cherokee Nation are free and open to the public. For more information about Native American Heritage Month activities contact Cathy Monholland at cathy-monholland@cherokee.org or 918-453-5000, ext. 5389.


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