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10 Things You Should Know About Cherokee Nation

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10 Things You Should Know About Cherokee Nation

Post  MISPLACEDBUCKEYE on Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:32 am

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/01/08/10-things-you-should-know-about-cherokee-nation-158599



Many people and images come to mind about the Cherokee Nation. The Cherokee Syllabary, created by Sequoyah, may be one of them. For many others, it may be the Trail of Tears. Still, Cherokee people such as Will Rogers or Wilma Mankiller may come to mind.

Yet there is much more to the Cherokee Nation’s rich cultural history and present-day accomplishments. The Cherokee Nation’s website lists their current enrollment at over 317,000 and more than 8,000 employees. The Nation’s economic impact within Oklahoma and neighboring northeastern states, is estimated at copy.5 billion.

Indian Country Today Media Network asked Dr. Candessa Tehee, the executive director of the Cherokee Heritage Center, which ten items she felt that readers should know.

We believe in education.

Literacy and education have been a high priority among Cherokee people long before removal to Oklahoma. Sequoyah’s written language system created a high percentage of literacy among Cherokee people, much more so than their white American neighbors. The Cherokee Syllabary is still in active use within their Cherokee Immersion Charter School, as well as street signs in downtown Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

After Removal, the Cherokee Female Seminary in Tahlequah became, according to Tehee, “the first female institution of higher learning West of the Mississippi,” whose historic buildings now form the nucleus of Northeastern State University. Today, the Cherokee Nation runs Sequoyah High School, formerly controlled by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and has a successful higher education scholarship program.

Cherokee_Syllabary (wikimedia)
Cherokee_Syllabary (wikimedia)

There’s no such thing as a Cherokee princess

Many families throughout the United States—who are not enrolled Cherokee Nation members—make claims of Cherokee descent. Although the Cherokee Nation encourages the tracing of family ancestry, a large number of people with potential Cherokee ancestry make the erroneous claim that they’re descended from a “Cherokee Princess.”

“Our traditional clan system is matrilineal, meaning clans are passed down through the mother’s side of the family,” said Tehee. “Women have important roles in both ceremonial and family life but, historically, there has never been a princess system.” In recent times, the 1955 Cherokee National Holiday created the “Queen of the Cornstalk Shoot” (a traditional Cherokee archery competition), which was changed in 1957 to Miss Cherokee.

We have great museums

The Cherokee Nation facilitates at least four museums in northeastern Oklahoma. These include the Cherokee Heritage Center outside of Tahlequah, voted third in the USA Today “10 Best Readers’ Choice Native American Experience.” The Cherokee Heritage Center grounds include the Cherokee National Museum, Ancient Village, Adams Corner Rural Village, Nofire Farms, Cherokee Family Research Center, and the Cherokee National Archives.

Other museums of the Cherokee Nation include the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum, which houses the printing press of the Cherokee Advocate newspaper; the Cherokee National Prison Museum, which was the only penitentiary in Indian Territory from 1875-1901; and the John Ross Museum in Park Hill, Oklahoma, dedicated to the longtime leader of the Cherokee Nation.

Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/01/08/10-things-you-should-know-about-cherokee-nation-158599
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MISPLACEDBUCKEYE

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