CHC offers cultural classes promoting traditional Cherokee art

02/21/2018 12:00 PM
PARK HILL – The Cherokee Heritage Center is hosting a series of cultural classes designed to preserve, promote and teach traditional Cherokee art.

The Saturday workshops are held once a month and provide hands-on learning opportunities of traditional art forms.

Registration is open for the March 10 class on round reed basketry and the April 7 class on Cherokee moccasins. Both classes are from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and cost $40 each.

Early registration is recommended as class size is limited. For more information or to RSVP, call Tonia Weavel at 918-456-6007, ext. 6161, or email

The CHC is located at 21192 S. Keeler Drive.


03/14/2018 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – Families looking for a fun, educational adventure for their children during spring break can visit Cherokee Nation museums on March 22. Guests will enjoy free admission to each museum and have the opportunity to participate in interactive activities such as make-and-take cultural art projects. Activities are provided from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and children are encouraged to visit each museum. Activities and locations are: • Silhouette pictures at Cherokee National Prison Museum at 124 E. Choctaw St., • Miniature gourd painting at Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum at 122 E. Keetoowah St., • Turtle rattles at the John Ross Museum at 22366 S. 530 Road in Park Hill, and • Syllabary coloring sheets at Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum at 470288 Highway 101 in Sallisaw. For information, call 1-877-779-6977 or visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.
03/09/2018 10:00 AM
TULSA – The University of Tulsa and Gilcrease Museum are sponsoring a symposium titled “Dislocations and Migrations” on March 30-31 at the Helmerich Center for America Research. Exploring the multifaceted experiences of human displacement and migration, the symposium brings together university and community scholars, activists, archivists, curators and librarians to consider many questions from various perspectives. “Displacements and migrations uniquely characterize all human experience. But, migrations are not all alike, nor are their causes and consequences easily described. After all, migration can be voluntary or involuntary; displacement speaks to power differentially deployed and experienced; and movements challenge domestic and international relationships,” states information released by Gilcrease Museum. “Even the way we remember migrations replicates political, cultural and social structures. Because migration and displacement are lived experiences and not simply conditions to be described, they involve trauma, reshaping identities and re-creation of communities, and thus refocus our notions of belonging, citizenship, community, family and health.” <strong>Some panel titles are:</strong> • “Removal and Resilience: Contemporary Southeastern Indian Art Confronts Histories of Forced Migrations,” • “People, Process and the Politics of Latin American Migration to the U.S.,” • “Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Forced Migration and Historical Trauma,” • “Immigration and U.S. Schools: Innocent Children at the Mercy of the System,” • “Theoretical Distinctions between Historical Trauma and the Inter-Generational Transmission of Trauma,” • “Burma to Oklahoma: Needs Assessment of Refugees in Public Schools,” and • “Bob Dylan’s Travels Across America.” Registration is required and runs through March 16. Student and educator tickets may be purchased at a discounted rate of $10. Details and the full schedule of symposium panels may be found at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>. This event is organized through a new TU faculty and Gilcrease staff initiative – Cultures of the Americas – that is designed to foster interdisciplinary teaching and research through a hemispheric perspective. The university’s archives, special collections, fine art and archaeological collections housed at the Helmerich Center for American Research, Gilcrease Museum and TU’s McFarlin Library support Cultures of the Americas and many other initiatives. The Helmerich Center for America Research is located at 1400 N. Gilcrease Museum Road and is adjacent to the museum. For more information, email <a href="mailto:"></a> or <a href="mailto:"></a> or call 918-631-6414 or 918-631-3843.
03/09/2018 08:00 AM
PARK HILL – Area students have the opportunity to spend an interactive day learning about the Cherokee arts, language and lifestyles of the 1890s on March 28-29 at the Cherokee Heritage Center during Indian Territory Days. The annual educational event features hands-on learning activities for public, private and home-schooled children grades kindergarten to 12. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m., and the event concludes at 2 p.m. each day. The museum and villages are open for self-directed tours, with demonstrations highlighting the many unique aspects of the time period held throughout the day. Cultural stations are located throughout the grounds to introduce students to the art of Cherokee pottery making, basket weaving, finger weaving and more. Students are also encouraged to try their hand at cultural games such as blowgun shooting, stickball, marbles and chunkey. Admission is $5 per student and accompanying adults are $2. School personnel accompanying students are free. Payment can be made to the Cherokee Heritage Center with cash, check, purchase order or credit card. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged. For more information or to register your class, call Tonia Weavel at 918-456-6007, ext. 6161, or by email <a href="mailto:"></a>. The CHC is the premier cultural center for Cherokee tribal history, culture and the arts. It is located at 21192 S. Keeler Drive.
03/02/2018 02:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Speakers Bureau will be held Thursday, March 8 from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. We will meet in the Community Ballroom that is located behind the Restaurant of the Cherokee. All Cherokee speakers are invited to attend. If you want to bring a side dish or a dessert, feel free to bring it. Come speak Cherokee and enjoy food and fellowship. For further information about the event, please contact the Language Program at 918-453-5151; John Ross at 918-453-6170; or Roy Boney Jr. at 918-453-5487. Tsalagi aniwonisgi unadatlugv dodvnatlosi Nvgineiga, Anvyi 8 ganvsulvi 12:30 p.m. adalenisgi 4 p.m. igohida. Na Anitsalagi tsunalisdayetiyi tsigotlv unaditli wayvsdi onadilvyvi utani kanvsula dodvnatlosi. Naniv Anitsalagi aniwonisgi otsitayohiha uniluhisdii. Alisdayvdi ayohisdi yodulia. Dodayotsadatlisani ale dodayotsalisdayvna hilutsvi. Ugodesdi tsadulihesdi tsadelayohisdi hiina wigehiyadvdi Tsalagi Gawonihisdi Unadotlvsv 918-453-5151; John Ross 918-453-6170; or Roy Boney Jr. 918-453-5487.
02/26/2018 04:00 PM
PARK HILL – A donation that reflects a part of Cherokee history was recently made to the Cherokee Heritage Center. Billy Wear and his wife Susan, of Springfield, Missouri, donated a chest of drawers that belonged to Rev. Stephen Foreman, a prominent 19th-century Cherokee. Wear is Foreman’s great grandson, and it was Wear’s grandmother’s wish to one day donate the chest to the CHC to retain Cherokee history. The chest came over during the forced removal of the Cherokee people in 1838-39 from southeastern United States to Indian Territory. Callie Chunestudy, CHC curator, said the chest most likely came over on a barge or boat. “Wealthier people didn’t have to do the walking in the Trail of Tears. If you were wealthy you could put all your stuff on a barge and send it and then you traveled by wagon or something else. So it wasn’t quite the hardship,” Chunestudy said. The chest belonging to Foreman is handmade although the type of wood it’s made of is unknown. “When you look at the dresser there are readily seen signs that this is handmade and not made by machines or in a factory. The detailing on the drawers, one can easily see that there is no uniformity in size, cut or width. While they are all done very well, it is obvious it is done by hand,” former CHC archivist Jerry Thompson said. Thompson said the dresser is “in great shape for it’s age” though there have been a few modifications over the years to help keep it maintained such as sanding, refinishing the top of the dresser, replacing broken pieces and adding support to certain areas where needed. He said after all these years the chest only suffers slight wood deterioration and was well taken care of. Chunestudy said the chest would be displayed in a future exhibit when appropriate. Other items acquired by Foreman after removal and donated by the Wears are the New Webster Dictionary and Complete Vest-Pocket Library, “The Life of Rev. David Brainerd” book, an 1844 Cherokee Almanac, parts of Old and New Testaments in Cherokee and a Cherokee hymn book. Foreman was born in the Cherokee Nation East in 1807 to John Anthony Foreman, of Scottish descent, and Wattie (Elizabeth), a Cherokee. He worked for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions doing mission work and translating documents and news into Cherokee for the Cherokee Phoenix newspaper in 1829, according to the Oklahoma Historical Society. During the Trail of Tears, he was a Cherokee delegate to the U.S. government and protested the removal by writing letters to the ABCFM and voicing his disdain for the way Cherokees were being treated and forced to leave their homes due to the “so called treaty,” as he wrote in one of the letters. “My determination, and the determination of a large majority of the Cherokees, yet in the Nation is never to recognize this fraudulent instrument as a treaty, nor remove under it until we are forced to do so at the point of the bayonet,” one of his letters states. After removal, Foreman and his family settled in Park Hill. He held many important positions in the CN, including being a signer of the 1839 Cherokee Constitution, the first superintendent of Education for the CN and an associate justice of the CN Supreme Court. He died Dec. 8, 1881.
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
02/26/2018 12:00 PM
BENTONVILLE, Ark. – A “hidden treasure” of Native American history and art in a Bentonville neighborhood is becoming better known as the museum forms partnerships and reaches more Native tribes. The Museum of Native American History has been around for 12 years and holds up to 18,000 years of Native people’s history. The exhibits are in chronological order, starting with the early Paleo-Indian Period and moving through the Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian Periods and ending with the Historic Period, or post-European contact. “It is my honor to wear many hats at the Museum of Native American History. We are known as a hidden treasure, and I work with an incredible, smart, small staff to not be a hidden treasure anymore,” MONAH Director Charlotte Buchanan-Yale said. She said the museum partners with the nearby Crystal Bridges Museum and other museums, as well as with tribes, including the Cherokee Nation. The MONAH will host its annual Native American Cultural Symposium June 16-17. “We try to build on those small successes. We had Gayle Ross (Cherokee storyteller) come as part of the symposium last year. She had little girls mesmerized,” Buchanan-Yale said. Recently, the museum hosted Cherokee basket maker Matt Anderson. She said reservations for the class filled up in 45 minutes. The museum holds one of the largest and most diverse displays of stone tools and arrowheads, as well as one of the finest collections of pottery from Central America and South America and the Southeastern United States. It features rare treasures from Cherokee, Apache, Osage and other tribal heritages. A Cherokee booger mask left on the Trail of Tears, a pair of early moccasins and Cherokee blowguns from North Carolina are also on display. MONAH board Chairman David Bogle, a CN citizen, said the museum has been in its location at 202 S. O St. since 2008. Previous to that, it was in a smaller location. “We had a smaller location closer to downtown Bentonville that we opened up in 2006, but we outgrew it immediately,” Bogle said. “This (museum) really started from a collection at my house. People would come to my house and view the collection.” He said an important mission of MONAH is to teach Native history. “Most importantly we’re a history museum. Most of it is not taught in schools. Very few of us grew up with that knowledge,” he said. “Just as important, we’re an art museum, and so we draw that fine line of using very special pieces of art to tell the story – the story of 16,000 to 18,000 years of history.” Bogle said he believes most people visit expecting to see war bonnets, pipes, beaded vests and similar items made by Plains tribes. “My goal here is to teach pre-historic times, so that by the time that people go through our museum they have experienced 16,000 years of history,” he said. “So, once they get to the historic time period, they’ve got a base. They’ve got substance that lets them know what it took for this country to get to that part, that part of Indian history that we see on TV.” He said one of the things shown in the Historic Period is “the good and the bad” changes that occurred after European contact. The pre-Historic and Historic periods are separated by a teepee that visitors walk through. Items in the pre-Historic part are mostly stone because those items did not decay like items made of wood or leather. Bogle said items in the Woodland and Mississippian Periods are “more complete items” like pottery. “The pottery that was made in Arkansas was some of the best made in the country. The Caddo, the Quapaw, the Tunica, the tribes of the Mississippians in northeast Arkansas all did fabulous, fabulous pieces, and it’s one of my favorite galleries,” he said. “I work hard at finding items that help tell the story. As we acquire pieces we try to find things that fill in gaps in history, so it’s easier to understand how this block happened, and then this block happened because of this and this happened because of this, so the time table is easier to understand.” MONAH partners with the University of Arkansas to display some of the university’s Native historic and art pieces. Bogle said the museum currently has 14,000 square feet of space after three major expansions, but the museum has “maxed out” on space again. Special pieces include winter count robes. Drawings on the robes tell the history of that particular tribe. A favorite display for visitors, Bogle said, are the head pots made by Mississippian tribes in northeast Arkansas. “Our goal here is to teach diversification, to show how many tribes there were across this country, to show how different they were, how they camped, the clothing, all of the different things, so that we can dispel that mental picture that we automatically get (of Native people). So, that’s one of our biggest goals here,” he said. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Self-guided audio tours are available and admission is free. Call 479-273-2456 for more information.