January 17, 2017
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation will begin dispersing its limited supply of heirloom seeds to tribal citizens interested in growing traditional Cherokee crops and plants starting Feb. 1.
The Cherokee Nation keeps an inventory of seeds from rare breeds of corn, beans, squash, gourds, Trail of Tears beads, tobacco and several plants traditionally used for Cherokee customs. The seeds are not available in stores.
In 2016, the tribe distributed 3,582 packages of seeds to Cherokee Nation citizens.
“The seed bank continues to grow every year with our citizens. It’s also an important way the Cherokee Nation can keep our link to the land strong and preserve our history and heritage,” said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. “The Cherokee people have long-lasting traditions of harvesting seeds and passing them down. It is an essential part of who we are today, and because of the seed bank program, we can keep the tradition alive with new generations of Cherokees.”
Citizens can submit order requests via a new website designed to streamline the ordering process. To request seeds, please follow these instructions:
• Visit https://secure.cherokee.org/seedbank.
• Create an account and then follow the instructions to place and track orders.
Citizens are limited to two varieties. Individuals must submit a copy of his or her Cherokee Nation tribal citizenship card, proof of age and address.