Cherokee Heritage Center providing inside look at Cherokee National Archives

August 9, 2017

Weeklong exhibit runs Aug. 14-19

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – A new exhibit is opening at the Cherokee Heritage Center and offers an exclusive look at artifacts from the Cherokee National Archives.

“Preserving Cherokee Culture: Holding the Past for the Future” runs Aug. 14–19 and features nearly 50 iconic historical artifacts, including General Stand Watie’s bowie knife and a hand-written draft of the Articles of Agreement between the U.S. government and the Cherokee Nation in 1866. Additional items include stone and shell artifacts, photographs of notable Cherokees and portions of CHC’s extensive basket collection.

“For the most part, less than 1 percent of a museum’s holdings are on display at any given time,” said Callie Chunestudy, curator for the Cherokee Heritage Center. “We have such an impressive collection of Cherokee history and culture, and this exhibit is a great way for us to give an extended view of these items and help others understand why these archives are so important.”

The Cherokee National Archives has more than 40,000 items in collections and 200,000 items in archives dating back to pre-European contact.

“The Cherokee National Archives is designated as the official repository for the Cherokee people, and our collections feature items from some of the most important times in our history,” said Jerry Thompson, archivist for the Cherokee National Archives. “The archives and collections are vital to our mission, but it’s simply not enough to just preserve the items. We have to share them. We have to use them to teach our history and promote our culture to ensure the world has the opportunity to know and embrace an accurate portrayal of the Cherokee people and our collective history.”

The Cherokee Heritage Center is the premier cultural center for Cherokee history, culture and the arts. It is located at 21192 S. Keeler Drive, Park Hill. Summer hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.