TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Area students are invited to experience Cherokee culture firsthand through interactive opportunities offered at the Cherokee Heritage Center.
Ancient Cherokee Days is held Oct. 3-4, and Cherokee Heritage Days runs Nov. 7-8. Both events feature similar curriculum for school-age children.
“Education has always been a priority for the Cherokee people, and events like these allow us to expand the boundaries of the classroom,” said Dr. Charles Gourd, executive director of Cherokee Heritage Center. “It is vitally important that we support our educators and take an active role in teaching an authentic and accurate account of our history from our perspective. These students will enjoy an immersive experience that will not only teach, but celebrate, the history, culture and art of the Cherokee people. We hope that through events like this we continue to challenge the notion that our culture exists only in history books and get more people to understand and appreciate what makes Cherokee culture so special.”
Admission for each event is $7 per student and accompanying adults are only $2. Teachers and bus drivers are free. Admission includes entrance to the Cherokee National Museum, the Trail of Tears exhibit, Adams Corner Rural Village and Diligwa, an authentic re-creation of Cherokee life in the early 1700s.
The outdoor cultural classes feature interactive curriculum and games based on Cherokee lifestyle in the early 18th century, including craft demonstrations in pottery making, basket weaving, food grinding, weapons or tool making, and language.
Additional stations feature Cherokee games such as chunkey, marbles, stickball, blowguns, language activities and more. Face painting is offered at $1 per design and represents Cherokee tattoos from the early 1700s.
Groups are encouraged to make their visit a daylong event. Picnic tables are available for guests bringing lunches, and there is ample parking for school buses and private vehicles.
Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and the event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Cherokee Heritage Center is the premier cultural center for Cherokee tribal history, culture and the arts. It is located at 21192 S. Keeler Drive, Park Hill, Oklahoma.