TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation will celebrate its 72nd annual Cherokee National Holiday over Labor Day weekend, including an inter-tribal powwow, parade, and other longtime cultural favorites.

Traditionally, the Cherokee National Holiday draws more than 100,000 visitors from across the country. Holiday activities will be held Aug. 30 – Sept. 1 in Tahlequah, the capital of the Cherokee Nation.

“The Cherokee National Holiday holds such significance for the Cherokee people as we get to celebrate the rebuilding of our government after forced removal,” Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “As we continue to progress as a tribe and commit to affirming our rights as a tribal government and protecting our sovereignty to advance critical issues, it is the hope, dedication and hard work of our ancestors that we will remember that aided in the development of what our tribe is today.”

The 72nd Cherokee National Holiday theme is “Weaving Our Future.” The theme and art are meant to illustrate the traditional story of the water spider, one of the smallest creatures that according to Cherokees demonstrated no matter how small, every one of the tribe’s more than 460,000 citizens can make great and significant contributions to the fabric of Cherokee culture.

The theme also refers to the many ways Cherokee culture is interwoven into every aspect of our daily lives, both big and small, from revitalizing and perpetuating the Cherokee language to caring for children and elders. The Cherokee Nation is woven together by the values and culture that have been passed down by Cherokee ancestors and by the contributions of all Cherokees, even the smallest and most humble.

In the Holiday artwork design, the water spider in the center represents the story of the first fire and the bravery shown by this small creature that made an important contribution to the fabric of Cherokee culture. The imagery of a water spider weaving web connects to this year’s focus on “Weaving Our Future.”

The seal of the tribe in the center of the design and on the back of the water spider represents Cherokee Nation’s collective effort to put the Nation and its people at the focus of every decision and how Cherokees work together in the spirit of gadugi to lift each other up.

The three ropes surrounding the water spider, taken from the Cherokee Nation seal, represent the three branches of the Cherokee Nation government: the Executive Branch, which is led by Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. and Deputy Chief Bryan Warner; the Council of the Cherokee Nation; and the Judicial Branch.

The artist, Cherokee National Treasure Dan Mink, included various weave patterns to represent the many ways Cherokee culture is interwoven in daily lives as Cherokees honor and preserve their cultural identity while “Weaving Our Future.”

There are seven stylized clan masks, each representing one of the tribe’s seven clans that comprised Cherokee Nation’s traditional matriarchal society. Three white rings connect each clan mask and are symbolic of past, present and future generations of Cherokees. A flower design at the top of the circle represents those who have lost their clan affiliation. The flower is made of three seven-pointed petals to represent the person and each of their parents.

The Cherokee National Holiday commemorates the signing of the Cherokee Nation Constitution in 1839, which re-established the tribe’s government in Indian Territory after forced removal from the Cherokees’ original homelands in the Southeast. On the artwork, the outer ring consists of 72 circles, which represents the 72 Cherokee National Holidays that have been celebrated.

To view upcoming activities and events for the Cherokee National Holiday visit https://thecherokeeholiday.com/.

Vendors interested in arts and crafts, or food booth space can visit https://thecherokeeholiday.com/resources/ for more info.

To keep up with the latest news and announcements about the Cherokee National Holiday, follow the official Holiday Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/cherokeenationalholiday.

For more information or for questions related to the Cherokee National Holiday, contact Holiday Director Crystal Walters at 918-822-2427 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..