TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee National Prison Museum is hosting a new exhibit that looks into the life of Cherokee Nation citizen Ned Christie.

“Ned Christie: The Man From Wauhillau” opens June 18.

The exhibit provides a look at Christie’s upbringing in Wauhillau, his public service and the events that led to him being portrayed as a reckless outlaw wanted by the U.S. government.

“Ned Christie’s name is popularly linked to the description of ‘Indian outlaw,’ but earnest examinations of his story have too often been overshadowed by creative, exploitative narratives told from a non-Native perspective,” said Karen Shade-Lanier, Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism exhibits manager. “We hope this exhibit will offer guests a more balanced look at Ned Christie, his upbringing and the crime he was accused of to reveal an individual far more nuanced and interesting than ever imagined.”

Christie was a blacksmith and gunsmith by trade, who in 1885 was elected to the Cherokee Executive Council. A traditionalist, Christie’s background impacted his political views, opposing tribal land allotment.

In 1887, Deputy U.S. Marshal Daniel Maples was shot and killed in Tahlequah. Christie, who had been seen in Tahlequah, became a suspect. Although maintaining his innocence, he was sought by the U.S. government. He retreated to his home in Wauhillau for five years until he was killed by a U.S. marshal’s posse.

About 26 years after Christie’s death, a man claiming to have witnessed Maple’s murder came forward and identified another man as the shooter.

Serving as the only penitentiary building in Indian Territory from 1875 to 1901, the Cherokee National Prison Museum offers a unique perspective on law and order in Indian Territory and shares details about daring escapes, notable prisoners and more. It is open to the public Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is located at 101 S. Muskogee Ave.

For more information on Cherokee cultural sites and events, go to www.VisitCherokeeNation.com.