Cherokee Heritage Center

The Center consists of a living history Cherokee village, a museum, and small township of historical buildings. Dedicated to the perservation of Cherokee culture and history, it is one of the most widely visited Native American sites in Oklahoma.

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Thursday, February 17, 2005

Learn and Serve Program Held at Center

Today's Learn and Serve program, funded by the Cherokee Nation, brought kids to the Heritage Center. The students took a tour of the museum and the village, where they got to play stickball.

This program is part of the Nation and the Center's ongoing effort to educate students about Cherokee culture, and give them a chance to experience it first-hand.

Then the students were were divided into groups of "Ross Party" and "Treaty Party," and they debated about the Trail of Tears and whether they would have gone. Some said the reason to relocate is because removal was inevitable, and because removal offered more land and natural resources. The Ross party wanted to stay where they'd grown up and where their ancestors were buried--they made a strong argument to be able to remain in their historic home.

"The kids learned a lot, details about the Trail of Tears, they seemed to enjoy it and have a lot of fun," said Heritage Center staffer Becky Adair. Becky and education director Tonia Weavel put on the program, with funding from the Cherokee Nation Learn for materials, admission, food, and Cherokee Nation funding for the schools to allow them to continue the project at school. "We have more schools listed for later in the year--about five more schools," said Adair.

"The Nation lets us recruit more schools, and we get new schools to the Center. In the end the Nation can rely on us more to assist with their programs," said Adair.

"They all learned traditional crafts like blowguns and darts, and most already knew how to play stickball. They enjoyed learning how to make them. It's an important part of keeping the culture healthy and alive," she added. Posted by Seth

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