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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Monday, April 25, 2005

Trail of Tears Art Show Members' Reception

Our new web site is up, courtesy of the hard work of Will Burgess and the Cherokee Nation--particularly their IT crew of Tonia, Kelly, and Ben. Check it out at

Members are invited to a free reception this coming Friday, from 6-8 p.m., to preview the work in this year's art show. An awards ceremony will be held the following day at noon at the Center.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Heritag Center Welcomes Veterans Home

On Friday, yes tomorrow, the city is hosting a “Troop Welcome Home Parade” for our people coming back from Iraq.

It will begin at the Tahlequah rodeo grounds at 10:10am and drive past the Willis Rd/62H intersection at 10:21. We would also like to create/draw some posters that we can wave. Any suggestions or volunteers to help create these posters would be appreciated.

We will leave the center around 10am and should be back no later than 10:30. Everyone leaving should call us and let us put your name on the list and meet at the front doors (genealogy) at 10am.

Thanks for helping us welcome home our brave servicemen and women!

Join Chief Smith and Council Members for Cleanup Day at Heritage Center

Join Chief Chad Smith and Cherokee Tribal Council members Cara Cowan, Don Garvin and Audra Smoke-Conner for the upcoming Ancient Village Workdays in honor of National Volunteer Week. Several communities will come together May 7 and 28 to restore one of Tahlequah’s oldest attractions, the Cherokee Heritage Center’s Ancient Village.

The Ancient Village has been and remains the oldest and most enduring attraction at the Cherokee Heritage Center. It opened in 1967 as the first part of a four-phase project that was to become the Cherokee Heritage Center. This site was selected because it was the original location of the Cherokee Female Seminary. At the time, it was an all but forgotten piece of land five miles outside of Tahlequah. Trees and dense undergrowth made it nearly impossible to view the remains of the seminary columns. Today, the Cherokee Heritage Center’s Ancient Village serves as a living example of Cherokee history for the thousands of people who visit annually.

“The Cherokee Heritage Center is extremely important to the Cherokee Nation and is the backbone for public education and cultural documentation of our peoples,” said Cowan.

In a continual effort to improve upon the existing structure of the village, the Cherokee Heritage Center created the workdays in conjunction with the Cherokee Tribal Council.

“I saw there was a need for volunteers to do work at the heritage center,” said Cowan. “The Ancient Village continually needs review for historical accuracy and will always need maintenance.”

Workday events include re-roofing some of the existing huts, building food shelters, weaving baskets, creating pottery and more.

“There are projects for every age group,” said Ancient Village Curator Mickel Yantz. “We encourage the community to come be involved in restoring a piece of Cherokee culture.”

The Ancient Village workdays are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days. For more information, call Mickel Yantz at (918) 456-6007, ext. 23 or send e-mail to

Monday, April 18, 2005

Southeastern Beadwork, Continued

Those who know me well, know that I have dedicated my empty nest yearsto the revival of Southeastern Woodlands beadwork. If this revival isto be successful, we must enable people to recognize Southeasternbeadwork.

To that end, I am constantly seeking opportunities to placeimages of Southeastern beadwork where people can see them. With the help of my intrepid husband/photographer/printer/web pagemanager . . . we have come up with two new products that do just that!We have added note cards and refrigerator magnets to the web page,and you can use the shopping cart feature to order them online.

The note cards are printed on high quality, silk finished, whitepaper. The folded notes, which are blank inside, measure 4 ½" x 5 ¼".There are four notes and four envelopes in each packet. You mayselect from a packet of four bandolier bag images or four moccasin images.The frig magnets are approximately 2" x 3", depending on the image. They are printed on high quality, white magnet stock. They come inpackets of four, with an assortment of images: 2-bandolier bag,1-moccasin and 1-beaded design. The assortment will vary depending oninventory.Check out the notes and magnets at:

By Martha Berry

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Cultural Class: Beadwork

Today Wanda taught beadwork at the Heritage Center, and also displayed some of her exceptional work as examples. Click here for photos.

Incredible beadwork!!

Heritage Center Awash in Blooms, Too!

The beauty of white and pink dogwood is filling the Heritage Center grounds. Visit us with your camera to capture the beauty--mornings and evenings are best for natural lighting. Click here for photos.


Flute Circle Plays

The Cherokee Flute Circle met again in the chapel at the Heritage Center and enjoyed an evening of music and camaraderie. Click here for photos.

Happy flute player

Flute playing in the chapel

Expert sounds!

Friday, April 15, 2005

Indian Territory Days 2

The second grand day of Indian Territory Days has just wrapped up--over 300 kids visitied the Heritage Center to learn about the old ways and the old days.

Click here for photos.
At today's blowgun practice, the following kids hit the bullseye on their very first try:

Blake O'Dell
Cherokee Anderson
Bobbie Morgan
Bradley Miller
Ronnie Anderson
Wendell Huggins
Timber Collett
Billy Halloran
Barbara Burga



Cherokee Country Awash in Blooms

The Cherokee Heritage Center is busting out in bloom, and so is the entirety of Cherokee Country. These photos were taken this morning at Honor Heights Park in Muskogee. Click here for photos.

Clean-up Day in Claremore

The Rogers County Cherokee Community will be working to clear the remainder of scrub brush and fence the land this weekend. If you can assist, please see the following.

In-kind Donations Needed:
(4) spools of barbless wire
*Note: Cash donations are always welcome. Please make checks to RCCA and provide a return address if donation receipt is needed.

Work Being Completed:
Backhoe used for Clearing
Brush Hogging
Pulling Fence
Repairing Fence
Building Fence Corners

Work Times:Saturday, 9am to 1pm
Sunday, Noon to 4pm

Volunteer Contact for April 16th Weekend, only:
John Yocham
H: (918) 341-6496
C: (918) 740-1369

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Indian Territory Days--Day One

Imagine the Cherokee Heritage Center museum and grounds filled with kids, all learning about traditional Cherokee lifestyles and Cherokee history. Well, you won't have to imagine--just click here for photos to see the whole thing.

This event, put on by education director Tonia Hogner-Weavel, was a smash success--as you can see by the pictures! Tomorrow the fun continues. And if you're a boy and you think you are going to win at stickball, the girls are going to prove you WRONG!

Welcome to Indian Territory Days!!

Going for broke with stickball!!

Outta my way!

Kathy VanBuskirk weaving

Perry VanBuskirk

Blowgun action!!

Chunking the chunkey

Wild Onion Dinner a Big Succes

Yesterday's Wild Onion Dinner fundraiser, conceived by Kathy Van Buskirk and put on with the help of the staff, was a huge success. Food sold out early and a run had to be made down to the store to replenish and feed hungry appetites. Thanks to all who came and to all who helped.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Indian Territory Days Happen This Thurs/Fri

On Thursday and Friday of this week the Cherokee Heritage Center welcomes over 500 schoolkids from all over Oklahoma to our Indian Territory Days event. Look for educational activities that include an outdoor classroom with hands-on activities such as blowgun shooting, stickball, chunkey, a Cherokee language station, Trail of Tears museum tours, traditional storytelling, and self-guided tours through the ancient village. They'll see tools, weapons, basketry, ceremonial grounds, and traditional Cherokee homes. Volunteers from Bacone College in Muskogee and our regular dedicated volunteers--Nellie and Curtis Hunt, among others--will assist with this great event.

Beadwork Workshop to be Held at the Cherokee Heritage Center

Skilled artisan Wanna Lou Barton will teach students the art of beading on Saturday, April 16, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cherokee Heritage Center. Students will learn basic beading techniques and Cherokee history pertaining to the beaded items they make.
Early registration for this workshop is recommended as class size is limited. The $30 fee includes tuition and all materials.

Barton’s appearance is part of a series of cultural classes offered by the Cherokee Heritage Center. The remaining classes are: May 21, Loom Weaving; June 11, Tear Dress Making; Sept. 17, Round Reed Basketry; Oct. 8, Southeastern Pottery; Nov. 5, Flint Knapping & Blowguns; Dec. 3, Gourd Carving.

For registration, or more information, call Tonia Hogner-Weavel at the Cherokee Heritage Center at (918) 456-6007, toll free at (888) 999-6007, or e-mail her at

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