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, April 21, 2005

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


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