For the first
time in intertribal history, the Cherokee Nation and Eastern Band
of Cherokee Indians are partnering to host "Cherokee Days," a public
educational program that shares the true Cherokee story.
event is April 3-5 at the National Museum of the American Indian
in Washington, D.C.
The Cherokee Nation and Eastern Band will share the Cherokee
story that spans time immemorial to the Trail of Tears to the successes
of the modern tribes. The educational program includes an exhibit
showcasing a timeline of historical milestones, live cultural art
demonstrations and scheduled cultural performances.
"Partnering with the National Museum of the American Indian
is a significant opportunity to showcase Cherokee heritage and history
at a national level. We will showcase our cultural artisans and
historians from the Cherokee Nation, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee
Indians and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians," said Cherokee
Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. "It is important for the
Cherokee Nation to participate in this unique event with our Cherokee
brothers and sisters. We all come from one fire and we are one people.
While we were once divided, today we are unified and our respective
sovereign governments are stronger than ever. A critical part of
our cultural preservation is embracing and sharing our rich and
storied narrative in America's history and its future."
Cherokees originally inhabited the lands in what are now present-day
Tennessee, North Carolina, Alabama and Georgia. Following the 1838
forced removal of 16,000 Cherokees to present-day Oklahoma, many
defied the relocation and remained in North Carolina.
The Cherokees forced along the Trail of Tears were led by Principal
Chief John Ross. They established Tahlequah as the Cherokee Nation's
capital in 1839. The Eastern Band, which resides in Cherokee, N.
C., became federally recognized in 1868.
In 1984, the tribes met in Red Clay, Tenn., for the first time
since the tribe was divided. During the last 30 years, the Cherokee
Nation and Eastern Band have worked together on numerous projects,
including maintaining a unified language.
"Cherokee Days at the National Museum of the American Indian
is a great event for us because we can come together with our family,
the Cherokee Nation, to celebrate our shared history and heritage,"
said Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Michell
Hicks. "Our tribes have been meeting for more than 25 years to collaborate
on issues important to our people, and this event is another opportunity
for that collaboration to continue."
This historic joint endeavor will occur at the National Museum
of the American Indian as it celebrates not one, but four exciting
milestones: the 25th anniversary of the signing of the charter establishing
the museum; the 20th anniversary of the opening of the museum in
New York City; the 15th anniversary of the opening of its Cultural
Resource Center; and the 10th anniversary of the opening of the
museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
A diverse and multifaceted cultural and educational enterprise,
the National Museum of the American Indian is an active and visible
component of the Smithsonian Institution, the world's largest museum
complex. The NMAI cares for one of the world's most expansive collections
of Native artifacts, including objects, photographs, archives and
media covering the entire Western Hemisphere, from the Arctic Circle
to Tierra del Fuego.
For more information, visit www.nmai.si.edu.