Cherokee national holiday 2017

Cherokee national holiday 2017 DEFAULT

Cherokee Nation to celebrate 65th Cherokee National Holiday


PARADE: Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker and first lady Sherry Baker wave to the crowd during the 64th Cherokee National Holiday parade in 2016. (Anadisgoi photo)

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation will host the 65th Cherokee National Holiday this Labor Day weekend when more than 100,000 visitors travel to Tahlequah to experience the annual celebration of history, culture and art.

This year’s event is Sept. 1-3 and features more than 50 activities, including an intertribal powwow, parade, arts and crafts vendors, music and a variety of competitions.

This year’s Holiday theme is “Water is Sacred” and is a reminder that water has long been a symbol of healing for Cherokees. Over the past year, Cherokee Nation has put a renewed focus on preserving water rights and natural resources.

“The Cherokee National Holiday marks the largest annual homecoming of Cherokees and is a three-day celebration of our history and heritage. It’s something we all look forward to every summer,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker said. “From the world-famous powwow to the downtown parade, Cherokee cultural demonstrations to the traditional games, great food and wonderful music, there is something for everyone to experience. We encourage all people who are interested to come out and celebrate with us and enjoy Cherokee Nation’s renowned hospitality.”

The Cherokee National Holiday commemorates the signing of the Cherokee Nation Constitution in 1839, which re-established the tribe’s government in Indian Territory after forced removal from the Cherokees’ original homelands in the Southeast.

Several new events are on schedule for the 2017 Cherokee National Holiday, including three book-signings for “Cherokee National Treasures: In Their Own Words.” The Cherokee Heritage Center will host two of the signings, one on Aug. 19 and another on Sept. 3. The third book-signing will be Aug. 31 at the Cherokee Nation Gift Shop. The book gives readers an opportunity to get to know each Cherokee National Treasurer through their own stories. Several Cherokee National Treasures will be on hand to sign copies of the book, which can be purchased at the Cherokee Nation Gift Shop.

Cherokee stories featuring Robert Lewis will also be held Sept. 2 at the Diligwa Cherokee village at the Heritage Center. In addition, a Tribal Film Festival will be held at the Northeastern State University Jazz Lab on Sept. 1 and at the NSU Center for Performing Arts on Sept. 2.

Other events this year include the Jason Christie Children’s Fishing Derby, traditional food demonstrations, activities for children and elders, athletic events and more.

“Every year the Cherokee National Holiday serves as a homecoming for many of our citizens who travel from all across the world to celebrate our history and culture,” Community Tourism Manager Bayly Wright said. “There really is something for everyone to see and experience, whether they’ve been here year after year or are visiting for the very first time. We hope everyone will join us for this year’s Cherokee National Holiday in Tahlequah.”

Several marquee events are also set for the annual celebration. The Cherokee National Holiday parade travels down Muskogee Avenue in historic downtown Tahlequah and is the only parade to be announced in both Cherokee and English. It begins at 9:30 a.m. at the corner of Crafton Street and Muskogee Avenue. For those unable to attend, the parade will be broadcast in the Cherokee language on KTLQ AM 1350 radio.

Following the parade, Principal Chief Bill John Baker will give the State of the Nation Address at the Cherokee National Courthouse Square in downtown Tahlequah. The speech is a tradition at this site, dating back to the mid-1800s. Chief Baker’s address will provide highlights from the tribe’s past year.

The Cherokee National Holiday Intertribal Powwow is one of the most popular events of the weekend. This two-night event provides more than $35,000 in prize money for southern strait, northern traditional, fancy, jingle and other dance categories. The powwow begins at 5 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday with grand entry at 7 p.m. both nights.

For a complete list of events for the 65th Cherokee National Holiday, visit and click on the Cherokee National Holiday link and scroll to bottom for the Cherokee National Holiday events.

– Anadisgoi, Cherokee Nation News



Cherokee Nation is the sovereign government of the Cherokee people. We are the largest of three federally recognized Cherokee tribes and are based in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the capital of the Cherokee Nation. Our headquarters are located in the historic W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex, with sub-offices and service sites throughout Cherokee Nation’s 14-county jurisdictional area.

Originally located in the southeastern United States in parts of Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina, the Cherokee Nation was forced to relocate to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) in 1838 after gold was discovered in our homelands. The thousand-mile forced removal became known as the “Trail of Tears” and came at a cost of nearly 4,000 Cherokee lives through sickness and harsh travel conditions.

Today, Cherokee Nation is one of the largest employers in northeast Oklahoma and is the largest tribal nation in the country. As the governing body of the Cherokee people, the Cherokee Nation has the right to structure its own government and constitution; make and enforce its own laws; regulate business, land, environment, and wildlife; and impose taxes within the Cherokee Nation’s jurisdiction.

The Cherokee Nation also provides for the safety of its citizens, other residents and visitors through its law enforcement agency, the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service. The Marshal Service has jurisdiction over all tribal and trust land throughout the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction and is cross-deputized with more than 50 federal, state, county and city law enforcement offices to provide seamless services to everyone in the area.

The Cherokee Nation government, like the United States government, consists of three branches: legislative, executive and judicial. The three branches are separate and distinct, providing a checks-and-balance system. The tribe‘s business arm, Cherokee Nation Businesses, operates a variety of businesses, including gaming and manufacturing, and combined with tribal government figures, employ about 11,000 people in northeast Oklahoma. The Cherokee Nation’s total economic impact in Oklahoma in the fiscal year 2018 was $2.16 billion.

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Cherokee National Holiday

The Cherokee National Holiday is an annual event held each Labor Day weekend in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The event celebrates the September 6, 1839 signing of the Constitution of the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma after the Trail of TearsIndian removal ended.

Origins and activities[edit]

Originally begun in 1953, the event has grown into one of the largest festivals in Oklahoma, attracting in excess of 70,000 attendees coming from all over the United States. Many attendees are also tribal members of the "Five Civilized Tribes" (the Cherokee, and also the Chickasaws, the Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles). Others who routinely attend the event are the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians located in western North Carolina and also the United Keetowah Band which, like the Cherokee Nation, are headquartered in Tahlequah.

The holiday hosts many different cultural and artistic events such as a two-night intertribal pow wow, stickball, Cherokee marbles, horseshoes and cornstalk shoot tournaments, softball tournaments, rodeos, car and art shows, gospel singings, the annual Miss Cherokee pageant, the Cherokee National Holiday parade, and the annual "State of the Nation" address by the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

Celebration themes[edit]

Each year a committee chooses a new theme for the annual celebration. Some recent themes have included:

  • Cultivating Our Culture Language. Literacy. Lifeways. - (69th Annual) 2021
  • We the People of the Cherokee Nation: Celebrating Tribal Sovereignty - (68th Annual) 2020
  • Rising Together - (67th Annual) 2019
  • Family: A bridge to the future, a link to the past - (66th Annual) 2018
  • Water is Sacred - (65th Annual) 2017
  • Stewards of Our Land - (64th Annual) 2016
  • Reunion - (63rd Annual) 2015
  • Homes. Health. Hope. - (62nd Annual) 2014
  • Homes. Health. Hope. – (61st Annual) 2013
  • From One Fire to a Proud Future – (60th Annual) 2012
  • Jobs, Language and Community – (59th Annual) 2011
  • Happy, Healthy People – (58th Annual) 2010
  • Learn from all that I observe – (57th Annual) 2009
  • Planting the Seed Corn For Our Children's Future – (56th Annual) 2008
  • The Cherokee Nation Continues in Full Force and Effect – (54th Annual) 2006
  • Celebrating the State of Sequoyah – (53rd Annual) 2005
  • The Spirit of the Trail – (52nd Annual) 2004
  • The Strength of Our Nation – (51st Annual) 2003
  • Building One Fire – (50th Annual) 2002
  • Celebrating The Seven Clans – (49th Annual) 2001


Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the 68th Annual Cherokee National Holiday was a "virtual holiday". Many events still took place and spectators were able to watch online to see the Chief's State of the Nation address, Cherokee art show, Miss Cherokee competition, as well as, demonstrations of traditional games. However, events such as the annual parade, fishing derby, powwow, softball tournament, arts and crafts, food markets and vendors were canceled and set resume in 2021.[1]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

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National holiday 2017 cherokee

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