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Cherokee Nation citizen Tad Dunham, right, with his wife Linda at their homestead in Eucha, hold a plate of morel mushrooms found on their property. Morels are a springtime favorite among Cherokees in northeast Oklahoma. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Almost blending into their surroundings, morel mushrooms are found on the forest floor and sprout when warmer temperatures enable them to grow, most likely at the beginning of April. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee Nation citizen Tad Dunham picks a morel mushroom on his property in Eucha. He tears the mushroom from its stem but leaving some to grow for next year. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Picked and cleaned morel mushrooms are ready to be prepped and cooked. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
As shown, morel mushrooms can be cooked in different ways. Cherokee Nation citizen Tad Dunham cooks his mushrooms in a smothered meat dish using round steak, sautéed morels, peppers, onions with golden mushroom soup and brown gravy mix. He also deep fries them using flour, salt and pepper. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Morels are mushrooms that grow in the spring and are well-liked by Cherokees.
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Kayli Gonzales, of Welling, gets back on the road after a break on May 19 during a training ride. She and 10 other cyclists from the Cherokee Nation will leave on May 28 for Cherokee, North Carolina, where they will meet and train with cyclists from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians before riding from New Echota, Georgia, on June 2 to begin the 950-mile “Remember the Removal” ride. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Sydnie Pierce, of Locust Grove, laughs with teammates during a water and snack break on May 5. The day before, the team completed 70 miles of cycling to qualify to go on the annual bicycle ride that retraces the Northern Route of the Trail of Tears and received their kits or uniforms that Pierce is wearing. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Mentor rider Kevin Stretch, of Fort Gibson, left, helps fellow mentor rider Marie Eubanks, center, and “Remember the Removal” trainer Sarah Holcomb install a tube into a tire to fix a flat during an April 27 training ride. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
“Remember the Removal” cyclist Steven Shade picks up speed after a break during a March 17 training ride in Cherokee County. The 11 “RTR” cyclists trained as a group every weekend beginning in December and were expected to train on their own on weekdays. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Four “Remember the Removal” cyclists discuss what it’s been like training and preparing for the ride to retrace the Northern Route of the Trail of Tears.
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TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation and the Cherokee National Historical Society are partnering again with Blue Star Families to provide free admission to active duty military personnel and their families at CN museums and the Cherokee Heritage Center that began with National Armed Forces Day on May 18 and continuing through Labor Day.
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The Cherokee Heritage Center receives $10,000 in grants for new artists in its interactive exhibits.
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The free exhibit will be divided into separate sections and focus on government happenings at the time of Cherokee removal, stories and personal letters from as recently as the 1960s. Binders with the documents in both Cherokee and English will be available for viewing.
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In July, Cherokee National Treasures will host their annual student art show.
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Mike Crowe, 36, on March 28 stands outside the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee, North Carolina. Crowe has spent years promoting the Cherokee culture in the outdoor drama “Unto These Hills,” which tells the Cherokee story from 1780 to the 21st century. CHAD HUNTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Richard Saunooke, 73, works on a leather hunting bag on March 28 in Cherokee, North Carolina. Saunooke has been creating historically accurate Native American dress and crafts for more than five decades. CHAD HUNTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Jarrett Wildcatt, 24, uses hemp to weave a bag on March 28 at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in North Carolina. CHAD HUNTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
CHEROKEE, N.C. – Experts who specialize in Cherokee history, storytelling, dance and artistry are preserving their tribal ways in western North Carolina and Tennessee.
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The “Breaking the Silence: #MMIW #MeToo” art exhibit sits in the mezzanine on the second floor of the John Vaughan Library on the Northeastern State University campus in Tahlequah. The exhibit was set to run the entire month of April in conjunction with the 47th annual Symposium on the American Indian. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
“Lost, Stolen, Never forgotten” submitted by Megan McDermott (Blackfeet/Plains Cree) depicts a girl amid dying trees and in a field of poppies, a metaphor for the link between girls and women and drug trafficking is one of several art pieces in the “Breaking the Silence: #MMIW #MeToo” art exhibit in the John Vaughan Library at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Angelina Pakali York (Choctaw) submitted “Lost, Missing, Murdered Sisters,” a colored graphite/pencil/marker drawing in remembrance of Native women taken from their families in the “Breaking the Silence: #MMIW #MeToo” art exhibit. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
The show displays pieces submitted by Northeastern State University students as well as local and nationwide artists.
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Cherokee artist Elaine Hughes says she often walks through the lands around Tahlequah to find feathers, clays and other traditional mediums for her pieces. Hughes is the Cherokee Phoenix’s second quarter giveaway artist. D. SEAN ROWLEY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Elaine Hughes donates jewelry pieces for Cherokee Phoenix’s second quarter giveaway.
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Tahlequah High School junior Macey Conner stands next to her winning artwork on April 5 at the annual Trail of Tears Art Show inside the Cherokee Heritage Center. CHAD HUNTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Daniel HorseChief poses with his award-winning painting “Renewal” at the 48th annual Trail of Tears Art Show on April 5 at the Cherokee Heritage Center. CHAD HUNTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee National Treasure Troy Jackson poses with his grand-prize winning sculpture “Faith in the Creator” on April 5 at the annual Trail of Tears Art Show at the Cherokee Heritage Center. CHAD HUNTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Emma Sherron, 14, on April 5 stands next to her woven wall hanging at the annual Trail of Tears Art Show. Sherron was the Cherokee Art Market Youth Competition’s top winner. CHAD HUNTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
A close-up look at Troy Jackson’s sculpture “Faith in the Creator.” The piece won the Trail of Tears Art Show’s grand prize. CHAD HUNTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Paintings are displayed on April 5 at the Cherokee Heritage Center for the annual Trail of Tears Art Show & Sale. CHAD HUNTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Sally Sutton examines artwork at the 48th annual Trail of Tears Art Show. CHAD HUNTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee National Treasure Vivian Garner Cottrell crafted the winning basket at this year’s Trail of Tears Art Show. CHAD HUNTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Troy Jackson, who was also the Trail of Tears Art Show grand prize winner, created this year’s winning pot. CHAD HUNTER/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
PARK HILL – A collection of Native American painters, sculptors, basket weavers, potters and more inspired onlookers at this year’s annual Trail of Tears Art Show and Sale.

“I wouldn’t want to be judging this,” reception attendee Sally Sutton said. “There are too many good pieces.”

Art show winners were announced April 5 during a reception at the Cherokee Heritage Center.

“I’m in awe,” Principal Chief Bill John Baker told the artists and others. “We’ve never had this big a crowd, and the quality of artwork is absolutely stunning. You are doing such a great service to the Cherokee Nation because those pieces of artwork are telling stories. They are going to be pieces that our generations will look at so that we’re never forgotten.”
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Cherokee Nation citizen Winnie Guess Purdue portrays the lead character in the award-winning short film “Nanyehi.’
The film will be inducted into the Oklahoma Movie Hall of Fame on April 20 at the Roxy Theater in Muskogee.
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