Cherokee National Historical Society to transfer ownership to Cherokee Nation

BY STAFF REPORTS
09/14/2020 11:00 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
The Cherokee Heritage Center in Park Hill was established in 1963 by the Cherokee National Historical Society to preserve and promote the Cherokee culture. It is home to the Cherokee National Archives, which is the Cherokee Nation’s foremost collection of historic tribal-related documents and cultural treasures from the 1700s through present day. COURTESY
PARK HILL – The Cherokee National Historical Society announced Sept. 11 its plans to partner with the Cherokee Nation on a strategic plan for the long-term success of the organization.

According to a CN press release, the plan requires legislation that would dissolve the current CNHS and transfer all assets to the CN, including the Cherokee Heritage Center. 

The legislation would also create a CNHS under CN laws to provide continued oversight and guidance for the facility and its holdings, the release states.

“This is a strategic move for CHC that will better align the organization for long-term sustainability and future growth,” said Brenda Partain, CNHS board of trustees president. “Our board of trustees has worked diligently on this plan, and we believe in what CHC has to offer. This is the next step to advance our mission and position the organization as the world-class facility it can be. We appreciate the support and guidance we’ve received from (Principal) Chief (Chuck) Hoskin (Jr.) and his executive team and look forward to taking the next step.”

The CHC was established in 1963 by the CNHS to preserve and promote the Cherokee culture. It is home to the Cherokee National Archives, which is the CN’s foremost collection of historic tribal-related documents and cultural treasures from the 1700s through present day.

“The Cherokee Heritage Center and its holdings are the heart of our rich history as Cherokees, and it is our responsibility and our privilege to ensure its success for generations to come,” Hoskin said. “Our stories, our history, our culture all live here and thrive today because of the important work the CHC does each and every day. Our plan will enable more resources to flow to the Cherokee Heritage Center to help it become the type of world-class institution that we all envision.”

The CNHS unanimously endorsed the proposed legislation earlier in the week, the release states. It also states that Hoskin and CNHS trustees briefed CHC staff members on the plan. The legislation is expected to be taken up by the Tribal Council for its Sept. 24 Rules Committee and a special Tribal Council meeting later that day.

Once legislation is approved, the transition is expected to be complete by the end of the year and will be seamless to the public and staff, the release states.

It also states that the organization had planned to reopen to the public beginning Sept. 18 with enhanced safety measures such as physical distancing, limited occupancy and additional cleaning and sanitization. In addition, guests and employees will be asked to complete a brief health screening and a noninvasive temperature check.

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