CN re-opens Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum
The Cherokee Nation in September purchased Sequoyah’s Cabin in Akins, Oklahoma, from the Oklahoma Historical Society. The tribe re-opened the site to the public on June 29 after making improvements. ARCHIVE
Amelia Hoskin, Cherokee Nation Chief of Staff Chuck Hoskin’s daughter, cuts a ribbon to officially re-open Sequoyah’s Cabin site near Akins, Oklahoma, as a CN-owned cultural site. In 2016, the tribe purchased the site from the state and has made some improvements to the property since then. Also taking part in the ceremony were Attorney General Todd Hembree, left, Dist. 6 Tribal Councilor Bryan Warner, Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr., Dist. 14 Tribal Councilor Keith Austin, Deputy Chief s. Joe Crittenden, At-Large Tribal Councilor Jack Baker, Dist. 2 Tribal Councilor Joe Byrd, Cherokee spiritual leader Crosslin Smith, Dist. 15 Tribal Councilor Janees Taylor and At-Large Tribal Councilor Wanda Hatfield. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Cherokee people from the Sequoyah County area attend a June 29 ceremony hosted by the Cherokee Nation to officially re-open Sequoyah’s Cabin to the public. The state sold the site to the CN in 2016. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Principal Chief Bill John Baker speaks during a June 29 ceremony to officially re-open Sequoyah’s Cabin as Cherokee Nation-owned cultural site. The CN purchased the site in 2016 from the state. The cabin is housed in the building in the background. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
AKINS, Okla. – After purchasing Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum in September from the Oklahoma Historical Society, Cherokee Nation representatives re-opened the site on June 29 with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting.
The ceremony allowed visitors to look at the site’s improvements. Travis Owens, Cherokee Nation Businesses Cultural Tourism director, said the improvements consist of new exhibits to the surrounding enclosure.
“So this cabin, with the refresh, had the opportunity to tell the Cherokee story, the story of Sequoyah, the development of the Cherokee language, artifacts from his life in addition to the cabin and then a little bit about Cherokee Nation today and the old settlers that inhabited the area,” he said.
To the left, as visitors enter the enclosure, is a new corner for children with activities to help them learn about the Cherokee syllabary and Sequoyah.
“There’s a great area inside that has hands-on activities for kids. So they can actually practice the Cherokee syllabary, they can put themselves in the perspective of a Cherokee storyteller with puppet animals and they can learn about the life of Sequoyah through a comic book from one of our Cherokee artists,” Owens said.
Zach Adair, the site’s cultural guide, said the improvements make the site more accurate to the Cherokee story.
“When they see us here we want to give them the right information. The state…had a lot of misinformation. It even had some moccasins in there that wasn’t even Cherokee, they were store bought. So people who came from out of state are taking that back with them and that’s what they think is Cherokee, so we’re trying to show you who he (Sequoyah) is,” Adair said.
Adair said the cabin itself is what standouts to him.
“It just amazes me. There was no chainsaws used at this time. This is all manpower,” he said. “It just amazes me about what he (Sequoyah) could do, what the human body could do. So I like the cabin just looking at all the axe marks and stuff like that that’s inside there.”
Sequoyah, also known as George Guess or George Gist, was born in Tennessee around 1778. He began experimenting with a syllabary for the Cherokee language and completed in the 1820s. After he finished it, literacy rates among Cherokees soared within a few years.
Sequoyah constructed the cabin in 1829. The homestead includes a one-room cabin and nearly 200 acres. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1966 and a National Literary Landmark in 2006 and it welcomes more than 12,000 visitors yearly.
The OHS acquired Sequoyah’s cabin in 1934, but in 2016 the state was no longer able to maintain the facility due to budget cuts. So the tribe bought the property for $100,000, according to a 2016 Cherokee Phoenix story. The story also states that CN officials were expected to give $300,000 in in-kind improvement to the facility for staffing and maintenance.
On June 29, Principal Chief Bill John Baker said anytime the tribe has an opportunity to purchase a site such as Sequoyah’s cabin it needs to be taken.
“It is a great jewel of the Cherokee Nation right here in Sequoyah County,” he said. “Seven generations from now our grandchildren will be coming to this spot realizing how great we were in 1820 and the presence we have here and one of our great Cherokee elders Sequoyah.”
CN Chief of Staff Chuck Hoskin said it’s the Cherokee people’s responsibility to make sure that Sequoyah Cabin’s and other such sites remain Cherokee.
“It’s our responsibility, as Cherokee people, to make sure that this site and others will forever and always remain Cherokee. That’s what it had begun and that’s what we’re here to continue,” he said.
Owens said the cabin is now part of the Cherokee Passport Program, which gives people admission to five museums for $15.
“With the acquisition of this we get a chance to give our visitors a great new opportunity to come explore not only this attraction but our other attractions at Cherokee Nation,” he said.
Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
For more information, visit www.visitcherokeenation.com
Akins, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ. -ᎤᏂᏩᏒ ᎣᏂ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏏᏉᏯ ᎤᏁᎳᏛ ᎤᏪᏘ ᎠᏍᏆᏂᎪᏗᏓᏅ ᎾᎿ ᏚᎵᏍᏗ ᎧᎸᎢ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ ᎠᏂᏃᎮᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎢᎤᏂᏍᏚᎢᏒᎢ ᎯᎠ ᎠᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᎾᎿ ᏕᎭᎷᏱ ᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᏐᏁᎵᏁ ᏃᎴ ᏓᏂᎳᏫᎬ ᎠᏊᎷᏍᏗ ᏚᏂᎦᎸᏒᎢ.
ᎯᎠ ᏓᏂᎳᏫᎬᎢ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎪᎸᏔᏅ ᎠᎾᏓᏩᏛᎯᏙ ᎤᏂᎪᎵᏰᎢᏓᏍᏗ ᎯᎠ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᎤᏃᏢᎯᏌᏅᎢ. Travis Owens, ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏁ ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏒᎢ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏃᏢᎯᏌᏅ ᏒᏍᏗᏓᏂ ᎢᏤ ᎤᏂᎪᏩᏛᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎾᎥ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏁ ᎨᏒᎢ.
“ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎯᎠ ᏣᏓᏁᎵ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏤᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏞᏅᏓᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎧᏃᎮᏗ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎧᏃᎮᏢᏅᎢ, ᎧᏃᎮᏢᏅᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏏᏉᏯ ᎤᎴᏂᏙᎸᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏚᏬᏢᏅ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᏗᎪᎵᏱᏙᏗ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏚᏬᏢᏁ ᎠᎴᏂᏙᎲ ᎠᎴ ᏫᎧᏁᏉᏓ ᎯᎠ ᎤᏁᎳᏛᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎦᏲᏟ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎧᏃᎮᏢ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎪᎯ ᎢᎦ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎡᏘ ᏣᏁᏢᎢ ᎠᎭᏂ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
ᎠᎦᏍᎦᏂ ᎢᏗᏢ, ᎠᎾᏓᏩᏛᎯᏙ ᏗᏂᏴᎲᎰ ᎠᏐᏴ, ᎾᎿ ᎢᏤ ᎤᏅᏏᏴ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᏧᎾᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᏗ ᎠᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎪ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏏᏉᏲ ᏚᏬᏢᏅ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏗᎪᎵᏱᏙᏗ.
“ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏔᎾ ᎤᏙᏢ ᎭᏫᎾᏓᏢ ᎾᎿ ᎢᎬᏩᎾᏛᏗ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ. ᎾᎿ ᎬᏩᎾᎵᏏᎾᎲᏍᏙᏗ ᏧᏃᏪᎶᏗᎢ ᏣᎳᎩᎭᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎡᎵᏊ ᎬᏩᎾᏓᏅᏖᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎬᏩᏂᏃᎮᏢᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᎬᏩᎾᏙᏗ ᎦᎾᏢᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎢᎾᎨ ᎡᏁᎢ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅ ᏚᏂᎾᎢ ᏗᎬᏩᎾᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎧᏃᎮᏢᏅ ᎤᏂᏃᎮᏗᎢ ᏓᏅᏗᏍᎬ ᎯᎠ ᎤᏂᎾᎥᎢ ᎬᏩᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏏᏉᏲ ᎤᎴᏂᏙᎸ ᎧᏃᎮᏢᏗ ᏓᏅᏗᏍᎬ ᎯᎠ ᏗᎪᏪᎵ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎩᎶ ᏧᏬᏢᏃᎯ ᎯᎠ ᏗᎪᏪᎵ ᏗᏟᎶᏍᏔᏅᎲᏍᎩ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ Owens.
Zach Adair, ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᏴᏫ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᏗᏘᏂᏙᎯ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏃᏢᎯᏌᏅ ᎢᎦ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏄᏩᏁ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎧᏃᏢᏗ.
“ᎾᏍᎩ ᏱᎪᎩᎪᎯ ᎠᎭᏂ ᎣᎦᏚᎵᏍᎪ ᏦᏥᏃᎯᏎᏗ ᏚᏳᎪᏛ ᎧᏃᎮᏢᏅᎢ. ᎯᎠ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ....... ᏍᏈᏓ ᎠᎲᎢ ᏚᏳᎪᏛ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᎧᏃᎮᏢᏅᎢ. ᏃᎴ ᏗᎳᏑᎶ ᏓᏝᎥ Ꮭ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎾᎳᏑᎶ ᏱᎨᏎ, ᏙᎯᏳ ᎣᏣᏁᎶᏗ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᏲᎬᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ Ꮎ ᏙᎯᏳ ᏏᏉᏯ ᎨᏒᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ Adair.
Adair ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎯᎠ ᎠᏓᏁᎸ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎬᏂᎨᏒ ᏂᎬᏁ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎤᎶᏒᎢ.
“ᎢᎦ ᏧᏍᏆᏂᎪᏍᎪ. ᏝᏃ ᎦᏅᏙᎩ ᎪᎢ ᏗᏂᎩᏍᏗᏍᎩ ᏱᏚᏂᎮ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ. ᏂᎦᏓ ᎤᏩᏌ ᎢᏳᏩᏁᎸ ᎨᏒᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎢᎦ ᏥᏍᏆᏂᎪᏍᎪ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎦ (ᏏᏉᏯ) ᎢᎬᏩᏛᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏴᏫ ᎢᎬᏩᏛᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ. ᎠᎩᎸᏉᏓ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏓᏁᎸᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎦᎷᏯᏍᏗ ᏕᎦᎷᏯᏍᏔᏅ ᏚᏙᏪᎳ ᎠᎴ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏂ.”
ᏏᏉᏯ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎠᎦᏅᏛ George Guess or George Gist, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏕᏅ ᏔᎾᏏ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎾᎿ 1778 ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ. ᎤᎴᏅᎲ ᎤᎦᏛᏂᏙᎲ ᎠᏁᎸᏗᏍᎬ ᎯᎠ ᏗᎪᏪᎶᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏚᏍᏆᏛ ᎾᎿ 1820 ᎢᎸᏢ ᎠᏟᎢᎵᏒ. ᎣᏂᏃ ᏚᏍᏆᏓ, ᏓᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬ ᎤᏓᎴᏅᎲ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏁᎲᎢ ᏚᎾᏕᎶᏆᎥ ᎢᎸᏍᎩ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ.
ᏏᏉᏯ ᎤᏁᏍᎨᎲᎢ ᎤᏁᎳᏗᏍᏗᎢ ᎾᎿ 1829. ᎯᎠ ᎤᏪᏅᏏ ᎠᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᏌᏊ ᎧᏅᏑᎵ ᎤᏓᏁᎳ ᎠᎴ ᎾᎠᏂᎨ 200 ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎨᏥᏁᎴ ᎾᎿ National Historic Landmark ᎾᎿ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏑᏓᎵᏍᎪᏑᏓᎵ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ ᎠᎴ National Literary Landmark ᎾᏍᎩ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏑᎵ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏕᎨᎦᏓᏂᎸᎪ ᎾᎿ ᎤᎪᏛ ᏔᎳᏚ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᎠᎾᏓᏩᏗᎯᏙ ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎨᏒᎢ.
ᎾᎿ OHS ᎤᎾᏤᎵ ᏄᏅᏁᎸ ᏏᏉᏯ ᎤᏪᏅᏒ ᎾᎿ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎯᏧᏈ ᏦᏍᎪᏅᎩ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏓᎳᏚ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎾᎿ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ Ꮭ ᎡᎵ ᎬᏩᎾᎦᏎᏍᏙᏗ ᏱᎨᏎ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏕᎳ ᏕᎨᏥᏁᎲ ᎨᏥᎦᎵᏎᎸ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᎤᏂᏩᏒ ᎦᏙᎢ ᎾᎿ 100,000 ᎤᎾᏈᏴᎲᎢ, ᏚᎾᏙᎵᏤᎲ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏓᎳᏚ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎴᎯᏌᏅ ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎧᏃᎮᏢ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎪᏪᎸ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎤᏚᎩ ᎨᎬᎾᏁᎲ ᎾᎿ 300,000 ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᏳᏅᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎠᎴ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᎬᏁᎵᏓᏍᏙᏗ.
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏕᎭᎷᏱ 29, ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ Bill John Baker ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᏊ ᎢᏴ ᏯᏝᏅᏓᏗ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᎤᏂᏩᎯᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎢᏳᏍᏗᏍᏓᏂ ᎤᏛᎾ ᏏᏉᏯ ᎤᏁᎳᏛ ᎢᎩᎭ ᎢᎩᏩᎯᏍᏗᎢ.
“ᎢᎦᏃ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎯᎠ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏃᏊ ᎠᎭᏂ ᏏᏉᏯ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎦᎵᏉᎩ ᎢᏳᎾᏓᏁᏟᏴᏓ ᏂᏓᏳᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᏧᎾᏓᎵᏏ ᎠᏂᎷᎨᏍᏗ ᎠᎭᏂ ᎠᎾᏕᎶᎰᏍᎬᏍᏗ ᎢᎦ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎨᎡ ᎾᎿ 1820 ᎠᎴ ᏃᏊ ᏥᎩ ᎢᎨᎭ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏌᏊ ᎢᎦ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᎦᏴᎵ ᏏᏉᏯ .”
ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ ᎠᏂᏅ ᎠᎵᏍᏕᎸᎯᏙ Chuck Hoskin ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎤᏂᎭ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏙᎯᏳ ᎨᏒ ᏏᏉᏯ ᎤᏁᎳᏛ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏐᎢ ᏧᏠᏯ ᏓᏓᏁᎸ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏂᎦᏯᎢᏐ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎨᏒᎢ.
“ᎠᏯ ᎢᎦᏘᏰ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ, ᏙᎯᏳ ᎠᎦᏎᏍᏙᏗ ᎯᎠ ᎤᏙᎷᏒ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏐᎢ ᏂᎪᎯᎸ ᎠᎴ ᏂᎪᎯᎸ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏄᏍᏗ ᎤᏓᎴᏅᎯ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᏍᏕᏍᏗ ᏂᎦᏯᎢᏎᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᏍᏕᏍᏗ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
Owens ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᎠᏓᏁᎸ ᏃᏊ ᎨᎳ ᎠᏣᎳᎩ Passport Program, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏓᏁᎰ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎤᏂᏴᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎯᏍᎩ museums for 15.00.
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᏂᎩᏒ ᎯᎠ ᎢᎦᏞᏅᏓᏕ ᏗᏗᏁᏗ ᎨᎩᏩᏛᎯᏙ ᎢᏤ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏅ ᎤᏂᎦᏖᎾᏍᏗ ᏝᏙ ᎤᏬᏚᏒ ᎤᏩᏌ ᎾᏍᎩᏍᎩᏂ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᎤᎳᏗᏢ ᏗᏐᎢ ᏚᏙᏢᏒ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
ᏏᏉᏯ ᎤᏁᎳᏛ ᎤᏪᏘ ᎠᏍᏆᏂᎪᏔᏅᎲᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᏍᏚᎢᏎᏍᏗ ᏍᎪᎯ ᏌᎾᎴ. ᎾᎿ ᏅᎩ ᏒᎯᏰᏯ ᎢᎪᎯᏓ. ᏔᎵᏁᎢᎦ ᎠᎴᏂᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᏙᏓᏈᏕᎾ ᎢᎪᎯᏓ.
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