Students get glimpse of Cherokee history and culture
Students from Brushy Elementary School in Sallisaw, Okla., play a game of stickball during the Cherokee Heritage Center’s Indian Territory Days on March 29 in Park Hill, Okla. TODD CROW/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Two young boys learn to weave traditional Cherokee baskets during the Cherokee Heritage Center’s annual Indian Territory Days on March 29 in Park Hill, Okla. TODD CROW/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Face-painting of traditional Cherokee designs was one of several activities for students to participate in at the Cherokee Heritage Center’s annual Indian Territory Days on March 29 in Park Hill, Okla. TODD CROW/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden, left, and Principal Chief Bill John Baker, third from left, look on as volunteers from Talking Leaves Job Corps teach students how to properly shoot a blowgun at the Cherokee Heritage Center’s Indian Territory Days on March 29 in Park Hill, Okla. TODD CROW/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
PARK HILL, Okla. – The Cherokee Heritage Center held its annual Indian Territory Days March 29-30, showing young students from all over northeast Oklahoma and surrounding areas a glimpse at the history, culture and lifestyle of Cherokees living in Indian Territory.
“Basically, the idea is, with the mission of the Cherokee Heritage Center, which is to preserve, promote and teach Cherokee history and culture,” CHC Development Director Penny Moore said. “So having students come out, young students, they have the opportunity to see what our history and culture is all about.”
Moore said the event was expected to bring in more than 360 students from ages 4 to 13 on the first day alone, and more than 600 students throughout the two days. Those students were able to participate in more than 16 stations, including stickball, blowguns, basket weaving, cultural storytelling, cooking demonstrations, marbles and more.
Greg McCoy, a teacher’s assistant at Brushy Elementary School in Sallisaw, said he recently started teaching a class once or twice a week on Cherokee culture and history. McCoy was one of several teachers to take a group of students to Indian Territory Days.
“It’s to help educate my students there at Brushy to their Cherokee heritage, to see how the people lived back in the 1800s, 1850s, 1890s, how the Cherokee people used to live,” McCoy said. “They like the blowgun activity. They like that, and of course, they like the stickball.”
Along with the blowguns and stickball, Moore said the crafts are always a hit at the event, primarily because anything students they can take home.
“What I think the favorite part in terms of any of the crafts is that the student, whether it’s an adult student or young student, we get to take the craft home with us,” Moore said. “To me, the favorite part is creating a craft, doing the hand craft. I think that’s a lot of fun, and then be able to take it home and tell the story about it.”
Although some of the event’s workers were CHC employees, many were volunteers from around the Cherokee community, Moore said.
“The majority of them are Cherokee Nation members, and so they’re very familiar with the traditional and historical, cultural activities that are done here at the center,” Moore said.
Principal Chief Bill John Baker and Deputy Chief S. Joe Crittenden were present to take part in the event as well, walking around and encouraging students as they used the blowguns and played stickball.
“An event like this, as the chief and council, we take oath to promote the culture, heritage and language of the Cherokee Nation,” Baker said. “This is a day that we can get 400 kids out to see how things were hundreds of years ago, and they get to shoot the blowguns, they get to play marbles, they hear the old stories of our storytellers. It’s a great opportunity to pass on our story.”
ᎠᏭᏂᏴᏍᏗ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ.– Ꮎ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᏧᎾᏓᎴᏅ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᏂᏍᏆᎸᎡᎰ ᎾᎿ ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎢᏳᏓᎵ ᎤᏔᎳᏔ ᎢᎦ ᎠᏃᏎᎰ ᎠᏅᏱ ᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᏐᏁᎳ --ᏦᏍᎪᎯᏁ ᎢᎪᎯᏓ ᏔᎵ ᎢᎦ ᎤᏂᏍᏆᎸᎡᎰᎢ. ᏓᏂᎪᏩᏛᏗᏍᎪ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᏂᎬ ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ ᏂᏙᏓᏳᏂᎶᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎦᏲᏟ ᎠᏂᎪᏩᏗᏍᎪ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏂᏙᎸ, ᏄᎾᏛᏁᎸ ᎠᎴ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎤᎾᏕᏅ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏔᎳᏔ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ.
“ᎠᏓᎴᏂᏍᎩ, ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ, ᏄᏍᏛ ᎤᏂᎲ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏗ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎾᏓᎴᏅ ᎠᏰᎵ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏍᏆᏂᎪᏗᏍᎬ, ᎤᏂᏃᎮᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏧᎾᏕᏲᏗ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏄᎾᏛᏁᎸᎢ,” ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎾᏓᎴᏅ ᎠᏰᎵ.
ᏚᏙᎳᏩᏗᏒ ᏗᏘᏂᏙᎯ Penny Moore ᎠᏗᏍᎬ. “ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᏓᏂᎷᎪ,ᎤᎾᏝᏅᏓᏕᎰ ᎤᏂᎪᏩᏛᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎤᎾᏕᏅᎢ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ.”
Moore ᎤᏛᏅ ᎾᏍᎾ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎲ ᎠᏂᎦᏖᏃᎲ ᎾᎿ ᏦᎢᏧᏈ ᏑᏓᎵᏍᎪ ᏯᏂ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎢᏧᎾᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏅᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏦᎦᏚ ᎢᏍᏔ ᎢᎬᏱ ᎢᎦ ᎤᏂᎷᏨ ᎤᏩᏌ, ᎠᎴ ᏑᏓᎵᏧᏢ ᏯᏂ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏔᎵ ᎢᎦ ᎨᏒᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᏯᏂᎢ ᎤᏂᎦᏖᏃᎸ ᎾᎿ ᏓᎳᏚ ᏂᏕᎦᏍᎩᎸ ᎤᏂᏝᎾᎣ, ᎬᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᎠᎳᏍᎦᎸᏗ, ᏚᏇᏍᏗ, ᏔᎷᏣ ᏗᎪᏢᏗ, ᎤᏪᏘ ᎧᏃᎮᏢᏅ ᎠᏂᏃᎮᏢᏍᎬᎢ, ᎠᏓᏍᏓᏴᏗ ᎠᏂᏃᎮᏍᎩ, ᏗᎦᏓᏲᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏭᎪᏛ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ.
Greg McCoy, ᏗᏕᏲᎲᏍᎩ ᎠᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ Brushy ᏧᎾᏍᏗ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏌᎷᏂᎨᏴ, ᎤᏛᏅ ᎾᏞᎬ ᎤᎴᏅᏓ ᏕᎨᏲᎲᏍᎬ ᏌᏊ ᎠᎴ ᏔᎵ ᎢᏳᏩᎪᏛ ᏒᎾᏙᏓᏆᏍᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏂᏙᎸ, McCoy ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏓᏘᏃᎯᎲ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎤᏔᎳᏔ ᎢᎪᎯ.
“ᏗᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᏕᎦᏘᏁᎲ ᎤᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ Brushy ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᏍᏛ ᏧᏂᎶᏒ, ᎤᏂᎪᏩᏛᏗ ᏄᏍᏛ ᏚᎾᏁᎳᏛ ᎾᎿ ᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏐᏁᎳᏍᎪ ᏚᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᏓᏂᏁᎸᎢ,” ᎤᏛᏅ McCoy. “ᎤᏂᎸᏉᏛ ᎾᎿ ᏚᏇᏍᏗ ᏓᏂᏍᏓᏲᎯᎲ. ᎠᎴ ᎠᎾᎳᏍᎦᎵᎲᎢ.”
ᎤᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏚᏇᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎾᏁᏦᏍᎬ, ᎤᏛᏅ Moore ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏃᏢᏅᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏍᏆᏂᎪᏛ ᎨᏐ, ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎡᎵᏊ ᎬᏩᏂᏫᏓ ᎨᏒ ᏙᏧᏁᏅᏒᎢ.
“ᏄᏍᏛ ᎦᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬ ᏭᏂᎸᏉᏛ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏃᏢᏅᏅ, ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏧᎾᏔᏂᏓ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏧᎾᏍᏗᎢ ᎤᏠᏯ, ᎣᏥᏫᏗᏍᎪ ᎪᏢᏅᏅᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Moore. “ᎠᏯ ᎨᏒ, ᎠᏃᏢᏅᏍᎬ ᎠᎩᎸᏉᏓ, ᏦᏬᏰᎾ ᏗᎬᏙᏗ. ᎤᏬᎸᏙ ᎣᏤᏙᎰ, ᎠᎴ ᎣᏥᏫᏗᏍᎪ ᏬᏥᏃᎮᏍᎪᎢ.”
ᎢᎦᏓᏃ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎨᏒ, ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᎠᎾᎵᏍᎪᎸᏗᏍᎪ ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᏚᏙᏢᏒ ᏂᏙᏓᏳᏂᎶᏒ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Moore.
“ᎤᏂᎪᏛ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᏁᎳ ᎠᏂᎦᏙᎰ ᎦᏳᎳ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᏍᏛ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏂᏙᎸ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏁᎲ ᎠᎴ ᏄᏍᏛ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎲ ᎠᎭᏂ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ Moore.
ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ Bill John Baker ᎠᎴ ᏔᎵᏁ ᎠᏓᎴᏁᎯ Joe Crittenden ᎢᏧᎳ ᎠᏁᏙᎲ ᎠᏁᎳᏗᏙᎲ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎲᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᏓᎾᏟᏃᎮᏗᏍᎬ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᏓᏂᏂᎳᏕᎲ ᎢᏳᏍᏓ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎲ ᎤᎵᏍᎨᏓ ᎨᏒᎢ ᏚᏇᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎾᏁᏦᏍᎩᎢ.
“ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎯᎠ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎲ, ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏂᎳᏫᎩ, ᎢᏓᏚᏓᎸᏍᎪ ᏗᎦᏕᏲᏗ ᏄᏍᏛ ᏯᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎾᎿ ᏗᎦᏓᎴᏅ ᎠᎴ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Baker. “ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎯᎠ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎲ ᏚᏂᏍᏆᎸᎡᎲ ᎡᎵᏊ ᏅᎩᏧᏈ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᏯᏂᎷᎦ ᏯᏂᎪᏩᏔ ᏥᏄᏍᏕ ᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᎾᏕᏘᏯ ᏥᎨᏎᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᏚᏇᏍᏗ ᏓᏂᏍᏓᏲᏍᏗᏍᎬ, ᏗᎦᏓᏲᏍᏗ ᏓᎾᏁᎶᎲᏍᎬᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎪᎯᎦ ᏗᎧᏃᎮᏢᏅ ᏓᎾᏛᎩᏍᎪᎢ. ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᏠᏅᏓᏗᏍᎪ ᏗᎧᏃᎮᏗ ᎪᎯᎦ ᏥᎨᏒ ᏧᏂᏃᎮᏗᎢ ᏂᎦᏯᎢᏐᏊ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗᎢ.