From our original homeland in eastern North America, Cherokees have moved all over the world. Wherever we go, our Cherokee identity goes with us. A new virtual event series aims to strengthen those bonds. The series, called “Cherokee: Wherever We Are,” will bring Cherokees together from around the globe to celebrate our rich traditions, history, language and culture.  

Many of our 390,000 Cherokee Nation citizens are spread across the country, and we typically have robust travels to visit Cherokee groups organized within the Community & Cultural Outreach department. Like many things, those visits have been tabled during the pandemic. However, Cherokees have always been innovative and resilient, so we have devised new ways to form connections. 

The online “Cherokee: Wherever We Are” series will be held monthly. The first one, on April 24, features Cherokees ages 18-35, who represent the present and future of Cherokee Nation. The participants discuss modern Cherokee art, activism and engagement, and history. We talk about the Remember the Removal Ride from its first year to the present, Cherokee leadership values and how the Cherokee Nation impacts our lives.

Future dates and topics include: 

· On May 15, we’ll have a conversation on the state of the pandemic. We’ll share the most recent information on the pandemic within the CN and our plan for moving forward. The program will feature health updates and dialogue with nurses and doctors in the CN Health System about their experiences on the front lines of combatting this disease. We’ll explore our government’s response, relief programs, vaccination efforts and how the tribe and Cherokee families are recovering. 

· On June 12, we’ll profile CN outdoor recreation and how Cherokees strengthen bonds with each other in the great outdoors. We’ll discuss conservation, hunting and fishing, and the connections of sport, traditions, animals and the land. I look forward to enlightening conversation on how best to preserve and enjoy the land, wildlife, air and water.

· On July 17 will be a program dedicated to the strong women of the CN. We will honor Cherokee women who strengthened our tribe throughout history and who remain the backbone of the CN today. This event will feature multiple generations of Cherokee women. 

Additional events will be held Aug. 7, Sept. 18, Oct. 16 and Nov. 20. All information about how to stream and participate will be posted on the CN’s social media platforms.  

Travel and migration have long been important to the Cherokee people, but no matter how far we go, it’s just as important to maintain our bonds with each other. That’s why I and the rest of the team at the CN have prioritized connecting in virtual space to discuss our collective history and our shared future. 

Cherokee families come in all shapes and sizes. We work in diverse careers and live everywhere from our reservation in northeast Oklahoma to the far corners of the globe. But since time immemorial, we remain one CN. We celebrate each other and our traditions as Cherokees, wherever we are.