Friday, August 17, 2018

Cherokee Book Has Local Roots

The Cherokee National Holiday is around the corner, on the Labor Day holiday, and with it comes the official release of the new book “Cherokee Nation: A History of Survival, Self Determination and Identity.”

“This is the first book of its kind to have the full support of the Cherokee Nation,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “Our Cherokee values have enabled us to withstand every dark chapter and celebrate every positive milestone throughout time, and we are stronger today than ever before. That history is an important part of who we are as Cherokee people, and this book provides an unprecedented opportunity to share our story.”

The book takes readers through the challenges and opportunities that have shaped the largest tribal nation in the United States. From ancient traditions and self-governance to survival and a return to self-determination, the Cherokee Nation’s strong sense of identity is undeniable.

Spanning more than four centuries, the narrative emphasizes individual leadership, the struggle for internal unity, and the fight against the forces that attempted to destroy the sovereignty of the Cherokee Nation.

As part of the book release celebration, the tribe will host two book signings during its annual homecoming celebration on Saturday, Sept. 1.

-1 to 3 p.m.
Cherokee Nation Gift Shop 
17725 S. Muskogee Ave
Tahlequah, OK 74464

-3:30 to 5 p.m. 
Descendants of Nancy Ward meeting
Cherokee Nation Tribal Complex
17675 S. Muskogee Ave
Tahlequah, OK 74464

Cherokee Nation published the book, which was coauthored by Dr. Bob Blackburn, Dr. Neil Morton and the late Dr. Duane King.

Blackburn has served as the executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society since 1999. He was instrumental in planning and building the Oklahoma History Center and played a critical role in Cherokee Nation’s reacquisition of Sequoyah’s Cabin in 2016. The well-known historian has authored nearly 20 books on the state’s history and continues to preserve and share Oklahoma’s rich history.

Morton is a longtime Adair county educator who has served in many roles, such as teacher, superintendent, university professor and more. In 2014 he was named a Sequoyah Fellow by Northeastern State University, allowing him to serve as an advisor to the university’s Native American programs. Morton currently serves as Cherokee Nation’s education services senior advisor.

King was an ambassador for Tulsa’s Gilcrease Museum and most recently served as the executive director of its Helmrich Center of American Research. He was instrumental in the construction of the research center, which opened in 2014, and was nationally recognized as an expert on American Indian history. King passed away in September of 2017, just before the publication of this book.

“Many people are familiar on some level of the Cherokee narrative, but what these historians have created is as unique as it is authoritative,” said Cherokee Nation Chief of Staff Chuck Hoskin. “The authors have devoted their professional and personal lives to education, to the Cherokee Nation and to northeast Oklahoma. They are Cherokee history experts and will forever be respected as friends of the Cherokee Nation.”

Design, graphics and layout were provided by Cherokee Nation citizen Roy Boney Jr. Cover artwork is of “Going Snake’s Trail” by Cherokee Nation citizen Daniel HorseChief, Sequoyah County artist, courtesy of Cherokee Nation Businesses. Additional artwork and images were provided through partnerships with Gilcrease Museum, Oklahoma Historical Society and Cherokee National Historical Society.

To purchase a copy of “Cherokee Nation: A History of Survival, Self Determination and Identity,” visit any Cherokee Nation Gift Shop or You can also purchase from Amazon, EBSCO, Oklahoma Historical Society, Gilcrease Museum, Magic City book store in Oklahoma City and Full Circle Bookstore in Tulsa.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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