Native News Network Staff in Native Currents. Discussion »
TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA Cherokees and visitors gather in Tahlequah this weekend to celebrate and commemorate the signing of the tribe's constitution that signifies the reunification of the Cherokee Nation government following the Trail of Tears. The festival showcases the best of Cherokee culture, history and hospitality.
This Weekend is About Celebrating and Reminding Everyone that Cherokees are Family
“This holiday also serves as a vibrant and living reminder of the historical sovereignty we enjoyed within Indian Territory, and zealously defend today in present day Oklahoma,”
said Principal Chief Bill John Baker.
“It reminds us that we are all Cherokee; we are all one.”
The spirit of togetherness is reminiscent of this year's Cherokee National Holiday theme,
From One Fire to a Proud Future, emphasizing the kinship and unity of all Cherokees. The weekend starts with the annual holiday parade and an address from the Principal Chief.
This year, Principal Chief Baker recognizes the perseverance and unity of the Cherokee people and credits the people for the strength of the Cherokee Nation.
“Our past is great, but our future is greater,”
“I am proud to stand here today and tell you the Cherokee Nation isn't just merely existing. We're prospering. The state of the Cherokee Nation is strong.”
The Cherokee Nation is a sovereign government representing more than 300,000 Cherokee citizens. The tribe employees more than 8,900 people in both government and business and 75 percent are tribal citizens. An independent report released late last year finds the Cherokee Nation has an impact of more than $1 billion on the state's economy.
Chief Baker says this weekend is about celebrating and reminding everyone that Cherokees are family and everyone should make the most out of the holiday.
“Whether this is your first holiday, or your fiftieth, let's remind ourselves we do come from one fire, and embody that indomitable Cherokee spirit,”
“This weekend, please take time to make sure that every stranger you meet walks away a friend, and every friend you meet walks away with a smile.”
posted September 4, 2012 7:10 am edt