Scripps News LifeHolidays and Celebrations

Actions

Cherokee Officials Expect Record-Breaking National Holiday Attendance

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. says the celebration is all about honoring ancestors of the past and today's equality.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.
Posted at 11:31 AM, Nov 18, 2022

The 70th annual Cherokee National Holiday begins this weekend in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The holiday celebrates the signing of the 1839 Cherokee Nation constitution. And to many, there's no prouder time to be Cherokee.Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. says 1839 was a pivotal time in Cherokee History."Cherokee people were divided politically," he said. "We endured a great deal of trauma because of our forced removal along the Trail of Tears. And then that effort to unify the nation resulted in our constitution. And so that's what we celebrate when we celebrate the Cherokee National Holiday."

This is the first time the holiday will be fully in-person since the pandemic. During his State of the Nation Speech, Hoskin Jr. will drive home the message of equality among Cherokees and Freedmen, which is something his administration has worked hard on. 

"This is really about honoring our ancestors' commitment over 150 years ago in the Treaty of 1866. So we're really giving honor to our ancestors. And we're committing ourselves to equality," he continued.National Holiday will feature traditional games like chunkey, blowgun and stickball, a powwow, Cherokee artisan market with 200 vendors and a parade that's in both Cherokee and English on Saturday. 

"That journey down that parade route just kind of drives home," Hoskin Jr. said. "The Cherokee Nation is a huge tribe, lots of people. We all have this connection. And I think focusing on the parade and the joy that people have, that's really fun for me. But there's a lot to do at the Cherokee National Holiday. It's a big weekend."Cherokee Nation officials are expecting record-breaking attendance for the holiday throughout the weekend.