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Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma

"Stop" in Cherokee
"Stop" in Cherokee

How can you stay in the U.S. and yet be in another nation?

You can in Cherokee Nation, located outside Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the state's northeastern corner.

The Cherokee had been based chiefly in North Carolina until the early 1800s, when the federal government forced them to accept a portion of land in what’s now Oklahoma. Their story is a story of more than surviving: they are thriving.

Tahlequah is the capitol of Cherokee Nation. You’ll want to start your exploration of the nation at the Cherokee Heritage Center. Along with a museum, there are two distinct villages: One is a replica of an ancient Cherokee village, when the tribe resided out East. The second is Adams Village, a replica of a pre-statehood Cherokee community. Both villages have craftspeople on site demonstrating period Cherokee ways of life. Partake of a buffet with a Cherokee flair at the Restaurant of the Cherokees. Tahlequah is also home to the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum and the Cherokee National Prison Museum.

The Gilcrease Museum boasts one of the major collections of art and historical documents of the American West, much of which naturally directly concerns Native American tribes. Some of the most iconic paintings of Native Americans were collected by part Muscogee-Creek Thomas Gilcrease. Gilcrease did okay with his assigned land portion – it became part of the first major petroleum discovery in Oklahoma.

Not everyone knows that famed entertainer/journalist/philosopher Will Rogers was from a prominent Cherokee family. You can visit his birthplace and a memorial museum where he’s buried in the towns of Oologah and Claremore. Rogers’ birthplace – one of the only surviving pre-statehood buildings – remains a working ranch, with RV hookups, a barn available for parties and a grass airstrip. The memorial museum has an exact reproduction of his studio and a research library, plus lots of movie memorabilia.

The George M. Murrell home in Park Hill belonged to a man who married the niece of Cherokee chief John Ross. The historic property includes land that’s being tended by members of the tribe, growing heirloom veggies, fruits and herbs important to the area.

Casinos have been an important revenue source for many native tribes, and the Cherokee are no exception. They are part owners of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. The hotel has several restaurants for every budget, A-list rock, country and comedy acts, and an award-winning golf course. The place is rockin’, for sure, but also retains a distinct Cherokee flavor.

At the Hard Rock, the Cherokee Gallery exhibits high-end art and handmade crafts. The Wild Potato Buffet – named after one of the Cherokee clans – serves items containing the all-important “Three Sisters”: corn, beans, squash. You’ll also find items with both Southern and Southwestern flavors.

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"Stop" in Cherokee
"Stop" in Cherokee

How can you stay in the U.S. and yet be in another nation?

You can in Cherokee Nation, located outside Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the state's northeastern corner.

The Cherokee had been based chiefly in North Carolina until the early 1800s, when the federal government forced them to accept a portion of land in what’s now Oklahoma. Their story is a story of more than surviving: they are thriving.

Tahlequah is the capitol of Cherokee Nation. You’ll want to start your exploration of the nation at the Cherokee Heritage Center. Along with a museum, there are two distinct villages: One is a replica of an ancient Cherokee village, when the tribe resided out East. The second is Adams Village, a replica of a pre-statehood Cherokee community. Both villages have craftspeople on site demonstrating period Cherokee ways of life. Partake of a buffet with a Cherokee flair at the Restaurant of the Cherokees. Tahlequah is also home to the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum and the Cherokee National Prison Museum.

The Gilcrease Museum boasts one of the major collections of art and historical documents of the American West, much of which naturally directly concerns Native American tribes. Some of the most iconic paintings of Native Americans were collected by part Muscogee-Creek Thomas Gilcrease. Gilcrease did okay with his assigned land portion – it became part of the first major petroleum discovery in Oklahoma.

Not everyone knows that famed entertainer/journalist/philosopher Will Rogers was from a prominent Cherokee family. You can visit his birthplace and a memorial museum where he’s buried in the towns of Oologah and Claremore. Rogers’ birthplace – one of the only surviving pre-statehood buildings – remains a working ranch, with RV hookups, a barn available for parties and a grass airstrip. The memorial museum has an exact reproduction of his studio and a research library, plus lots of movie memorabilia.

The George M. Murrell home in Park Hill belonged to a man who married the niece of Cherokee chief John Ross. The historic property includes land that’s being tended by members of the tribe, growing heirloom veggies, fruits and herbs important to the area.

Casinos have been an important revenue source for many native tribes, and the Cherokee are no exception. They are part owners of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. The hotel has several restaurants for every budget, A-list rock, country and comedy acts, and an award-winning golf course. The place is rockin’, for sure, but also retains a distinct Cherokee flavor.

At the Hard Rock, the Cherokee Gallery exhibits high-end art and handmade crafts. The Wild Potato Buffet – named after one of the Cherokee clans – serves items containing the all-important “Three Sisters”: corn, beans, squash. You’ll also find items with both Southern and Southwestern flavors.

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2

The history of the entire area called "Indian Territory" is fascinating. For a good historical start, you can Wiki "Indian Territory" and "Five Civilized Tribes."

Then, for a good read, author Arthur T. Burton's books - see http://artburton.com/ - provide real stories and great descriptions of daily life and the racial hierarchies in what would eventually become the State of Oklahoma.

Native Americans that were removed by the US Government from the eastern seaboard in the 1830s actually had black slaves, which they brought with them to the Territory. After the Civil War, these African-American slaves were freed and thus became part of the Territory's "Freedmen," with land rights of the other legal Territory citizens.

Oct. 24, 2011

The egocentric term "Five Civilized Tribes" was assigned by white US government officials, smugly referring to the tendency of many members of the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles to wear Euro-style clothing and adopt Euro-based customs (housing, food).

Oct. 24, 2011

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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