The Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration starts with a basketball tournament on Thursday, September 29, and ends with a Stomp Dance on Saturday, October 1st in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Throughout the celebration, which is busy with sporting events, pow wow dancing, gospel singing, fishing, cultural demonstrations and a parade, the celebration will also be of the fact that the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma is no longer a landless tribe, thanks to an important decision of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
“In a ten-page decision issued on May 24, 2011, the BIA announced its approval for the United States to take 76 acres of land into trust for the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma, a federally-chartered corporation under Section 3 of the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act. The Tribe submitted its application to have the lands taken into trust in June 2004,” the tribe said in a press release.
“The parcel of land is located in Tahlequah, and is home to the tribe’s sacred dance grounds, its community gathering and celebration place, site of its elder center and other government buildings. Although there have been numerous contributions by many individuals over many years to accomplish getting land in trust, there is no doubt that the leadership of Chief George Wickliffe and Assistant Chief Charles Locust was a vital force in making things happen.”
The celebration is three days of cultural, spiritual, and athletic events that’ll wow visitors from far and wide. From learning about Keetowah history at the newly opened John Hair Museum and Cultural center to arts and crafts and traditional American Indian food to cornstalk shoot and children’s turtle races, this is a event that truly has something for everyone.
For a full schedule of the events, click here. Or call (918) 431-1818 for more information.