TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The 70th Annual Cherokee National Holiday will feature a return to in-person activities when the celebration is held over Labor Day weekend in September, including a new fishing tournament, cornhole competitions, the return of traditional games, an inter-tribal powwow, softball tournaments and other long-time favorites.
Traditionally, the Cherokee National Holiday draws more than 100,000 visitors from across the country. The annual celebration was adapted in 2020 and 2021 to include a number of virtual and limited in-person events in the interest of public health.
This year, most Holiday activities will be held in-person Sept. 1-4 in and around Tahlequah, Okla., the capital city of the Cherokee Nation. The Cherokee National Holiday will also continue to provide a number of virtual elements so Cherokee citizens who cannot attend the in-person activities can participate in the celebration online at www.thecherokeeholiday.com.
“Deputy Chief Bryan Warner and I are looking forward to our planned return to in-person fellowship during this year’s 70th Annual Cherokee National Holiday in September,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “As we join friends and family to commemorate this year’s celebration, we will focus not only on the legacy that the Cherokee people have forged throughout our history, but we will look ahead to the opportunities that are before us as Cherokee people. If you are a Cherokee citizen and have the chance to join us either in person or through our virtual streaming of activities this September, the 70th Annual Cherokee National Holiday will be a gathering you won’t want to miss.”
Chief Hoskin and Deputy Chief Warner will also join members of the Council of the Cherokee Nation for the annual State of the Nation Address in downtown Tahlequah as part of this year’s Holiday activities.
The 70th Annual Cherokee National Holiday theme is “Forging a Legacy: Seven Decades of Cherokee Fellowship.” The theme and art were designed to honor the 70 years of Cherokee fellowship during the annual Holiday gathering.
The center of the Holiday design features the official Cherokee Nation seal surrounded by traditional Southeastern design elements. The Southeastern design elements feature an expansion of the inner four directions and symbolize Chief Hoskin and Deputy Chief Warner’s first four years in office. A circle with 11 arrows represents Chief Hoskin and Deputy Chief Warner’s 11 key initiatives put into effect since taking office in 2019, including the Housing, Jobs and Sustainable Communities Act; the Career Readiness Act; the Durbin Feeling Language Preservation Act; the Historic Registry Act; the Cherokee Heritage Center Act; the Park, Wildlands, Fishing and Hunting Preserve Act; the Public Health and Wellness Act; the Verna D. Thompson Early Childhood Education Act; the Wilma P. Mankiller & Charlie Soap Water Act; the Respond, Recover and Rebuild initiative; and the Cherokee Nation Justice System expansion initiative.
Other elements reflect a Mississippian ceremonial design and symbolize the Cherokee communities being interwoven with the Cherokee Nation and tribal government. Vertical and horizontal rectangles inside the circle reflect the 70 years of the Cherokee National Holiday.
The artwork was designed by Cherokee National Treasure Dan Mink.
The Cherokee National Holiday commemorates the signing of the Cherokee Nation Constitution in 1839, which re-established the tribe’s government in Indian Territory after forced removal from the Cherokees’ original homelands in the Southeast.
Vendors interested in arts and crafts or food booth space can now register on the Cherokee National Holiday website at www.thecherokeeholiday.com. The public is also invited to join the Holiday conversation early by participating in the online community accessible from the Holiday website.
Follow the latest news and announcements about the Cherokee National Holiday on the official Facebook page at Facebook.com/cherokeenationalholiday.
Cherokee Nation officials will continuously monitor COVID-19 conditions in the coming months and make any necessary changes to Cherokee National Holiday events in order to protect public health.