NSU Cherokee Exhibit Dedicated

STANDING TALL: From left, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation Chad Smith, Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Senior Project Manager Travis Owens, Tahlequah Mayor Ken Purdy, Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Marketing and Operations Manager Steve Rush, and Northeastern State University President Dr. Don Betz.

The Cherokee Female Seminary Exhibit was recently unveiled at Northeastern State University. Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation Chad Smith, Northeastern State University President Dr. Betz and Tahlequah Mayor Ken Purdy formally dedicated the Cherokee Female Seminary Exhibit on Friday, May 29, 2009. The exhibit is expected to bring a lot of visitors to learn about the Cherokee Nation’s History.

“Cherokee Nation created the Cherokee Female Seminary Exhibit to establish a visual memoir of the commitment to education that the Cherokee Nation has always held,” said Smith. “Now, more than 120 years from its opening, the hallowed grounds and walls of the Cherokee Female Seminary boldly surround us; thriving with students and sharing all facets of academia.”

A Cherokee Nation language course is currently taught two floors up from the exhibit, which signifies the journey endured and commitment to education that the Cherokee people embrace. The Cherokee Nation language courses, taught as a part of the American Indian Studies Major B.A. program at Northeastern State University, are the only such curriculum in the United States.

“Equally important to the Cherokee Nation is the strong partnership with Northeastern State University and the value that is placed on education. This exhibit is one of the many examples of how Northeastern State University and the Cherokee Nation continue to reinforce its shared goal of academic and community development,” added Smith.

The $20,000 museum-quality display was designed and produced by Minnesota-based Blue Rhino Studio, which specializes in custom sculptural and painted elements for the museum, retail and tradeshow industries. Previous clients include the American Museum of Natural History and the National Parks Service among many others.

The Cherokee Female Seminary Exhibit at Northeastern State University is the first in a series of projects that will recognize the Cherokee Nation?s history, culture and heritage as presented by the Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism program. Other projects now underway include the recent recognition and dedication of the Cherokee Hills Byway, the restoration of the Cherokee National Supreme Court building and the restoration of Ross Cemetery.

The Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Department was created in 2007 to promote the story of the Cherokee people. Efforts by the Cherokee Nation include developing guided community and educational tours, creating tourism partnerships and programs throughout northeastern Oklahoma, and launching a new Cherokee tourism-specific web site. For more information, please visit www.CherokeeTourismOK.com.

The Cherokee Nation is the sovereign operating government of the Cherokee people. It is a federally recognized tribe of more than 285,000 Cherokee citizens, with its Capitol located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Employing more than 6,500 people, Cherokee Nation’s annual economic impact in Oklahoma and surrounding areas is more than $1 billion. To learn more, please visit www.cherokee.org.

Northeastern State is Oklahoma’s fourth largest university. Oklahoma Living Magazine readers recently named “Best Regional University”. With campuses located in Tahlequah, Broken Arrow, and Muskogee, Northeastern State University provides undergraduate and graduate learning for bachelors and masters degree programs, and a doctoral degree in Optometry.

Updated 07-15-2009

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