In honor of Museum Advocacy Day, all three Cherokee Nation museums are offering free museum admission on Tuesday, Feb. 25.
Cherokee Nation museums include the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum, the Cherokee National Prison Museum and the John Ross Museum.
Museum Advocacy Day is a day when museum supporters from across the country gather in Washington, D.C., to advocate the importance of museums to policymakers. While Cherokee Nation officials will not attend the D.C. event, they are showing their support for the cause by encouraging visitors to enjoy Cherokee Nation museums at no cost.
“We are proud supporters of Museum Advocacy Day. The Cherokee Nation’s museums are an integral part of our cultural and historical preservation mission,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “We view our museums as true educational and economic assets to the tribe.”
Originally built in 1844, the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum is Oklahoma’s oldest public building. The 1,950-square-foot museum features exhibits on three historic aspects: the Cherokee National Judicial System, the Cherokee Advocate and Cherokee Phoenix newspapers, and the Cherokee language, with a variety of historical items, including photos, stories, objects and furniture. Touch screen kiosks offer visitors documentary style learning on various legal topics as well as teaching conversational Cherokee.
The Cherokee National Prison was the only penitentiary building in Indian Territory from 1875 to 1901. It housed sentenced and accused prisoners from throughout the territory. The interpretive site and museum give visitors an idea about how law and order operated in Indian Territory. The site features a working blacksmith area and reconstructed gallows, exhibits about famous prisoners and daring escapes, local outlaws and Cherokee patriots, jail cells and much more.
The John Ross Museum highlights the life of John Ross, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation for more than 38 years, and houses exhibits and interactive displays on the Trail of Tears, Civil War, Cherokee Golden Age and Cherokee Nation’s passion for education. The museum is housed in an old, rural school building known as School No. 51 and sits at the foot of Ross Cemetery, where John Ross and other notable Cherokee citizens are buried.
The Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum is at 122 E. Keetoowah St., and the Cherokee National Prison Museum is at 124 E. Choctaw St., both in Tahlequah. The John Ross Museum is at 22366 S. 530 Road in Park Hill.
For information on Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism, including museum operations, call (877) 779-6977 or visit www.CherokeeTourismOK.com.