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Cherokee Nation receives award for historic preservation


Last updated 1/3/2018 at 3:50pm

Cherokee Nation

The Cherokee National Capitol Building is one of the sites that the Cherokee Nation has repaired and restored.

Chicago-The National Trust for Historic Preservation has presented the Trustees Emeritus Award for Excellence in the Stewardship of Historic Sites to the Cherokee Nation.

Cherokee Nation was recognized for their careful stewardship of several properties vital to their history and culture, as well as for their contributions to preserve state-owned resources within the Nation. For example, the 1844 building that housed their National Supreme Court, the 1875 National Prison and the 1869 National Capitol all needed repair and restoration. Cherokee Nation has focused on repairing and returning these historic properties to their period of historical significance and opening them to the public.

"We are pleased to receive this award from the National Trust in recognition of our passion and efforts in historic preservation. Historic preservation for the Cherokee Nation means safeguarding our heritage and culture," said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. "It is a responsibility that we all collectively share and a priceless investment we are making for future generations. We're committed to preserving these sites and are thankful for the opportunity to proactively share our story with the world."

When state budget cuts in 2010 threatened the Oklahoma Historical Society's (OHS) ability to care for state-owned historic resources, Cherokee Nation stepped forward with a $50,000 annual contribution to maintain operations at three OHS historic sites within the boundaries of the Nation and arranged to bring tour groups there. Cherokee Nation also helped leadership at OHS secure legislation making it possible for the state to transfer titles of historical properties to entities able to ensure their long-term preservation and public availability. This enabled the Nation to acquire Sequoyah's Cabin, the home of the individual who created the Cherokee syllabary, making it possible for Cherokee citizens to read and write in their own language. Cherokee Nation has since expanded programming there.

"Through their careful preservation of iconic historic properties, their financial support to the state's historical society during tough economic times, and their programming and promotion of those sites, Cherokee Nation's passion for cultural heritage is obvious," said Stephanie Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. "We commend them for their visionary stewardship and skilled leadership in ensuring that places that tell the story of Cherokee Nation and the history of our country may be experienced for generations to come."

The National Preservation Awards are bestowed on individuals, nonprofit organizations, public agencies and corporations whose skill and determination give new meaning to their communities through preservation of architectural and cultural heritage.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America's historic places.


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