Friday, February 22, 2013

Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum offering free admission this weekend

Museum celebrates anniversary of original publication of Cherokee Phoenix

TAHLEQUAH, Okla.— The Cherokee Nation is celebrating the 185th anniversary of the Cherokee Phoenix by offering free admission to the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum, Thursday through Saturday. The museum features an exhibit highlighting the history of the newspaper.

“This is an historic milestone for the Cherokee Nation. For almost two centuries the story of our people has been chronicled and told by the Cherokee Phoenix,” said Bill John Baker, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.  “This anniversary is not only a celebration of the Cherokee written tradition but our accomplishments as a tribe.” 

The Cherokee Phoenix is the first newspaper of the Cherokee Nation and the first Native American newspaper to print in both its native language and English.

The history of Cherokee journalism is one of the main focuses within the Cherokee National Supreme Court museum. In the late 1800s, the building served as offices for the Cherokee Advocate, as the publication was named at that time.

The museum displays the last remaining printing press from the Cherokee Advocate. This particular press was manufactured by A.B. Taylor of New York in 1875, and was in operation until 1906 when the newspaper was shut down as part of the dismantling of the Cherokee Nation by the federal government.

The first Cherokee Phoenix newspaper rolled off the press in New Echota, Ga., on Feb. 21, 1828.  During this time, leaders of the tribe were seeking ways to integrate the Cherokee written language into daily life and communicate with tribal members as well as with those outside the tribe.

Since 1975, the newspaper has existed as the Cherokee Advocate, the Cherokee Phoenix and Indian Advocate, and in 2002 the paper was again printed under its original name, the Cherokee Phoenix.

Today, the Cherokee Phoenix is a monthly publication, and is mailed on a subscription basis.

The Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with free admission Thursday through Saturday. The first 185 visitors will receive a commemorative cookie and copies of the current Cherokee Phoenix.

For more information, please about the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum or other historic sites, visit

About Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Group
The Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Group is managed by Cherokee Nation Entertainment and promotes 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 website. For more information, please visit

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