‘Cherokee Kid’ exhibit opening set Friday

Will Rogers Memorial Museums Executive Director Tad Jones and Cherokee Nation Councilor Keith Austin prepare for opening of an exhibit that has been moved from Cherokee Heritage Center to the Claremore Museum. The public is invited to the opening at 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22. After a year, the exhibit panels will be moved to the Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch.

An exhibit which chronicles the life of a child born to the Indian Territory and became widely known as the “Cherokee Kid,” will be officially opened at the Will Rogers Memorial Museum 2 p.m., Friday, November 22.

The event is open to the public and will be followed by refreshments.

The exhibit, which was prepared by Cherokee Heritage Center Curator Callie Chunestudy, was on display in the Tahlequah Center. When it was time for it to be replaced, Cherokee Nation Councilman Keith Austin requested it be transferred to the Claremore Memorial.

“It’s where it needs to be,” he said, “shared so people who come to the Museum can gain new knowledge about Will Rogers’ Cherokee heritage.” He said he even more pleased to learn that after a year in Claremore it will be moved to the Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch, the place in the Cooweescoowee District of Indian Territory where Will was born Nov. 4, 1879.

Museum Executive Director Tad Jones said the opening comes at a special time in Cherokee history, the month of Will’s birth and National Native American History Month. “A great addition to the exhibits at the Memorial.”

Exhibit panels focus is on Will Rogers’ growing up years in Indian Territory and his Cherokee family roots, said Jennifer Holt, Will Rogers Memorial Museums' curator. In addition to the life of Will Rogers, she said the exhibit offers an account on what happened to the Cherokees in Indian Territory at the time of Will’s childhood.

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