Cherokee Nation opens museum in Supreme Court building

The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma dedicated a museum in its historic Supreme Court, the oldest public building in the state.

The tribe opened the building in Tahlequah in 1844. It housed the tribe's highest court and the Cherokee Advocate, the first newspaper in the state.

"We hope in a decade or two or three from now, when our descendants come across these grounds and they see this building and they see this building, that they will say we passed on the great Cherokee legacy," Chief Chad Smith said at the dedication ceremony, The Tulsa World reported.

Smith and other tribal leaders used the ceremony to pay tribute to the Wilma Mankiller, who was the first woman to lead the tribe. Mankiller died on Tuesday at the age of 64.

"She would have wanted this," said David Stewart, the CEO of Cherokee Nation Enterprises, the World reported. "This would represent a dedication of what she believed in — preserving our culture for future generations. She was all about people and giving back to people."

Get the Story:
Looking forward, back (The Tulsa World 4/8)
A jewel restored (The Tahlequah Daily Press 4/8)
Cherokee Nation Cuts Ribbon On New Tribal Museum (News on 6 4/7)