to help preserve Cherokee National Capitol; built in 1870
Okla. More than 139 years after its construction, the Cherokee
National Capitol still stands and operates as a symbolic landmark
for the Cherokee people. Now, through a unique grant sponsored by
the National Park Service, Cherokee Nation has received $150,000
to help preserve the 1870-built Capitol for future generations.
The building is Cherokee Nation's only National Historic Landmark.
by a cooperative municipal program named Save America's Treasures,
the federal money will go toward restoring the building's roof
and foundation, which have significantly deteriorated due to water
infiltration. The funds will also aid in the installation of an
appropriate drainage system.
Cherokee National Capitol preservation project is scheduled to begin
in 2010. The building currently houses the judicial branch of the
Cherokee Nation and is listed on the National Register of Historic
Cherokee National Capitol is a source of great pride for the Cherokee
people with its rich history, symbolism and continued functionality
within today's tribal government," said Cherokee Nation
Principal Chief Chad Smith. "Moving onward with the restoration,
we look forward to sharing and educating the public on the historical
significance of this building."
Capitol is one of 41 projects throughout the United States recognized
in the National Park Service's Save America's Treasures
$9.5 million grant award program for 2009. According to the National
Park Service, the funds will assist the organizations and agencies
to conserve significant United States cultural and historic treasures,
which illustrate, interpret and are associated with the great events,
ideas, and individuals that contribute to our nation's history
Park Service Director Jon Jarvis congratulated the recipients of
the Save America's Treasures awards saying, "The recipients
of these grants deserve great credit for their commitment to the
preservation of our nation's history and culture. The historic
properties and collections protected by Save America's Treasures
grants for the last 10 years benefit all Americans, today and in
the future. The National Park Service is proud of our role in administering
this exceptional program with our partners."
Cherokee Nation reunified its government in Indian Territory in
1839, the grounds on which the Capitol was built have been witness
to much history. In 1843, the site played host to one of the most
significant tribal gatherings in American history when more than
17 tribes from across the United States came to Tahlequah, Indian
Territory, for the International Indian Council to renew ancient
customs and strengthen tribal alliances. This historic convention
is depicted in John Mix Stanley's painting "International
Indian Council," which is displayed at Smithsonian American
in 1870, the Cherokee National Capitol was completed shortly after
the American Civil War, a period in which the Cherokee Nation overcame
turmoil and inter-tribal dissension to reunite and build its government
seat. Over the years the building has survived numerous damages
including fire. Today, the national landmark stands as a reminder
of the progressive government and social system the Cherokee Nation
established once it arrived in Indian Territory.
Cherokee Nation's commitment to preservation features four
key projects including the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum
and Ross Cemetery, which are currently underway, and the Cherokee
National Capitol and Cherokee National Jail, which are scheduled
Abernathie Architects in Tulsa, Okla., completed the assessment
of the existing physical condition of the Cherokee National Capitol
and provided a prioritized list of projects to be completed in the
restoration of the property.
Additional information on the Save America's Treasures program
can be found on the President's
Committee on the Arts and the Humanities Web site and/or the
Service Web site.