VINITA, OK – Cherokee leaders recently gathered at Vinita’s Eastern Trails Museum to celebrate the annual Cherokee Day event, as well as announce a partnership to help preserve archival material held by the museum. The museum and Cherokee Nation held the sixth annual “Cherokee Day,” featuring seven Cherokee National Treasure artists, Cherokee musical performances and remarks by Cherokee Nation and community leaders. Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. announced a partnership with Eastern Trails to digitize archives held by the museum and make them more publicly accessible.
“Eastern Trails is such a wonderful museum, and it is home to pictures, records and artifacts that help tell the Cherokee story and the story of this region,” said Chief Hoskin.
Cherokee Nation, which provides approximately $5,000 annually for museum operations, will commit an additional $20,000 for the digitization project through its Community Partners grant program. Additionally, Cherokee Nation’s Cultural Tourism department, which operates the tribe’s various museums, art galleries and historic sites, will provide technical assistance to help the museum identify equipment, technology and personnel needed to scan more of its records.
“This is something that the museum has needed for a long time,” said Kathleen Duchamp, Eastern Trails Museum Director. “We’ve gone through several renovations over the last few years, and we upgraded a lot of areas, but we sadly are lacking in this particular area, so this donation is coming at just the perfect time for us. We are really poised to move into the digital age and make our archives more accessible to researchers and people who are interested in history. I just want to say thank you so much to Cherokee Nation. I appreciate how they’ve acknowledged what Eastern Trails Museum is doing, and I’m very touched because Chief Hoskin has been very loyal to his hometown and has really done so much to acknowledge this part of Indian Territory history.”