Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Museum (Jason R. Terrell)

In Honor of Native American Heritage Month, Cherokee Nation Offers Free Museum Admission

Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Museum (Jason R. Terrell)

The Cherokee Nation is inviting the community to learn more about their culture with free museum admission this November.

The tribe owns and operates three museums that feature genuine artifacts, which "bring to life the true Cherokee experience," said Bill John Baker, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, in a press release. They include the Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum, the Cherokee National Prison Museum and the John Ross Museum.

“Native American Heritage Month is the perfect opportunity to open our museum doors to the public and invite everyone to experience authentic Native American history and culture," Baker said.

The Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum is housed in Oklahoma’s oldest public building, originally built in 1844. The exhibits focus on three historic aspects of tribal sovereignty: the tribe's judicial system, the Cherokee Advocate and the Cherokee Phoenix newspapers, and the Cherokee language. Visitors can view authentic historical items, photos, stories, objects and furniture.

Cherokee Nation Prison Museum

A former penitentiary building—the only one of its kind in Indian Territory from 1875 to 1901—makes the Cherokee National Prison Museum feel as real as it was when it sentenced and accused "the most hardened and dangerous prisoners," who remained behind its sandstone rock walls, the press release states. The museum, an interpretive site, provides a glimpse at how law and order operated in Indian Territory. Visitors can walk through a blacksmith area and reconstructed gallows. An interactive kiosk tells stories of notorious Cherokees—perceived by some as outlaws and revered by others as patriots.

The John Ross Museum is dedicated to telling the stories behind John Ross, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation for more than 38 years. It additionally holds exhibits and interactive displays on the Trail of Tears, Civil War, Cherokee Golden Age and the tribe's passion for the education of its people.

The Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum is located at 122 E. Keetoowah St., and the Cherokee National Prison Museum is at 124 E. Choctaw St., both in Tahlequah. The John Ross Museum is located at 22366 S. 530 Rd. in Park Hill, Oklahoma.

Cherokee Nation Museums are open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For information on Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism, including museum operations, please call (877) 779-6977 or visit

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Hajar's picture
Submitted by Hajar on
We can not wait for this event to start!!! There is so much hidden tenalt and creativity in the Brazos Valley that this really gives a good chance for everyone to see how much we have to offer up close and personal. We'll be holding a special Art Step event in downtown Bryan that will showcase many artists performing their tenalts right on the street for everyone to watch. We will also have horse drawn carriages, Texas A&M Jazz Band, and our local Farmers Market. COME EXPLORE THE LIFE AND BEAUTY OF BCS!!!

Margi Morgan's picture
Margi Morgan
Submitted by Margi Morgan on
I would like to have list of Chrokee Natuional Museum prisoner names. I am involved into my husband's family/Cherokee tree. Thank you for your time. Margi