Cherokee Nation At-Large community meeting in Lawrence draws hundreds

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Kansas City-area Cherokee Nation citizens gathered in Lawrence Saturday for the first annual Chief’s picnic since 2019. 

The event had been on hiatus because of COVID-19. This year’s picnic had a record-breaking turnout, with more than 817 Cherokee citizens gathered at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. 

Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. met with Cherokee citizens while other tribal representatives were on-site to update tribal IDs and register citizens to vote.

Attendees enjoyed cultural presentations, which included interactive storytelling, language lessons, and a live flute performance. Cherokee veterans were honored with Warrior Awards.

The Cherokee Nation is the largest tribe in the United States, and there are more than 450,000 tribal citizens worldwide. More than 141,000 citizens reside within the tribe’s reservation boundaries in northeastern Oklahoma.

Update, 6:24 p.m. Saturday, March 18: The final total of attendees was 831, according to a Facebook post from Hoskin.

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Molly Adams (she/her), photojournalist and news operations coordinator for The Lawrence Times, can be reached at molly (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Check out more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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