TULSA, Okla., (February 11, 2011) – Cherokee Nation is now accepting education tour grant applications through March 14, or until all available field trips have been filled.

Funding is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Schools that do not meet the requirements or miss the deadline may also be eligible for a discount on the $6 student ticket and may receive one complimentary adult ticket for every group of 10 or more. Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism is awarding the grants to increase the experience and knowledge of Cherokee history and culture for elementary students attending schools within the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction.  

“We have a responsibility to educate children with the broadest range of experiences and the education tour program provides a unique opportunity to do this by sharing Cherokee culture and history,” said Molly Jarvis, Vice President of Cultural Tourism at Cherokee Nation Entertainment. “Children will experience history firsthand with visits to historic locations and have the opportunity to participate in several Cherokee cultural activities.”


Education Tour Grant Program

The Cherokee Nation Education Tour Grant Program is in its second year and has minimum requirements for grant eligibility. Requirements include that the school be located within the14-county Cherokee Nation jurisdictional boundary, a majority of the school’s students hold citizenship cards from a federally-recognized tribe, and the majority of the school’s students are eligible for free and/or reduced school lunch program.

The grant-sponsored tours, available for grades 3rd through 6th, are designed to promote priority academic student skills (P.A.S.S.) in various subjects while also providing an authentic look into Cherokee heritage. Cherokee Nation has also arranged for special tour rates for 7th through 12th graders and college students.

A total of 20 education tours will be presented spring 2011 with approximately 15 tours or 75 percent dedicated specifically to schools within the Cherokee Nation 14-county jurisdiction. The remaining 25 percent will be made available to schools outside of the jurisdiction. Tour groups may be limited to a maximum of 60 students with special circumstances taken into consideration. Each school can qualify for a grant once per tour season, but can participate in the education tours as often as desired through separate funding.


Education Tours Program

Adapted from the widely-popular Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism consumer and group tours, the education tour program features three tours including the Cherokee History Tour that visits Tahlequah’s historic Capitol Square, Murrell Home, Cherokee Heritage Center and Ancient Village; Will Rogers Tour that visits the Will Rogers Memorial Museum and Dog Iron Ranch; and the Civil War Tour that visits Capitol Square, Murrell Home and Fort Gibson Historic Site.

In addition to the education tours, a variety of add-ons are available for an additional fee including transportation on a 22-passenger shuttle bus; box lunches; and cultural activities such as basket weaving, pottery and mini stickball making.


Teacher Curriculum Guide and Student Activity Book

Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism created complimentary Cherokee education curriculum to support the tour programs.

The teacher’s curriculum guide is designed to serve as a teaching tool to prepare students for the education tour. Teachers will find more than 70 pages of historical information to share with their students. A student activity book has been created that corresponds to the teacher’s curriculum guide. The goal of the activity book is to prepare the students for the tour by giving them background information beforehand so they can fully benefit from the information and experiences they will encounter while on the tour. Knowledge of Cherokee history will prepare students for what they will see and experience.

 “We want to provide an authentic Cherokee experience upon arrival at any cultural site and provide tools that create a learning environment in the classroom that adds value to the tour experience,” added Jarvis. “This approach creates a more impactful educational and experiential environment for students and educators.”

Historical field trips are offered during the 2010-11 school year. For more education tour grant information or to book an education tour, please call (877) 779-6977.

About Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Group
The Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Group is managed by Cherokee Nation Entertainment and was created in 2007 to promote the story of the Cherokee people. Efforts by the Cherokee Nation include developing guided community and educational tours, creating tourism partnerships and programs throughout northeastern Oklahoma, and launching a new Cherokee tourism-specific web site. For more information, please visit http://www.cherokeetourismok.com.
About Cherokee Nation Entertainment
Cherokee Nation Entertainment is the gaming, hospitality, retail and tourism entity of the Cherokee Nation. Cherokee Nation Entertainment owns and operates the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, five Cherokee Casinos, Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs, three hotels, two golf courses and many other retail operations in northeastern Oklahoma. For more information, please visit http://www.cherokeestarrewards.com.

About Cherokee Nation
The Cherokee Nation is the sovereign operating government of the Cherokee people.  It is a federally recognized tribe of more than 300,000 Cherokee citizens, with its capital located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Employing more than 6,500 people, Cherokee Nation’s annual economic impact in Oklahoma and surrounding areas is more than $1 billion dollars. To learn more, please visit http://www.cherokee.org.


Cameron Andrews
Pier Communications

Ben Elder
Cherokee Nation Entertainment