Buffalo National River Partners will present “Cherokee Nation Ethnobiology and how the Buffalo National River is Assisting” with Feather Smith Tuesday, March 12, 2024 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. John Paul Hammerschmidt Conference Room of North Arkansas College. Feather Smith, Ethnobiology Manager for the Cherokee Nation, will be the featured speaker on Tuesday, March 12, 2024.
Ms. Smith’s presentation will be located in the John Paul Hammerschmidt Conference Room on the South Campus of North Arkansas College and the program will begin at 6:30 p.m.
This educational program will focus on the cultural and medicinal relevance of plants and animals utilized within the customs and practices of the Cherokee Nation. Currently, seventy-six of these plants used are harvested annually within the confines of the Buffalo National River.
Today, the Cherokee Nation is the largest tribe in the United States with more than 450,000 tribal citizens worldwide. More than 141,000 Cherokee Nation citizens reside within the tribe’s reservation boundaries in northeastern Oklahoma. The Cherokee Nation is committed to protecting its inherent sovereignty, preserving and promoting Cherokee culture, language and values, and improving the quality of life for the next seven generations of Cherokee Nation citizens.
One of their programs facilitating the Cherokee Nation culture and improving the quality of life for its citizens is its Seed Bank program. The Seed Bank is a plant and culture preservation program that provides seeds to tribal citizens who are interested in growing traditional Cherokee crops.
Feather Smith is the Ethnobiology Manager for the Cherokee Nation and also oversees its Seed Bank program. Her presentation will also feature the importance and functions of its Seed Bank program. In 2022, the Buffalo National River and the Cherokee Nation executed a plan so that members of the tribe’s Medicine Keepers could formally harvest certain plants from designated sites within the park area. The Medicine Keepers are a group of elder, Cherokee language speakers who work to preserve the Cherokee’s cultural heritage. Wild indigo and wild onion are just a few plants harvested annually from the Buffalo National River. Ms. Smith’s presentation will briefly highlight how some of these plants are incorporated into the customs and medicinal practices for the Medicine Keepers.
To increase accessibility to this presentation, the public may also attend virtually. For a link, email Rodney Arnold at email@example.com.
Admission is free to the public.
The mission of the Buffalo National River Partners (BNRP) organization is to support the goals and purposes of the Buffalo National River. By providing financial resources, advocacy, technical assistance and volunteers to the park, the organization assists in the purpose to preserve the unique and cultural features, educate visitors, and improve facilities of Buffalo National River.