Siyo and welcome to the official website of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma.

We invite you to take a look around and find out who we are and why we are known as the Traditional, Historic & Cultural Keetoowah Cherokees.


66th Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration set for October 1

TAHLEQUAH - The 66th Annual Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration begins Thursday, September 29 with the 2016-2017 Miss Keetoowah Cherokee and Jr. Miss Keetoowah Cherokee Pageant.

Friday, September 30, there will be a stomp dance beginning at dusk.

           On Saturday, October 1, there will be a kid’s fishing derby, dignitary breakfast, parade, state of the nation ceremony, hog fry, gospel singing children’s activities, turtle races, make and take crafts along with crafts and food vendors.  There will also be traditional games including a cornstalk shoot, blowgun shoot, marbles exhibition, and stickball exhibition. 

            A special highlight this year is the Tradition Keepers Museum Exhibit and Sale in the John Hair Cultural Center and Museum. Tradition Keepers Exhibit is funded by Oklahoma Arts Council. There will also be a UKB Constitutional Ratification reception at the Museum beginning at 2 p.m.  A health information tent and health screenings provided by a group of nurses from Florida Atlantic University will be set up on the grounds.

           The theme for the 66th Annual Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration is “Keetoowah Strong; Celebrating Centuries of Tradition”.

           This is more than a theme; it has been a way of life for the Keetoowah people since time immemorial. Given the trials and challenges to the tribe even to this day, it is as meaningful as ever. 

           The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma is a tribe steeped in tradition, and one that is committed in preserving the history, culture and language of its people. What are most important to the attendees of the celebration are not the events, the food or the games.  People come to have fellowship and to be together as a tribe.

           For more information on the Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration, call 918-431-1818 or 918-457-9440.


66th Annual Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration


“Keetoowah Strong;


Celebrating Centuries of Tradition”


October 1, 2016


Tahlequah, Oklahoma


Thursday, September 29

6 p.m.                   2016-2017 Miss Keetoowah Cherokee &

Jr. Miss Keetoowah Cherokee Pageant

 Friday, September 30

 Dusk                     Stomp Dance

 Saturday, October 1

 7:00 a.m.               Kid’s Fishing Derby

 7:30 a.m.               Chief’s Dignitary Breakfast

 10 a.m.-5 p.m.      Arts & Crafts, Health Screenings and Food Vendors

 10 a.m.                 Blowgun Shoot

 10 a.m.                 Cornstalk Shoot

 10 a.m.                 Horseshoe Pitching

 10 a.m.                 Traditional Marbles

 10 a.m.                 Parade-Downtown Tahlequah

 11 a.m.                 Children’s Activities

 11 a.m.                 Children’s Make & Take

 11 a.m.                 Storytelling

 11:45 a.m.             State of the Nation Address by Chief Bunch

                                     Introduction of Council, Special Guests, Tradition Keepers Miss                                     and Jr Miss Keetoowah Cherokee

 1 p.m.                   Traditional Meal

 1-4 p.m.                Tradition Keepers Museum Exhibit & Sale

 2 p.m.                   Turtle Races

 2 p.m.                   UKB Constitutional Ratification Reception at the Museum

 3-5 p.m.                Gospel Singing

 4 p.m.                   Stickball Youth Exhibition

 All events except the parade will be held on the Keetoowah Cherokee Celebration Grounds

 Located off of West Willis Road.

 For more information: 918-772-4300


Congressman Mullin Visits United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians


Congressman Mullin Visits United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians


TAHLEQUAH - United States Congressman for the 2nd District of Oklahoma, Markwayne Mullin, and, Field Veterans Representative, William Barnes, met with Native American Veterans Representative for the United Keetoowah Band, Jacob Littledave, on Tuesday, August 30 in the UKB tribal court chambers.


During Congressman Mullin’s visit to the United Keetoowah Band complex, Littledave discussed several issues relating to our veterans. One of the issues introduced was in regards to a 100 percent service connected veteran or a veteran at 70 percent is declared unemployable. When veterans apply for assistance they don’t qualify because they count the veteran’s disability as income, even though it’s considered non-taxable income. Littledave informed Congressman Mullin that he would like to see a bill introduced in Congress that would waive that requirement for using the veteran’s disability as an income; it creates a problem for the veterans.


Another veteran issue discussed was the absence of debriefing before a soldier is discharged from their service.


“The veterans have served their country, the Vietnam veterans have the highest divorce and suicide rate, and we are losing 22 veterans a day to suicide. In the Afrighanistan and Iraq conflict our warriors are serving two, three, four and five tours, but there’s no debriefing when they come home, that is where we are losing them. We have to change that, this is where the government is making a mistake. Thirty days before their discharge they should be in debriefing,” said Littledave.


Littledave also requested the aid of Congressman Mullin and Veteran Representative Barnes, on a veteran who is full-blood Kiowa-Cheyenne-Arapaho Indian who was a Prisoner of War during the Korean War. Littledave informed them that this Native American has never file a claim.


Congressman Mullin assured Littledave that his office would be as helpful as they can. He shared his admiration to Littledave for his unselfish desire and determination to help his fellow veterans.


“We’ll be as helpful as we can. For what you do, words cannot express my gratitude for what you are doing because no one can help a veteran better than a veteran himself,” stated Congressman Mullin.


“Our office is setup to help with situations like this, and we try to reach out as much as possible, but there is that barrier that gets stop because I am considered government,” added Congressman Mullin.


Littledave expressed to Congressman Mullin the importance of Chapter 14.


“You made a statement earlier that it takes veterans to take care of veterans, but it also takes Native Americans to take care of Native Americans. That’s what Washington doesn’t seem to understand,” said Littledave.


Congressman Mullin commented on the veteran’s disability issue stating that he would look into it, he told Littledave at the moment he didn’t know what category this falls underneath and why it’s not accepted. Congressman Mullin informed Littledave that this was considered double dipping because it fell into two different federally entities. He said that he would look into it.


Congressman Mullin also informed Littledave that he and his office would help with what they could and also help him in the future for the benefit of the veterans.


“We are going to be here to help. If there are any veteran cases that come up you let us know, anything we can help you with,” stated Congressman Mullin.


With that Littledave thanked Congressman Mullin for coming down and sharing his time to meet with him. The meeting ended with a handshake and a promised of support and aid for the veterans from Congressman Mullin.



2016 Tri-Council


Keetoowahs mourn passing of Statesman - Former Assistant Chief and Tribal Judge G. William "Bill" Rice

G. William "Bill" Rice - Former Assistant ChiefIt is with a heavy heart that the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians reports the passing of G. William Rice.
Rice served as the Assistant Chief of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in the late 1990s, leading with a steady hand through a turbulent time. Prior to that time, he served as a judge on the UKB Tribal Court.
As a professor of constitutional and Indian law at the University of Tulsa for over 20 years, G. William Rice served as a mentor to a wide number of students of Indian law and his influence will continue to shape the practice.  He previously taught law at Cornell University and the University of North Dakota.
Volunteering his time without taking compensation, Rice was a member of the UKB Corporate Charter Authority Board.
"Bill was deeply concerned for the welfare of the Keetoowah," said UKB Assistant Chief Joe Bunch.  "He was a warrior for individual and tribal rights and was a champion for Keetoowah rights.  He was a friend."
United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma.