Thirty-nine Eufaula ninth grade GEAR UP students visited the Cherokee Heritage Center in Park Hill, OK. Students toured Diligwa, a 1710 Cherokee Village. Students explored the primary council house learning that Cherokee families are matrilineal, which allows women to choose their husbands, hunt, fish, gather, and go to war. Students viewed flint knapping, a process in which flint or quartzite is struck with items such as hammer stone or the base of a deer antler to shape stone. Students learned about making a dugout canoe, using blowguns, and playing stickball. Students were able to walk through the Trail of Tears exhibit where they viewed documents and artifacts. Prior to completing the tour, students explored Adams Corner which is a representation of Cherokee life in the late 1800s. After visiting the Cherokee Heritage Center, students ate lunch provided by E’s Hideaway in Eufaula.
The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP. Eastern received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant in 2017, and will serve more than 3,000 students in 39 area schools for seven years.