Before my recent trip to the Cherokee Nation in Northeastern Oklahoma, I confess that I had only a foggy idea who the Cherokees were. I was practically clueless about their history, language and achievements.

Cherokee Bow Arrow

Thanks to an ambitious program launched three years ago by the Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Department, word is spreading on what this 14-county enclave offers the group traveler. Four day-long options—the “Cherokee History Tour,” “Will Rogers History Tour,” “Civil War History Tour” and “Cherokee Old Settler Tour”—shed light on the Cherokee people and can be tailored to any group. And new tourism developments continue to unfold.

The tourism department has a 25-seat van available for tours and can provide a step-on guide for groups with their own vehicles. Besides the four standard tour itineraries, it can custom-design programs (for 10 or more) to focus on traditional Cherokee cuisine, basket weaving, pottery, native plants, storytelling, genealogy and other subjects.