The Atlanta Braves and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will host the first-ever Cherokee Traditions at Truist Park on Saturday, November 27, 11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The free, family-friendly event will showcase Cherokee customs and traditions, including a performance by Cherokee dance group, Raven Rock Dancers, Tsalagi Touring Group artisans and living history demonstrators, and storytelling with Kathi Littlejohn. Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed will deliver welcome remarks, and Cherokee Royalty, including Little Miss, Junior Miss, and Teen Miss Cherokee will be in attendance.
“We are honored to welcome the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, for the first Cherokee Traditions at Truist Park. This event will serve as another step in our ongoing efforts to educate ourselves and our fans on the culture and traditions of our Native American neighbors,” said Atlanta Braves President and CEO Derek Schiller. “This Native American Heritage Month – and every month – we are thankful to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and our Native American Working Group for their valued partnership and collaboration.”
The highlight of the day will be men’s and youth stickball games played on the Truist Park field for the first time. Cherokee stickball, also called Indian Ball, signifies more than a game to the Cherokee people. Once this ancient sport served a diplomatic function by settling tribal disputes before they led to war, and today it’s a living cultural tradition.
Stickball is played on a field with two goal posts set on either end. Two opposing teams line up against each other in a game, and whichever team scores 12 points first wins. There are no time-outs allowed. With no protective padding to wear, stickball can be an especially intense game for players of all ages.
This month, the Braves will also release a brand-new T-shirt benefitting the New Kituwah Academy, Cherokee Language School and the Cherokee Speakers Council. The collaborative shirt features a seven-pointed star, representing the seven clans of the Cherokee. It will be available for $42, exclusively in the Clubhouse Store at Truist Park. (photo of the new shirt attached)
This is the second shirt in the collection in partnership with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Last November we unveiled the ᎠᏁᏦᎥᏍᎩ (pronounced ah-nay-zo, uh-shki, meaning “Ball Player”) T-shirt which is written in Cherokee Syllabary, and featured traditional basket weave designs. The shirt proceeds and Atlanta Braves Foundation match have provided over $40,000 to benefit the Cherokee Indians Speakers Council and the New Kituwah Academy, helping fund a new CALL (Cherokee Adult Language Learners) staff member in March 2021.
Free tickets to Cherokee Traditions at Truist Park can be reserved at www.Braves.com/Cherokee. Entrance will be through the 3rd Base Gate beginning at 11:30 a.m.
Learn more about the Atlanta Braves’ ongoing partnership with the Native American community at https://www.mlb.com/braves/community/native-american-community.