Justice to be served: Trial of Ned Christie

Justice will be done Ned Christie more than a century after being accused of the murder of U.S. Deputy Maples. Christie will face a jury of his peers in a mock trial on June 10 and 11, 2011, at the Cherokee National Capitol at 100 South Muskogee Avenue, Tahlequah and there demonstrate jurisdictional conflicts faced by the Cherokee Nation during the 19th century.

The evening begins with an exhibit viewing at 5:30 p.m. followed by the Ned Christie case introduction at 6:30 p.m. The murder reenactment of Daniel Maples occurs on the Capitol Square lawn at 6:35 p.m. The opening remarks and trial of Ned Christie begins at 7 p.m.

The 12-person jury for the Ned Christie mock trial will be drawn each night from the guests attending the event.

Character portrayals will include the Prosecutor, Defense Attorney, Judge, Ned Christie, Sam Maples, Senator Ned Grease, Nancy Shell, Charley Bobtail, John Parris and Bud Trainor.

“One of the most famous cases never heard is that of Ned Christie. Accused of murder, he was not provided a chance for fair and impartial proceedings to clear his name,” said Molly Jarvis, Vice President of Cultural Tourism at Cherokee Nation Entertainment. “The cultural tourism program now has the tools and resources to educate area citizens on the jurisdictional conflicts the Cherokee Nation faced during the 1800s with the U.S. government. This includes the ability to factually present The Trial of Ned Christie.”

Ned Christie was accused of murdering U.S. Deputy Daniel Maples in May 1887.  Denied the right to an Indian court trial due to the federal government’s intervention, Christie was bound to the jurisdiction of the United States Court for the Western District of Arkansas in Fort Smith, Ark., which had oversight of Indian Territory under Judge Isaac C. Parker.  Refusing to stand trial in a “white man’s court,” Christie elected to remain at his home while justice was sought.

Ned Christie was assassinated on November 3, 1892, after a five-year standoff with the federal government.

Twenty-six years after Christie’s assassination, an individual who was also at the scene on the night of Maples’ murder came forward to exonerate Christie for the crime with testimony of the facts and the naming of the true killer.

Armed with these details, the Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism Group will present a mock trial to educate area citizens on the jurisdictional conflicts the Cherokee Nation faced during the 19th century with the U.S. federal government.

The pricing for The Trial of Ned Christie is $10 adults, $8 students with proper college ID, $5 children ages 4-11 and free for children 3 and younger; plus a 6 percent tribal tax.

The Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism program presents four award-winning tours during the season that runs now through October including the Cherokee History Tour, Will Rogers History Tour, Civil War History Tour and Cherokee Old Settler Tour featuring authentic cultural sites and historic locations. The pricing for the four cultural tours is tiered for adults, seniors, and children ages 4-11 and 3 and younger, and subject to a tribal tax.

Specialty and event related cultural tours are also presented during the season. The event related tours feature a unique, cultural-filled itinerary that showcase Cherokee-focused events such as the Cherokee National Holiday. Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism also offers a variety of specialty tours including a return of History After Dark.

For The Trial of Ned Christie ticketing, complete tour details and ticketing, and additional information on the Cherokee Nation Cultural Tourism program, call (877) 779-6977 or visit http://www.CherokeeTourismOK.com.