Snapshot of community, local art: Japanese garden mirrors sister city across the globe

By Jessa Chadwick, Assistant Arts Editor  (Photos by Jonathan Soder/The Bison)

“To promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation—one individual, one community at a time.”

This is the mission statement of the program Sister Cities.

As many know, the Japanese garden by the airport track is in honor of Shawnee, Okla.’s Sister City, Nikaho Japan.

Delegates from Shawnee schools have been chosen to go to Nikaho and represent Shawnee while students from Nikaho will spend a week in Shawnee as representatives of Nikaho.

The chairman for Shawnee is Michael Canaday who will be traveling with the students to Japan.

Taren Taylor, the delegation chair, is helping to prepare the students for their travels.

The concept of Sister Cities is for locals to experience other cultures while bringing their own culture overseas.

The official website,, goes into more detail.

“Sister Cities International was created at President Eisenhower’s 1956 White House summit on citizen diplomacy,” according to the website, “where he envisioned a network that would be a champion for peace and prosperity by fostering bonds between people from different communities around the world. President Eisenhower reasoned that people from different cultures could understand, appreciate, and celebrate their differences while building partnerships that would lessen the chance of new conflicts.”

For more information, check out the Sister Cities Facebook page or website.

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