|Motto||"Preserve our native culture, protect and enhance our natural environment."|
|Headquarters||Cherokee, NC, United States|
Cherokee Preservation Foundation is an independent nonprofit foundation established in 2000 as part of the Tribal-State Compact amendment between the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and the State of North Carolina. The Foundation is funded by the EBCI from gaming revenues generated by the Tribe; it is not associated with any for-profit gaming entity and is a separately functioning organization independent of the Tribal government. It works to improve the quality of life of the EBCI and strengthen the western North Carolina region by balancing Cherokee ways with the pursuit of new opportunities. The Foundation focuses on cultural preservation, economic development, job creation, and environmental preservation and is an engine for rural community development on the Qualla Boundary and the surrounding Haywood, Jackson, Clay, Macon, Graham, Swain and Cherokee counties.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), is a federally recognized Native American tribe in the United States, who are descended from the small group of 800 Cherokee who remained in the Eastern United States after the Indian Removal Act moved the other 15,000 Cherokee to the west in the 19th century. They were required to assimilate and renounce tribal Cherokee citizenship.
North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. North Carolina is the 28th largest and 9th-most populous of the 50 United States. North Carolina is bordered by Virginia to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Georgia and South Carolina to the south, and Tennessee to the west. Raleigh is the state's capital and Charlotte is its largest city. The Charlotte metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 2,569,213 in 2018, is the most populous metropolitan area in North Carolina and the 23rd-most populous in the United States and the largest banking center in the nation after New York City. North Carolina's second largest metropolitan area is the Research Triangle, which is home to the largest research park in the United States.
Rural community development encompasses a range of approaches and activities that aim to improve the welfare and livelihoods of people living in rural areas. As a branch of community development, these approaches pay attention to social issues particularly community organizing. This is in contrast to other forms of rural development that focus on public works and technology.
Much of Cherokee Preservation Foundation's work in support of cultural preservation is concentrated on the perpetuation of Cherokee craft traditions, the revitalization of the Cherokee language, and the development of a culture-based leadership initiative.
Cherokee is a moribund Iroquoian language and the native language of the Cherokee people. There were 1,520 Cherokee speakers out of 376,000 Cherokee in 2018. The number of speakers is in decline. About 8 fluent speakers die each month, and only a handful of people under 40 are fluent. The dialect of Cherokee in Oklahoma is "definitely endangered", and the one in North Carolina is "severely endangered" according to UNESCO. The Lower dialect, formerly spoken on the South Carolina–Georgia border, has been extinct since about 1900. Cherokee speakers populate several counties within the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and the Qualla Boundary in Cherokee, North Carolina. Around 200 speakers of the Eastern dialect remain and language preservation efforts include the New Kituwah Academy. The Cherokee Immersion School is also present in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.
Cherokee arts and crafts The Foundation supports the efforts of organizations such as Qualla Arts & Crafts Cooperative, the Oconaluftee Institute of Cultural Arts, RTCAR (Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources), Cherokee Central Schools and many others to share, preserve and perpetuate the rich art and crafts history and knowledge of the Cherokees.
Revitalization of the Cherokee language A survey of Cherokee speakers released in 2006 showed that there were only 275 Cherokee speakers on the Qualla Boundary at that time. By 2018, the number was reported to be 217.Language preservation efforts include the New Kituwah Academy (a bilingual language immersion program for children), conventional language classes available to tribal members of all ages, and a partnership with Western Carolina University to create instructional materials in Cherokee and offer a scholarship to train students to deliver content in the Cherokee language in New Kituwah Academy classrooms.
Language preservation is the effort to prevent languages from becoming unknown. A language is at risk of being lost when it no longer is taught to younger generations, while fluent speakers of the language die.
The New Kituwah Academy, also known as the Atse Kituwah Academy, is a private bilingual Cherokee- and English-language immersion school for Cherokee students in kindergarten through sixth grade, located in Cherokee, North Carolina, in the Yellow Hill community of the Qualla Boundary. It is owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), and operated by the Kituwah Preservation and Education Program (KPEP); New Kituwah is a separate entity from Cherokee Central Schools. The school is part of a larger effort by the EBCI to save and revitalize the heavily-endangered Cherokee language and instill Cherokee cultural pride. The word Kituwah is used by the Cherokee to refer to both themselves and their language; it can also mean "center" or "mother town" depending on context.
Culturally-based leadership The Foundation supports several leadership programs that are based on the Cherokee culture. These include the following:
The Cherokee Youth Council, which empowers youth 13-17 by giving them a voice to speak out on issues important to them. The CYC is leading recycling awareness efforts on the Qualla Boundary and has produced a film about teenage pregnancy from a youth and a native perspective.
An annual cross-cultural Costa Rica Eco-Study Tour for high school students from western North Carolina.
The Jones-Bowman Adult Leadership Program, which enables tribal members who are college undergraduates to develop their leadership capabilities by participating in individual leadership learning programs.
The Right Path, a culture-based leadership development program for adult members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Tourism is a principal driver of economic development on the Qualla Boundary, the homeland of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and significant funding from the Foundation has strengthened the Tribe's principal cultural attractions, including the Museum of the Cherokee Indian,Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, the Oconaluftee Indian Village, and the Unto These Hills outdoor drama.
Two grantees of the Foundation, the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce and the Sequoyah Fund, have been strong forces that are changing the course of local business development. The Sequoyah Fund, for example, has made low-cost loans available to merchants in the Cherokee business district for new roofs and building facades that complement the Tribe's new Riverbend development and enhance the visual appeal of Cherokee's downtown. Other Sequoyah Fund loans and support services are helping new and experienced entrepreneurs to start and expand businesses.
For many hundreds of years, it has been important to the Cherokee people that they be good stewards of the land. Through a community-wide planning effort begun by the Cherokee Preservation Foundation known as Generation Qualla,many new green initiatives are underway, including work to make tribal buildings more energy efficient, development of a green building standard, a significant increase in local recycling, streamlining of the site review process for all construction on the Qualla Boundary, and engagement of Cherokee communities in environmental improvement projects.
Cherokee is a census-designated place (CDP) in Swain and Jackson counties in western North Carolina, United States, within the Qualla Boundary land trust. It is located in the Oconaluftee River Valley around the intersection of U.S. Route 19 and U.S. Route 441. As of the 2010 census, the CDP had a population of 2,138.
The Qualla Boundary or The Qualla is territory held as a land trust for the federally recognized Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, who reside in western North Carolina. The area is part of the Cherokees' historic territory. As a trust, the land is technically not a "reservation" per se, as the land was not "reserved" by the federal government; it was purchased by the tribe in the 1870s and subsequently placed under federal protection. Individuals can buy, own, and sell the land, provided they are enrolled members of the Tribe of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians.
The Cherokee Nation, also known as the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is the largest of three Cherokee federally recognized tribes in the United States. It was established in the 20th century and includes people descended from members of the Old Cherokee Nation who relocated from the Southeast due to increasing pressure to Indian Territory and Cherokee who were forced to relocate on the Trail of Tears. The tribe also includes descendants of Cherokee Freedmen and Natchez Nation. Over 299,862 people are enrolled in the Cherokee Nation, with 189,228 living within the state of Oklahoma. According to Larry Echo Hawk, former head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the current Cherokee Nation is not the historical Cherokee tribe but instead a "successor in interest".
Cherokee heritage groups are associations, societies and other organizations located primarily in the United States, which are made up of people who may have distant heritage from a Cherokee tribe, or who identify as having such ancestry. Usually such groups consist of persons who do not qualify for enrollment in any of the three, federally recognized, Cherokee tribes. A total of 819,105 Americans claimed Cherokee ancestry in the 2010 Census, more than any other named ancestral tribal group in the Census.
The Cherokee believe the ancient settlement of Kituwa or giduwa (Cherokee:ᎩᏚᏩ), on the Tuckasegee River is their original settlement and is one of the "seven mother towns" in the Southeast. It is in Swain County, North Carolina, in the Great Smoky Mountains, near present-day Bryson City.
Oconaluftee is the name of a river valley in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, located in the Southeastern United States. Formerly the site of a Cherokee village and Appalachian community, the valley's bottomland is now home to the main entrance to the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development was founded in 1987 at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. It administers tribal awards programs as well as providing support for students and conducting research.The Harvard Project aims to understand and foster the conditions under which sustained, self-determined social and economic development is achieved among American Indian nations through applied research and service.
Native American politics remain divided over different issues such as assimilation, education, healthcare, and economic factors that affect reservations. As a nation living within the United States of America, the Native American people face conflicting opinions within their tribes, essentially those living on federally approved reservations. Interactions with the federal government and the overall American culture surrounding them influence day-to-day tribal life. Native American culture as a whole rests between the divide of the traditionalists and those who wish to trade the old ways for improved conditions.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians educational policies have shaped the scholastic opportunities afforded to its members. The decision of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) to take control of the schools located on the Qualla Boundary under the Tribally Controlled Schools Act of 1988 started a wave of tribal responsibility in education. EBCI Tribal Council began producing programs that aided its members in most all aspects of the educational process. The evolution of these programs, their financing, and their relationship with tribal members and non-members alike are in a constant state of flux dependent upon policies produced by the EBCI tribal council. The EBCI tribal council does not directory set educational policy, although some if its members do set on boards that govern the educational facilities, and in most cases the director of the educational programs do report to the tribal council throughout the year. The policies of the EBCI educational programs can be analyzed through their respective goals, objectives, and procedures.
Frank Brannon is a book and paper artist, and the proprietor of Speakeasy Press.
Ravensford is an unincorporated community in Swain County, North Carolina. Located along the banks of Raven Fork, a tributary of the Oconaluftee River, it was established as a mill town, sometime between 1900-1910. With a varying population from 200-1,000 people, it operated as a company town, where the mill owned an operated everything, from housing to the school/church building. In 1933, Ravensford Lumber Company sold the town and area to the National Park Service for over $33 an acre; In 1934, it became part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
This article is a detailed history of the Cherokee language, the indigenous American Iroquoian language native to the Cherokee people.
Mingo Falls is a 120 ft (37 m) high waterfall located in the Qualla Boundary—a land trust of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians—near the town of Cherokee, Swain County, North Carolina in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the eastern United States. The waterfall is among the tallest in the southern Appalachians.
Richard G. Sneed is the 28th Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. He succeeded prior Principal Chief Patrick Lambert following Lambert's impeachment, only the second such impeachment since the 19th century.
Amanda Mabel Swimmer was an American Cherokee potter. Swimmer's career focused on traditional Cherokee pottery, and she worked to determine the name and function of these vessels. She was recognized in North Carolina for her contributions to the state's artistic and mountain heritage, and in 2018 she was named a Beloved Woman by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.