Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 460
498 Tsali Blvd
Cherokee, NC 28719

Contact Information





Cultural History

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has always believed that their ancestors have lived in North Carolina for several years now, more than one could even imagine. In Western Carolina, several artifacts prove their existence. Some of these proofs were the stone tools and some fluted-spears who are said to be over 11,000 years old. These were said to have been used at the end of the ice age. Famous Cherokee tribes also suggest the descriptions of the hunts of the mastodons which, at some point, foraged through the upland dapper and fir.
Their semi-permanent villages came to existence during the start of the 8,000 B.C. It was then the start of the mountain people settling in the towns with urbane politics and their religion. These people were thriving on their agriculture, and they have mastered the art of pottery. These people were also described as effective archers. The first contact with the non-natives happened in 1540 when the Europeans discovered the habitat of the Cherokees. The Cherokee hunters were highly skilled, that when attacked by the Spaniards, the Spaniards decided to back off. The tribesmen were too powerful and experts that the Spaniards found themselves no match to the tribesmen’s abilities.
The Cherokees were dominating tribes who ruled over 140,000 square miles of land all over eight southern states. Their villages were autonomous and their elders served as the leaders who gathered together once in a while to discuss issues. In each of their communities, they had a piece chief, war chief and priest to ensure the welfare of their people. Their government was systematically organized and the men served as the hunters and food finders. Their men also cultivated the soil for production of corn and rice. 
Two hundred years later, the Cherokees found their territories diminished dramatically. Their territories were soon grabbed by the broken treaties as well as invaders. It was Andrew Jackson who insisted that the Indian tribes in the southeast should be relocated along the Mississippi River. Despite the disagreement of the Cherokees, they still lost to the battle to remain in their homeland. Court proceedings pushed through and they soon had to leave their territories behind. The “Trail of Tears” happened. The Cherokees were forced to get out of their lands and settle to East Oklahoma instead. The expulsion resulted in deaths and diseases that reduced their original number into one fourth. Through the years, the some Cherokees have remained in their homeland. They were the descendants of the survivors who refused to live and hid in the mountains and hills instead. Several years passed and the Cherokees came back to their homeland, little by little, to rebuild their community as we know it today.
The Cherokee has nearly 12,000 members today. However, the Western Cherokee rolls include more than 170,000 names. The tribe is currently engaged in businesses. The Cherokee Fish and Management Enterprise is the manager most of their busi8ness ventures. They are also engaged in tourism and arts and crafts.

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