Cherokee Nation

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 948
Tahlequah, OK 74465

Contact Information




Cultural History

The Cherokee people are Native American tribesmen. Unlike the usual tribes, they were speakers of the Iroquonian language whose vowels are characterized by nasal and phoneme. The language is spoken by the Mohawks, Huron-Wyandot and the Cherokee. The Cherokee Nation hails from the Great Lakes region. The tribe is said to have migrated from the south. However, the linguistic analysis of several researchers suggest that there is a large difference between the Cherokee and the other northern Iroquoian languages. Some studies show that there was a split that occurred between the 1,600 and the 1,800 B.C. Their former habitat is the Tuckasegee River which is near the Bryson City in North Carolina. The Tuckasegee River is now cited as the tribe's ancestral location. 

In the seventeenth century, it was said that the Cherokee Nation first had their non-native encounter with the English. The expedition of James Needham and Gabriel Arthur was the first recorded encounter. The expedition was sent by Abraham Wood who was a fur trader. His aim at sending the expedition was to convince the Cherokee to engage in trading with his enterprises. He wanted to gain a connection with the Cherokee so he could operate better. The expedition was the start of the many encounters with the Cherokee. In the late seventeenth century, the Cherokee had become the famous trading places and soon, more and more traders discovered the area. They traded deerskins in exchange for utensils such as knives, iron and other steel tools. The deerskin was the main material for the booming leather industry in Europe at that time.

During the eighteenth century, despite the trading contacts, the Cherokee retained their won culture and remained to be unaffected by the European influences. They were also able to retain their natural territories until the Tuscarora War in 1711. In the nineteenth century, the Cherokees fought for the British and the Americans. Thus, the United States government established the Cherokee Reservation in Arkansas. The reservation area that was dedicated to them was bordered on the north by the Arkansas River and on the south by the White River. The Cherokee Bands split into groups and those who lived in Arkansas were the Bowl, Sequoyah, Spring Frog and the Dutch while others settled in Missouri, western Kentucky, Tennessee and other communities in the Mississippi River.

The Cherokee has its own Cherokee Heritage Groups composed of three federally recognized Cherokee tribes. Today, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma operates several business enterprises. Some of these include agricultural businesses, real estate and highly profitable casinos and resorts. Infrastructures have been installed and the economic growth of their economy is soaring. They are not only one of the largest American Tribes but one of the wealthiest too.

Featured Tribal News

No featured news.