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Cherokee

Cherokee, NC

Site of the headquarters of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, Cherokee, North Carolina, is located in Swain County. The town is located on the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, at the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, on the Oconalufee River and the Qualla Reservation. It also is the site of Harrahs Charokee Casino. The Eastern Band's story, Unto These Hills, is an outdoor drama presented during the tourist season.


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Over the recent past, the tribe has moved to overcome the sense of the town of Cherokee being only a stereotypical representation of Native Americans. This approach includes alerting local business that are too stereotypical of the tribe's desires. Replacing them are more tasteful cultural centers and project a celebratopry atmosphere of native cultures. Eastern Band members directly descend from those who avoided the Cherolees' forced move to Oklahoma in the 1830, in what became known as the "Trail of Tears." The Qualla Boundary encompasses Cherokee and several other nearlby communities. In a previous time, those communities would have been "clan townships": Wolf clan, Bird clan, and so on.

 Cherokee, NC, Swain County, Eastern Band

In addition to the outdoor drama, tourists may visit the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and the Qualla Arts and Crafts center, as well as the Oconaluftee Indian Village.

The town bills itself as a destination site for visits to the Western North Carolina mountains, surrounded by an array of activities and things to see. Kituwah, considered the site of the Cherokee villages and perhaps the largest settlement, is located between Cherokee and Bryson City. The settlement dates back some 10,000 years. Used farming and cattle grazing over the past two centuries, the site today measures only 170 feet in diameter.

Tags: Cherokee, NC, North Carlina, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, casino