While most people come to Macon County in the summer for a relaxing mountain vacation, Kathryn Sampeck makes the trip down south with a more important mission in mind.

SEE ALSO: Mounds hold key to understanding Cherokee history

With a wide-rimmed straw hat to shield her face from the beaming sun and a pair of worn-in brown leather boots she’s owned for at least 20 years, Sampeck returned again this summer to walk among sacred Cherokee land along the Little Tennessee River banks.

Tribal Council narrowly passed a resolution last month that would shorten the term of embattled Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise board member Angela Kephart, but when council reconvenes on Aug. 4, Kephart will be asking its members to reconsider. 

The former director of an organization charged with spurring community development on the Qualla Boundary has pled guilty to embezzling nearly $1 million from the institution she once led, bringing almost three years of investigation and prosecution to a close.

Tribal government is expected to gain on openness and accountability following passage of a pair of laws in Cherokee Tribal Council this month. After more than a year of work, the tribe now has a code of ethics and a mechanism to ensure the new standards are enforced. 

fr dogsrunningBear hunters on the Qualla Boundary may be able to run their dogs through tribal reserve land for a full half year following contentious discussion and a divided vote in Cherokee Tribal Council this month. 

fr tribalcouncilCherokee Tribal Council is closer to finalizing a decision to revoke part of a former vice chief’s will, following its July meeting last week.

out frA growing collection of roadside signs has been popping up along rural drives and main thoroughfares in Western North Carolina over the last decade, and while their presence might be barely noticeable to the untrained eye, they trace the history of a story that shaped the region before most of the roads they adorn were even built.

The Trail of Tears. 

fr webcherokeeThe Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ website received the lowest score of any of those reviewed by The Smoky Mountain News, coming in with an overall 1.4 out of 5. 

fr minorsfundWhen teen members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians come of age, they find themselves in sudden possession of a six-figure bank account. But the overnight windfall comes with risk, many tribal leaders believe, and Tribal Council took a monumental vote to change the way money is paid out to their young people — in installments rather than as a one-time payment. 

art frNadia Dean has dedicated the last 10 years of her life to telling a story. It’s a historical account of the complex dynamics of the Cherokee War of 1776, but it’s also a story about relationships, humanity and the decisions that shaped this country. For Dean, who grew up in Haywood County and now lives in Cherokee, it was an untold story that needed telling.

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