fr deerFrom clothing to art to clan names, deer are everywhere in Cherokee culture. But for the past couple of centuries, they’ve been virtually absent from Cherokee land — until now. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is in the initial stages of an effort to reintroduce an important environmental and cultural resource to Western North Carolina. 

A big one got away in Cherokee earlier this year when the case against a drug dealer was thrown out by a federal judge who found Cherokee police officers had lied in a search warrant.

By Colby Dunn • Correspondent 

Since Harrah’s Cherokee Casino opened and started bringing an influx of steady cash to the Eastern Band of Cherokee, it’s been a boost to both the tribe and its more than 13,000 members. Annually, individual members benefit to the tune of several thousand dollars a year, and the Cherokee Enterprise Development Center is hoping they’ll turn that money into much more with their own small businesses. 

fr casinoBy Colby Dunn • Correspondent

When it comes to Vegas-style gaming, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Resort has hedged its bets on being the only game in town … in the region … in the state … in the surrounding five-state area.

fr vestalWho knows what Anita Vestal saw in Jeffrey Miles, or why she sprang him from jail and ran away with him, or how she justified leaving her husband and four young children behind, possibly forever.

“Two or more Families join together in building a hot-house, about 30 feet Diameter, and 15 feet high, in form of a Cone, with Poles and thatched, without any air-hole, except a small door about 3 feet high and 18 Inches wide. In the Center of the hot-house they burn fire of well-seasoned dry-wood; round the inside are bedsteads sized to the studs, which support the middle of each post; these Houses they resort to with their children in the Winter Nights.”

fr belovedElla Wachacha Bird has joined the ranks of a small and revered group last week after the Eastern Band of Cherokee Tribal Council named her a “beloved woman.”

art frBy Colby Dunn • Correspondent

This week, kids across America will learn the story of the first Thanksgiving. How the pilgrims, beleaguered and starving, broke bread with their Wampanoag neighbors, who extended a helping hand, teaching them to grow the corn and squash that kept them alive. They celebrated a meal to give thanks that at least some of them had survived the first winter, and that they finally had a successful harvest. So in terms of how we celebrate today, the timing, at least, is right. 

out frBy Colby Dunn • Correspondent 

Each year, an estimated 50,000 people visit Cherokee looking to hit it big, but instead of casting lots at Harrah’s, they’re casting lines into the miles of stocked and protected streams that flow through the Qualla Boundary. 

While the casino remains the dominant moneymaker in town, the town’s reputation as a fly fishing destination is gaining an economic toehold in the tourism business here. With fishing waters open year round, tournaments and derbies to choose from in every season of the year, and a stock of 400,000 trout poured into the ponds and streams annually, Cherokee can offer more than a few incentives to entice a fisherman seeking a new venue. 

fr terrihenryTerri Henry has been elected as the first female Tribal Council chair of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, some six years after the U.S. House of Representatives elected its first female speaker.

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