Archived Outdoors

Cherokee women honored for name restoration efforts

Cherokee women honored for name restoration efforts

Tribal members Lavita Hill and Mary Crowe have received an Attorney General’s Dogwood Award from N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein for their work to restore the traditional Cherokee name to Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

In July, the Cherokee Tribal Council approved a resolution to advocate for the name change. The current name refers to Thomas Clingman, who was a U.S. senator representing North Carolina at the time the peak was named in 1859. Afterward, Clingman left the Senate to fight for the Confederacy, rising to the rank of brigadier general. 

The traditional Cherokee name, Kuwohi, means “mulberry place.”

“Lavita and Mary are working to make sure that their tribe’s history is recognized and honored,” Stein said. “They are advocating to restore the name Kuwohi, which means Mulberry Place, from Clingman’s Dome, which was named for a Confederate general. In doing so, their efforts will help to commemorate the long history of the Eastern Band of Cherokee in North Carolina.”

Hill and Crowe are two of seven people to receive a Dogwood Award from Stein. 

Having the name changed will require an application to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, which must vote on the matter. That board has not yet received an application, according to a spokesperson. A petition created by Hill currently has 2,117 signatures. 

Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.