Remembering the Mother Town

By Michael Beadle


To the Cherokee, it represents one of the most sacred sites in the world, the first Cherokee town, a mound where the sacred fire burned for centuries. It is from this site that the Cherokee named themselves Ani-Kituhwa-gi, the people of Kituhwa.

The honest little bird

On one level, the natural history of a region consists of its terrain, habitats, plants, animals and how they interrelate. I also believe that no full understanding of the natural history of a region can be realized without coming to terms with its spiritual landscape. And when we consider the spiritual landscape of the Smokies region, we enter the realm of the ancient Cherokees.

The Bard is in: Atlanta Shakespeare Company wraps up week-long residency at Cherokee High School

By Michael Beadle

Last week, Cherokee students found themselves stretching, swooning, thrusting imaginary swords and spouting 400-year-old Elizabethan English.

All that without textbooks or boring lectures about William Shakespeare being the greatest playwright ever.

Bushyhead run puts spotlight on Swain-Cherokee relationship

For the first time in history, an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is running for a seat on the Swain County Board of Commissioners.

Ben Bushyhead lives just outside Bryson City and works for tribal government as the director of community and recreation services, which encompasses social services, seniors service, and youth service to name a few. The budget Bushyhead oversees in his department rivals that of the Swain County government.

Words on the wind: New Cherokee youth radio program offers students a chance to record and broadcast news reports, tribal culture and local history

By Michael Beadle

It’s Thursday morning and Cherokee High School junior Brandi Oocumma is preparing to read a news story on the radio about the risks and benefits of caesarian deliveries. She wants to become a pediatrician one day, so she likes reading articles about children’s issues.

Sequoyah: inventor of talking leaves

By Michael Beadle

Sequoyah is perhaps one of the most recognizable names in Native American history — and quite rightly so. After all, he was the only person in human history to invent a language on his own without first having the skills to read or write.

The symbols he developed into a syllabary are used to identify all the syllabic sounds of the Cherokee language, a feat that helped the Cherokees record and save their culture.

$254 million Harrah’s expansion targets baby boomers

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino and Hotel is planning a $254 million expansion and upgrade of its operations, including a third hotel tower, new entertainment venue and overhaul of the casino floor.

Wal-Mart talk still going strong in Cherokee

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

In the meat aisle of the Reservation Foodliner IGA a customer picks up a large pack of bacon, and calls out to a store employee.

“How much do you think this’d be at Wal-Mart?” the customer asks sarcastically.

Unto These Hills gets a facelift: Changes to include script rewrite, more Cherokee actors, better marketing plans, and more community involvement

By Michael Beadle

For 56 years, the outdoor historical drama known as “Unto These Hills” has been a fixture for summer tourists coming to the region looking for entertainment and a chance to learn about Cherokee history.

But in recent years, theatre attendance for the show steadily declined, and critics panned the drama as outdated, lacking Cherokee actors, and in need of a fresh marketing plan.

A changing audience

“Unto These Hills” first opened on July 1, 1950, as an outdoor drama to celebrate the history and honor the sacrifices made by the Cherokee tribe.

The play features dances and music as it tells the story of early encounters with European explorers, the later betrayal by the U.S. government, the tragedy of the Trail of Tears, and the death of Tsali.

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