Tribal Council kills resort proposal

A $30 million deal to bring a story-themed resort to Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians-owned land in Sevier County, Tennessee, will not go forward following a unanimous vote from Tribal Council Dec. 5 to kill a resolution Principal Chief Richard Sneed submitted in October. 

New hires to speed child custody cases in Cherokee

Tribal Council voted unanimously last month to expand the tribe’s roster of attorneys in hopes of moving child custody cases through the courts more efficiently. The cases often take multiple months to reach resolution, prompting complaints from community members. 

Cherokee group aims for 2021 constitution referendum

An effort to adopt a constitution for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians through a referendum question failed to come to fruition this year, but the grassroots group Citizens for a Constitution isn’t giving up, now setting its sights on a referendum question in 2021. 

Cherokee considers Tennessee resort investment

Cherokee leaders are hoping to establish a lucrative business on a portion of the 300-plus acres of Interstate 40 frontage the tribe purchased in Tennessee earlier this year while also advancing plans for an adventure park on the Qualla Boundary, but first Tribal Council must sign off on the venture. 

Annual Council focuses on language preservation

In the wake of a June 27 joint resolution from the three Cherokee tribes that declared the native language to be in a state of emergency, this year’s Annual Council sessions in Cherokee revealed language preservation to be a priority for tribal members of all backgrounds and political persuasions. 

Cherokee to revisit election ordinance

With a new Tribal Council seated and a year of reprieve in place before the election cycle begins again, the body will be considering additional changes to Cherokee’s election ordinance. 

Kephart Prong Trail has a unique story

I like visiting those sites here in the Smokies region where there is what I think of as an “overlay.” That is, places where both natural and human history commingle. At such places, one encounters the confluence of all or several of the major strands in the region’s natural and cultural fabric: wild areas, plants, and animals; early Cherokee and pioneer settlement influences; and the impacts of the modern era, initiated here primarily with the coming of the railroad in the late 19th century. At such places the alert observer can experience what the French have defined as “frisson” — a moment of excitement and insight that arises when various forces coalesce.

Cherokee passes new budget

After a narrow vote and a delayed ratification, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has a new budget for the 2020 fiscal year.

Cannabis Commission veto upheld

Legislation creating a Cannabis Commission that would set the stage for hemp production on the Qualla Boundary has been overturned, following a veto from Principal Chief Richard Sneed and a failed attempt from Tribal Council to override that veto. 

Gift of the Mountains: Rooted in the Mountains connects Cherokee past and global future

It was an hour and a half after sunrise, and the day’s first rays had not yet touched Judaculla Rock, hidden away in a hollow near Caney Fork in Jackson County. 

“I would encourage you to come back at different times,” T.J. Holland, cultural resources supervisor for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, told the group assembled around him. “It’s one of these fascinating things — time of the year, time of day, weather all affects how this looks, and I’ve not been here twice that I’ve not seen something different.”

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