Cherokee media kit all about cherokee: a media resource guide



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CHEROKEE MEDIA KIT





ALL ABOUT CHEROKEE: A MEDIA RESOURCE GUIDE
To get the clearest picture of Cherokee and its abundant attractions, it’s best to start with some background about the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. So, we begin our media resource guide with brief sections on our tribe’s history and traditions, modern-day Cherokee and the responsibilities we take very much to heart.
These initial background sections will be followed by a detailed listing of key attractions and amenities offered in the Cherokee area, along with specific links and, where possible, persons you can contact to learn more. This information is designed to help you write your story and we’re here to help in any way we can.

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians:

Traditions and stewardship
Background: The Cherokee people have lived in the southeastern United States for more than 11,000 years. Our people were known as the Aniyunwiya, or the Principal People. We are also known as the Anikituwahgi People, or the people from Kituwah. Kituwah is the first village of the Cherokees, adjacent to the Tuckasegee River not far from the present-day Qualla Boundary. Research into the pre-contact Cherokee population estimates there were 50,000 Cherokees who lived over a range of 140,000 square miles in what is now parts of seven Southern states.
Our people first encountered Europeans during de Soto’s expedition in 1540, which led to a period of devastating disease, war and, eventually, giving up land to European colonizers. The present-day Eastern Band, some 15,000 enrolled tribal members, consists of descendants of Cherokee people who survived the infamous “Removal” (also known as the “Trail of Tears”) in 1839, during which thousands perished.
Life ways: The Cherokee people lived in villages along the broad river valleys of the southern Appalachian and Blue Ridge mountains. We were an agricultural people who gathered wild food and kept farms of corn, beans and squash.
Cherokee villages varied in size with some as large as 60 homes centered around a large council house. The central plaza was used for public events and the council house held the population of the village to conduct business in a democratic form of government.

Cherokee hunters sought deer, bear, other small game, turkeys and other small birds, and fished the rivers and streams. They controlled hunting grounds in the highlands and maintained hunting camps there throughout the year.


Social structure: The tribe is organized into seven clans of familial organization. They are: Bird, Deer, Wolf, Blue, Long Hair, Wild Potato and Paint. Familial ties and clan affiliations came through Cherokee women, who owned the houses and fields and passed them on to their daughters.
Of the 15,000 enrolled members of the EBCI, about 8,000 live on the Qualla Boundary in Western North Carolina with the town of Cherokee the governmental center.
Preserving our language: Today, there are a few hundred tribal members who continue to speak Cherokee, and with this number diminishing through the years we have worked diligently to resurrect and preserve our native language:


  • The Kituwah Language Academy is a tribal total immersion school that instructs children from infancy to fifth grade in the Cherokee language.



  • Tribal Cherokee language experts, in cooperation with colleagues in the Cherokee Nation, are also hard at work translating English language texts and other materials, including films, into our native language.




  • Cherokee Central Schools, the tribe’s public school system, integrates language, arts and crafts and Cherokee history into the curriculum.




  • Western Carolina University has a Cherokee Studies program with both Cherokee language and Cherokee history courses and works to develop Cherokee language teachers for Cherokee schools.




  • Recently, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted legislation allowing a college foreign language credit for students taking Cherokee language courses in the state.


Artistic expression: The Cherokee people are renowned for their artistic expression, which takes many forms: Basketry, pottery, beadworking, wood and stone carving, dance, singing and storytelling have traditionally played important roles in Cherokee life.


  • Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc. is a Cherokee-operated artists’ cooperative, formed in 1946 to help secure fair prices and provide a year-round market for Eastern Band members. All of the art created by the approximately 300 Cherokee artists that make up Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc. is handmade. Contemporary artists blend traditional aesthetics with historic traditions.




  • The Cherokee Historical Association operates Oconaluftee Indian Village, a re-creation of a 17th-century Cherokee town, and the outdoor drama “Unto These Hills,” which provides summer visitors with historic re-enactments.




  • Traditional storytelling, dance and singing are important components of the Cherokee heritage. The Qualla Boundary is alive much of the year with festivals, fairs, powwows and other special events that showcase our native culture.


Sustaining nature: Cherokee’s location in the heart of the storied Great Smoky Mountains offers both great opportunity and significant responsibility. Many years ago, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians committed to proactively preserving and enhancing our environment and our area’s once-prolific natural resources. Among our environmental stewardship programs:


  • Trout fishing remains an important mainstay of both tribal culture and our growing tourism enterprise. The tribe maintains its own fish hatchery that supplies numerous trout species to 30 miles of pristine rivers and streams.




  • The tribe is also reintroducing threatened species, such the sicklefin redhorse and white-tailed deer, into restored habitats on tribal lands.




  • The EBCI is also actively promoting traditional farming methods, including propagation of native food plants using a new state-of-the-art sustainable greenhouse.


Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians: About our tribe
The tribe: The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the only federally recognized tribe in North Carolina, now occupies the 56,600-acre Qualla Boundary. The tribe operates as a sovereign nation with its government headquartered in Cherokee. About 8,000 of the EBCI’s 15,000 registered members live on the Boundary, which is situated in Swain and Jackson counties, and parts of Cherokee and Graham counties, in Western North Carolina. Boundary lands are held in federal trust for tribal members.
The tribal government, with a structure similar to national and state governments, has three branches: executive, legislative and judicial.


  • The members of the executive branch, currently headed by Principal Chief Michell Hicks and Vice Chief Larry Blythe, who are both serving their third terms, are elected by popular vote every four years. These elected officials carry out tribal laws and are responsible for day-to-day operations. The principal chief is also the tribe’s chief executive officer.




  • The 12-member Tribal Council constitutes the EBCI’s legislative branch, which establishes laws governing the tribe. Tribal Council members are elected for two-year terms from districts or townships that include: Yellowhill, Big Cove, Birdtown, Wolfetown and Painttown. Cherokee and Graham counties (Snowbird) constitute the remaining township. The current Council includes:

  • Chairwoman Terri Henry, Painttown

  • Vice Chairman Bill Taylor, Wolfetown

  • Perry Shell, Big Cove

  • Teresa McCoy, Big Cove

  • Gene Crowe Jr., Birdtown

  • Albert D. Rose, Birdtown

  • Tommye Saunooke, Painttown

  • Adam Wachacha, Snowbird/Cherokee County

  • Brandon Jones, Snowbird/Cherokee County

  • Bo Crowe, Wolfetown

  • David Wolfe, Yellowhill

  • Alan B. Ensley, Yellowhill



  • The EBCI judicial branch consists of the supreme court, tribal criminal court and tribal civil court. Justices are appointed by the Tribal Council upon recommendation of the executive branch. All judges and justices must be members of the North Carolina Bar Association.

Funding for government operations comes from a number of sources including grants, taxable income from a tribal levy, and gaming income.




Tribal services. The EBCI tribal government provides a variety of services to enrolled members and those living in the region, including:
Education: Cherokee Central Schools operates elementary, middle and high schools serving the tribal community.


  • Cherokee School System: All schools are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Teachers follow the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, and the schools use the North Carolina Testing Program in all grades. All classrooms incorporate high-speed, wireless Internet. Cherokee High School offers project-based learning, dual-enrollment college courses and North Carolina Virtual Public School courses. There is a 1:1 computer ratio in most core curriculum classrooms, and students must complete North Carolina Future-Ready Core Course and Credit Requirements for graduation, as well as a graduation project. Cherokee culture is integrated into all curriculum areas.

The Cherokee School System is managed by a popularly elected school board of tribal members that represent tribal communities.




  • EBCI Youth and Adult Education Services: offers an array of services to enrolled members ranging from the Kituwah Preservation and Education program and its Kituwah Academy (the Cherokee language immersion school), to education and training programs providing financial assistance for those pursuing post-secondary education, to workforce training and tribal summer youth activities. The division also operates the Qualla Public Library, the Dora Reed tribal child care center and Graham County Indian Education.


Health care: EBCI Public Health and Human Services provides a variety of health, wellness, treatment and education programs to enrolled tribal members. Through programs such as Cherokee Choices, Healthy Cherokee, Heart to Heart juvenile services and home health initiatives, and Tsali Care Nursing Home, PHHS helps assure that the medical and lifestyle needs of tribal members of all ages, from the very young to the very old, are addressed.
At the center of the EBCI health care system is the new $75-million, 150,000-square-foot Cherokee Indian Hospital now under construction. This state-of-the-art medical care facility, designed to deliver the latest medical care with an eye toward tribal traditions and culture, will open in fall 2015.
Social services: EBCI Family Support Services assists residents of the Qualla Boundary with public and social welfare issues such as child custody, family problems and financial hardships. FSS offers other programs such as family preservation; food pantry; SSI payee assistance; Christmas store; Indian Child Welfare Act services; parenting classes; court-ordered parent-child visitations, home studies and adoptive home studies; emergency assistance; fuel program; burial services; and the tribal medical referral program.
Public safety: The 65-member (60 sworn police officers) Cherokee Police Department covers the 56,600-acre Qualla Boundary, 300 miles of road and a service population of more than 55 thousand. The CPD provides patrol services, corrections, a K-9 unit and tribal complex security, among other services.
Housing: EBCI Housing and Community Development administers a variety of housing programs that assist residents to purchase, rent, or rehabilitate existing housing units in tribal communities. The EBCI is dedicated to improving the quality of life on the Qualla Boundary and to creating more livable neighborhoods.
Recreation: EBCI Recreational Services operates programs to enhance the health and wellness of the Cherokee community. Through facilities such as the Cherokee Life Center, Recreation Services offers exercise venues and programs for all ages including pools, gyms, running/walking tracks, a softball and baseball complex, soccer fields and parks. Recreation programs focus on youth activities with offerings such as T-ball, baseball, volleyball, wrestling, football, cheerleading, basketball, after-school programs and day/athletic camps.
Elder services: The tribe also has a focus on adult and senior programs. Tsali Manor provides daily meal service and oversees homebound meal delivery. The program also provides home improvement assistance, arts and crafts classes and training for Senior Games events.
The environment: In a 2006 proclamation, Eastern Band tribal leaders pledged to take an active role in helping enhance and preserve the natural environment of the western region of North Carolina.

Making use of a tribal Integrated Resource Management Plan, the EBCI began a focused effort to observe a high standard of resource management and environmental protection, including striving to lead the nation in establishing sanctuaries for natural resources on tribal lands.


Through the efforts of Tribal Fish and Game, the Tribal Environmental Department and the Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisans program, the tribe has begun to replenish threatened native species of animals and plants, and has taken steps to assure sources of native food and medicinal and consumable plants, revitalize greenways and waters, enhance bike and walking pathways, restrict development on environmentally sensitive land, reintroduce traditional agricultural methods and build ecotourism.

Modern-day Cherokee: resurgence and discovery
Background: Ever since the Removal in 1839 and its aftermath, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, like many other native tribes, struggled for survival. Our people subsisted mostly through subsistence agriculture, sales of native arts and crafts items, and limited seasonal tourism jobs.
The advent and continuing expansion of the successful Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort has provided additional resources, abundant employment opportunities and rapid growth in tourism, and has helped fuel a viable economic engine not just for Cherokee, but throughout the western region. Through foresight, coupled with careful planning, management and a revitalized governmental structure committed to growth, the resources delivered through this world-class resort have played a major role in a new prosperity in and around the Qualla Boundary.
Economic development: The EBCI Commerce Department mobilizes economic resources to enhance the overall quality of life for tribal members by expanding job opportunities, improving the tribe’s business climate and tax base and promoting a self-sustaining and diverse economy on the Qualla Boundary. A few key economic advantages:

  • No North Carolina sales tax.

  • No county property taxes.

  • Up to a $20,000 tax credit for each Native American employer.

  • Favorable depreciation rates for investments on tribal lands.

  • Huge employment base.


Tourism: (See details in the sections that follow.) Thanks to its ideal location and an abundance of destination amenities attractive to tourists, Cherokee has enjoyed significant growth in tourism in recent years. The town of Cherokee is located at the entrance to both the Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which are two of the top three tourist destinations in the U.S. Plus, Nantahala National Forest, with its famed whitewater rapids, and the Appalachian Trail are nearby, attracting thousands of visitors annually. In recent years, Cherokee tourism success can be measured by:

  • 3.6 million annual visitors to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort.

  • 2.2 million annual visitors to the Cherokee entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

  • $156.6 million in annual visitor spending in Cherokee.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has inhabited this area for generations. The Cherokee people cultivated the land, created a civilization and lived off the land of the scenic Smoky Mountains. Several attractions pay homage to the rich cultural history of the Cherokees, including the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and Oconaluftee Indian Village, both of which showcase the struggles, the triumphs and the everyday lives of the Cherokee people throughout history.



In addition to the world-class Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, there are other major area attractions such as Oconaluftee Islands Park, the acclaimed “Unto These Hills” outdoor drama, the Mountain Farm Museum and Saunooke Village, and a variety of dining and shopping options. The abundance of hiking and biking trails, camping venues, streams, lakes and wildlife offer an array of opportunities for ecotourists and those who simply enjoy the outdoors.

Arts and crafts: From weaponry to decorative beadwork, intricate finger weaving and exquisite wood and stone carving, Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual, Inc. is the largest home for authentic Cherokee art east of the Mississippi and attracts collectors from all over the world.

Sports and recreation: From fishing to golf, to climbing, mountain biking and hiking, Cherokee has become a major destination for tourists looking for outdoor sports and adventure.

  • Fishing: With 30 miles of freestone streams—the longest stretch of managed private fishery in the eastern U.S.—the waters of Cherokee are stocked with trout: rainbow, brook, golden and brown. More than 40 shops and other businesses offer tribally authorized fishing permits, and a growing number of tackle shops supply both expert and novice gear including flies, tackle and bait. There are also handicapped-accessible fishing piers, a tribal fish hatchery and abundant trout ponds.




  • Golf: The 6,057-yard Sequoyah National Golf Club is a Robert Trent Jones II-designed course boasting dramatic mountain beauty. It’s a challenging layout infused with rich Cherokee history. Sequoyah National offers a fun, intriguing challenge for golfers of every level.  Golf Magazine rated Sequoyah National the #2 “Best New Course You Can Play” in 2009.

  • Camping: Less than an hour west of Asheville, just three hours from Atlanta, Chattanooga and Charlotte and two hours from Greenville and Knoxville, the numerous campgrounds in and around Cherokee serve up a variety of camping experiences, from tents to rustic cabins to camping resorts. Visitors can enjoy the great outdoors and yet be minutes away from local attractions, shops, restaurants and grocery stores.




  • Hiking: With more than 800 miles of hiking trails, Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Cherokee serves up some of the most stunning natural beauty in the country. Hiking trails run the gamut from rugged backcountry trails to easy walks in the woods, all offering chances to view wildlife: from deer to hawks and elk. There are also scenic walking trails throughout the Qualla Boundary.




  • Mountain biking: It’s been said there’s no better place for mountain biking than the Smokies. Among the best known routes is the famous 42-mile, multiuse network of Tsali trails, named after the 19th-century Cherokee martyr. The trails, open to bikers, hikers and horseback riders on various days of the week, range from mild to extreme.


Responsible use of gaming resources:

Preserving our heritage, enhancing our society and benefiting our region

Background: The “About Our Tribe” section outlines the many programs of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians designed to enhance the health, well-being and life experiences of our tribal members, as well as rebuild a strong and resilient social structure based on Cherokee values, traditions and rich heritage.
The success of these initiatives can be attributed both to the hard work and commitment of tribal leaders and the Cherokee people themselves, as well as to the responsible use of the resources provided by Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, which has become an important regional economic engine.
Gaming and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians: Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort opened in 1997. The resort is owned by the EBCI and managed by Caesars Entertainment Corporation, one of the world’s leading gaming resort companies. Approximately 3.1 million people visited the casino in 2013; 70 percent of gaming revenue was from guests outside North Carolina.


  • Largest private tourist attraction: According to a 2011 study by the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the casino has evolved “from a simple bingo operation to a large, complex resort, which reportedly is the largest private tourist attraction in North Carolina.”

  • Luxury hotel and casino: Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort features a 21-story luxury hotel with 1,108 rooms and 150,000 square feet of gaming space, which includes 3,800 slot machines and over 100 traditional table games such as blackjack, roulette and craps.

  • Amenities: The property also features 10 restaurants, the Essence Lounge, a 3,000-seat Event Center, a spa and retail shops.


How gaming resources benefit Cherokee: Proceeds from casino operations have a direct, positive impact on North Carolina’s western region and the Cherokee community:


  • Casino resort revenues are returned to the EBCI through employee compensation, purchases from local suppliers, income to businesses surrounding the casino and direct distributions to the tribe. (Half of the casino’s annual profits are distributed directly to the tribe’s enrolled members.)

  • Casino payroll has a huge impact on the community: 399 employees out of 2,495 total casino employees are enrolled members of the EBCI; $96 million in payroll expenses was contributed to the local economy in 2013.

  • Local supplier purchases: The casino purchased $16.5 million in goods and services from local vendors in Jackson and Swain counties in 2013.

  • Giving back to the community:




    • Education: Not only do casino resources support the Cherokee School System with programming; they also recently funded a new $130-million campus for the schools. The EBCI also supports Cherokee language instruction in local public schools in Jackson, Swain and Graham counties, which have a significant population of Cherokee students.




    • Housing: Casino resources have led to the construction of several new housing projects in the Cherokee area, including the Sarah Smoker and Bill Ledford housing projects for senior citizens and handicapped tribal members. The projects include apartments, duplexes and single-family homes. Dozens of other area site homes have been developed.




    • Infrastructure and public safety: Using casino-generated income, the EBCI has invested in several infrastructure projects including a wastewater treatment plant, freshwater treatment plant, road improvement projects, and expansion of solid waste sanitation and recycling facilities. There have also been expansions in community services such as fire, police and emergency medical services, as well as a new Emergency Operations Center.


The Cherokee Preservation Foundation, a nonprofit foundation funded by the EBCI from gaming revenues, awarded $5.1 million in grants to 45 programs and organizations in 2013. These grants support cultural preservation, economic development, job creation and environmental preservation.
Among those receiving grants last year were the Cherokee Youth Council, for leadership training; the Blue Ridge Resource Conservation and Development Council, for the restoration of a three-acre tract of river cane along the Cane River and public education about river cane; and the WNCEdNET STEM-E Program, to enable the implementation of the STEM-E framework for a science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum with an entrepreneurial focus in Cherokee Central Schools, as well as turnkey training for other districts across the region.
Gaming’s impact on Western North Carolina: Just as in Cherokee itself, Harrah’s economic impact is felt far and wide in North Carolina’s western counties through employee compensation, local purchases, tourist spending and tax revenues.

  • Employee compensation: Harrah’s employs about 2,500 people from the area and presently contributes $96 million in payroll expenses to the local economy each year.

  • Local purchases: The casino purchased $16.5 million in goods and services from local vendors in Jackson and Swain counties in 2013.

  • Growing personal income: Median household income in Swain and Jackson counties has increased dramatically since 1990, before Harrah’s was built:




    • Swain County: $15,756 to $43,426 (2012).

    • Jackson County $21,061 to $36,403 (2012).


The new Cherokee Valley River Casino and Hotel: In October 2013, the Eastern Band broke ground on a new $110-million destination casino outside Murphy, N.C. The facility is owned by the tribe and managed by Caesars Entertainment Corporation. Because of its easy accessibility, the new resort will augment the market reach of tribal gaming enterprises into Tennessee, South Carolina and Georgia.
The Cherokee County facility will feature 60,000 square feet of gaming space with slots and traditional table games, a 300-room full-service hotel and a variety of dining options. The casino will be about two hours from Knoxville, Chattanooga and downtown Atlanta and will serve the growing adult population living within that radius. In 2011, 7.4 million people age 21 or older lived within 2.5 hours of the casino site; now, more than 7.6 million live in that same area.
The casino will create an estimated 900 on-site jobs and inject up to $39 million in wages into the surrounding area.
Cherokee Attractions
Museum of the Cherokee Indian
Tracing the rich 11,000-year history of the Cherokee people, this acclaimed museum features dozens of exhibits, interactive video and displays that tell the tribe’s vivid story through the centuries.
Web address: http://visitcherokeenc.com/play/attractions/museum-of-the-cherokee-indian/.

Contact: Museum Director Bo Taylor, 828-497-3481 or botaylor@cherokeemuseum.org.



Oconaluftee Indian Village
This living, breathing village re-creation takes visitors back more than 250 years to an 18th-century Cherokee civilization. The journey is led by native guides and is highlighted by dancing, music, art and visits to traditional dwellings.
Web address: http://visitcherokeenc.com/play/attractions/oconaluftee-indian-village/.

Contact: Laura Blythe, 828-497-1126 or lblythe@nc-cherokee.com.


Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc.
Founded almost 70 years ago, Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc. houses the most extensive collection of Cherokee arts and crafts in the United States. From traditional native weaponry to intricate baskets and exquisite wood carvings, Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc. offers visitors the chance to see and purchase some of the finest, most authentic, locally made work available.
Web address: http://visitcherokeenc.com/play/attractions/qualla-arts-and-crafts-mutual-inc/.

Call: 828-497-3103.


Unto These Hills outdoor drama

A critically acclaimed theatrical production in the newly renovated Mountainside Theatre, “Unto these Hills” draws thousands each year to witness the spellbinding story of the Cherokee people through the centuries.


Web address: http://visitcherokeenc.com/play/attractions/unto-these-hills-outdoor-drama/.

Contact: Contact: Laura Blythe, 828-497-1126 or lblythe@nc-cherokee.com.



Sequoyah National Golf Club
Cited by Golf Magazine as 2009’s #2 “Best New Course You Can Play,” this 6,057-yard, Robert Trent Jones II-designed course offers both challenging golf and sweeping mountain views. Its bent-grass greens and rolling bluegrass fairways serve up a golfing experience unlike any on the East Coast.
Web address: http://visitcherokeenc.com/play/attractions/sequoyah-national-golf-club.

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort
The sparkling crown jewel of Cherokee, the 21-story casino resort features a four-star luxury hotel with 1,108 spacious rooms with generous amenities, a 15,000-square-foot conference center, a new 3,000-seat event center offering world-class entertainment, the acclaimed Mandara Spa, shopping arcades, fine dining and, of course, 150,000 square feet of popular gaming.
Web address: http://visitcherokeenc.com/play/attractions/harrahs-cherokee-casino-resort/.

Contact: Craig Day, 828-497-8227 or cday@cherokee.harrahs.com.



Cherokee Valley River Casino
Just down the road in Murphy, N.C., is the new $110-million Cherokee Valley River Casino and Hotel, presently under construction with an opening scheduled in the summer of 2015. The new resort will feature a 108,000-square-foot gaming facility with traditional favorite table games and slots.
Web address: https://www.caesars.com/harrahs-cherokee/things-to-do/valley-river-casino-hotel/.

Contact: Craig Day, 828-497-8227 or cday@cherokee.harrahs.com.




CHEROKEE OUTDOOR ADVENTURES
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
On Cherokee’s doorstep is the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a 522,000-acre wilderness area with a vast offering of outdoor activities. With more than 9 million visitors each year, the park features auto touring, biking, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, picnicking, ranger-led programs and special events.
Web address: http://visitcherokeenc.com/play/outdoor-adventure/great-smoky-mountains-national-park/

or http://www.nps.gov/grsm/index.htm.

Call: 828-497-1904 (local number) or U.S. National Park Service, 865-436-1200.
Oconaluftee Islands Park
In the heart of Cherokee, Oconaluftee Islands Park is a popular family vacation destination. Situated on the banks of the rushing Oconaluftee River, the park offers ample opportunities for picnicking, wading, or walks along its beautiful nature trail.
Web address: http://visitcherokeenc.com/itinerary-builder/poi/oconalufteeislands-park/.

Call: 800-438-1601.


Fish Cherokee
With 30 miles of freestone streams, constituting the longest stretch of managed private fishery in the eastern U.S., the Cherokee stream system is stocked with rainbow, brook, golden and brown trout. The system – which offers a variety of angling settings, from primeval forests to the Cherokee town center – hosts a number of major fishing events each year. There are also numerous trout ponds throughout the area.
Contact: Michael J. LaVoie, 828-497-1801 or michlavo@nc-cherokee.com.

Web address: http://visitcherokeenc.com/play/outdoor-adventure/fishing/.



Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway, easily accessible from Cherokee, offers views of magnificent mountain peaks and valleys, as well as hiking trails, overlooks and picnic spots. The Parkway stretches almost 470 miles from the edge of Shenandoah National Park in Virginia along the Blue Ridge Mountains to its southern terminus near Cherokee.
Web address: http://visitcherokeenc.com/play/outdoor-adventure/blue-ridge-parkway/ or http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/.

Contact: Tom Hardy, 828-670-1924.


Oconaluftee River Trail
The Oconaluftee River Trail, maintained by the U.S. National Park Service, travels 1.5 miles one way from the Oconaluftee Visitor Center to the outskirts of Cherokee. The trail runs through the forest alongside the Oconaluftee River and offers beautiful views of the river.

Web address: http://visitcherokeenc.com/itinerary-builder/poi/river-trail/ or

http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/ocon-river-trail.htm.

Handicapped-accessible fishing piers
To make fishing more accessible for visitors with disabilities, there is handicapped fishing access at two locations in Cherokee: on the Oconaluftee River near Oconaluftee Islands Park, and at the KOA ponds. 
Web address: http://visitcherokeenc.com/play/outdoor-adventure/fishing/ (click on the “Map” tab).

Contact: Michael J. LaVoie, 828-497-1801 or michlavo@nc-cherokee.com.



Elk viewing
Elk were reintroduced 14 years ago into Great Smoky Mountains National Park after a 200-year absence, and now the herd numbers about 400. Elk are now frequently spotted throughout the Qualla Boundary and the surrounding area.
Web address: http://visitcherokeenc.com/play/outdoor-adventure/elk/.

Tubing and kayaking
Tubing and kayaking opportunities in and around Cherokee abound on the Tuckasegee and Oconaluftee rivers. Numerous launch spots are available.
Web address: http://visitcherokeenc.com/play/outdoor-adventure/tubing/.

Mingus Mill
Mingus Mill, near the Mountain Farm Museum, is one of the most popular tourist stops around Cherokee. It is also near a number of hiking trails and historic landmarks.
Web address: http://visitcherokeenc.com/itinerary-builder/poi/mingus-mill/.

Smokemont Riding Stables
A leading Cherokee attraction, the Smokemont Riding Stables offers a variety of horseback-riding options including short hourly rides, guided rides to natural attractions, and wagon rides. Web address: http://visitcherokeenc.com/itinerary-builder/poi/smokemont-riding-stables/.

Mingo Falls and Soco Falls
With Cherokee’s abundant waters and steep terrain, waterfalls are a big part of our landscape. Two of the most popular and beautiful falls are Mingo and Soco. Both offer unmatched secluded scenic beauty, with places to picnic and unwind.
Web address: http://visitcherokeenc.com/itinerary-builder/poi/mingo-falls/.

Judaculla Rock

One of the most baffling mysteries in the Cherokee region is the ancient Judaculla Rock near Sylva, N.C. The soapstone rock, said to date back almost 3,000 years, is covered with hieroglyphic drawings. The site is considered sacred by the Cherokee people.


Web address: http://www.judacullarock.com/.

EVENTS
Cherokee hosts a variety of special events, annually and throughout the year. The table below lists them, along with contact information writers and editors can use to get additional information. This information is subject to change.



3/11/20153/11/2015

2015

Location

Contact

Phone #

Intro to Cherokee Spirituality

Mar 10-15

Cherokee, NC

Mary Herr

828-497-9498

Cherokee's Cast Into Spring Tourney

Mar 27-29

Cherokee Enterprise Waters

Michael J. LaVoie

828-554-6113

Rainbow & Ramps Elder Dinner

Mar 28

Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds

Frieda Huskey

828-359-6492

KOA Fishing Tourney

Mar 28

KOA Campground

David Masarik

828-497-9187

Young Child Children's Fair

Apr 23

Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds

Amanda Strom

828-554-6590

Mother's Day 5K

May 9

Acquoni Expo Center

Tara McCoy

828-554-6783

Strawberry Festival

May 16

Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds

Carmaleta Monteith

828-497-2717

Memorial Day Trout Tourney

May 22-24

Cherokee Enterprise Waters

Michael J. LaVoie

828-554-6113

Gourd Artist Gathering

May 28-30

Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds

Joy Jackson

251-342-4358

Gem Capitol Gun Show

June 5-7

Acquoni Expo Center

Todd Carter

828-778-6186

Cherokee Summer Carnival

Jun 9-13

Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds

Hubert Bullard

843-385-3180

Cherokee Voices Festival

Jun 13

Museum of the Cherokee Indian

Barbara Duncan

828-497-3831

Cherokee Summer Celebration

TBD

Cherokee Welcome Center

Josie Long

828-554-6491

Dock Dogs

July 10-12

Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds

Brian Sharenow

630-768-8431

July 4 Fireworks

Jul 4

Acquoni Expo Center

Frieda Huskey

828-359-6492

40th Annual Powwow

Jul 3-5

Acquoni Expo Center

TBD

TBD

Cherokee’s Dog Days Trout Tourney

July 17-18

Cherokee Enterprise Waters

Michael J. LaVoie

828-359-6113

Talking Trees Children’s Trout Derby

July 31-Aug1

Oconaluftee Islands Park

Forrest Parker

828-497-1826

Blueberry Festival

Aug 8

Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds

Carmaleta Monteith

828-497-2717

KOA Mid-Fall Fishing Tourney

Aug 14-16

KOA Campground

David Masarik

828-497-9187

National Rifle Association

Aug 15

Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds

Bruce Hawkins

828-226-0738

Open Air Indian Art Market

Aug 29

Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual, Inc. Co-op

Vicki Cruz

828-497-3103

7 Clans Rodeo

TBD

Old Elem. School Lot; Intersection Hwy 19 & 441

Forrest Parker

828-497-1826

Qualla Country Trout Tourney

Sept 4-6

Cherokee Enterprise Waters

Michael J. LaVoie

82-554-6113

Wings Over the Smokies Convention

June 9-11

Acquoni Expo Center

Bob & Dorothy Richards

919-435-8050

Cherokee Harvest Half Marathon and 5K

Oct 3

Acquoni Expo Center

Jeremy Hyatt

828-359-6529

Chief's Challenge Run/Walk

Oct 6

Downtown Parade Route

Tara McCoy

828-359-6783

Cherokee Indian Fair

Oct 6-10

Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds

Frieda Huskey

828-359-6492

WNC Truck Show

Oct 9-10

Acquoni Expo Center

Bob Smith

828-788-6054

Trail of Tears Memorial Walk

Oct 10

Cherokee Historical Assoc. Office

Laura Blythe

828-497-1126

Cherokee Zombie Run

Oct 10

Cherokee Historical Assoc. Office

Laura Blythe

828-497-1126

Village Ghost Walk

Oct weekends

Cherokee Historical Assoc. Office

Laura Blythe

828-497-1126

KOA Fall Fishing Tourney

Oct 10

KOA Campground

David Masarik

828-497-9187

Rumble in the Rhododendron

Oct 30-Nov 1

Cherokee Enterprise Waters

Michael J. LaVoie

828-359-6113

Fall Rod Run

Nov 5-8

Acquoni Expo Center

Ann Ball

828-497-2603

Veteran's Day Celebration

Nov 11

Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds

Warren Dupree

828-508-2657

Cherokee Choices 5K Walk/Run

Nov 21

Acquoni Expo Center

Tara McCoy

828-359-6783

Brothers in the Wind Toy Run

Nov 29

Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds

Ned Stamper

828-736-2780

Christmas Parade

Dec 5

Downtown Parade Route

Josie Long

828-359-6491

Cherokee Lights & Legends

Dec 5-Jan2

Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds

Frieda Huskey

828-359-6492

New Year's Eve Fireworks

Dec 31

Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds

Frieda Huskey

828-359-6492
















Cherokee Attractions

2015

Location

Contact

Phone #

Museum of the Cherokee Indian

Jan 2-Dec 31

Museum of the Cherokee Indian

Bo Taylor

828-497-3481

Oconaluftee Indian Village

May 1-Oct 17

Oconaluftee Indian Village

Laura Blythe

828-497-1126

Cherokee Bonfire

May 22-Sept 5

Oconaluftee River Bonfire Site; Fridays and Saturdays

Frieda Huskey

828-359-6492

Music on the River

May 22-Sept 5

Oconaluftee River Stage; Fridays and Saturdays

Frieda Huskey

828-359-6492

Unto These Hills Drama

May 30-Aug 15

Mountainside Theatre

Laura Blythe

828-497-1126

OIV Time of War

May 30-Aug 15

Oconaluftee Indian Village

Laura Blythe

828-497-1126



















For Information: Frieda Husky | 828.359.6492 | friehusk@nc-cherokee.com | VisitCherokeeNC.com


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