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Cherokee Preservation Foundation Awards Grants

The Cherokee Preservation Foundation (CPF) recently awarded 23 new grants totaling over $2.4 million, continuing its mission to improve the quality of life for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and the surrounding region.

Some of the grants include:

Cherokee Children’s Home: To acquire edible plants, soil amendments, and gardening tools for the edible landscape at the Cherokee Children’s Home. Funds will be used to construct a tool shed and augment other aspects of the landscape such as non-edible plants, fencing, walkways, and planting grass.

Cherokee Indian Hospital Foundation: To improve the interpersonal competencies of the hospital staff with cultural training and improve relations with the core customer– the EBCI community. Another component will be to beautify and naturalize the exterior of the new hospital facility by incorporating native grasses wherever possible.

Cherokee High School: To incorporate a master basket maker into the Cherokee High School art classes. The artist will augment the skills of the high school art teacher, and students will learn to create a double weave river cane and white oak baskets, starting from the raw materials and ending with a finished basket.

Land Trust for the Little Tennessee: To continue the restoration of river cane and other resources (butternut, yellowroot, mulberry, hazelnuts) on the historic Welch Farm and fund management of artisan resources on the Tennessee Bottomland Preserve. On the Welch Farm property, nearly 15 acres are being managed to enhance the existing plant resources and to plant trees and river cane.

Watershed Association of the Tuckasegee River: To hold a fish weir workshop and facilitate a trip to the McClung Museum and Anthropology Department at the University of Tennessee for youth. The program will also add two snorkeling adventures on and off the Qualla Boundary to learn about fish ecology in area streams.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP): To develop a culturally-based STEM curriculum to provide Cherokee Middle School and High School students real-world experiential learning opportunities. Students will be directly involved in data collection methods on a variety of long-term research projects to monitor the threats to Park resources.

Hope Center–Cherokee: To support the BabyFACE program on the Qualla Boundary, serving high-needs families with children from birth to five. Services include home-visits, routine health and developmental screenings, parent group meetings, and resource referrals as needed.

Other Cherokee Preservation Foundation Grant Recipients include:
American Indian Science & Engineering Society: To implement a plan to pilot a community-based initiative with the EBCI community to expand increased STEM education opportunities for Cherokee Central School students.
Tri-County Community College: To offset the costs of hiring a Cherokee dance group and storyteller to present, share, and explore the rich and vibrant culture of the Cherokee people.
Cherokee Children’s Home: To complete an additional environmentally friendly building that includes energy efficient elements, and includes a purchase price payback time schedule that is based on cost savings for each item.
EBCI Tribal Historic Preservation Office (EBCI THPO): To conduct archaeological field work along the Nolichucky River in east Tennessee and create fifth and eighth grade educational trunks available to area schools. THPO will work with East Tennessee State University to develop archeological fieldtrips and build curriculum highlighting the Overhill Towns of east Tennessee pre-European contact.
Jackson County: To commission a plan utilizing Tribal experts to develop a preservation plan for the significant sites on the Drexel site. Jackson County will work with EBCI THPO and Cultural Resources to create this plan and develop signage to educate visitors on the EBCI and the significance of the site.
Sequoyah Birthplace Museum: To enhance the new permanent exhibit with multimedia displays, energy efficient modalities throughout the building, and measurements to improve the safety for visitors and staff and to host the first Cherokee Heritage Fall Festival.
North Carolina International Folk Festival, Inc.: To include the EBCI in a cultural exchange festival in Haywood County. At least two different EBCI dance groups will perform traditional dance and music during the Folkmoot Festival from July 16th-26th 2015. Representatives from other cultures, hosted by Folkmoot, will perform in Cherokee.
Land Trust for the Little Tennessee: To enhance the bird monitoring, research, and education programs tied to the national MAPS program. Educational materials will be produced to present information on native birds in Cherokee and English.
Cherokee Historical Association: To assist in the development of a new business plan to benefit all cultural partners. With this plan, along with new programs, short-term and long-term visitation and revenue numbers will increase, enhancing the sustainability of these important Cherokee tourism attractions.
Snowbird Cherokees Traditions: To continue the 2015 Snowbird summer language camp and adult classes. The summer language camp offers six weeks of activities and instruction around Cherokee language and culture to approximately 25 youth, primarily from the Snowbird community of Graham County.
Cherokee Central Schools: To continue Technology Engineering & Design, and Agricultural Education classes and improve the instructional program for students at Cherokee Central schools. By offering a broader range of vocational courses allows students to excel in areas of interest, while achieving requirements established by the state.
EBCI Kituwah Preservation and Education Program (KPEP): To support their ongoing development and delivery of Cherokee language instruction. As the EBCI enters the next 10-year phase of the Kituwah Language Revitalization Initiative, the focus will be on building areas of competency and persevering and protecting the language resources for future generations.
Museum of the Cherokee Indian: To revitalize the Cherokee Friends program, and upgrade the Cherokee Heritage Trails website. The Museum will select, hire, and train new seasonal Cherokee Friends and hire a full time manager.
Museum of the Cherokee Indian: To highlight Jerry Wolfe as the first Beloved Man of the Cherokee since 1801. The Museum will interview, publish a book, and create a short film on his life. The schools, community members and others will access the information through the Museum’s audio and visual archive system.
Western Carolina University: To continue leadership development opportunities through the Right Path adult leadership program. The program will continue developing curriculum that is culturally based and reflects traditional Cherokee core values. Leaders will learn and interact with elders and other cultural experts.
For spring 2015, every one dollar given by the Cherokee Preservation Foundation is matched by $.63, either by secured funds/grants, in-kind or leveraged resources, making CPF’s total contribution to the region $4,113,000.

EBCI to Inaugurate a New Tribal Council

On Monday, October 7, 2013 the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will inaugurate a new Tribal Council. The ceremony will take place at 10:00am at the Chief Joyce Dugan Cultural Arts Center at Cherokee Central Schools. Three new representatives and one former council member will join eight incumbents for the next tribal council which will serve a two year term. The tribe will also swear in members of the Cherokee School Board. The event is open to the public.

Per Capita Notice for New EBCI Enrollees

To be considered for the December 2013 per capita distribution, a complete enrollment application or a new applicant must be submitted to the Enrollment Office by 4:30 pm., Monday, September 16. Enrollment applications received after this date will not be considered for the December distribution. An application will only be considered complete with a county certified birth certificate and Certified DNA results sent directly from the lab to the Enrollment Office. To schedule a DNA test in Cherokee, contact Michelle at the EBCI Enrollment office at 554-6463. To schedule a DNA test out of town, contact Amber Harrison (918)-685-0478. DNA testing must be scheduled on or before August 30th to obtain the results before the September 16th deadline. Because of the extended amount of time in receiving a social security number for a newborn, an application will be considered for enrollment without the social security number. However, an Enrollment Card will not be issued until the Enrollment Office receives the social security number for the new enrollee. Applications may be obtained from the Enrollment Office located in the Ginger Lynn Welch Complex or you may call the Enrollment Office at 554-6467, 554-6465 or 554-6466.

Chief Michell Hicks Appointed to N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission

left to right Ms. Marsha Hicks, Judge Alan Thornburg and Principal Chief Michell Hicks of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians being sworn in the North Carolina Wildlife Commission

left to right Ms. Marsha Hicks, Judge Alan Thornburg and Principal Chief Michell Hicks of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians being sworn in the North Carolina Wildlife Commission

Michell Hicks, Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, has recently been appointed commissioner on the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission it was announced today by N.C. Governor Pat McCrory. Created in 1947, the commission oversees conservation of and sustains the state’s fish and wildlife resources through research, scientific management, wise use, and public input. With an annual budget of $65 million and 590 full-time employees, the commission also enforces N.C. fishing, hunting, trapping and boating laws. Chief Hicks had the following to say; “This is a great honor for me and also for the Eastern Band,” Hicks commented. “Our tribe has long been committed to environmental preservation and sustainability and this appointment represents a natural extension of the work we have been doing for many years on the Qualla Boundary and in Western North Carolina.” Chief Hicks concluded with “We look forward to the opportunity to continue this tradition and also to give back to the state of North Carolina.”

 

Wastewater Spill in Jackson County

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians had a wastewater spill on July 30th, 2013. The spill was an estimated 1,000 Gallons from a manhole near the Tribal Transfer Station. The untreated wastewater was spilled into an unnamed tributary of Shoal Creek in the Little Tennessee River Basin. The Division of Water Quality was notified of the event on August 2nd, 2013 and are reviewing the matter. The news release is in accordance with House Bill 1160, which requires that municipality, animal operations, industries and others who operate waste handling systems issue news releases when a waste spill of 1,000 or more reaches surface waters. For more information contact the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians at (828)-497-7000.

Cherokee Reservation Hosts 9th Annual Festival of Native Peoples

cherokee_festivalThe Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will be hosting their 9th annual Festival of Native Peoples on Friday, July 12th and Saturday, July 13th. The festival will be held at the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds. Festival features include the acrobatic feats of Totonac pole flyers of Mexico, the Kwakwaka’wakw Nations Lelala Dancers, The White mountain Apache Crown Dancers, the Zuni Dancers of New Mexico, Mexico Citys Aztec Dancers, and Cherokee’s Warriors of AniKituhwa. Doors will be opening Friday and Saturday at 11 am and will include performances all through the day. Admission for each day is $10 for adults; childern age 6 & under are no charge. To purchase tickets online go to VisitCherokeeNC.com or buy at the gate.

Cherokee Proposes Casino Dividend Check Garnish for Inmates

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is proposing a plan to garnish casino dividend funds of tribal members that are incarcerated. The plan was introduced by Council Representatives Tunney Crowe and Terry Shell earlier in the month. The idea was brought about to reduce or eliminate fees paid by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to other counties for housing inmates from the reservation. Many inmates from the reservation are, at this time housed in the Swain County Jail in Bryson City and Cherokee has to pay a daily fee to Swain County for each inmate each day. The amount of the dividend garnish for each inmate is yet to be determined. Each Tribal member gets a share of casino profits, usually equaling about $8000 a year pre taxes. The tribe does currently garnish per-capita money for child support, resulting in Cherokee having the highest rate of child support collection in the state. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians still have several steps before the proposal would become a law, the tribe is still working on construction of a 75 bed jail on the reservation, which will in turn be a part of a much larger Justice Center. The tribal attorney also has to draft a sample legislation that will need to be passed by the Tribal Council and then signed by the Chief.

NC Congressman Mark Meadows Opens the First Congressional Office on an Indian Reservation

 

(left to right) Vice Chief Larry Blythe, Tribal Council member Tommye Saunooke, Principal Chief Michell Hicks, Congressman Mark Meadows and Tribal Council member "B" Ensley.

(left to right) Vice Chief Larry Blythe, Tribal Council member Tommye Saunooke, Principal Chief Michell Hicks, Congressman Mark Meadows and Tribal Council member “B” Ensley.

On Tuesday congressman Mark Meadows made history when he and his staff opened the first ever congressional office on an Indian reservation. Tuesdays opening of the congressional office in Cherokee, North Carolina was attended by many tribal members including Chief Michell Hicks. When asked about his comments on this first ever event Chief Hicks had this to say; “The congressman proposed it to me a number of months ago, I told him was an excellent idea. With the job base we have here in Cherokee and the partnerships with the surrounding counties I think it would be a good idea to have an office here”.  When asked if he thought if congress members not only in our area but also across the country would follow this example Chief Hicks was quoted as saying; “I don’t think there’s any question in my mind. He’s taking a huge step and I think we are going to see a number of these offices spread out in the United States and I think that’s something that’s going to be part of any future congressman’s platform”. In an earlier interview with the Cherokee One Feather Congressman Mark Meadows had the following to say; “Constituent service is my top priority. By holding office hours in all 17 counties and the Qualla Boundary in Cherokee, my staff and I will be able to better serve western North Carolinians.  Constituents can set up meetings at any of the district office locations to receive help with anything from navigating the federal government to assistance with their Social Security and Medicare.  My staff and I are dedicated to assisting constituents whenever and wherever they need us.” Cherokee’s office will be located in the Ginger Lynn Welch Complex and office hours will be the fourth Tuesday of each month from 10am – 12pm and 1-3pm.