Cherokee, North Carolina


in Cherokee Image:Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee, NC IMG 4881.JPG, 200px, Museum of the Cherokee Indian on Tsali Boulevard in Cherokee Cherokee ( chr, ᏣᎳᎩ, translit=Tsalagi) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Swain County, North Carolina, Swain and Jackson County, North Carolina, Jackson counties in Western North Carolina, United States, within the Qualla Boundary land trust. Cherokee is located in the Oconaluftee (Great Smoky Mountains), Oconaluftee River Valley around the intersection of U.S. Route 19 in North Carolina, U.S. Routes 19 and U.S. Route 441 in North Carolina, 441. As of the 2010 United States Census, 2010 census, the CDP had a population of 2,138. It is the capital of the federally recognized Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, one of three recognized Cherokee tribes and the only one in North Carolina.


Cherokee is the capital of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation and part of the traditional homelands of the Cherokee people. In the 1870s, the Eastern Band purchased the land for what is called the "Qualla Boundary". To continue the heritage of the Cherokee in the town, several signs for Cherokee's streets and buildings are written in both Cherokee syllabary and English. As a census-designated place (CDP), Cherokee overlaps most or part of three of the seven communities of the Qualla Boundary: Painttown, Wolftown, and Yellowhill.


Cherokee town and its surrounding Qualla Boundary is in the very mountainous Swain and Jackson counties. The highest elevation is Clingman's Dome at the border with Tennessee. Clingman's Dome is the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains. The Oconaluftee River flows through downtown Cherokee.


2020 census

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 2,195 people, 867 households, and 561 families residing in the CDP.



The EBCI negotiated an agreement with the state, and in 1997 opened Harrah's Cherokee, Harrah's Cherokee Casino for gaming. It has generated jobs and revenue for the tribe, providing money that the EBCI applies to its people's education, welfare and culture. In 2005, nearly four million people visited the casino and generated a per capita profit of roughly $8,000 annually."The business of gambling"
CNN, 06 July 2005
Each member of the tribe is paid some annual income; the tribe reinvests other monies for health and related services, and long-term development. Since the late 20th century, most manufacturing and textile plants left the area, moving their jobs offshore to lower wage areas, such as Southeast Asia. The regional economy suffered. Many of the Cherokee had to rely on jobs related to national park tourism and recreation, which provided work for about half of the year. Many tribal members had to rely on public assistance to survive during the winter.


Cherokee is a tourist-oriented area, located at the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and at the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. In addition to the casino, it is the site of attractions such as: * Cherokee Botanical Garden and Nature Trail * Trail to Mount Guyot (Great Smoky Mountains), Mount Guyot * Museum of the Cherokee Indian * Oconaluftee Indian Village * Oconaluftee (Great Smoky Mountains) * Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual * Oconaluftee River Eastern Cherokee history, culture, and crafts are portrayed in the historical drama ''Unto These Hills'', presented annually during the tourist season. The Cherokee area offers many campgrounds, trails and river adventures. It is also home to three roadside attractions with zoos: Cherokee Bear Zoo, Chief Saunooke Bear Park, and Santa's Land. The zoos have been considered controversial. Bob Barker, a retired game show host and animal rights activist, has called for closing the American black bear, black bear zoos at these attractions. Cherokee Wonderland and Frontier Land were two amusement parks that operated in the area in the late 1960s and into the early 21st century, respectively. The latter was converted into a water park before being closed to make way for development of Harrah's Cherokee. When they were open, both parks featured their own Narrow gauge railway, narrow gauge railroads (named ''Cherokee Wonderland Railroad'' and ''Frontier Land Railroad'').

Notable people

*Walker Calhoun, musician, dancer, and teacher *Amanda Crowe, woodcarver and educator *Raymond Fairchild, banjo player *Charles George, Medal of Honor recipient *Leo Miller (American football), Leon Miller, American football player and lacrosse coach *Clyde Moody, bluegrass music, bluegrass musician *Stan Powell, NFL player for the Oorang Indians *William Holland Thomas, Cherokee leader and Confederate States Army, Confederate general


Cherokee Central Schools operates the K–12 public schools. Cherokee High School (North Carolina), Cherokee High School is the local high school. The private elementary school, New Kituwah Academy, is based on language immersion in Cherokee. Previously the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) provided educational services, and in their schools students were not permitted to speak Cherokee.

Popular culture

Scenes from movies such as ''Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier'', ''Digging to China'', ''Forces of Nature (1999 film), Forces of Nature'', ''The Fugitive (1993 film), The Fugitive'', and ''Stroszek'' were shot in Cherokee.Locations in Cherokee, NC
from Internet Movie Database


External links

Cherokee Tourism website

2009 Boundary and Annexation Survey
a U.S. Census map for Cherokee and the surrounding area
The argument for a basic income
{{Authority control Census-designated places in Jackson County, North Carolina Census-designated places in North Carolina Census-designated places in Swain County, North Carolina Cherokee towns in North Carolina Communities of the Great Smoky Mountains Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tourism in North Carolina