http://www.cherokeephoenix.orgSonny Ledford, a Warriors of Anikituwah member, dances at a past Great Island Festival at the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Vonore, Tenn. The museum and several other parcels are part of a 76-acre area included in the Eastern Band Cherokee Historic Lands Reacquisition Act that is in the U.S. House of Representatives. DAWN ARNEACH/CHEROKEE ONE FEATHER
Sonny Ledford, a Warriors of Anikituwah member, dances at a past Great Island Festival at the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Vonore, Tenn. The museum and several other parcels are part of a 76-acre area included in the Eastern Band Cherokee Historic Lands Reacquisition Act that is in the U.S. House of Representatives. DAWN ARNEACH/CHEROKEE ONE FEATHER

EBCI’s land-into-trust bill has movement in House

BY SCOTT MCKIE B.P.
Cherokee One Feather
01/10/2018 08:15 AM
Reprinted with permission
MONROE COUNTY, Tenn. – A bill that would bring several historic Cherokee sites back under the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ control has support from various leaders.

Rep. Charles J. Fleischmann (R-Tenn.) on Jan. 3 introduced the Eastern Band Cherokee Historic Lands Reacquisition Act into the U.S. House of Representatives.

According to the House Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs, “The bill would place approximately 76 acres of Tennessee Valley Authority land in Monroe County, Tenn., on the shores of Little Tennessee River/Tellico Reservoir into trust for the benefit of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Additionally, the bill places two permanent easements over TVA land to be held in trust.”

The 76 acres includes approximately 46 acres at the site of the Sequoyah Birthplace Museum, around 18.2 acres that includes the Chota Memorial and the Tanasi Memorial and another 11.2 acres known as “support parcel.” Also in the bill are permanent easements for the Chota Peninsula, which includes 8.5 acres, and the Chota-Tanasi Trail, which has 11.4 acres.

The Chota Memorial includes a full-scale representation of the Council House and sits in the spot of the original structure at Chota. The Tanasi Memorial, built by the TVA and the Tennessee Historical Commission in 1989, contains a monument with an inscription that states in part, “The site of the former town of Tanasi, now underwater, is located about 300 yards west of this marker.”

Fleishmann told the Cherokee One Feather: “I was pleased to introduce the Eastern Band Cherokee Historic Lands Reacquisition Act last January after extensive conversations with the Eastern Band regarding the specific lands, which comprise a portion of the southeastern part of my district in Monroe County. After introducing the legislation, I received overwhelming community support as well as the strong support of county leadership. Last year, the Natural Resources Committee included my bill in a hearing, and I am optimistic it will be marked up and go to the Floor for consideration in 2018. I remain steadfast in my commitment to protecting the historic home of the Cherokee Indians and promoting the economic development of the region.”
Two local leaders have also expressed the bill’s support. In a letter to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Monroe County Mayor Tim Yates and Loudon County Mayor Buddy Bradshaw encouraged Alexander to sponsor a companion bill.

“We believe it is most appropriate for you to sponsor a Senate resolution since the lands involved in the reacquisition are in Tennessee and job growth from the lands will be Tennessee jobs,” the letter states. “TVA has voiced no opposition to this action and will be compensated for any lost hydropower from future development of the lands.”

The two leaders also addressed a Dec. 6 town hall meeting at Cleveland State Community College.

“(EBCI) Principal Chief Richard Sneed made a presentation on the positive economic and culture benefits to our region from this Act,” the letter stated. “In attendance at the meeting were Monroe and Loudon County local government and economic development officials, community and academic leadership, and strong representation from numerous businesses. As the County Mayors of the two most positively impacted counties, we were impressed with Chief Sneed’s presentation and the overwhelming community support at the meeting. We are both in full support of the Reacquisition Act and have been so since receiving initial briefings on the subject.”

Charlie Rhodharmer, Sequoyah Birthplace Museum director, said Tanasi was the first Cherokee capital in what is now this area of east Tennessee and that Moytoy of Tellico established it in the late 1720-30s.

“By 1753, Chota had become the mother town of the Overhill,” he said. “During the 18th century, Chota was the political and cultural capital of the Cherokee Nation. It was known as a peace town.”

An Oct. 4 hearing was held on the bill before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs in which Sneed said the bill “celebrates not only a time in Cherokee history when we lived in Tennessee, but also the return of the Cherokee people – as a modern, living people, with a living culture and language, and traditions that have survived from ancient times – back to Tennessee.”

Sneed said he believes the lands “should be returned to our people for the continued protection of important Cherokee historic sites.”

– REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION

News

BY STAFF REPORTS
07/17/2018 12:00 PM
ADA – For 70 years, campers representing more than 50 Indigenous tribal nations from across North America gather for Indian Falls Creek Baptist Assembly in Ada. This family camp provides Bible classes, training, a health fair, recreation, fellowship and worship services for all ages. The opportunity to attend with the entire family and people of all ages makes IFC an annual event for many churches. Some campers have attended IFC since childhood and now make it an annual tradition for their children and grandchildren. Prayer Walk Warriors start the morning early and join the daily sunrise service. Later in the week walkers and runners participate in the annual 5k Hot and Sweaty Run. More than 500 preschoolers and children attend classes and Vacation Bible School each day and campers 6 to 11 years old attend Children’s Church twice daily. Class sessions for youth, young adults and adults are also offered and vary in topics. A nursery is provided during morning youth and young adult services and evening family services. IFC officials said they want to meet the needs seen throughout Native American and First Nations communities by providing training that helps campers engage others in their communities. Suicide prevention, literacy training and health classes supplement the Biblical and leadership development training offered to campers. Other opportunities include blood donations and a bone marrow registry at the health fair. The Silver Fox Fellowship provides a time for senior campers to relax and meet in a cool place, if they are not watching or participating in recreational activities. Highlights during recreation are the watermelon eating contest, youth art contest, Bible drills, children’s Olympics, stickball games and the golden frybread/steaming meatpie contest. Each day, different Indian Nations are invited to sing traditional hymns in their tribal languages during the worship services. The 71st Indian Falls Creek meeting is July 29 through Aug. 2. For more information, visit <a href="http://www.IndianFallsCreek.org" target="_blank">IndianFallsCreek.org</a>.
BY STAFF REPORTS
07/17/2018 10:30 AM
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BY ROGER GRAHAM
Multimedia Producer – @cp_rgraham
07/17/2018 08:30 AM
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BY ROGER GRAHAM
Multimedia Producer – @cp_rgraham
07/16/2018 12:00 PM
TAHLEQUAH - The Cherokee Nation’s Election commission held a special meeting on July 10 in the Cherokee Nation Election Commission building. Commissioners revised various segments of the EC bylaws, rules and regulations. The commission also discussed actions to be taken on the recent water damage to its headquarters. The commission then voted to allow EC Chairwoman Shawna Calico to vote on all motions. Before this decision, Calico only voted when votes ended in ties. Later Commissioner Carolyn Allen motioned for the commission to go into executive session after attorney Harvey Chaffin told the five commissioners he saw no need for executive session. Once the commission came out of the private discussion, Calico announced no action was taken during the executive session. The Cherokee Phoenix covered the event and produced the following video of the entire meeting, not including the executive session.
BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
07/15/2018 02:00 PM
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BY ASSOCIATED PRESS
07/15/2018 08:00 AM
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