The coordinates are for the Northern entry to Cherokee coming from Gatlinburg, TN. There is a great fountain and sign that is new, welcoming visitors to the reservation both in English and the native Cherokee language.
Located in the most visited National Park in the United States, the Great Smokey Mountains, Cherokee recieves thousands of visitors every year. One of the most popular attractions is the historical play, "Unto These Hills" - now in its 58th year. There is also the July annual Pow Wow and many other events open to the public. There are local cultural demonstrations, shops and arts and crafts. You can visit some of their wonderful parks and outdoor activities like rafting the river hiking. You can also stop by their War Memorial Park with several monuments to members of the Cherokee Nation who have served the United States Military. The Reservation is also home to Harrah's Casino.
The following information comes from Wikipedia.com about Cherokee, NC (visit link
Cherokee is a town in Swain County, North Carolina, USA. It is the headquarters for the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. It is also a tourist-oriented area, located at the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the site of a Harrahs Cherokee Casino. It is located in western North Carolina on the Oconaluftee River and the Qualla Reservation, and on U.S. Highway 441. An outdoor drama depicting the Eastern Band's story, Unto These Hills, is presented annually during the tourist season. The population is about 1/3 Cherokee.
The town is known in the past for its stereotypical representation of Native Americans. However, in recent years the Tribe has worked hard to overcome this and is currently working on a project to renovate the entire "tourist" area, has given notice to many shops that are considered tacky or fitting into the unwanted stereotype. The Tribe has built many more cultural centers. Although many of the stereotypical representations of Native Americans still exist in the "tourist trap" stores, these will soon be gone, to be replaced by a more tasteful atmosphere of celebration of the native culture and peoples. The Tribe has plans to build new, state-of-the-art schools and health care facilities, and has taken an interest in preserving the pride of the people.
A basic understanding Eastern Cherokee history, culture, and crafts may be had by attending a performance of Unto These Hills, visiting the Museum of the Cherokee Indian along with the Qualla Arts and Crafts center, where you can buy authentic Cherokee arts and crafts, and strolling through the Oconaluftee Indian Village, where you can see the crafts practiced as well as learning more about Cherokee history and society.
According to Wikipedia's Information on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian (visit link
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians are a federally recognized Native American band in the United States of America. The history of the Eastern Band is very much synonymous with that of the Qualla Boundary, although the Band owns lands extending up to 100 miles beyond the Boundary. The Eastern Cherokee are the descendants of primarily those persons listed on the Baker Rolls of Cherokee Indians. The Qualla Boundary, current homeland of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Most of its money from tourism and the Harrah's Cherokee Casino, instituted in the early 1990s.
Some helpful links include Museum of the Cherokee Indian, which hosts and exhibits an extensive collection of artifacts and items of historical and cultural interest from the early Mississippian Period through modern times related to the Cherokee Culture. Cherokee Heritage Center, displays historical artifacts related to the march of the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears and the development of Oklahoma Cherokee Culture.
Many of the traditional religious practices of the Eastern Band have become blended with new age views and customs according to Cherokee traditionalists, and have diverged as the result of cultural isolation of the various factions of Cherokee Society. However, many of the original dances and ceremonies are still practiced by the Eastern Band. The Eastern Band has begun a language immersion program requiring all graduating seniors to speak the language beginning 2007. Of the total population on the Qualla Boundary, there are approximately 900 speakers, 72% of whom are over the age of 50.
The Eastern Band members are primarily descended from Cherokee who did not participate in the march on the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma Territory. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians still practice many of the original ceremonies and many prominent Cherokee historians are affiliated with or members of the Eastern Band.
Tsali (pronounced /'?a.li/). Opposed the removal and remained in the Cherokee Homeland with a small group of Cherokee who formed a rebellious resistance against the United States to thwart the removal of the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears. Tsali was eventually captured and was executed by the United States in exchange for the lives of the small band he protected, who remained in the Cherokee Homeland and became the modern Eastern Band.
Eastern Cherokee Indian Reservation
The Eastern Cherokee Indian Reservation is located in western North Carolina, just south of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The main part of the reservation lies in eastern Swain County and northern Jackson County, but there are many smaller non-contiguous sections to the southwest in Cherokee County and Graham County. A very small part of the main reservation even extends eastward into Haywood County. The total land area of these parts is 213.934 km² (82.600 sq mi), with a 2000 census resident population of 8,092 persons.