About Cherokee

The Early People

What is now Western North Carolina has been part of the homeland of the Cherokee people for untold centuries. Today's Eastern Band members are direct descendents of those who avoided the Cherokees' forced removal to Oklahoma in the 1830's the "Trail of Tears." Their home today is the 56,000-acre Qualla Boundary in Western North Carolina adjacent to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are more than 13,000 enrolled members of the Tribe, over 60% of whom live on the Boundary.

The Qualla Boundary includes the town of Cherokee, NC as well as several other communities. Many of these townships would have been clan townships in earlier times (Bird clan, Wolf clan, etc).

Chief Hicks
Chief Patrick Lambert

Tribal Government The Tribe adopted a constitution and organized a modern government in 1827. In 1865 the State of North Carolina assured the permanent residence of the Cherokees. In 1868, a general council of the Eastern Cherokees was held to form a Tribal Government, and the new government was inaugurated December 1, 1870.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) is a sovereign nation with a three-branch government: Executive Branch, headed by Principal Chief and Vice Chief; Legislative Tribal Council; and Judicial Branch.

The EBCI Tribal Government provides services typical of those provided by most municipal governments.

You may contact the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians at...

P.O. Box 455
Cherokee, NC 28719
Fax: 828-497-7007

For more information, visit the ECBI website