CHEROKEE, NC (April 1, 2015): 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 provides 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 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.
About the Cherokee Preservation Foundation
Established in 2000 as part of the Second Amendment to the Tribal-State Compact between the EBCI and the state of North Carolina, the Cherokee Preservation Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit foundation funded by the EBCI from gaming revenues generated by the Tribe. The Cherokee Preservation Foundation is not associated with any for-profit gaming entity. The impact in grant distribution on the Qualla Boundary and the western seven counties of the state totals more than $70 million dollars, with every dollar of support matched by $1.46 in other funding or in-kind resources, making the total impact of the Cherokee Preservation Foundation and its partners in the region more than $176.7 million. With a core mission to improve the quality of life for the EBCI, the key areas addressed include cultural preservation, economic development and job creation and environmental sustainability.