Cultural Preservation

To improve the quality of life for members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI)
by helping tribal members live, share and preserve the Cherokee culture.

Major Programs & Initiatives

Cherokee Language

Faced with the situation of elder speakers dying far more quickly than new speakers have been emerging, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is working to revitalize the Cherokee language. “Speaking a language means we have a culture,” said an elder. “There is a big difference between people who have a culture and people with a history.” Cherokee Preservation Foundation is investing significantly in the complex effort.

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Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources (RTCAR) is a grantmaking program whose purpose is to assist the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians as the tribe works to restore the traditional Cherokee balance between maintaining and using natural resources like river cane, white oak and clay. RTCAR has been undertaken to teach, protect and promote Cherokee traditional art, resources and land care for present and future generations.

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Leadership Development

The Cherokee Leadership Development initiative supports lifelong, culture-based learning that gives members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians opportunities to develop strong leadership abilities and to serve successfully in leadership roles. The goal of the youth and adult leadership programs is to produce generations of strong Cherokee leaders who draw on tribal culture and values.

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Cultural Tourism

Four principal cultural attractions bring thousands of visitors to Cherokee, NC, each year – the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual, the Oconaluftee Indian Village, and “Unto These Hills,” a play that retells the Trail of Tears and explains how the ancestors of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians managed to avoid the forced removal.

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