Honoring the Cherokee tradition of land stewardship

November 1st, 2021

“The Cherokee have always been an agricultural people, and their old country is a region of luxuriant flora, with tall trees and tangled undergrowth on the slopes and ridges, and myriad bright-tinted blossoms and sweet wild fruits along the running streams.” – James Mooney, Myths of the Cherokee, 1888

A reverent and symbiotic relationship with nature was historically — and continues to be today — a cornerstone of Native American cultures, including the Cherokee.

The Cherokee people, who endured forced removal from their ancestral lands, which encompassed the region that is now Upstate South Carolina and much of the Southeast, had a sacred bond with this lush and abundant land. They were stewards of the earth for thousands of years, passing down intricate knowledge of plants, their uses, and unique qualities throughout generations. Historically, plants were used not only as food and sustenance, but also for medicine, clothing, and art.

Today the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), based in the Qualla Boundary in Western North Carolina, continues to protect, conserve, and enhance Tribal natural resources for the benefit of the Cherokee community through its Natural Resources Program.

EBCI Natural Resources works to maintain healthy fish, wildlife, and plant populations, manage forest and aquatic habitats, protect Tribal air and water quality, assist community members with regulatory processes, promote natural resource-related recreational and subsistence opportunities, and provide educational services to the Cherokee people. You can learn more at cherokeenaturalresources.com

Learn more about local Cherokee history

Located in Walhalla, the Museum of the Cherokee in South Carolina provides a preserve for a deeper and more meaningful understanding of the Cherokee heritage of South Carolina.

Museum of the Cherokee in South Carolina
70 Short St, Walhalla, SC 29691
(864) 710-9210
Admission: $3 for adults, free for children 12 & under
Visit: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee, NC offers traveling exhibits and immersive experiences celebrating 13,000 years of Cherokee history. 

Museum of the Cherokee Indian
589 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee, NC 28719
(828) 497-3481
Admission: $12 for adults, $7 for children ages 6-12, free for children 5 & under
Visit: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm daily

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