Qualla Boundary

Lilly Knoepp

One week from today, voters on the Qualla Boundary will head to the polls to elect all positions in the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians tribal government. BPR has this look at the principal chief race. 

Neither candidate for principal chief is new to politics. Current Chief Richard Sneed has been in this office since 2017. Teresa McCoy has been a tribal council member on and off for close to 20 of the last 30 years. 

Lilly Knoepp

Nantahala Health Foundation has hired Lori Bailey as executive director of the organization. The new nonprofit health foundation formed after the February sale of Mission Health to for-profit HCA Health.

Lilly Knoepp

  The Cherokee language is officially in a state of emergency. The number of fluent speakers has been dwindling for years. BPR spoke with Cherokee language experts about what is being done to teach and preserve their native tongue. 

There are only about 200 fluent Cherokee speakers left in the Eastern Band of the Cherokee(EBCI) and only about 2,000 nationwide.  Leaders in the Eastern Band say that’s not because the language isn’t being taught - but rather a lack of teachers and Cherokee families speaking the language at home. 

Lilly Knoepp

  The Cherokee language is officially in a state of emergency according to the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes. Blue Ridge Public Radio sat down with an Eastern Band native speaker at the new Kituwah Academy to learn more. 

 

Myrtle Driver Johnson is 75 years old. She’s an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and a Beloved Woman. 

 

Johnson introduces herself in Cherokee before switching to English. 

 

Photo by Bear Allison (Courtesy of The Museum Of The Cherokee Indian)

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian is hoping to improve attendance and inspire new artists through its newest expansion.

 

A new room at the Museum of the Cherokee won’t be full of any ancient artifacts.  Museum director Bo Taylor says, instead, it will be a gallery space for local artists.