When the Cherokee Tribal Council voted to give itself a hefty pay raise last fall — $10,000 extra a year plus tens of thousands in backpay for the years when it supposedly should have already been receiving those extra dollars — the decision aroused the ire of a staunch contingent of tribal members who deemed it illegal.
Breweries could be built and alcohol served at special events in Cherokee, if a House bill currently awaiting hearing in a Senate committee becomes state law.
Cherokee will have a new chief when Election Day concludes this September.
Principal Chief Michell Hicks, who is serving his third four-year term, will not seek re-election, but five candidates have filed in hopes of taking his place.
Proponents of domestic violence prevention are cheering following the launch of a federal law that will allow tribal courts to prosecute non-Indians who commit domestic violence on tribal land.
“It’s going to be a really good thing for the tribe,” said Bill Boyum, Chief Justice of the Cherokee Supreme Court.
Blood quantum. Even on their own, the words have a ceremonial, reverent ring to them.
For Cherokee tribal members, reality bears out the ring. Blood quantum — the fraction of one’s ancestry that is purely Cherokee — decides everything from a person’s ability to own land in the Qualla Boundary to availability of scholarships for college to eligibility to receive a share in casino profits each year.
Scanty wireless networks, outdated computer equipment, slow servers — technological woes have been a centerpiece of discussion at Cherokee Tribal Council meetings for quite some time. After months of introducing resolutions only to table them and hours-long meetings with finance, technology and broadband leaders, Council this month took action on a slate of legislation designed to give some direction to the technology overhaul and designate funds with which to do it.
When the Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise board opted to get rid of the project manager position for its Murphy casino construction project last year, some skepticism ensued as to whether the project could still continue on time and within budget.
Cherokee is one step closer to having an Olympic-sized outdoor pool following Tribal Council’s unanimous vote this month to purchase property for the project.
“We have an identified site with contract negotiations with those landowners,” said Jason Lambert, director of planning and development for the tribe. With the site nailed down, he said, “we can get into more specific due diligence and more specific planning in order to get to that hard construction.”
A blaze in Cherokee has been fully contained, but not before burning up 400 acres of forest in the Qualla Boundary.
“It was more than likely arson,” said James Condon, fire management officer for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Cherokee. “There was no lightning strikes in the area and there was no brush being burned.”
“Two or more Families join together in building a hot-house, about 30 feet Diameter, and 15 feet high, in form of a Cone, with Poles and thatched, without any air-hole, except a small door about 3 feet high and 18 Inches wide. In the Center of the hot-house they burn fire of well-seasoned dry-wood; round the inside are bedsteads sized to the studs, which support the middle of each post; these Houses they resort to with their children in the Winter Nights.”
— John DeBrahm, “Report of the General Survey in the Southern District of North America,” ed. Louis de Vorsey, Jr., (Univ. of South Carolina Press, 1971)