Eastern Band of Cherokee

An image of young kids learning to play the harmonica
National Council for the Traditional Arts / NCTA

Musicians and dancers across the country are converging in Greensboro this weekend for the 75th annual National Folk Festival.  The festival begins Friday, September 11 and goes through Sunday, September 13. It is the first time the festival has come to the Tar Heel State.

Members of the Cherokee Nation bike from North Carolina to Oklahoma to remember those forced to march on the Trail of Tears.
Remember the Removal / Facebook

Members of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee are on a bike ride with members of the Cherokee Nation from Oklahoma.

The 950-mile ride commemorates the Trail of Tears forced march in 1839.  Michell Hicks is the Principle Chief of the Eastern Band based in North Carolina.

"We have riders from the Eastern Band of the Cherokee and we have riders coming home from Oklahoma with the Cherokee Nation that are going to be on about a three week journey."

Jordan and Jamekah are two young people on the ride.
Remember the Removal Bike Ride

Cyclists from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have joined a dozen members of the Cherokee Nation from Oklahoma. The group will ride their bicycles 950 miles over three weeks, tracing the route of the Trail of Tears.

In 1838 and 1839, the Cherokee Nation was required to give up all lands east of the Mississippi River. The requirement was a part of President Andrew Jackson's plans to remove the Indians. 

More than 15,000 Cherokees were forced to march from their homeland across nine states to Oklahoma. The journey came to be known as the "Trail of Tears."

A picture of the NCSU Forensic Anthropology Logo.

New research from North Carolina State University has found a connection between historical stressors and physiological development in the Cherokee nation. 

In the late 19th century, anthropologist Franz Boas measured the skulls of adult Cherokees from groups who had grown up as the nation was split. Some were driven west on the Trail of Tears, and others fled to the Smoky Mountains for safety. 

NC State Forensic Anthropologist Ann Ross analyzed that data and found that Cherokees from both groups developed smaller skulls with different shapes.  

Starting this month a group of white tailed deer will be transported from Morrow Mountain State Park onto 56,000 acres of reservation lands of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

It's a project sponsored by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the Cherokee Fisheries and Wildlife Management Program.

The move will help augment the reservation's population of deer which has been declining over the years.

The Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in Western North Carolina contributes almost $400 million to the local economy. That’s according to a new report from UNC Chapel Hill.