The Museum of the Cherokee Indian will offer training for EBCI tribal members who want to become certified as guides for the Cherokee Heritage Trails. This program will be offered March 16-27 at the Museum and at sites on the trails. Training will last from 8am – 5pm every day, with two overnight stays. Expenses will be covered. The Museum will then provide opportunities for guides to contract with visiting groups, bus tours, Cherokee Experience groups, and local schools. Training is funded by the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, which made a grant to the Museum in February 2015.
Participants will learn about more than one hundred Cherokee sites in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia and will travel throughout the training. They will also receive information about public speaking, hospitality, and first aid. At the end of the training participants will give an oral presentation and pass a written test to get their certification.
The Cherokee Heritage Trails project began in 2001 as a partnership among the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, North Carolina Arts Council, Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and agencies in Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia. The Museum of the Cherokee Indian is the main interpretive site for the project, which is now part of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. The “Cherokee Heritage Trails Guidebook” was published in 2003, and a website was launched at www.cherokeeheritagetrail.org. The project received the “Preserve America Presidential Award” in 2004.
Since then, the Museum has trained about 25 tour guides. Special tours have been developed for the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Cherokee Overhill Towns in Tennessee. For the upcoming training, a new “Qualla Boundary” tour is being created. Tours of Cherokee sites in Clay County and Buncombe County will be added as well. Tours of Cherokee sites in western counties will be offered to schools that want their students to learn about Cherokee heritage in their area.
Participants must fill out an application. These will be available at the Museum Box Office or through email. Info: Barbara Duncan 497-3481 ext. 306 or email@example.com
– Museum of the Cherokee Indian