EBCI leadership attends Tri-Council Meeting; resolution passed on Moccasin Bend

by Jun 26, 2024NEWS ka-no-he-da0 comments

Submitted by Office of Ugvwiyuhi (Principal Chief)


TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) Tribal leadership attended the historic Tri-Council meeting recently, a significant gathering that unites the three sovereign Cherokee nations: the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, and the Cherokee Nation. Hosted by the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, Okla., this important event served as an opportunity for the tribes to come together, share their experiences, and work collectively towards our common goals.

The week included a tour of the New Durbin Feeling Immersion School/Language Center, the Mige Glory Veterans Housing Addition, and the Ga-Li-Sto-De Housing Addition. These tours allowed EBCI leadership to see firsthand the innovative programs and initiatives implemented by the Cherokee Nation, showcasing advancements in education, housing, and veteran services.

The Tri-Council General Session commenced on Thursday, June 20. During this session, a resolution calling for preserving Moccasin Bend, a site of deep historical and cultural significance, was passed unanimously.

Moccasin Bend, located on the Tennessee River peninsula in Hamilton County, Tenn., is an area of immense archaeological and historical importance – evidence of ancient villages and burial mounds at the site points to its long-term occupation by Native Americans. In the early 1800s, Moccasin Bend was a critical crossing point on the Tennessee River, where the United States Government constructed the Federal Road across Moccasin Bend in 1805, a path that later became part of the Trail of Tears, the forced relocation route of the Cherokee People in 1838. Despite its historical significance, efforts to preserve Moccasin Bend have faced numerous challenges.

The area has seen various developments, including the construction of the Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute, a law enforcement firearms training range, radio towers, a golf course, and a wastewater treatment facility. Tri-Council’s resolution emphasizes the urgent need to halt further construction and development to protect this invaluable site. The resolution urges the Governor of Tennessee, the Senate, and the Legislature of North Carolina to respect and conserve Moccasin Bend, a site of unparalleled significance. It is the sole National Historic Landmark in Hamilton County, Tennessee, and the only National Archeological District in the United States.

“The Tri-Council strongly opposes any new construction on Moccasin Bend and fully supports initiatives to protect its natural, historical, and cultural resources. By protecting this historic site, we honor the sacrifices of our ancestors and preserve a vital piece of our history,” said Ugvwiyuhi (Principal Chief) Hicks, “I want to thank the Tri-Council for their unified approach to this preservation effort, demonstrating our collective commitment to protecting our sacred sites.”

The passing of this resolution marks a significant achievement and demonstrates the Tri-Council’s collective commitment to protecting and preserving the Cherokee history. The Tri-Council meeting, with its blend of cultural exchange, collaborative discussion, and historical reflection, reinforces the shared commitment to preserving our legacy and working together for the future of our people.

(Note: A copy of the resolution was not available to the One Feather by press time.)