CHEROKEE, NC (October 8, 2013): The Cherokee Preservation Foundation recently awarded 24 new grants totaling over $4.1 million, continuing its mission to improve the quality of life for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and the surrounding region.
Some of the grants include:
The Cherokee Chamber of Commerce: The funding will help support the overall capacity of the organization with the creation of a plan to implement a fly-fishing museum. These improvements will lead to further business proliferation from the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce and a beneficial attraction to anchor the Cherokee cultural district as a vibrant part of the Cherokee economy.
The Cherokee Youth Council: This grant will support the Cherokee Youth Council to promote leadership training opportunities, leadership development activities and regional youth council development. As a result, youth members will continue to participate in leadership building and cultural activities and will be demonstrating the traditional practice of ga-du-gi (Helping Hands)
or "Selfless Leadership."
The Blue Ridge Resource Conservation and Development Council: Funds will restore a three-acre tract of river cane along the Cane River and help educate the public about river cane. When fully restored, the site will have the potential to move the Blue Ridge Resource Conservation and Development Council closer to its goal of making 15,000 culms of cane available to Cherokee artists and secure the resource for future generations of Cherokee basket makers.
The Sequoyah Fund: The Sequoyah Fund leverages resources provided by the Cherokee Preservation Foundation to gain investments from federal and state lending agencies. They will continue to capitalize their revolving loan fund to meet increased market demand for business startup and expansion throughout the Qualla Boundary and the seven far western counties of Western North Carolina.
The Junaluska Memorial Site Museum: The grant funding will support the development of an archaeological report on the historic Fort Montgomery location in Graham County and to digitize historical documented materials and local residents' interviews.
The EBCI Economic & Community Development Office: The funding from this grant will allow plan development to continue for the continued revitalization of the cultural district across from the Fair Grounds and to gather input and gain support from the larger Cherokee community to realize a plan of action moving forward with this space.
The WNC EdNet Stem-E Program: The support from this grant will enable implementation of the STEM-E framework for a science, technology, engineering and mathematics curriculum with an entrepreneurial focus in Cherokee Central Schools as well as turnkey training for other districts across the region. This project will produce students with genuine prospects for high-tech jobs and give them the necessary tools they can build on to launch a career or business of their own.
The Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources: The focus of this grant will include enhancing four to six existing projects that offer artisan resources and materials to include clearing house space, expanding material locations and offering the community and region educational opportunities to continue the goal to preserve and enhance the Cherokee artistic traditions.
Other Cherokee Preservation Foundation Grant Recipients include:
The Museum of the Cherokee Indian: To upgrade the technical operation of the Museum's permanent exhibit.
Western North Carolina Nonprofit Pathways: To provide training, learning opportunities and resources to nonprofits and community groups across the WNC region.
The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES): To develop relationships and partnerships needed to begin a successful AISES program at Cherokee Central High School.
EBCI Cooperative Extension Center: To provide an international experience for youth in Western North Carolina while strengthening their leadership skills through a cultural exchange with an indigenous culture.
Land Trust for the Little Tennessee: To develop community driven initiatives around parcels of land including Nikwasi Mound, Cowee Mound-Hall Mountain and Macon County Heritage Center.
EBCI Division of Commerce: To market and advertise for members of the Greater Cherokee Tourism Council and Greater Cherokee.
Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources (RTCAR): To protect traditional artisan resources for future generations.
Cherokee Central Schools: To support Cherokee language instruction and assessment at Cherokee Central Schools for the 2013-2014 school year.
Cherokee Central Schools: To offer a broader range of technology-based vocational courses to Cherokee High School students, while helping them meet the career cluster requirements established by the state.
Big Cove Community Free Labor: To support the Free Labor Group by purchasing upgraded equipment.
Qualla Arts & Crafts Mutual: To continue board and staff professional development opportunities.
Western Carolina University (WCU): To support WCU's Cherokee Language Program as in integral partner in the Cherokee Language Revitalization Initiative.
The North Carolina Arboretum Germplasm Repository: To test the sustainability of traditional Cherokee ramp harvesting techniques.
Western North Carolina Youth Council: To develop a Regional Youth Council in the far seven western most counties of North Carolina.
EBCI Tribal Historical Preservation Office: To nominate the Cooper Creek Farm property to the National Register as a National Historic Area and to evaluate the property for future preservation efforts.
EBCI: To develop a comprehensive Curatorial and Archives Complex feasibility study.