The County Commission on Monday passed a resolution declaring their support for efforts by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to change the official name of the mountain back to “Kuwohi,” the name used by the Cherokee people for thousands of years.
“Someone asked me, ‘are they trying to erase history by changing the name?’, and actually, it’s the complete opposite. They’re wanting to restore it to its original name. I love the history of the Smoky Mountains and the fact that Cherokee Indians were the first settlers in Campbell County, so what better way to pay homage to our past and support our friends at the same time?Campbell County 5th District Commissioner Tyler King, resolution sponsor
The Knox County Commission passed a resolution in June affirming their support for the change. The movement also garnered unanimous support from Buncombe County, N.C. Board of Commissioners.
Kuwohi means “Mulberry Place” in Cherokee. The change would apply only to the mountain, not the observation tower.
“Our vote alone won’t change the name. Our vote is simply a vote of support. When the federal government takes up a vote, they will take into consideration the amount of support shown by surrounding areas,” King said. “So far, we are only the second county in Tennessee to take up a vote in support of this resolution. I’m hoping more counties in Tennessee follow suit.”
At 6,643 feet, it is the highest point in Tennessee and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is named for Thomas Lanier Clingman, a Confederate general and U.S. Senator from North Carolina who explored the area extensively.