KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — November marks the month-long national celebration of the National Native American Heritage Month. Currently, there are more than 500 federally recognized tribes in the United States, including our region’s Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

In 1990, the U.S. Congress passed and President George H. W. Bush signed into law a joint resolution designating the month of November as the first National American Indian Heritage Month (also known as Native American Indian Month).

There are many ways to learn more about Native Americans and local tribes in the East Tennessee-North Carolina region. Events are often organized by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, which is based in the region, as well as at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian – which offers a vivid experience of the 11,000-year-old Cherokee story. The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum in Vonore is also a way to learn about the Cherokee Syllabary, the written Cherokee language that was invented in 1821.

Last month, the Cherokee Nation declared Oct. 15 as “Sequoyah Day” to honor the bicentennial of the Cherokee Syllabary and the man who developed the tribe’s formal written language.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.