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Cherokee Studies

cherokee people giving a presentation


Our Cullowhee, North Carolina campus is at the heart of the spiritual and cultural homeland of the region's largest Native American population, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Uniquely located amidst rich cultural and academic resources, our interdisciplinary program enables students to study at the source. In partnership with the Cherokee community, we offer students and scholars a wide range of academic and support services.

Cherokee Studies Academic Programs

Western Carolina offers both graduate and undergraduate programs in Cherokee Studies. In addition, Western Carolina offers several scholarships for Native American students and non-native students pursuing a degree in Cherokee Studies. Cherokee Studies students and visiting scholars will have at their disposal one of the largest collections of Cherokee related materials anywhere.

Undergraduate Program

Graduate Programs

Cherokee Language Revitalization Project

Thanks to a generous series of grants from the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, the EBCI and Western Carolina University Cherokee Studies are working together to implement a ten-year language revitalization initiative. This initiative takes a three-pronged approach to revitalizing the Cherokee language:

  • Continuing to improve and expand the EBCI Atse Kituwah Cherokee Language Immersion School
  • Working with the EBCI community to develop Cherokee language learning resources
  • Building Western Carolina University programs to offer a more comprehensive language training curriculum

Cherokee Studies Mission Statement

Cherokee Studies develops and coordinates programs and courses relating to Native American and Cherokee culture, language, history, health and environment with the goal of promoting awareness and understanding of Cherokee and Indigenous issues.

Cherokee Studies promotes long-term partnerships with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians for our overall mutual benefit in the spirit of gadugi. Through the Cherokee Center and on-campus programs, we serve as resources for Native American students and Cherokee community development and revitalization.

Support Cherokee and Indigenous Studies at WCU

Cherokee Programs Advancement Fund

The Advancement Fund provides support for academic programs in Cherokee and Indigenous Studies, as well as campus programming related to Indigenous cultures and contemporary issues. It also supports the work of the Cherokee Center, WCU’s headquarters for outreach and involvement in the Cherokee community.

T. J. Holland Memorial Scholarship

The T. J. Holland Memorial Cherokee Studies Scholarship is awarded to students pursuing either an undergraduate minor in Cherokee and Indigenous Studies or a graduate degree with a concentration in Cherokee Studies. Special consideration is given to applicants who are citizens of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Cherokee Nation, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, or another Native American nation.

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