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Museum of the Cherokee People – A New Vision

Exterior of the Museum of the Cherokee People

Cherokee is known for many things – its many lakes, rivers, streams, fishing and beautiful mountains, and in more recent years, its casino.  It’s also home of the Museum of the Cherokee People, formerly known as The Museum of the Cherokee Indian until a recent rebranding to align more authentically with the Cherokee, as people. 

You can hear more about the name change after 75 years in the video below.


The Museum is located in Cherokee on the Qualla Boundary, the sovereign land of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and ancestral homeland of all Cherokees.  It was established in 1948 and is one of the longest-operating tribal museums in the country.  It’s also been named a Top 10 Best Native American experiences by USA TODAY.

This immersive, multi-sensory collection of history, culture, stories and artifacts are shared through the Museum’s exhibitions and programs throughout the year.  While visiting the Great Smoky Mountains, do not miss the opportunity to learn more about this 11,000 year old culture who continues to survive and thrive through the spirit of inventiveness and resilience.  Their history is a serious one and the museum shares it in ways that can touch us all.

The Museum store’s sales help carry out the Museum’s mission to preserve and perpetuate the history, culture and stories of the Cherokee people.  Make sure you stop in and find a Cherokee made piece of art or book of memoirs, jewelry, clothing or fabric art to commemorate the time spent appreciating a fellow culture.

There are seven Cherokee values – spirituality, harmony/balance, integrity, stewardship, preserving culture, role modeling and sense of humor.  The Museum of the Cherokee People is a key representation of all of these values, from the history and knowledge it shares to its dedicated staff, and mission.