By NANCY FOLTZ
CHEROKEE PRESERVATION FOUNDATION
Cherokee Preservation Foundation (CPFdn) announced on Tuesday, Oct. 25 it has awarded 19 new grants totaling more than $2 million. The grants support cultural preservation, economic development, job creation and environmental preservation. They include:
A grant to fund the third phase of a project to improve the appearance and ease of use of downtown Cherokee streets. The design includes culturally themed streetlights, underground utility wires, new and wider sidewalks, crosswalks stamped with cultural symbols, improved landscaping and signage, and the addition of benches, bike racks and recycling bins. This phase of the project addresses both sides of Hwy. 441 from the intersection of Drama Rd. to the First Citizens Bank building.
A grant to support the marketing efforts of the Greater Cherokee Tourism Council. Members include Cherokee Historical Association, the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, the Qualla Arts & Crafts Cooperative, the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce, EBCI Fish & Game, EBCI Transit, EBCI Parks & Recreation, Sequoyah National Golf Club, EBCI Travel & Tourism and other groups. The funds will be used for research, data and market analysis, advertising production and media buys.
A grant to enable the Oconaluftee Institute for Cultural Arts (OICA) to recruit more local students and implement a marketing campaign to attract students from other tribes. OICA, which is located in the Vocational Opportunities of Cherokee building, is working to increase student enrollment and build on its position as the only institute of higher education east of the Mississippi River dedicated to Native American arts.
A grant that will support efforts from Wild South and ECBI partners to continue identifying and mapping ancient Cherokee trails in a new phase in which efforts will be concentrated within the Qualla Boundary. One result of the project will be a Qualla Trails System map that will be developed by community members, with assistance from interested EBCI youth who will be taught GPS trail mapping techniques while learning about Cherokee history and culture as they help locate and identify trails. Wild South and Cherokee Choices will be co-founders of the Pedestrian Bicycle Advisory Board, and other members will include the EBCI Community Recreation, Travel and Tourism, Environment, Natural Resources, and Planning and Development departments.
A grant to support the development of a new Haywood County Youth Council. The Haywood youth group will be the sixth youth council Cherokee Preservation Foundation has helped to establish. Modeled on the success of the Cherokee Youth Council, the councils give youth a voice on issues important to them and an opportunity to learn leadership and other skills. Like the Cherokee Youth Council and the youth councils in Swain, Graham, Jackson and Macon counties, the new Haywood County Youth Council intends to help develop environmental stewardship practices.
A grant to enable the hire of an EBCI Energy Program Manager. The person hired will coordinate the implementation of alternative energy and energy efficiency projects in the EBCI Strategic Energy Plan that will make the Qualla Boundary more environmentally sustainable.
A grant to Cherokee High School for its basketmaking and pottery programs. Cherokee High School will continue its successful basketmaking program under the guidance of master basketmaker Lucille Lossiah and art instructor Alyne Stamper, and will enhance its pottery program by bringing in a master potter to teach students for several weeks.