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Cherokee is a town in Swain County, North Carolinamarker, USAmarker, within the Qualla Boundary land trust. It is located in the Oconaluftee River Valleymarker, near the intersection of U.S. Route 19 and U.S. Route 441 within western North Carolina.

Cherokee is the headquarters for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.


The Harrah's Cherokeemarker casino, which opened in 1995, dramatically "changed everything from jobs to education to health care" for Cherokee tribe members; as of 2005, nearly four million people a year visited the casino, generating a per capita profit of $14,000 for each tribe member, half of which is directly paid to each member, with the other half going to the tribe for community projects.

At one time, the area had a number of manufacturing and textile plants, but those have mostly closed or moved overseas by 2005; before the casino, National Park tourism provided work for about half the year, with most tribal members subsisting on welfare during the winter.


Mingo Falls (about 120 feet high) during moderately dry weather, near Cherokee.
Cherokee is a tourist-oriented area, located at the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Parkmarker and at the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkwaymarker. In addition to the casino it is the site of attractions such as:

Eastern Cherokee history, culture, and crafts are portrayed in the historical drama Unto These Hills, presented annually during the tourist season. In is also home to three roadside attractions with zoos: Cherokee Bear Zoo, Chief Saunooke Bear Park, and Santa’s Land. Retired game show host and animal rights activist Bob Barker has called for the Black Bear zoos at these attractions to be closed, prompted by the experiences he learned of from the family of Rep. Bill Young of Florida.

People from Cherokee

Notable residents or natives of Cherokee include:

Pop culture

Scenes from movies such as Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier, Digging to China, Forces of Nature and Stroszek were shot in Cherokee.


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