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How the Cherokee tribe began
Q: I am doing a report on the Cherokee tribe. I found
your site very helpful
but I have a few other questions. When was the
tribe founded? Who were its
A: This is a difficult question to answer.
American Indians have been in North America since
prehistoric times. Just as we don't know exactly what
year cavemen arrived in Europe, we do not know exactly
what year American Indian ancestors arrived in North
America. Scientists who study ancient human beings
(anthropologists and archaeologists) say
that the fossil evidence goes back at least 12,000
years. Cherokee oral tradition says that the Cherokee
people have always been here. Everyone agrees that it
was an extremely long time ago. So
nobody knows who the first Cherokee leaders were, or
what year the first Cherokee was born.
However, the Cherokees first petitioned
the United States for recognition as a nation in 1827.
Of course, the tribe existed before that and had even
made treaties with the Americans before that, but 1827
was the first time they received legal status.
Perhaps that is what you are asking? The first
Cherokee chief recognized by the US as an official
leader was John Ross. He was also the leader who
accompanied the Cherokee tribe on their forced
migration to Oklahoma, where they have lived ever
since. Here's a website about John Ross and his wife
Hope that helps!
Native Languages of the Americas
Speak the Cherokee language
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