The Cherokee Nation (Cherokee: ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ or Tsalagihi Ayeli) is the largest of three Cherokee federally recognized tribes in the United States. It was established in the 20th century, and includes people descended from members of the old Cherokee Nation who relocated from the Southeast due to increasing pressure to Indian Territory and Cherokees who were forced to relocate on the Trail of Tears. The tribe also includes descendants of Cherokee Freedmen and Natchez Nation. Over 299,862 people are enrolled in the Cherokee Nation, with 189,228 living within the state of Oklahoma. According to Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) head Larry EchoHawk, the Cherokee Nation is not the historical Cherokee tribe but instead a "successor in interest."
Headquartered in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation has a tribal jurisdictional area spanning 14 counties in the northeastern corner of Oklahoma. These are Adair, Cherokee, Craig, Delaware, Mayes, McIntosh, Muskogee, Nowata, Ottawa, Rogers, Sequoyah, Tulsa, Wagoner, and Washington Counties.
The history of the Southern United States reaches back hundreds of years and includes the Mississippian people, well known for their mound building. European history in the region began in the very earliest days of the exploration and colonization of North America. Spain, France, and England eventually explored and claimed parts of what is now the Southern United States, and the cultural influences of each can still be seen in the region today. In the centuries since, the history of the Southern United States has recorded a large number of important events, including the American Revolution, the American Civil War, the ending of slavery, and the American Civil Rights Movement.
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—is an area comprising the southeastern and south-central United States. The region is known for its culture and history, having developed its own customs, musical styles and varied cuisines that have helped distinguish it in some ways from the rest of the United States. The Southern ethnic heritage is diverse and includes strong European (mostly English, Scotch-Irish and Scottish), African, and some Native American components. Several Southern states (Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia) were English Colonies that sent delegates to sign the Declaration of Independence and then fought against the English along with the Northern Colonists during the Revolutionary War. The basis for much Southern culture derives from the pride in these states being among the 13 original colonies (and much of the population of the South had fore-fathers who emigrated west from these colonies). Manners and customs reflect the early population of the South's relationship with England as well as that of Africa and to some extent the native populations.
Some other aspects of the historical and cultural development of the South have been influenced by an early support for the doctrine of states' rights, the institution of slave labor on plantations in the Lower South; the presence of a large proportion of African Americans in the population; and the legacy of the Civil War and Reconstruction Era, as seen in thousands of lynchings (mostly from 1880 to 1930), the segregated system of separate schools and public facilities known as "Jim Crow", that lasted until the 1960s, and the widespread use of poll taxes and other methods to frequently deny blacks of the right to vote or hold office until the 1960s. In more modern times, however, the South has become the most integrated region of the country and race-relations on par with those elsewhere. Since the late 1960s blacks have held and currently hold many high offices, such as mayor and police chief, in many cities such as Atlanta and New Orleans.
Cherokee (ᏣᎳᎩ ᎦᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗ Tsalagi Gawonihisdi) is the Iroquoian language spoken by the Cherokee people. It is the only Southern Iroquoian language that remains spoken. Cherokee is a polysynthetic language and uses a unique syllabary writing system.
The history of North America is the study of the past, particularly the written record, oral histories, and traditions, passed down from generation to generation on the continent in the Earth's northern hemisphere and (chiefly) western hemisphere.
Egyptian hieroglyphs 32 c. BCE
The Cherokee syllabary is a syllabary invented by Sequoyah, also known as George Gist, to write the Cherokee language in the late 1810s and early 1820s. His creation of the syllabary is particularly noteworthy in that he could not previously read any script. He first experimented with logograms, but his system later developed into a syllabary. In his system, each symbol represents a syllable rather than a single phoneme; the 85 (originally 86) characters in the Cherokee syllabary provide a suitable method to write Cherokee. Some symbols do resemble the Latin, Greek and even the Cyrillic scripts' letters, but the sounds are completely different (for example, the sound /a/ is written with a letter that resembles Latin D).
The Cherokee people from the Southeastern United States and later Oklahoma and surrounding areas have a long military history. Since European contact, it has been documented through European records. Tribes and bands had numerous conflicts in the 18th century with European colonizing forces, primarily English. Both Eastern Band and Cherokee Nation Indian Territory, now Oklahoma,fought in the American Civil War, with bands allying with either the Union or the Confederacy. As a result of many Cherokee allying with the Confederacy, the United States government required a new treaty with the nation after the war. Cherokees have served in the United States military in the 20th and 21st centuries.