The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI): Background information when reading When These Mountains Burn

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When These Mountains Burn

by David Joy

When These Mountains Burn by David Joy X
When These Mountains Burn by David Joy
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    Aug 2020, 272 pages


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Kim Kovacs
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The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI)

This article relates to When These Mountains Burn

Bridge over Oconaluftee River in Cherokee, NC David Joy's novel When These Mountains Burn is set in and around the town of Cherokee, North Carolina, which is situated in the far western corner of the state, abutting Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Cherokee is the capital and cultural center of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and is located in an area known as The Qualla Boundary, or simply The Qualla. This 100-square-mile parcel of land isn't a reservation; it was purchased by the EBCI from the United States federal government and is considered a sovereign nation.

The mountains known today as the Southern Appalachians were home to the Cherokee people for centuries before the arrival of Europeans. The Cherokees made some attempts to adapt to the culture and rules of the European settlers, wearing Western-style clothes, establishing a governing structure with a constitution, creating a written language and publishing a Cherokee-language newspaper starting in 1828. Despite these efforts at assimilation, they ...

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