In an attempt to exercise its sovereign rights and generate a new source of income, the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians has announced a new program that encourages all reservation visitors to obtain a Cherokee Passport. The program goes in to effect today, May 27. Get the full announcement.
Here is part of it: CHEROKEE, N.C. – With the economy the number one concern and tourism the number one economy in Western North Carolina, the Qualla Boundary, the sovereign nation of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian, today unveils the Cherokee Passport, which it advises all visitors to the Cherokee Indian Reservation to obtain upon arrival. Beginning Thurs., May 27 at 1:30 p.m., Cherokee border patrol officials will conduct checkpoints to issue and verify passports.
The Qualla Boundary is a sovereign nation, and from the late 1700s to the early 1800s, visitors to the Boundary needed a passport to enter. As a reminder of its sovereignty, the Eastern Band is issuing the passport to visitors to jumpstart the local economy on summer’s opening weekend, Memorial Day weekend. Visitors to Cherokee are advised not to wander around Cherokee without a Cherokee Passport.
“Our economy and that of Western North Carolina subsists on tourism,” said Robert Jumper, tourism manager for Cherokee Travel and Promotion. “In support of the area’s businesses and to the help the economy, we have taken a dramatic step to remind visitors that Cherokee is a sovereign nation while providing a pioneering tool full of tourism incentives.”