WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday passed a bill that returns 76 acres of land in Monroe County, Tenn., to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, according to a news release from the office of Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn.
"Tonight, the House voted to keep a promise to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians by rightfully returning 76 acres of sacred land in Monroe County, putting the land back in tribal hands," said Fleischmann upon the passage of his bill H.R. 146, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Historic Lands Reacquisition Act. "The Cherokee have a rich heritage in the Third District and I am thankful to have played a part to ensure the story of the Eastern Band is preserved in the Cherokee towns of Chota and Tanasi, and allow our future generations to understand and appreciate the heritage of the Eastern Band in East Tennessee. In fact, the history of Tennessee cannot be told without mentioning Tanasi, the origin of the name of our great state. I thank Principal Chief Sneed for his support and advocacy in getting this legislation to where it is today. I hope my colleagues in the Senate recognize the importance of H.R. 146 and act quickly to move my bill through their chamber and on to President Trump's desk."
"We are one step closer to completing reacquisition of historical Cherokee lands in East Tennessee. These lands are culturally and historically important to all Cherokee people," said the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed. "The protection of Cherokee historic sites is critical to understanding our shared history. Congressman Fleischmann and the people of East Tennessee have been remarkably hospitable to us, and we look forward to new investments in East Tennessee when the bill is enacted into law."
In detail, H.R. 146, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Historic Lands Reacquisition Act, will:
- Impact approximately 76 acres of land along the Tellico Reservoir and Little Tennessee River in Monroe County, Tennessee;
- Include lands from the Sequoyah Museum, the Chota Memorial, Tanasi Memorial and land to provide support for these properties and cultural programs;
- Place impacted land into trust for the benefit of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.