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Bill to return land to the Cherokee passes House

From News Channel 12: More than 76 acres of land may be returned to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. U.S. Representative Chuck Fleischmann’s bill passed the House by a unanimous vote.


The bill is called the Eastern Band of Cherokee Historic Lands Reacquisition Act.


Fleischmann, who represents Bradley County in Congress said, “The federal government’s policy to remove the Cherokee People from Tennessee and the surrounding states was misguided and wrong. My bill will correct this historical tragedy and make good on the many promises made over the years to the Eastern Band of Cherokee.”


The bill will impact 76 acres of land along the Little Tennessee River and Tellico Reservoir in Monroe County.


Additionally, the bill will place the land into trust for the benefit of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.


When asked about the significance of the land to the Eastern Band of Cherokee people, Fleischmann said, 


“It is on these 76 sacred acres the Cherokee People have honored the birth and life of Sequoyah, one of the most influential and important Native Americans to have lived. It is essential that the land is returned to the Eastern Band of Cherokee, so the legacy of Sequoyah and the Eastern Band is taught for generations to come,”


This is the fourth time the bill has passed in the House. The previous 3 times, it stalled in the Senate. 


WCLE will keep you up to date on this story.