Cherokee in United States

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People Name: Cherokee
Country: United States
10/40 Window: No
Population: 309,000
World Population: 309,000
Primary Language: Cherokee
Primary Religion: Christianity
Christian Adherents: 65.00 %
Evangelicals: 5.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: North American Indigenous
Affinity Bloc: North American Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Cherokee people believe that the Creator placed them within their homeland. The "mother town" is known as Kituwah. The people call themselves "anikituwah". There are other descriptions they use for themselves, the most common is Aniyvwi- the real people. The Cherokee people have lived in what is now a ten-state area for thousands of years. Some are only a few miles from one another due to their shrinking homeland. Their early oral history details living with large animals that are now extinct. The Cherokee speak many different dialects. Written Cherokee is easily read by any other literate Cherokee person, no matter what dialect they use.

The Cherokee nation was fragmented by invasion, disease, warfare, and broken treaties. Despite winning a US Supreme Court victory, their rights were ignored and a large portion was removed west of the Mississippi River. A significant number stayed in the East and some of their descendants reorganized into what is now known as the federally recognized EBCI or Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Some organized into what are now state-recognized groups across the southeastern United States.

Out west, the group was further fragmented. Some were known as Old Settlers, others joined together in what is known as the UKB or United Keetoowah Band. Others formed from recognition of ancestors who were listed on the Dawes Roll that sought to terminate their very existence. They are known as the CNO or Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

A few went down into Texas and Mexico. Today their descendants are in a tribe recognized by the Mexican government known as the Cherokee Tribe of Mexico.

Where Are they Located?

Cherokee descendants are located all over the world. Documentation of Cherokee Chiefs who went west show that some made it as far as Hawaii where they settled down and had families. Governments of Cherokee are found in places that are now called North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Mexico.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Many Cherokee still honor their culture through the use of their language, culture and customs. Many live lives that from the outside, seem indistinguishable from their non-Cherokee natives. However, in their homes and communities, their lifestyle is very much different.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Cherokee historically believed in a Creator and many continue to do so. Cherokee have been influenced by pagan pan-Indian beliefs that have seeped into the communities within the last century. The Trail of Tears decimated the ranks of Cherokee Christians and caused others to turn away from Christianity because it was the religion of the oppressors. Protestantism is prominent among Cherokee today, but intermarriage between Cherokee and those from Hispanic countries has brought Catholicism into a growing prominence. Some Cherokee still attend their traditional "stomp" and yet that has been infected with modern pagan ideas.

What Are Their Needs?

Cherokee were forced into boarding schools and their language and culture was decimated. They need to be given their language back. Anything in their language is honored and appreciated. The Bible was only partially translated into Cherokee. It needs to be completely translated and updated to remove errors and ommissions.

Prayer Points

Drug abuse and violence is an enormous problem among the people.

Text Source:   Anonymous