Self-Governance Communication & Education Tribal Consortium

Charlotte Observer article: Self-Governance at Eastern Band of Cherokees

How the Eastern Cherokee in North Carolina use casino profits to revamp health care

Light pours through large windows and glass ceilings of the Cherokee Indian Hospital onto a fireplace, a waterfall and murals. Rattlesnake Mountain, which the Cherokee elders say holds ancient healing powers, is visible from most angles. The hospital’s motto — “Ni hi tsa tse li” or “It belongs to you” — is written in Cherokee syllabary on the wall at the main entrance.

“It doesn’t look like a hospital, and it doesn’t feel like a hospital,” Kristy Nations said on a recent visit to pick up medications at the pharmacy. “It actually feels good to be here.”

Profits from the tribe’s casino have helped the 12,000 members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians opt out of the troubled U.S. government-run Indian Health Service. READ MORE…