Present


Tcherokee_girlhe Cherokee Nation today occupies all or part of 14 counties of what is now the northeastern portion of the state of Oklahoma. Not considered a reservation, the land falls under what has been called “a checkerboard jurisdiction,” with one farm or acreage falling under tribal jurisdiction while its neighbor is under that of the state. A second and separate federally recognized tribal government for Cherokees, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees in Oklahoma, exists in the same area. There is also a Cherokee reservation in North Carolina for the Eastern Band of Cherokees. In addition to the three federally recognized Cherokee governments, there are numerous groups throughout the United States who claim to be Cherokee bands or tribes. Although the Cherokee people today are divided geographically, culturally, and politically, about 165,000 are registered citizens of the Cherokee Nation. There are also thousands of individuals claiming Cherokee ancestry who are not associated with any group. The 1990 U.S. Census reported 369,000 people who identified themselves as Cherokee, up from 232,000 in 1980.