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June 13, 2024

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Unanimous Support from ECBI For Clingmans Dome Name Change

Tribal Council members unanimously supported a resolution seeking a name change for Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Lavita Hill and Mary Crowe from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians advocated for this change due to historical and cultural reasons. Clingmans Dome, originally named after Thomas L. Clingman, a Confederate supporter, has a Cherokee name, Kuwohi, with deeper cultural significance.

In 2022, the Tribal Council passed a resolution urging the U.S. Board on Geographic Names to consider the change. Principal Chief Michell Hicks is awaiting ratification and is fully supportive of the initiative. The board will make the final decision, considering input from various entities. Significant support for the change has been garnered, including endorsements from governments, tribes, and the Clingman family.

Efforts to revive Cherokee recognition of the mountain’s significance have resulted in educational programs like Kuwohi Connections Days. The park, acknowledging its history, aims to ensure a holistic understanding. Superintendent Cassius Cash, an advisor to the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, looks forward to participating in the proposal process. The resolution reflects a collective effort to address historical sensitivities and promote cultural awareness in the national park.

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