Experience the history, culture, and stories of the Cherokee people.
A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1948, the Museum of the Cherokee People is one of the longest-operating tribal museums in the country. Located in Cherokee, North Carolina on the Qualla Boundary, the sovereign land of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and ancestral homelands of all Cherokees, the Museum shares the history, culture, and stories of the Cherokee people through its exhibitions, collections, and programs.
The Visitor Experience
At the Museum of the Cherokee People, visitors experience Cherokee history and living culture in an immersive environment. On most days, visitors can meet the Atsila Anotasgi Cultural Specialists, Museum ambassadors who share traditional Cherokee cultural practices with their community and guests, including storytelling, finger-weaving, and wood carving. The Museum Store offers a variety of books, home goods, clothing, and accessories by leading Native brands and fine items handmade by Cherokee artists. Special events and programs are hosted on-site and virtually. Disruption, an intervention of the Museum’s permanent exhibition by contemporary Cherokee artists, is on view through December 29, 2023.
History of the Museum
The Museum opened in 1948 and moved to its present facility in 1976. In 1998, its permanent exhibit was totally renovated and a new 12,000 square-foot exhibit was installed. An 8,500 square-foot education wing was added in 2010. Today, the Museum welcomes an estimated 83,000 visitors per year and continues to grow its storytelling and educational offerings.
Select Awards & Recognition:
- Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums’ 2022 Guardians of Culture and Lifeways International Award Recipient (Museums category)
- 2022 Southeastern Museums Conference Exhibition Competition, Gold
- North Carolina Museums Council Award of Excellence
- TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice
- Top Ten Best Native American Experiences, USA Today
- Mountain Heritage Award, Western Carolina University
- Community Traditions Award, North Carolina Arts Council
Ticket sales close at 4pm. A self-guided tour of the Museum takes approximately one hour.
The Museum is open daily except the day preceding the Thanksgiving holiday, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.
Children ages 6-12: $7
Children 5 & under: Free
Discounts: Enjoy our AAA “Show Your Card & Save” Discount. Show your AAA card and receive 10% off admission at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. AARP and active-duty military discounts also available.
Become a Member
With new levels and expanded benefits, the Museum of the Cherokee People’s refreshed membership program features a digital membership cards, one-of-a-kind gifts, exclusive offers and events, reciprocal privileges that grant the cardholder free admission to museums around the world, and one-of-a-kind gifts for supporters.
Please visit motcp.org to learn more.
Contact & Location
Location: 589 Tsali Blvd., Cherokee, NC, at the intersection of Tsali Blvd. and Drama Road
Southern Highlands Attractions
The Museum of the Cherokee People is a member of Southern Highlands Attractions, a member organization featuring 20 iconic and long established attractions that will enhance your visit and make a lifetime of memories. Learn more at southernhighlands.org.