Voters will cast their ballots this week in elections for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians tribal government.
Blue Ridge Public Radio’s Western North Carolina reporter Lilly Knoepp sat down with the two candidates running for principal chief of the Eastern Band: current Chief Richard Sneed and longtime tribal council member Teresa McCoy. They shared details about their platforms and issues affecting the tribal community, including the pressing concern of how to diversify income for the tribe, especially as the South Carolina-based Catawba tribe lobbies for a new casino outside of Charlotte.
Twelve tribal council seats and three school board seats are also up for reelection. Host Frank Stasio speaks with Knoepp in advance of the vote on Wednesday, Sept. 5.
In addition, Knoepp previews “Exploring Southern Appalachia,” a new series from Blue Ridge Public Radio that delves into the persistence of stereotypes about the region’s residents and how the film “Deliverance” played a lasting role. BPR contributor Cory Vaillancourt also worked on the series.