The Revival of Cherokee History

By Todd Odom

Robbinsville High School
Cherokee History/Grade Levels 10-12


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If you listen to the wind whisper through the trees, you can faintly hear the story of a people who have lived in the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina for thousands of years. The muted echoes speak of a people who have faced adversity, hardship, and tribulation. Through it all, they have remained strong and steadfast to many of their unique cultural traditions. Perseverance is the embedded characteristic for this great tribe, the Cherokee.



Photo taken by Todd Odom


Witnessing an idea of my own evolve into reality has been one of the most satisfying accomplishments of my professional development. My topic for AAM was to be something on Cherokee history. I never realized that this project would change my entire career. I will explain further.

I have always been interested in Cherokee history, and have been fortunate to live in an area blessed with Cherokee influence. After choosing my topic (The Geography of Ancient Cherokee Villages), and preparing for my in-class assignments, I realized how tragic it was that the Native American students of the high school did not have a class that taught them about their ancestral past. After talking to the Superintendent of the school system, I scribbled a short letter to him expressing my desire to teach such a class. After some correspondence and forty-six registered students later, I am proud to say that Robbinsville High School now offers Cherokee History, and more importantly, it is a permanent part of their social studies curriculum. Preserving Cherokee history was an idea that spawned into something real. I owe special thanks to An Adventure of the American Mind for providing the spark for my Cherokee history class, and an Administration that would allow a young teacher the opportunity to produce something new.

Todd Odom


Page Author: Todd Odom

This site created in cooperation with the An Adventure of the American Mind, a
Library of Congress Federal Appropriation
Western Carolina University
College of Education and Allied Professions
Spring 2003
Mountainous area the Cherokee called home. Located near Robbinsville, NC Photo taken by Todd Odom