Friday, March 27, 2020

Eastern Band of the Cherokee Close Their Boarder to the United States

I am currently living on the Cherokee Indian Reservation in Western North Carolina.  I have been here for about five months.  I am not Cherokee.   I first heard about these plan to close the reservation on Friday March 20th on social media.  The story I heard was that only Tribal members were allowed on the reservation.  That later changed to tribal member and residents.  The shutdown would start on March 23rd at 12 noon. 

On Saturday, March 21, I was standing in a grocery line and overheard a police officer speaking with someone else in line.  He stated that the basic reason for the shut down was for the tribe to keep all of its resources available to tribal member and prevent people coming to the reservation from the nearby big cities.

I have been living with this limitation for five days and every time I pass through the check point, I get grilled about where I am going. I explain that I am a resident but usually that is not enough.  I have to produce ID, tell them who my landlord is and otherwise convince them to let me in.  I have inquired and there is no method of registering with anyone and getting a pass.

I recently learned that a town down the road, Robbinsonville, NC,  is closing itself off from the rest of the world.  I can't believe that this is what we have come to.  Creating an "us against them" mind set and locking out our fellow citizens.  Both Cherokee and Robbinsonville do not have the resources to respond to any kind of virus out break.  The residents there would have to go to Tennessee or east in North Carolina for treatment if an outbreak occurred.  The resources on the reservation are equally inadequate.   If there was an outbreak, they too would need to rely on outside help.  But, in the mean time, if you aren't from around here, you can't get in.

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