The newest compact between the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and North Carolina changed the funding guidelines for the Cherokee Preservation Foundation. Mike Belleme/Carolina Public Press

Last month, Carolina Public Press reported that the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, at its anniversary and with a new gaming compact between the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians and the state of North Carolina, is preparing for change.

Susan Jenkins, the foundation’s executive director, wrote to offer updated information about the impact the new compact will have on the foundation. Here’s Jenkins’ statement:

Cherokee Preservation Foundation is funded by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) from net gaming revenues generated by the Tribe. Under the previous Compact between the EBCI and the State of North Carolina in 2000 that established the Foundation, the Foundation could receive no less than $5 million each year for both grantmaking and its operating budget and no more than $10 million. During eight of the Foundation’s first ten years under the 2000 Compact, its total spending (grants and operating expenses) was $7.5 million or less.

With the 10-year track record of actual spending, when the new Compact was negotiated, the EBCI and the State determined that the Foundation will continue to receive no less than $5 million per year and they reduced the cap on spending to the $7.5 million level that reflects what the Foundation has actually been spending. The Foundation’s Board and staff believe the reduced cap will have no practical effect on the extent to which the Foundation can continue to help improving the quality of life for the EBCI and our neighbors in Western North Carolina

Go here to read the “First Amended and Restated Tribal – State Compact,” from Nov. 28, 2011.

On page 23 of the compact, it reads:

Section 8: Creation of Foundation
“(C) The Tribe shall endow the foundation from additional funds realized by this Compact Amendment. The net gaming revenue realized by the Tribe during the fiscal year 2000 shall constitute the base net gaming revenue from which increased gaming revenue shall be calculated for purposes of funding the foundation. The Tribe shall fund the foundation in the amount of five million dollars per year for the first three years following final approval of the amended Compact. After the first three years, the Tribe shall fund the foundation at five million dollars per year or a a percental equal to that percentage of net gaming revenue for the 2000 base year represented by five million dollars, whichever is greater, but in any event not more than seven and one-half million dollars. Nothing shall prohibit the Tribe from contributing additional principal to the foundation, nor shall the foundation be prohibited from seeking additional funds from other sources to support projects consistent with the purposes of the foundation. The Tribe shall continue to fund the foundation during the life of the compact.”

Learn more:

Photo essay: How a decade-old foundation helped shape Cherokee

Groups bring new life to the ancient Cherokee language

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Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at

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