Hidden History: Henrico County Wolf Creek Cherokee Tribe drums to keep history alive

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — It’s a story that brings to life thousands of years: The story of the Wolf Creek Cherokee Tribe in Henrico County.

Members of the Wolf Creek Cherokee Tribe drum to keep their history alive.

Tribe members purchased a building to house a museum. It serves as a gathering place for the tribe and learning center for the public.

Donnie Ladd, a member of the tribe, said culture isn’t just going to go away.

“We’re paying homage to our ancestors so we’re telling stories and singing songs that haven been passed on for hundreds and thousands of years,” Ladd said.

Members of tribe, such as Annette Price, said the state officially recognizes 11 tribes, but unfortunately, Virginia doesn’t recognize the Cherokee.

“If you were to go out in the streets of Richmond and ask people do you relate to any tribes here in Virginia, mostly you’re going to hear the word Cherokee coming back to you,” A. Price said.

Many of the artifacts you see in this museum were found in wooded secluded areas near the James River.

The tribe often brings children and archaeologists to dig in nearby areas.

Chief Terry Price said some of the items they find date back to 12,000 years ago.

“That’s way before almost everything,” Chief Price said. “It’s beyond Christ, beyond Egyptians and all that, we have been here.”

A. Price said they want Virginia to recognize the Cherokee people of the past and present.

We are not 400-year-old dead Indians as Virginia likes to look at it’s history in 400-year ranges,” A. Price said. “We are 12,000 years old and alive Cherokee people standing here today and we want to celebrate ourselves.”

They said many history books only tell half the story, the members of this tribe are determined to tell the other half.

The Wolf Creek Cherokee Tribal Center and Museum in Henrico is open to public Wednesday nights at 6 p.m. when the men are drumming, as well as Saturdays from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

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