More than 177 years after most of the Cherokee were forcibly removed from Tennessee, Georgia, and North Carolina-and a generation after several significant historical sites were flooded by a TVA Project-The eastern band of Cherokee Indians could get back 76 acres of homeland, including sites where the tribe was headquartered.

At the Tanasi Memorial, built to mark the Cherokee capital that now lies under the Tellico Reservoir, the view of the remaining land is much as it was 200 years ago. No houses or power lines are in sight, and water birds skim the surface of the river.

The below photos were taken at The Cherokee Fall Festival-Sequoyah Birthplace Museum.