The Cherokee are known as "white Indians" - their greatest leader, Seqouya, told his people that they had two choices - assimilation or annihilation.
The first white men (not counting Vikings) to reach Western NC and Eastern TN (ancient capitol of the Cherokee) were Scots and Irish. They came from a society based on clans - just the way the Cherokee society was structured. Most of these men came there without wives and married Cherokee women.
It is true that many people who had ancestors in that area during the 1700s and 1800s do have Cherokee ancestry, myself included. If you go to Cherokee, NC and ask, you will find full tribal members who have blonde hair and blue eyes, with the proper documentation to prove they are at least one-quarter Cherokee.
Another great Cherokee chief was John Ross, who was 3/4 Scot and 1/4 Cherokee.