Skip to comments.Cherokee Indians: We are free to oust blacks
Posted on 09/16/2011 1:08:12 AM PDT by Altura Ct.
The nation's second-largest Indian tribe said on Tuesday that it would not be dictated to by the U.S. government over its move to banish 2,800 African Americans from its citizenship rolls.
"The Cherokee Nation will not be governed by the BIA," Joe Crittenden, the tribe's acting principal chief, said in a statement responding to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Crittenden, who leads the tribe until a new principal chief is elected, went on to complain about unnamed congressmen meddling in the tribe's self-governance.
The reaction follows a letter the tribe received on Monday from BIA Assistant Secretary Larry Echo Hawk, who warned that the results of the September 24 Cherokee election for principal chief will not be recognized by the U.S. government if the ousted members, known to some as "Cherokee Freedmen," are not allowed to vote.
The dispute stems from the fact that some wealthy Cherokee owned black slaves who worked on their plantations in the South. By the 1830s, most of the tribe was forced to relocate to present-day Oklahoma, and many took their slaves with them. The so-called Freedmen are descendants of those slaves.
After the Civil War, in which the Cherokee fought for the South, a treaty was signed in 1866 guaranteeing tribal citizenship for the freed slaves.
The U.S. government said that the 1866 treaty between the Cherokee tribe and the U.S. government guaranteed that the slaves were tribal citizens, whether or not they had a Cherokee blood relation.
The African Americans lost their citizenship last month when the Cherokee Supreme Court voted to support the right of tribal members to change the tribe's constitution on citizenship matters.
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And I dont know why.
It ain't my fight. I'm neither black nor Cherokee.
I’m quiet about it because I find it amusing in an Ambrose Bierce sort of way.
Somewhere around 20% to 30% of the Cherokees died during the war, many if not most non-combatants.
Not all Cherokees fought with the Confederacy, although some did. I suspect that those who fought did so over resentment about the Trail of Tears.
If so, they were extremely odd people. The Trail of Tears was implemented at the demand of southern whites, and pushed through despite a Supreme Court ruling to the contrary by Jackson, a southern slaveowner. Though actually implemented under Van Buren, a doughface.
The major help the Cherokee got in resisting removal was from New England, who of course had conveniently already gotten rid of all their Indians.
Cultural divide? Segregation may be the constructive solution. More irony.
If the CBC can exclude whites, why can’t the Cherokees exclude blacks?
“Why do they want to revoke their citizenship? Or tribal membership I guess I should say. Its not a lot of people, so i dont see why this is an issue for the Cherokee tribe. And then what happens to them? Do they have to apply for US citizenship?”
It’s citizenship, not membership. It is a nation within a nation with a constitution, language, government, and a *budget*, etc.
This is *not* a race issue. There are plenty of African-Cherokee *mixed blood* full citizens, as well as Delaware and Shawnee citizens. This is about a group that *never* mixed with the Cherokee and have (except in extremely rare circumstances) not been a part of the tribe for an entire century.
Then there are the Delawares and Shawnee. Add to that the United Keetoowah Band issue, and the thing gets complicated quickly.
The other issue is that there are tribal benefits. This could open up a load of “services” to 45,000 people. The tribe has worked hard to become financially secure, and that would basically put a huge strain on their finances.
Will these 45,000 rush to Tahlequah to learn the language, play stickball and marbles, pick wild onions and go to work for Cherokee National Industries, or will they show up for a handout? Are these people going to dramatically change who is elected chief when they are given the right to vote?
Well, let’s see what their tactics have been. Diane Watson (D) of Calfornia introduced a bill to strip the Cherokee Nation of its status as a federally recognized tribe if they didn’t reinstate citizenship to non-Cherokee freedmen. The freedmen care about the tribe sooooooooo much, that if they can’t be members, they’ll destroy it. That must be because they care about the welfare of the Cherokee Nation.
I would like to emphasize that the freedmen *received compensation from the federal government and the tribe.* That’s right, they agreed with the federal government and the Cherokee nation to walk away, and this was well after the treaty of 1866. They were paid off. They took their land and money and almost all (with extremely rare exceptions) walked away from the tribe. It is perceived that, now that the money is all gone, they’ve come back for more.
I’m not saying they shouldn’t be citizens. I’m saying that is an issue left for the tribe. If a large number of the freedmen had been coming to Tahlequah, learning the language and participating in tribal affairs (and a teeny-tiny minority have), this wouldn’t be an issue.
Don’t give me this Treaty of 1866 crap either. The BIA and Congress claim they can yank tribal recognition with a single vote, screw the treaty.
After all, Uncle Sam is focused on helping Holder's people these days. ANd, then there's the multibillion black farmers settlement.
No more BIA money too?
Free the Indian Tribes.
LOL, we have a treaty with the indians and it requires annual payments, the government has cheated them out of billions over the years, who shares in the back payments owed is the question. It is either that are give them, most of Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina . The money is due and payable, by court order. LOL
They’re Cherokee when the Federal government is counting heads to hand out money. They’re not Cherokee when it comes to dividing up the money from the casino. It’s one of those public vs private debates.
The US Government entered into a treaty with the Cherokee Nation in 1866 wherein the Cherokee agreed to bestow their citizenship on Black Slaves held by the Cherokee prior to the end of the Civil War. Now the Cherokee are telling the decendents of those freed slaves — turned Cherokee citizens — that their citizenship is revoked. Nice, huh?
Still, when you think about it the tribal nations are always drawing lines as to “how much blood” is required to be considered members of the tribe. Chances are good that most of these 280,000 have even less blood of the freedmen in their veins.
None of this would matter much if it weren’t for the gambling revenues.
Agreed 100%. My comment was really about the reporter’s silly PC refereences.
The Cherokee are still trying to re-aquire the Delaware who left the tribe of their own volition taking their assets with them. Those gambling assets are top priority.
I heard the Canarsie Kumquats had a slammin’ volleyball team!
....and don’t forget the casino revenue. We have one local “tribe” that consists of an elderly squaw and one daughter - they run (well, own...not run) a very successful small casino.