Woodland Indians Forum

You are not logged in.

Announcement

  • Index
  •  » General
  •  » David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

#76 Feb-01-2010 07:49:pm

Gummy Bear
Member
Registered: Jan-28-2010
Posts: 61

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

Chevy wrote:

Well, the Welsh did reply:

Hello again Martha.



I have been making some enquiries as promised.



I do not think there is an official line on this. The dictionary definition of ‘Welsh’ is ‘pertaining to Wales, its people and language’ and some dictionaries extend this to include descendants elsewhere.



I have been talking to my Welsh-speaking colleagues and they do not feel it would offend anyone to say you are Welsh, even though you were not born in Wales yourself. They take it as compliment that you are proud of your Welsh roots.



Do you know where your ancestor emigrated from?



Regards



***** ******

While I am surprised that you got an answer, I am not at all surprised with their answer.

Offline

 

#77 Feb-01-2010 08:44:pm

lenape
Member
Registered: Feb-11-2008
Posts: 1779

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

bls926 wrote:

So the Welsh don't mind if someone of Welsh descent calls himself 'Welsh'. I wonder if that would change if that Welsh descendant started to speak for the Welsh people, tried to obtain benefits to which only citizens of Wales were entitled, or set up a New Wales here in North America. They might not be so approving then. They might not "take it as a compliment that you were proud of your Welsh roots". Something to think about.

Yes, I am pretty sure opinions would change when folks started to come out of the wood work claiming to Welsh, then joining together and and forming "new Welsh Nations", then trying to interact with the United States acting as a "Nation" and on "behalf" of the Welsh...  I am guessing that the "acceptance" would diminish rapidly!  When these new "nations" start speaking for the Welsh, attempting to get "benefits", what ever that might be, due Welsh citizens, pretty sure things would be seen differently.

Offline

 

#78 Feb-01-2010 09:36:pm

bls926
Administrator
From: Texas
Registered: Oct-21-2006
Posts: 12082

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

Thank you, lenape. Somehow I think that point was getting lost in the warm and fuzzies of the Welsh acceptance. Why are the Euros so accepting while the Cherokee aren't? Maybe cause the Cherokee and other Native Americans have far more to lose. Yeah, as if they haven't lost enough already.

Offline

 

#79 Feb-01-2010 10:05:pm

lenape
Member
Registered: Feb-11-2008
Posts: 1779

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

Also, for what it is worth, I have been to various communities, Cherokee included, and was "accepted" as me, and I am not a full blood, LOL, by any means at all!  I was treated very well and always invited back, never heard anyone "trash talk" me, do they?  I don't know, I don't really care.  Was there some there that would rather I not be there, sure there was, but never said a word, and over time seems I was "accepted" as a mix breed, which is all I am, not a "chief", magic man, guru, hell, by blood I am barely an Indian.  On the other hand I am not claiming any of these fancy labels, not trying to start my own tribe, clan, band, or clique, quite the opposite, I speak out against them and do the tiny bit that I can to open the publics eyes about fraudulent groups.  Not so long ago I was thanked, along with others on this forum for doing just that, by a tribal leader and elder.  These leaders have more to deal with than wanna-be tribes, anyone familiar with tribal affairs knows this, however every now and then when they have reached their "limit" they speak out, I have spoken to tribal representatives from various communities, not just the Cherokee, about this, and this is the general attitude.  The Cherokee Task Force has the backing of the Cherokee Councils in their work, thus it is not just an "internet" problem, other tribes are following suit in this and starting to stand up for their people.
  Again, I have no problem with someone who has Indian blood claiming it, or even being proud of it, my daughter has bloodlines of 4 Native Peoples as well as Europeans, I want her to be able to stand up proudly in school and tell folks what she is, and she is free to choose what path to follow.  My problem is when these folks start a "tribe" or "nation", appoint themselves to some position, then con the public into believing that they are something "important", that they speak on behalf of a people, then they con the public into believing their distorted idea of "traditions", then worse is that they try to scam and weasel their way into "politics" and try to get handouts from the government, try to steal funding that this government owes legitimate, existing, historic Tribes or Nations.  I personally have no problem with "state" tribes, though many do, as long as they are historic tribes, continuous communities of inter-related people.
  Just my 2 pennies...

Offline

 

#80 Feb-01-2010 10:23:pm

bls926
Administrator
From: Texas
Registered: Oct-21-2006
Posts: 12082

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

Good post! Thank you. Maybe someone will listen to you; they seem to think I don't know what I'm talking about.

Offline

 

#81 Feb-01-2010 11:28:pm

Chevy
Member
Registered: Aug-01-2007
Posts: 1577

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

lenape wrote:

Again, I have no problem with someone who has Indian blood claiming it, or even being proud of it, my daughter has bloodlines of 4 Native Peoples as well as Europeans, I want her to be able to stand up proudly in school and tell folks what she is, and she is free to choose what path to follow.  My problem is when these folks start a "tribe" or "nation", appoint themselves to some position, then con the public into believing that they are something "important", that they speak on behalf of a people, then they con the public into believing their distorted idea of "traditions", then worse is that they try to scam and weasel their way into "politics" and try to get handouts from the government, try to steal funding that this government owes legitimate, existing, historic Tribes or Nations.  I personally have no problem with "state" tribes, though many do, as long as they are historic tribes, continuous communities of inter-related people.
  Just my 2 pennies...

Well, then it seems we agree, because I'm going to claim what I have, all of it, as long as no one who is the Governing body, tells me I can't, and I certainly think it's alright for my friends who have ancestry, to claim it.

No one I personally know wants to start a "tribe" or "nation", appoint themselves to some position, then con the public into believing that they are something "important", that they speak on behalf of a people, then they con the public into believing their distorted idea of "traditions", then worse is that they try to scam and weasel their way into "politics" and try to get handouts from the government, try to steal funding that this government owes legitimate, existing, historic Tribes or Nations

To them and to me, that's just ridiculous.

But what I AM pointing out is I've had Indians say I can't say I'm Welsh, because I'm not a citizen of Wales, and contrary to what those Indians have said, according to the Welsh Government, I can say "I'm Welsh". so Indian who doesn't like it, can just not like it, but that's how it is. loltongue  And the more I thought about it, I've had Indians say they don't want any non speaking for them, so the shoe also fits them. How can anyone who is not Welsh, speak for the Welsh???   smile    hmmmm???

Last edited by Chevy (Feb-01-2010 11:29:pm)

Offline

 

#82 Feb-02-2010 05:34:am

Gummy Bear
Member
Registered: Jan-28-2010
Posts: 61

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

lenape wrote:

Also, for what it is worth, I have been to various communities, Cherokee included, and was "accepted" as me, and I am not a full blood, LOL, by any means at all!  I was treated very well and always invited back, never heard anyone "trash talk" me, do they?  I don't know, I don't really care.  Was there some there that would rather I not be there, sure there was, but never said a word, and over time seems I was "accepted" as a mix breed, which is all I am, not a "chief", magic man, guru, hell, by blood I am barely an Indian.  On the other hand I am not claiming any of these fancy labels, not trying to start my own tribe, clan, band, or clique, quite the opposite, I speak out against them and do the tiny bit that I can to open the publics eyes about fraudulent groups.  Not so long ago I was thanked, along with others on this forum for doing just that, by a tribal leader and elder.  These leaders have more to deal with than wanna-be tribes, anyone familiar with tribal affairs knows this, however every now and then when they have reached their "limit" they speak out, I have spoken to tribal representatives from various communities, not just the Cherokee, about this, and this is the general attitude.  The Cherokee Task Force has the backing of the Cherokee Councils in their work, thus it is not just an "internet" problem, other tribes are following suit in this and starting to stand up for their people.
  Again, I have no problem with someone who has Indian blood claiming it, or even being proud of it, my daughter has bloodlines of 4 Native Peoples as well as Europeans, I want her to be able to stand up proudly in school and tell folks what she is, and she is free to choose what path to follow.  My problem is when these folks start a "tribe" or "nation", appoint themselves to some position, then con the public into believing that they are something "important", that they speak on behalf of a people, then they con the public into believing their distorted idea of "traditions", then worse is that they try to scam and weasel their way into "politics" and try to get handouts from the government, try to steal funding that this government owes legitimate, existing, historic Tribes or Nations.  I personally have no problem with "state" tribes, though many do, as long as they are historic tribes, continuous communities of inter-related people.
  Just my 2 pennies...

Well said ,,, But is someone in the Gov. says that I don't have to pay the taxes on my cig.s I'll be the first to enroll in one of those State Tribes. My point was that you were welcome in person, sure it took a while to be accepted but no one tossed you out because you didn't have one of their cards.

@BLS926-
<Maybe someone will listen to you; they seem to think I don't know what I'm talking about.>
I hope that you didn't get that impression. You and I may see things from a different side,  but, It's only a minor thingy.  I sure have a hard time expressing myself with graceful words So please don't take it the wrong way.

Offline

 

#83 Feb-02-2010 06:11:am

Gummy Bear
Member
Registered: Jan-28-2010
Posts: 61

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

Just to be clear:
I say that I accept State Tribes and in the same paragraph I condemn the P.O. Box NDNs and some how everyone doesn't hear that 2nd  part,,, and twist my statements into supporting "Fake" groups. Somehow some people seem to think that every NDN that isn't enrolled wants to to be a Chief or teacher or shaman, and to go out and start up a new tribe,,, that's just B.S. I could see where I would support the starting of a new Tribe but that would be a very rare thing. (Perhaps the Delaware or even the Freeman). or something like that. I have also said that these State Tribes that I do support have been around damn near as long as the CNO has and are not the ones that want to open a new golf course. At some point in the past the Cherokee were all one Tribe but that changed, now their are 3 that have Fed support and I do think that there are perhaps 4 or 5 more that split off from the original Cherokee many years ago. If they have proved their history to the point of getting a State to accept them I am sure not going to require them to keep proving it over and over every time someone mentions their name. Put a fork in it they are not going to go away.

Offline

 

#84 Feb-02-2010 08:49:am

lenape
Member
Registered: Feb-11-2008
Posts: 1779

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

Okay, I think we are all on the same page here, but to be sure I want to add I am not speaking at anyone specific, on this forum, just speaking generally, thats all, don't want anyone calling me "angry" or "racist" or any of that, I will start to get a complex, LMAO:lol:

  I guess what it all boils down to is in Indian Country we don't say "who do you claim?", we say "who claims you?", however when you annoy and piss people off like I do that list of people who "claim" you will be short!

Last edited by lenape (Feb-02-2010 08:49:am)

Offline

 

#85 Feb-02-2010 03:32:pm

Chevy
Member
Registered: Aug-01-2007
Posts: 1577

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

Yes, and family members can claim a person as a relative, as far as they know, but at the same time the Tribe or Nation doesn't claim the same person, and others in the Tribe or Nation don't claim the person as a member of the Tribe or Nation, or ethnically. smilebig_smile That's just how the cookie crumbles. smile


I also heard from the Irish. smilebig_smile

O.M.G. his first name is Tadgh. smile

Martha,

I can't speak for the people of Ireland, but I haven't ever heard of anyone here being offended by a person of Irish ancestry saying that they were Irish. Rather, I think most people here are proud that people in the US and elsewhere choose to identify themselves as Irish.

I hope that this answers your question,

Best wishes,

Offline

 

#86 Feb-02-2010 11:19:pm

NanticokePiney
Member
From: Hopewell Twp., New Jersey
Registered: Jul-10-2007
Posts: 4214

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

lenape wrote:

however when you annoy and piss people off like I do that list of people who "claim" you will be short!

aaawwww! We still claim you. yikes


    lol


I don't have anger issues...just violent reactions to B.S.
---------------------------------------------------
      Warning:  Some Profanity
This might cause you to experience reason

Offline

 

#87 Feb-03-2010 06:36:pm

Gummy Bear
Member
Registered: Jan-28-2010
Posts: 61

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

lenape wrote:

Okay, I think we are all on the same page here, but to be sure I want to add I am not speaking at anyone specific, on this forum, just speaking generally, thats all, don't want anyone calling me "angry" or "racist" or any of that, I will start to get a complex, LMAO:lol:

  I guess what it all boils down to is in Indian Country we don't say "who do you claim?", we say "who claims you?", however when you annoy and piss people off like I do that list of people who "claim" you will be short!

Well there you have it,,,

Now what the heck we gonna talk about?

Offline

 

#88 Feb-04-2010 02:18:am

Chevy
Member
Registered: Aug-01-2007
Posts: 1577

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

big_smilelol

Offline

 

#89 Feb-04-2010 12:03:pm

lenape
Member
Registered: Feb-11-2008
Posts: 1779

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

NanticokePiney wrote:

lenape wrote:

however when you annoy and piss people off like I do that list of people who "claim" you will be short!

aaawwww! We still claim you. yikes


    lol

That is what scares me!!!! yikes

tongue

Offline

 

#90 Feb-09-2010 10:01:pm

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4272
Website

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

DAVID CORNSILK ON THE CHEROKEE NATION

This was posted at NDNZ.COM on 15 Apr 2007, by John Cornsilk (father of
the author).

----------------------------

First, let's get clear on the word "Cherokee." It is NOT a traditional
word in our native language. It is the term applied to our people by
Europeans and undoubtedly borrowed from the language of one of our
tribal neighbors. We had various names for ourselves depending upon the
context. When speaking about ourselves relative to other people,
particularly other Indians, we called ourselves "ah-ni-yv-wi-ya" which
translates to "The Principal People." Among ourselves, relating to our
spiritual identity, we called ourselves "An-ni-gi-tu-wa-gi" or People of
the Place of Keetoowah. Keetoowah was the center of the world and the
name of our traditional mother town. And finally, when speaking to
Europeans and later Americans, we called ourselves what they called us,
Cherokee. Most Cherokees who now call themselves Cherokees have no idea
why we use that word, where it came from or what it means.

Second, the Cherokee Nation, as it is comprised today, is made up of
numerous ethnic groups, all of which have come to be collectively known
as Cherokees
. We all are known as Cherokees because that is our national
identity. We, as nationals of the Cherokee Nation, are naturally all
Cherokees. That does not mean we are all Cherokee Indians, or that we
are Indians at all, or that we must be
. These groups include the
original people of the Nation, the Cherokee Indians, as well as Indians
of other tribes adopted by the Nation, including Shawnees, Delawares,
Creeks, Natchez and Catawbas. Also included among these adoptees were
whites married to Cherokee Indians known as intermarried whites, whites
with legal rights in the Nation known as Adopted Whites and the Freedmen
who are themselves a diverse group of individuals of African descent
,
many possessing Cherokee Indian blood ancestry.

Thus, we find that among the ethnic groups which comprise the Cherokee
Nation are the Cherokee Indians
or collectively, the Cherokee tribe.
Therefore, the Cherokee Indian tribe is but one component of the whole
of the Cherokee Nation. Identical to other nations across the globe, the
Cherokee Nation adopted and absorbed people not genetically related to
themselves
. In comparison, the Cherokee Nation is very similar to the
development of the modern German state.

Originally a very divided people with genetic and linguistic
connections, the Germanic tribes historically comprised many
nation-states and principalities. The German states all began to merge,
some by force, others for protection until by the turn of the 18th
Century, an identifiably unified German state had emerged, almost at the
same time as the Cherokee state we know today as the Cherokee Nation.
Since becoming a unified Nation-state, Germany has adopted into its
citizen base, peoples of many other Nations, including conquered people
from their former colonies and emigrants from Turkey.

The original Cherokees were themselves comprised of upward of five
linguisticly distinct dialectal groups of Cherokee speakers, each
autonomous from the others. Further, much like the city-state
organization of ancient Greece, the villages of the Cherokee people were
autonomous and only loosely confederated by language, culture, religion
and region.

In the mid-1700s out of necessity, to deal with the centralized European
powers, the Cherokee Nation forged a more centralized governmental
structure under the head of an Emperor and later a Principal Chief
assisted by a council. The various villages and linguistic divisions of
the Cherokees merged into one people by the early part of the 18th
Century.

It is at this time that the Cherokee tribe began the process of becoming
a multi-ethnic Nation, rather than a single tribe. Among the very
earliest of the adoptees were the Natchez Indians taken into the Nation
around 1711.

Therefore, as a Cherokee Indian by blood, I and others who share a
common ancestry to the original founders of the Cherokee Nation,
constitute the Cherokee Indian tribe within our Nation. All tribes
within our Nation are like the facets of a diamond. It takes all of them
for the diamond to sparkle.

David Cornsilk

Offline

 

#91 Feb-10-2010 01:23:am

Chevy
Member
Registered: Aug-01-2007
Posts: 1577

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

intermarried whites,

That's what I was thinking, that there are white persons with no Cherokee blood, who are members of the Cherokee Nation.

Well, if they are able to kick the Freedmen out, then I don't see why they can lord it over the Delaware any longer. If the Cherokee don't have to abide by the treaty re the Freedmen, then what treaties have to be honored by whom? I think they're on a slippery slope.

Last edited by Chevy (Feb-10-2010 01:23:am)

Offline

 

#92 Feb-10-2010 03:11:am

Chevy
Member
Registered: Aug-01-2007
Posts: 1577

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

http://www.search.com/reference/Cheroke … ty_of_1866

Cherokee freedmen controversy
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
(Redirected from Cherokee Freedmen)
Jump to: navigation, search
A Cherokee Nation political advertisement (2007)
A Cherokee Nation political advertisement (2007)

The Cherokee Freedmen Controversy is an ongoing political and tribal dispute between the administration of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and descendants of the Cherokee Freedmen. After the American Civil War, the Cherokee Freedmen were made citizens of the tribe in accordance with a treaty made with the United States government in 1866. The Freedmen were Cherokee citizens until the early 1980s when the Cherokee Nation's administration stripped them of voting rights and citizenship for more than two decades.

In March 2006, the Cherokee Nation's courts ruled that the descendants of the Cherokee Freedmen were allowed to register and become enrolled citizens of the Cherokee Nation. Principal Chief Chad "Corntassel" Smith, one of the most vocal opponents of the Freedmen's citizenship, wanted an election to amend the constitution. A petition for a vote to remove the Freedmen descendants was circulated and Chief Smith held an emergency election, rather than including the issue on the June 23, 2007 ballot.[1] The Freedmen descendants were removed from the Cherokee Nation due to the election, but they have continued to press for recognition.[2]

This issue concerns the continual membership of the descendants of the Cherokee Freedmen within the Cherokee Nation.

"Freedmen" is one of the terms given to African slaves after slavery was abolished in the United States. In this context, "Cherokee Freedmen" includes African slaves and former slaves of the Cherokee Nation before and after the Trail of Tears, and the offspring of the slaves, former slaves, and tribal members. Some members of the Cherokee Nation claim there are an estimated 2,800 members of the Cherokee Nation considered to be Freedmen descendants.[3] However, the New York Times reports that there are as many as 25,000 Cherokee Freedmen descendants.[4]

After they were granted citizenship and "all the rights of native Cherokees" by the Treaty of 1866, the Cherokee Freedmen and their descendants remained wholly accepted as a legitimate part of the Cherokee Nation for many decades. Some have been active in the tribe, voted in elections, attended Cherokee stomp dances, knew Cherokee traditions and folklore, and even served in tribal council. One freedman councilor, Joseph "Stick" Ross, has several companies and landmarks named after him including Stick Ross Mountain in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Leslie Ross, Stick's great-grandson, says "He knew sign language and spoke Cherokee and Seminole. He was a trapper and a farmer and a rancher. And he was sheriff at one time, too. He was pretty renowned in Tahlequah."[5] The civic position for Freedmen increased after the Dawes Commission in 1907, and in 1971 the Freedmen participated in the first tribal elections for the office of principal chief since the Curtis Act of 1908.[6] In spite of the historic connection, more recently some Cherokee freedmen are ambivalent about their ties and no longer see being Cherokee as part of their personal identity.[7]

In oral tradition, Cherokees saw slavery as the result of failure in warfare, and as a temporary status pending adoption or release.[8] In colonial times, the British took Cherokee slaves, but from the 1830s to 1860s, some Cherokee began to hold a more British view,[9] and Cherokees held the greatest number of slaves of any group in Indian Territory.[10] Slavery was a component of Cherokee society even prior to European contact,[11] and in the early 1800s some Cherokee plantation owners in the American south took slaves.[12] The 1809 Meigs Census counted 583 "Negro slaves" of Cherokee owners,[13] while in 1835 that number was 1,592, with 7.4% of families owning slaves.[14] Owning slaves was less common among full blood Cherokee.[15]

The nature of slavery in Cherokee society often mirrored that of white slave-owning society. The law barred intermarriage of Cherokees and blacks, whether slave or free. Blacks who aided slaves were punished with one hundred lashes on the back. In Cherokee society, blacks were barred from holding office, bearing arms, and owning property, and it was illegal to teach blacks to read and write.[16][17] There were slave revolts, such as the Cherokee Slave Revolt of 1842 in which 25 Cherokee slaves owned by Joseph Vann rebelled and tried to escape to Mexico, but were captured. During the American Civil War, the Cherokee Nation, represented by Chief John Ross, was largely conflicted between the north and the south[18], and on June 25, 1863, two years before the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, all slaves within the limits of the Cherokee Nation were emancipated by an act of the Cherokee National Council.

After the war, the factions of Cherokee who supported the Union and those who supported the Confederacy continued to be at odds. Those supporting the confederacy largely felt that the freedmen should be removed from Cherokee Country, while others felt that they should be adopted into the tribe [19]. Federal officials pushed for equal status between tribal members and freedmen, and on July 19, 1866, the Cherokee Nation signed a treaty with the United States extending Cherokee citizenship to the freedmen and their descendants (article 9). The treaty also set aside a large tract for freedmen to settle if they desired (article 4) and granted self-determination within the constraints of the greater Cherokee Nation (article 5).

"The Cherokee Nation having, voluntarily, in February, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, by an act of the national council, forever abolished slavery, hereby covenant and agree that never hereafter shall either slavery or involuntary servitude exist in their nation otherwise than in the punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, in accordance with laws applicable to all the members of said tribe alike. They further agree that all freedmen who have been liberated by voluntary act of their former owners or by law, as well as all free colored persons who were in the country at the commencement of the rebellion, and are now residents therein, or who may return within six months, and their descendants, shall have all the rights of native Cherokees: Provided, That owners of slaves so emancipated in the Cherokee Nation shall never receive any compensation or pay for the slaves so emancipated." -Article 9 of The Treaty Of 1866 [20]

Other tribes of the Five Civilized Tribes such as the Choctaw and Creek had similar treaties made with the United States government concerning their respective Freedmen.[21] The Cherokee Nation Constitution was amended in a special convention on November 26, 1866.

"All native born Cherokees, all Indians, and whites legally members of the Nation by adoption, and all freedmen who have been liberated by voluntary act of their former owners or by law, as well as free colored persons who were in the country at the commencement of the rebellion, and are now residents therein, or who may return within six months from the 19th day of July, 1866, and their descendants, who reside within the limits of the Cherokee Nation, shall be taken and deemed to be, citizens of the Cherokee Nation."[22].

The 1866 treaty did not, however, lead to full acceptance of freedmen in the Cherokee Nation. This resistance was largely due to economic factors. In 1880, a census was compiled in order to distribute per capita funds related to recent land sales. In the same year, the Cherokee senate voted to deny citizenship to freedmen who had failed to comply with the 1866 treaty by returning to the Cherokee Nation within six months. However the 1880 census did not even include those freedmen who had never left, claiming that the treaty granted civil and political rights, but not the right to share in tribal assets.[23] Cherokee Chief Dennis Wolf Bushyhead (1877-1887) opposed this action, but was overridden by the Council. The federal government intervened, passing a bill in 1888 mandating that adopted citizens of the Cherokee nation share in tribal assets, and compiled what was known as the Wallace Roll in 1889 to count those who were included (including 3,524 freedmen).[24] The freedmen won the claims court case that followed, Whitmore v. Cherokee Nation and United States (30 Ct. Clms. 138(1895)). The Cherokee had already distributed the funds, and the U.S. as co-defendant in the case, was to pay the award. The Kern-Clifton roll completed in 1896 listed 5,600 freedmen who received their portion of the funds in the following decade.[25]

In the midst of all of this, the Dawes Act of 1887 was passed, which converted tribal lands to individual ownership, which was to some degree an attempt at assimilating the Indians. As a part of the act and subsequent bills, the Dawes Commission required a roll which listed people in the Indian Territory under the categories, freedmen, intermarried whites, and Indians by blood. Freedmen were put on the Freedmen Roll regardless if the man or woman had Cherokee blood or not. The Dawes Rolls of 1902 listed 41,798 citizens of the Cherokee Nation, 4,924 of them freedmen. The 1908 Curtis Act authorized the Dawes Commission to allot funds without the consent of tribal government (both the Dawes and Curtis Acts are seen as great restrictions on tribal sovereignty), and allowed the federal government to extract taxes from white citizens living in the Indian territories. Allotments were distributed, although there have been many claims of unfair treatment,[26] and as the Cherokee Nation was officially dissolved and Oklahoma became a state (1907), by and large the freedmen had self-determination. There were 1,659 freedmen listed on the Kern-Clifton roll were not included in the Dawes Roll[27] who were not given Cherokee citizenship rights. Some have criticized inconsistencies of the Dawes Rolls themselves. For instance, freedwoman Gladys Lannagan in the testimony of members of the Cherokee Freedmen's Association before the Indian Claims Commission on November 14, 1960 reported, "I was born in 1896 and my father died August 5, 1897. But he didn't get my name on the roll. I have two brothers on the roll by blood--one on the roll by blood and one other by Cherokee freedman children's allottees." She stated that one of her grandparents was Cherokee and the other black.[28] Other cases of black Cherokee with at least 1/4 of their grandparents being full Cherokee not being listed as Cherokee by blood have been presented as well.[29]

In 1924, Congress passed a jurisdictional act, which allowed the Cherokees to file suit against the United States to recover the funds paid to freedmen under the Kern-Clifton Rolls in 1894. The result of this suit held that the Kern-Clifton Rolls were only valid for that one distribution, and were superseded by later rolls. The Indian Claims Commission Act of 1946 again stirred interest in the status of the 1,659 freedmen included in the Kern-Clifton but not the later roll.

In the 1970s incentives instituted by the United States government such as free health care lured many descendants of Indians by blood Dawes enrollees to join the Cherokee Nation. These were extended to the Freedmen as well. However, as the makeup of the Cherokee Nation shifted, the sentiments of those in power shifted as well. Efforts to block the Freedmen descendants from the tribe started in 1983 when Ross O. Swimmer, Principal Chief Of The Cherokee Nation at the time, passed an act stating that all Cherokee citizens must have a Certificate Of Degree Of Indian Blood (CDIB) card in order to vote. Since the Freedmen Rolls had no record of Indian blood like the other Dawes Rolls, they were effectively removed from the tribal polls. The controversy surrounding this was that the freedmen descendants were supposedly voting for another chief candidate and not Swimmer. Although they were Dawes enrollees, and had received funds from the nation resulting from recent land sales, and had voted in 1979, they were turned away from the polls and told that they did not have the right to vote. Another act was passed years later by Swimmer’s successor, Chief Wilma P. Mankiller, stating that all enrolled members of the Cherokee Nation must have a CDIB card. This act cemented the Cherokee Freedmen descendants’ disenfranchisement from the Cherokee Nation.

In the 1940s, the Cherokee Freedmen's Association was formed of over 100 freedmen descendants of freedmen on the Wallace, Kern-Clifton, and Dawes Rolls. The group filed petition with the Indian Claims Commission in 1951, which were denied in 1961, since the claims were individual in nature and outside of the jurisdiction of the Indian Claims Commission. Appeals stretched to 1971, but all were denied. The Cherokee Freedmen's Association was faced with two issues. On one hand, the Dawes Rolls, a federally mandated tally, were accepted as defining who were legally and politically Cherokee, and on the other hand, the courts saw their claims as a tribal matter and outside of their jurisdiction. [30].

On July 7, 1983, Reverend Roger H. Nero and five other original enrollees were turned away from the polls. He along with others sent a complaint to the civil rights division of the Department of Justice, and on June 18, 1984. The freedmen descendants filed a class action suit against Principal Chief Ross Swimmer, the tribal registrar, a tribal council member, the tribal election committee, the United States, the Office of the President, the Department of the Interior, the Office of the Secretary, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and three BIA employees claiming discrimination on the basis of race. The suit sought nearly $750 million and wanted the last election to be declared null and void. That case and an appeal heard in 1989 both were resolved against the freedmen on account of jurisdictional issues such the case should have been made in the court of claims due to the amount asked in the lawsuit.

In 2001, Bernice Riggs, a Freedmen descendant, sued the tribal registrar Leia Ummerteskee for citizenship in the case of “Riggs Vs.Ummerteskee”. It was ruled by the Judicial Appeals Tribunal (Now The Cherokee Nation Supreme Court) that Riggs did indeed have Cherokee blood, but was denied membership because her Cherokee ancestors are Freedmen on the Dawes Rolls.

Marilyn K. Vann, president of the Descendants Of Freedmen Of The Five Civilized Tribes organization, and Freedmen descendants filed a case with the United States Federal Court over the Cherokee Nation’s disenfranchisement of the Freedmen. Efforts to dismiss the federal case or move the case out of Washington by the Cherokee Nation have been denied so far. The federal case is still ongoing.

On September 26, 2004, Lucy Allen, a Freedmen descendant, filed a lawsuit with the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court over the acts that barred the Freedmen descendants from tribal membership being unconstitutional in the case of “Allen Vs. Cherokee Nation Tribal Council“. On March 7, 2006, the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court ruled in Allen’s favor in a 2-1 decision that the descendants of the Cherokee Freedmen are Cherokee and were allowed to register to become enrolled citizens of the Cherokee Nation.[31] This was based on the facts that the Freedmen were listed as members on the Dawes Rolls and that the 1975 Cherokee Constitution stated no language that the Freedmen were not members and no mention of a blood requirement for membership in the tribe [32] This ruling overturns the previous ruling in “Riggs vs. Ummerteskee” and over 800 Freedmen descendants have enrolled in the Cherokee Nation since the ruling was made[33] -- out of up to 45,000 potentially eligible people.[34]

Principal Chief Chad Smith stated his disapproval of the ruling days after it was made and wanted the ruling overturned via constitutional referendum petition or convention to amend the constitution to restrict tribal membership [35]. The Cherokee Tribal Council agreed with Smith, and on June 12, 2006, voted to "exclude Freedmen from the tribe's rolls" in a 13-2 vote[36]. The council denied a motion to have a special election by Novermber, 2006 over the issue, but supporters of the special election, including John Ketcher, former deputy chief of the Cherokee Nation, and Cherokee citizens siding with Smith, circulated a petition for a vote to remove the Freedmen descendants[37]. Chief Smith announced that the issue of the membership for Cherokee Freedmen was being considered for a vote regarding proposed amendments to the Cherokee Nation Constitution. Freedmen descendants opposed the election, and one descendant, Vicki Baker, filed a protest in the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court over the legality of the petition and allegations of foul play involved in the petition drive [38]. Though the Cherokee Supreme Court ruled against Baker, two justices in Cherokee Supreme Court, Darrell Dowty and Stacy Leeds, filed two dissenting opinions against the ruling. Justice Leeds wrote an eighteen-page dissenting opinion concerning falsified information in the petition drive and fraud by Darren Buzzard and Dwayne Barrett, two of the petition’s circulators. Leeds wrote, "In this initiative petition process, there are numerous irregularities, clear violations of Cherokee law, and it has been shown that some of the circulators perjured their sworn affidavits. I cannot, in good conscience, join in the majority opinion” [39]. Despite the dissent and the removal of 800 signatures from the petition, the goal of 2,100 signatures was met.

On December 19, 2006, Federal Judge Henry H. Kennedy ruled that the freedmen descendants could sue the Cherokee Nation for disenfranchisement [40]. However Judge Kennedy ruled against the Freedmen descendants’ motion to halt the upcoming election. After a few delays, the tribe voted on March 3, 2007 whether to reject the 1866 treaty or to allow the 2006 decision to stand.[41]. Less than a year after the Cherokee Freedmen descendants were reinstated in tribal court, they were once again removed from the Cherokee Nation with a 77% (6,693) to 23% (2,040) margin out of 8,700 total votes cast by registered voters[42]. The Freedmen descendants protested their ouster from the tribe with demonstrations at the BIA office in Oklahoma and the Oklahoma state capital [43] [44]

Due to the election that resulted in the ousting of the Freedmen descendants, the Cherokee Nation has come under considerable fire from various political circles such as the Congressional Black Caucus and the National Congress Of Black Women. On March 14, 2007, twenty-six members of the Congressional Black Caucus sent a letter to Carl J. Artman, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, urging the Bureau Of Indian Affairs to investigate the legality of the March 3rd election [45]. The election has also drawn focus to potentially illegal constitutional issues, as the election took place under a constitution that was not approved by the Secretary of Interior as acknowledged during an April 2007 Cherokee Nation rules committee meeting[citation needed].

On May 22, 2007, the Cherokee Nation received notice from the BIA that the Cherokee Nation’s amendments to the 1975 Cherokee Nation Constitution was rejected because it required BIA approval, which had not been obtained. The BIA also stated concerns that the Cherokee Nation had excluded the Cherokee Freedmen from voting for the 2003 (1999) Constitutional amendments, since they had been improperly shorn of their rights of citizenship years earlier and were not allowed to participate in the constitutional approval. This is considered a violation of the 1970 Principal Chiefs Act, which requires that all tribal members must vote. According to Chief Smith, the 1975 Indian Self Determination Act overrides the 1970 Principal Chiefs Act and removing the Freedmen descendants was in accordance to the former act. Smith also stated that the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court ruled that Cherokee Nation could take away the approval authority it had granted the federal government and that the Cherokee Nation will abide by the Supreme Court’s decision. [46] [47]. However, the issue with the amending removing federal approval was once again placed on the ballot for the June 23, 2007 election. Cherokee voters approved of the amendment again in a 2-1 margin, but the BIA still has to approve. A letter to Chief Smith from Jeanette Hanna, director of the BIA's Eastern Oklahoma Regional Office, stated that the regional office has recommended approval of the vote on removal of Secretarial oversight.[48]

On May 15, 2007, Cherokee District Court Judge John Cripps signed an order for the Cherokee Freedmen descendants to be temporarily reinstated as citizens of the Cherokee Nation while appeals are pending in the Cherokee Nation court system. This was due to an injunction filed by the Freedmen descendants' court appointed attorney for their case in tribal court. The Cherokee Nation’s Attorney General Diane Hammonds complied with the court order. However, some have stated that this move was a reaction to the Freedmen’s ongoing federal case and the BIA’s complaint that the freedmen were not allowed to vote [49]. Marilyn Vann and six Freedmen descendants filed a motion in federal court to halt the upcoming election, but Judge Henry Kennedy denied the motion. On June 23rd, Chad Smith was reelected as Principal Chief with 58.8% of the vote.

On June 21, 2007, US Rep. Diane Watson (D-California), one of the 25 Congressional Black Caucus members who signed a letter asking the BIA to investigate the Freedmen situation, introduced H.R. 2824. This bill seeks to sever the Cherokee Nation’s federal recognition, strip the Cherokee Nation of their federal funding (estimated $300 million annually), and stop the Cherokee Nation’s gaming operations if the tribe doesn’t honor the Treaty Of 1866. H.R. 2824 was co-signed by eleven Congress members and was referred to the Committee Of Natural Resources and the Committee Of The Judiciary.

Chief Smith issued a statement saying that the introduction of this bill is “really a misguided attempt to deliberately harm the Cherokee Nation in retaliation for this fundamental principle that is shared by more than 500 other Indian tribes”. The National Congress Of Native Americans (NCAI) have expressed their disapproval of the bill. [4]

Cherokee Freedmen descendants feel that they have been gradually pushed out of the Cherokee Nation, and that the process has left each generation less aware of its rights and its history. Much of the geographic and demographic information for the U.S. states, counties, and cities came from the data on the site. The data is not totally accurate due to various polling errors, but it is a very good estimate. See the Bureau's website for more information. The data were used for the following topics: geographic areas (total, land, and water), population and housing unit densities, demographic spreads across race, age, sex, and income. The data are indexed by state, county, and place FIPS codes. See also Race (United States Census) for a list of the definition of race according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As of July 11, 2007, census data can be accessed here. Communities in this part of northeastern Oklahoma are largely segregated.

Individual Cherokee and Freedmen have in the past been ignorant about the issue all together. As Freedman activist Reverend Roger H. Nero said in 1984, "Over the years they [Cherokee Nation officials] have been eliminating us [Freedmen] gradually. When the older ones die out, and the young ones come on, they won't know their rights. If we can't get this suit, they will not be able to get anything" [50]. And Circe Sturm (1998) reports that more recently, many Freedmen he interviewed are vague in their remembrance of a connection with the Cherokee, and are ambivalent about getting recognized[51]. Recognized Cherokee, too, are often in the dark. Cara Cowan Watts, a tribal council member who is against the freedmen being tribal members, admitted that she didn’t know anything about the Freedmen or their history before the case[52], while Chief Chad Smith admits that "a lot of Cherokee don't know who the Freedmen are," saying that he himself didn't know while growing up[53].

People who are against the Freedmen descendants being tribal members support Chief Smith's stance that the Freedmen are not Cherokee citizens based on their ancestors being on the Freedmen Roll of the Dawes Rolls and not on the “By-Blood” Cherokee Roll. Other claims from Smith and likeminded citizens include that the Freedmen and their descendants have not been active in the tribe for 100 years, that the Freedmen were compensated for slavery with their Dawes land allotments and not tribal membership, that they were forced on the tribe due to the Treaty Of 1866, and the claim that they are solely after or not entitled to the tribe's resources and Cherokee Nation's federally funded programs [54]. People who are “Pro-Freedmen” feel that the Freedmen descendants do have a rightful place in Cherokee society based on the Cherokee Freedmen's long history in the tribe before and after the Five Civilized Tribes' forced removal, Freedmen who have been active members of the tribe, and documents such as the Treaty Of 1866, the 1894 Supreme Court case of "Cherokee Nation vs. Journeycake" [5], and the 1975 Cherokee Constitution. Some Cherokees by blood have also pushed to garner full citizenship for Freedmen. David Allen Cornsilk, editor of the independent newspaper the Cherokee Observer and founder of the Cherokee National Party, was the lay advocate for the Lucy Allen case and sees the issue of honoring the 1866 treaty as an issue of sovereignty. Other non-White Cherokee have expressed solidarity with freedmen due to their similarities of religion (Southern Baptist) and the sense of community (albeit African American) found among freedmen [55].

Certain issues have risen from the controversy. One is the issue of blood. Historians have mentioned that the Cherokee have included members without Cherokee blood. The Shawnee and Delaware tribes, two non-Cherokee tribes, are members of the Cherokee Nation by treaty. Another issue is the issue of a tribe breaking a treaty which is protected by Article Six of the United States Constitution. Dr. Daniel F. Littlefield Jr., director of the Sequoyah Research Center at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock, stated that the Treaty Of 1866 grants freedmen their rights as citizens and the case shouldn’t be made into a racial issue [56]. In a June 2007 message to members of United Keetoowah Band Of Cherokees, Principal Chief George Wickliffe expressed his concern about the Cherokee Nation ignoring the Treaty Of 1866 and threatening government-to-government relationships [57]. Race is another issue. Taylor Keen, a Cherokee Nation tribal council member, said "Historically, citizenship in the Cherokee Nation has been an inclusive process, It was only at the time of the Dawes Commission there was ever a racial definition of what Cherokee meant. The fact that it was brought back up today certainly tells me that there is a statute of racism" [58]. Cherokee Nation citizen Darren Buzzard, one of the petition circulators, composed a letter to Councilwoman Linda O’Leary that had many statements that were deemed racist and bigoted. This letter was circulated on the Internet and it was quoted in many articles on the Freedmen case[59] [60].

Carter, Kent. The Dawes Commission and the Allotment of the Five Civilized Tribes, 1893-1914. Orem, Utah: Ancestry.com Incorporated. 1999.

Daffron, Brian (2007) "Freedmen descendants struggle to maintain their Cherokee identity" Indian Country Today, March 30, 2007. (Accessible as of July 13, 2007 here)

Debo, Angie. And Still the Waters Run: The Betrayal of the Five Civilized Tribes. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1940.

Littlefield, Daniel F. Jr. The Cherokee Freedmen: From Emancipation to American Citizenship. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1978.

Mcloughlin, WG. The Cherokees in Transition: a Statistical Analysis of the Federal Cherokee Census of 1835. Journal of American History, Vol. 64, 3, 1977, p. 678

Perdue, Theda. Slavery and the Evolution of Cherokee Society, 1540-1866. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1979.

Ray, S. Allan. A Race or a Nation? Cherokee National Identity and the Status of Freedmen's Descendents. Michigan Journal of Race and Law. Vol. 12, 2007 (Accessible as a working paper as of July 12, 2007 here).

Russell, Steve (2002). "Apples are the Color of Blood". Critical Sociology Vol. 28, 1, 2002, p. 65

Sturm, Circe. Blood Politics, Racial Classification, and Cherokee National Identity: The Trials and Tribulations of the Cherokee Freedmen. American Indian Quarterly, Vol. 22, No. 1/2. (Winter - Spring, 1998), pp. 230-258.

Thornton, Russell. The Cherokees: A Population History. Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 1990.

"Treaty with the Cherokee, 1866". written July 19, 1866. 14 Statutes, 799. Ratified July 27, 1866. Proclaimed Aug. 11, 1866, online (Accessed May 16, 2007)

"Cherokee leader wants to overturn freedmen decision" published from AP story on KTEN.com, 2006, (Accessible as of July 13, 2007 here)

Last edited by Chevy (Feb-10-2010 03:14:am)

Offline

 

#93 Feb-10-2010 10:49:pm

bls926
Administrator
From: Texas
Registered: Oct-21-2006
Posts: 12082

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

Both John and David Cornsilk emphasize that being a citizen of the Cherokee Nation is not about blood, but by fact of law. Of course, y'all better have the blood to call yourself a Cherokee, not just a gramma story with the records being burned up in a fire. They differentiate between being a citizen of the Nation and being Cherokee.

Not sure why this has been posted in a thread about wannabees; unless y'all consider Freedmen the ultimate wannabee group. Have a little more to say on that subject, but I'm taking it to the current Freedmen thread.

Offline

 

#94 Feb-11-2010 06:28:am

Chevy
Member
Registered: Aug-01-2007
Posts: 1577

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

No, I don't consider Freedmen wannabes, I consider them Cherokee citizens by treaty, just like the Delaware.

Offline

 

#95 Feb-11-2010 07:56:pm

bls926
Administrator
From: Texas
Registered: Oct-21-2006
Posts: 12082

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

Chevy wrote:

No, I don't consider Freedmen wannabes, I consider them Cherokee citizens by treaty, just like the Delaware.

The Delaware don't even consider themselves Cherokee.

Offline

 

#96 Feb-11-2010 09:06:pm

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4272
Website

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

Some do.  Some don't.  As a rule, those in the more traditionalist community don't.  Some in the so-called "modernist" community do, however.  [Our "friend," Sharon, does, for instance.]

Offline

 

#97 Feb-11-2010 10:10:pm

tree hugger
Site Admin
Registered: May-12-2006
Posts: 11031

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

sschkaak wrote:

Some do.  Some don't.  As a rule, those in the more traditionalist community don't.  Some in the so-called "modernist" community do, however.  [Our "friend," Sharon, does, for instance.]

lol neutral

Offline

 

#98 Feb-12-2010 01:51:am

Chevy
Member
Registered: Aug-01-2007
Posts: 1577

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

On the Dawes the Delaware are listed as "Delaware Cherokee".

Offline

 

#99 Feb-12-2010 02:40:am

Chevy
Member
Registered: Aug-01-2007
Posts: 1577

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

http://kuscholarworks.ku.edu/dspace/bit … .19-45.pdf

Delaware Idenity in the Cherokee Nation

Offline

 

#100 Feb-02-2011 01:06:pm

sschkaak
Moderator
Registered: Sep-17-2007
Posts: 4272
Website

Re: David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

http://tahlequahdailypress.com/local/x1 … a-Cherokee

January 31, 2011

What is a Cherokee?

After centuries of discussion, the question of identity persists, experts say.

By BETTY RIDGE Special Writer The Tahlequah Daily Press Mon Jan 31, 2011, 10:24 AM CST

TAHLEQUAH — More than 300 years ago, there was little question who was Cherokee: If your mother was Cherokee, you were, too.

Since those days, the concept of Cherokee identity has changed a number of times. It continues to evolve, as evidenced by the ongoing lawsuit between descendants of the Cherokee Freedmen and the Cherokee Nation. The Freedmen recently won a decision in Cherokee District Court, and the Cherokee Nation appealed it this past week to the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court.

Dr. Julia Coates, tribal councilor and professor of Cherokee history, said questions raised centuries ago continue to concern tribal citizens – and would-be tribal members – today. Coates gave the first in this year’s Cherokee Nation history presentations, “Cherokee Identity: From Clan to Citizen,” Thursday at the Tribal Council chamber.

“The subject of identity is so personal to each of us. Every one of us has a stake in it,” Coates said. “In our times, the subject of identity is very contentious, and very fuzzy.”

There is no “definite definition” of who is Cherokee, or what constitutes Cherokee.

“One of the places people may draw the line is political citizenship in a federally-recognized government,” Coates said. “There are people who feel that a blood degree minimum should be part of the definition – in other words, a racial definition.”

The two federally-recognized Cherokee tribes based in Tahlequah exemplify this dichotomy.

The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma require its citizens to have at least one-quarter Cherokee blood. The Cherokee Nation has no blood quantum, but requires its citizens to be descended from Dawes Commission enrollees.

A question of blood quantums

Most tribes with a blood quantum require one-fourth or better, Coates said.

“There are a number of people in this country, people of Cherokee heritage, who can clearly demonstrate it. There are people who can trace their descent from those early rolls, but for various reasons are not qualified to be citizens of the Cherokee Nation, UKB, or Eastern Band [the third federally-recognized tribe, based in North Carolina],” Coates said. “What do we do with those folks? Are they not Cherokee?”
One of the main misconceptions was that the Dawes Commission, just more than a century ago, determined whether or not people were of Cherokee heritage, Coates said.

That’s not so: Commissioners decided whether applicants qualified as members of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, according to various criteria. Some people of Cherokee heritage did not qualify.


Dawes Commission members also assigned blood quantums, which may or may not have reflected the actual degree of Cherokee blood held by the applicants. Frequently commissioners suggested an amount, as reflected in testimony of the hearings, Coates said. For example, “You look like about half Cherokee, is that right?” and the applicant nodded.

Coates started with Cherokee practices before and in the early days of European contact. Cherokees received their identity through membership in one of the seven clans, and the mother determined clan citizenship.

If someone had a Cherokee father, but not a Cherokee mother, he had no clan membership and therefore no place in the tribe.

“There was a very clear definition of who was and who was not Cherokee. Everybody knew about it and it was agreed upon,” Coates said.

Over the years, the question of who was Cherokee evolved from clan membership, which was a social definition, and the rhetoric of nations, or citizenship.

Much of this began to occur after the American Revolution, when the number of Cherokees plummeted.

“This was a dramatic shift in government,” Coates said.

During that period, 49 Cherokee families accepted a reservation in the Qualla Boundary of western North Carolina. Their descendants form today’s Eastern Band.

The Cherokee Nation adopted several requirements, including residency in Cherokee territory, for tribal membership

In 1825, they incorporated children of Cherokee fathers and white mothers. During the 1820s, they passed miscegenation laws, forbidding citizens to children of Cherokees and African slaves or freedmen, similar to laws passed in the south.

Migration changes the definition

In 1804, some Cherokees began migrating to Arkansas. This movement continued until 1832 and 1833, forming the group known as “Old Settlers.” By Cherokee law, they were no longer citizens because they had moved from Cherokee territory.

“All of this was basis for many issues still being argued today,” Coates said.

She and several members of the audience referred to “cans of worms” opened then, and implied the worms continue to crawl in discussions about citizenship.

The 1839 Cherokee Constitution, written in Indian Territory after the Trail of Tears, established residency requirements, and allowed the tribal council to readmit those who had left Cherokee lands, but re-established themselves in Indian Territory.

Coates also discussed issues surrounding the 1863 Cherokee emancipation proclamation and subsequent acts concerning the freedmen.

Proponents of citizenship for the freedmen point to an 1866 treaty which established criteria for the incorporation of freedmen and members of some other tribes into the Cherokee Nation. The treaty said the freedmen would have rights but did not define them as Cherokee citizens.

An 1866 amendment to the Cherokee Nation constitution provided citizenship to the freedmen.

These are the legal foundation for the case being debated today, Coates said.

The Cherokee Nation conducted censuses in 1880, 1894 and 1896. People listed in those censuses were granted citizenship when they applied to the Dawes Commission.

During the 1880s and 1890s, the Cherokee Nation conducted citizenship courts.

About 5,000 people who could provide evidence of Cherokee blood  received citizenship, while far greater numbers were rejected, Coates said.

“The vast majority of people who made those petitions knew darn well they weren’t Cherokees,” Coates said.

They were intruders who had moved into Indian Territory. If they appealed a denial of Cherokee citizenship, they could remain in Indian Territory during their appeal, thereby obtaining their objective. By this time, there were more intruders than Cherokees in the area.

Coates also discussed the concept of blood citizenship, saying Cherokees never had a blood quantum, and cultural citizenship. Many people would argue that only those who grew up in a household speaking Cherokee, and who thereby acquired a knowledge of their culture, were truly tribal members.

All these issues continue to be raised today, and so the arguments go on.

Offline

 
  • Index
  •  » General
  •  » David Cornsilk: Definition of Wannabee

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
© Copyright 2002–2005 Rickard Andersson