THE FREEDMEN/WOMEN AND THE CHEROKEE NATION: PART 2

In my first post, I addressed the situation of the Cherokee Nation disenrolling the black Cherokee Freedmen/Women form the Cherokee Nation. I spoke of the Dawes Roll and its racist implications for the Freedmen/Women, and how the white-run government put “full-blood/quantum-blood Indians” on the Dawes Roll, but visibly “black/African-looking Indians” on the Freedmen/Women’s roll. This separation of families based on how “Cherokee-looking” an individual was as opposed to how “Negro/African/Black-looking” a person was tore apart many families with some family members put on the Dawes Roll, and some family members put on the Freedmen Rolls. This started the racist dichotomy that would for generations fester and boil over until we have the present situation now in the Cherokee Nation.
 
I continue my post on this situation by revisiting news article excerpts from my previous post, and my assessment of the situation so far.
  
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
 
 
“In a statement late Saturday, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith said he was pleased with the turnout and election result.
 
“Their voice is clear as to who should be citizens of the Cherokee Nation,” Smith said. “No one else has the right to make that determination. It was a right of self-government, affirmed in 23 treaties with Great Britain and the United States and paid dearly with 4,000 lives on the Trail of Tears.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
He also conveniently forgot all the black slaves who were drug, with chains around their necks, walking behind the horses of the slave-holding Cherokees, many of whom also died along the infamous Trail of Tears with the Cherokees.
 
 
 
 
 
“The petition drive for the ballot measure followed a March 2006 ruling by the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court that said an 1866 treaty assured freedmen descendants of tribal citizenship.”
 
But, of course, they are black “Indians” not worthy of respect, not worthy of legal recognition. And the flagrant disregard of the 1866 treaty shows that Indian people are not strangers to practicing racism against their fellow human beings.
 
After all, they did copy the white man’s most hated form of racism.
 
Enslavement of black people.
 
And some people wonder why the Cherokee, Seminole, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Creek were called the “Five Civilized Tribes?”
 
Didn’t act so civilized then.
 
Aren’t acting so civilized now.
 
Many black Americans have Indian blood flowing through their veins.
 
That is where the majority of Indian blood resides in 2008 America.
 
But, as the Cherokees, and the Seminoles, so obviously showed, it is easier to degrade, attack and disrespect your own blood. After all, the black Indians are just descendants of black slaves. Never to be respected by either white America, nor “Indian America.”
 
 
 
 
“Miller, the tribal spokesman, defended the Cherokees against charges of racism, saying that Saturday’s vote showed the tribe was open to allowing its citizens vote on whether non-Indians be allowed membership.”
 
 
 
 
Seventy-six percent of the voters kicked out the 2,800 members.
 
Obviously, that 76 per cent being white-skinned wanted nothing anymore to do with their black brethren.
 
“More than 75 percent of those enrolled in the Cherokee Nation have less than one-quarter Cherokee blood, the vast majority of them of European ancestry.”
The “Cherokee Tribe” has spoken.
 
And white blood is worshiped and enshrined into their minds, behaviour and the final tallying of their votes.
 
 
“The United States, when posed the same situation with the Seminoles, would not recognize the election and they ultimately cut off most federal programs to the Seminoles,” Velie said. “They also determined the Seminoles, without this relationship with the government, were not authorized to conduct gaming.”
 
“TAHLEQUAH, Okla., March 1 — The casinos here are crowded by midmorning; busloads of tourists stroll the streets, and construction crews are everywhere. But peace of mind eludes the prospering Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.”
 
Gaming.
 
Casinos.
 
Reparations.
 
It’s not just racist hatred of black blood that has caused the Cherokees to vote black Indians out of the Cherokee tribe.
 
Greed and love of money, and the desire to cheat black people who have been Indians all this time, out of their rightful claim to tribal membership, is the real underlying major reason why the “white” Indians have pushed the “black” Indians out of the tribe.
 
Anytime money enters the situation, always bet on reason and sanity to go out the window, and be prepared to see avarice, gluttony and selfish self-preservation that denies black Indians their rightful claim to tribe member status to bite the dust every time.
 
 
 
 
“And yet, three-quarters of a century after the death of Cherokee legend Stick Ross, there’s no room for his great-grandson in the Cherokee Nation. Leslie Ross has been denied citizenship in the tribe on the grounds that he is not truly Indian. “They said I don’t have any Indian blood. They say blacks have never had a part in the Cherokee Nation,” says Ross, his usually calm voice swelling with anger. “The thing is, there wouldn’t be a Cherokee Nation if it weren’t for my great-grandfather. Jesus, he was more Indian than the Indians!”
 
 
 
“Ross is just one of at least 25,000 direct descendants of Freedmen who cannot join Oklahoma’s largest tribes. Once paragons of racial inclusion and assimilation, the Native American sovereign nations have done an about-face and systematically pushed out people of African descent. “There’s never been any stigma about intermarriage,” says Stu Phillips, editor of The Seminole Producer, a local newspaper in central Oklahoma. “You’ve got Indians marrying whites, Indians marrying blacks. It was never a problem until they got some money.”
 
 
Which is what happened when the Seminoles received a $56 million reparations settlement from the United States government:
 
 
 
“These are boom times for the Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma – the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole – due in no small part to the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act that allowed the tribes to construct their own casinos. The Chickasaw’s net assets have more than doubled to $315 million in the two years since it opened the mammoth WinStar Casinos complex in Thackerville. The corporate arm of the Cherokee Nation, Cherokee Nation Enterprises, is on track to make nearly $70 million this year thanks to a new casino in Catoosa. Then there’s the government reparations fund. In 1990, the Seminoles received a $56 million settlement as compensation for the seizure of the tribe’s ancestral lands in Florida almost 200 years ago.”
 
 
“For the better part of the 20th century, black Indians were permitted to vote in elections, sit on tribal councils, and receive benefits. Tribal leaders now insist that the Freedmen were never actually citizens and that they will never attain the honor of membership because they don’t have Native American blood. In 1983, the Cherokee tribe established a rule requiring citizens to carry a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood. This federal document is available to anyone whose ancestors are listed on the Dawes Roll – a 1906 Indian census that excludes Freedmen.
 
“In 2000, the Seminoles expelled all 2,000 black members and denied their families a cut of the reparations money – never mind that their ancestors joined the tribe in the 18th century, endured the march from Florida to Oklahoma in the 1830s, and have considered themselves Indian for generations. “But US courts have repeatedly refused to meddle in Indian affairs, noting that the sovereign nations determine their own membership criteria. Davis suffered a serious – and perhaps final – setback last year, when the Supreme Court refused to consider her appeal of a lower court’s ruling that the Seminoles could not be sued in federal court.
“(The Bush administration filed a brief on behalf of the tribe.)”
 
 
 
 
Of course the Bush administration would side with the “White Indians”.
Anything that means the continued insult and degradation of “Black Indians”, and anyone black, would be just fine with George Bush’s administration. Anything that would help anyone considered black, would be crushed and curtailed by the racist divide and conquer- favor one race over another administration of Bush.
 
Greed knows no bounds, no race, no color.
 
And, when MONEY and material wealth/gains enters the picture, all humane consideration bites the dust.
 
Especially when racism is involved.
 
 
And what the Indians are doing to the black Freedman/Women who stood by them all these centuries, decades and generations, is beyond sick.
 
Why would a race of people, in this case, so-called Indians, want to practice and live by the racist standards and cruelties of white Americans?
 
The white man and the white woman are the last race of people on this Earth that ANYONE should emulate.
 
After all that the white race has done to every race they have come into contact with, why imitate all that is hateful, vicious and anti-human behaviour that the white race has practiced for over 500 years?
 
Why further become like a race that has foisted upon the whole world the biggest murderers, the biggest liars, the biggest thieves, the biggest rapists, the biggest destroyers of all non-white cultures, the biggest practitioners of perversions, filth, desecration’s, and abominations the world has ever known?
 
Why, “Cherokee” Indians, do to the black Freedmen/Women what the white men and women have done to your race for generations?
 
Since the white Indians have spoken and have shown their love of the most hated ways of the white race, they might as well go over completely to the white race, proclaim themselves white, and get it over with.
 
Talk about a marriage made in hell.
 
 
Many people have the erroneous belief that Five Tribe slavery was not as bad as American slavery practiced against enslaved black people, many people consider NA slavery similar to indentured servitude. In some very limited respects, some of it was in the beginning, a form of indentured servitude, where enslaved black people could become free and intermarry and become a part of the tribe. But, the slavery adopted by the Five Tribes eventually became the same type of slavery practiced by the whites who enslaved black people for over 400 years.
 
Many people think that the Five Tribes were most humane in their enslavement of black people. But, questions have to be asked:
 
 
Which tribe?
 
Choctaw? (Notorious for their inhumanity towards their slaves)
-Seminole? (somewhat better, but, they turned their backs on ex-slaves after the enactment of the Dawes Roll).
 
In the end, all of the Five Tribes turned on their former black slaves.
 
Marriage or induction into a tribe does not lessen the “sting” that Native Americans enslaved black people.
 
Would not slavery of ANY kind be wrong, no matter how benign (”indentured”?) or cruel (chattel)?
 
If the Cherokee Nation (which sided with the white Confederates of the Civil War) and the Southern whites had won the Civil War, blacks would have not only the white man’s boot on our necks, we would also have the Cherokees, as well.
 
But, things turned out differently.
 
Somewhat, differently.
 
I do not see how any kind of slavery can be justified or excused away—no matter who did it:
 
 
-European whites
-Native Americans
-Mulatto offspring of enslaved black mother/white slave father (”free persons of color”)
-Past/present-day Arab slave traders
 
 
I am sure those black people enslaved by BOTH red and white, would have given anything to be allowed to live freely from anyone’s enslavement. To have lived their lives free of someone leeching off of their free labor, like fat, engorged ticks.
 
No matter what color, race or excuse they would have given to justify enslaving another human being.
 
Yes, Indians kept each other as slaves (pre-Columbus, etc.).
Even Indians themselves were kept as slaves by European whites:
 
 
Yes, Cherokees walked the infamous the Trail of Tears, known as the Indian Removal:
Trails of Tears en.png
Trail of Tears route.
Yes, Jacksons’ destruction of native peoples east of the Mississippi……was an atrocity that decimated the former tribes of the eastern part of North America.
 
 
Regardless, the Five Tribes hands are not guilt free in their mistreatment of black people during slavery:
 
 
“The move to Indian Territory significantly transformed the relationships of blacks and Indians. Slavery became more profitable, and slave-owning Cherokees hardened their attitudes as well as their laws. Not surprisingly, some Indian slaveholders treated their enslaved blacks with abject cruelty. The Cherokee mixed-blood James Vann, for example, is reported to have buried a slave alive as punishment for robbery. The newly enacted slave codes adopted restrictive provisions similar to those in southern states: a member of the Cherokee nation could be expelled for teaching blacks to read, and the death penalty was instituted for any slave convicted of raping a Cherokee women.
 
“Cherokee leaders encouraged, moreover, full cooperation with the Federal Government in enforcing the new fugitive slave law enacted as part of the Compromise of 1850, designed to stem the flow of escaped slaves to the northern free states.
 
“The harsher treatment of blacks by the Five Civilized Tribes, including the Seminoles, possibly stemmed in part from the larger number of enslaved blacks held by Indians after the removal. The number of enslaved blacks among the Creeks increased from 502 to 1,532; among the Cherokees, the number grew from 1,592, to 2,511; among the Choctaw, from 512 to 2.349; and among the Chickasaw, the number climbed from several hundred to around 1,000. For the Seminole, the number increased from 500 to less than 1,000, although most scholars dispute this figure as too high in view of the many who are known to have been stolen and sold by slavers or else who had run off to Mexico.
 
“For whatever reasons, enslaved blacks began running away in record numbers after the removal to the Indian Territory. In 1846, an editorial in the Cherokee Advocate warned that:
 
“…our country is traversed by numbers [of slaves], who have escaped from their rightful owners; either of the nation or the State, or the Creek country, we have every reason to believe. Some of these have become associated with the band of Seminole slaves under the guardianship of Gen. Jessup—and the mere fact of being thus protected, has infused into them a spirit which leads them with the most bare faced impunity to trespass upon peaceable Cherokees.
 
“Cherokee newspapers frequently ran advertisements placed by Indian slaveholders seeking fugitive slaves, something uncommon before 1835. The formerly enslaved Betty Robinson, remembered later in life the 1842 slave revolt in Cherokee Territory, when 35 slaves, aided by Seminoles, ran way from their masters, stole firearms, and fled to the Creek Nation, stealing clothes, horses, and mules. They were soon apprehended, however, and returned to the Indians who claimed ownership of them.”
  
 
So much for benign treatment.
 
Native Americans were not so humane towards their black slaves, especially after the white man forcibly kicked them out of their lands. Looks like their change of behaviour occurred about then. Looks like they took their rage and anger out on defenseless black slaves—who were afforded no protection from anyone who sought to enslave them: WHITE OR RED.
 
And the irony of their adopting white-ways (slavery)—-they did such a good successful job of doing it that greedy, jealous whites drove the Five Tribes from their ancestral land towards Oklahoma. Some Cherokee slavers grew wealthy from the free labor of their slaves, and lived in mansions:
Like this:
 
Gingerbread House Essex CT.jpg
And this:
 
 
 
Thomas Jefferson's Monticello Estate.jpg
 
They were also able to amass the following:
MontreGousset001.jpg
Gold watches, as well as the other finer things of life:  jewelry, exquisite clothing, high-quality furniture, etc.
 
Cherokee slavers also obtained wealth from major crops, which were produced by enslaved black men and women, working on labour-intensive crops:
 
Tobacco.jpg
Tobacco
US long grain rice.jpg
Rice

 

Wealth. . . . built from the backs of enslaved black people’s labor.
The Cherokee grew to become too powerful, and whites wanted them out of the way….and their land.
 
Today, the Cherokee Nation still shows its contempt for a race of people who have never done them any wrong.
 
On that note, there is not much of a world of difference between whites and Cherokees, in their shameful mistreatment of their fellow black human beings.
 
 
 
And this from the previous link:
 
“Imagine what might have happened to enslaved blacks had the Confederacy won the Civil War.”
 
That is a nightmare I do not want to envision.
 
 
The Seminoles started out doing right by formerly enslaved black people:
 
 
“The Seminole, Creeks, and Cherokee generally adopted their formerly enslaved blacks fully into their tribes shortly after the Civil War ended; but it was only the Seminoles that immediately extended to them the full rights of citizenship. The Choctaw put off embracing the formerly enslaved as tribal members until 1885; only the Chickasaw, however, refused to take this step, never recognizing their formerly enslaved blacks as full tribal members. (For more a more in-depth look at the Seminoles and formerly enslaved blacks, read the Seminoles and Slaves: Florida’s Freedom Seekers essay.”
 
 
Therefore, AFTER slavery the Seminoles gave full-citizenship to their ex-slaves. Now look what has happened decades later with the Seminoles attempting to rescind citizenship to their black “citizens”. Because of their callous treatment of their black citizens, the federal government had to step in and force them to do right by their black citizens.
 
The Chickasaw mistreated slaves the most, with the Choctaw running a close second. The Creeks were no better.
 
In fact, in the 1970s, Choctaws did what the Cherokee nation has done, only earlier. The Choctaws did this when no one was the wiser, and with blacks coming off the exhaustion of fighting for the Civil Rights Movement, unfortunately, this inhumane tactic by the Choctaw went under the radar.
 
I just consider any kind of slavery wrong.
 
 
-Sex slavery
-Chattel slavery
-Prisoner-of-war-slavery
-Adopted slavery (Five Tribes)
 
PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE SLAVERY.
 
We all will have to stand before God for all the wrongs we all do.
 
No matter how big, no matter how small.
 
Now, we have come to this, so-called “Indians” kicking other “Indians”out of their tribes.
 
White people are not the only ones who have been contaminated by white capitalist racist patriarchy.
 
So too have many non-black races in America, and the Cherokee Nation has shown it fullest contempt against its black citizens—-the Freedmen/Women, by disenrolling them and thereby disenfranchising  them of their legal citizenship.
 
This is no different than America eradicating the 14TH Amendment and taking black American’s right to citizenship.
 
The Freedmen/Women went to the CBC to exercise their rights to protect their citizenship in the Cherokee Nation. Good.
 
I would have rather they took their case to the United Nations, and brought both the United States and the Cherokee Nation to the world court for this perverted injustice against the Freedmen/Women. They still can do this by enlisting the services of a UN rapporteur to investigate these racial pogroms against the Freedmen/Women black Cherokees.
 
They may not have won.
 
Or, they may have won.
 
And set a precedent.
 
We will never know.
 
I would have preferred instead that instead of the black Cherokees going to the government that has sought their destruction, they should instead have taken their case to the UN.
 
Why continue to go to a government which has sought for over 400 years to destroy you(slavery, white supremacy, lynching, segregation), and is still trying to destroy you any way it can and now the Freedmen/Women have to face virulent racism from those who have suffered from the same white supremacy of the U.S. government? From those who have adopted the worst ways of racist whites?
 
This is a case of the Cherokee Nation stealing the citizenship of black Cherokees.
 
The Freedmen/Women have put just as much into the Cherokee Nation, as have black citizens done for America.
 
Wrong is wrong.
 
No matter who does it:
 
WHITE or RED.
 
 
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LINKS:
 
 (Even though this site states that this is a treaty with the Cherokees, the original Treaty included ALL of the Five Civilized Tribes:  Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek, Choctaw, and Seminole, who had enslaved black people.
 
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“BENEATH THE UNDERDOG: RACE, RELIGION, AND THE TRAIL OF TEARS” – AFRICAN AMERICAN, CHEROKEE, NATIVE AMERICAN: http://www.tngenweb.org/tncolor/keetoo1.htm#FOOTNOTE_20 
 
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BLACK INDIAN HISTORY INFORMATION – FREEDMEN FAMILY HISTORY:  http://www.anpa.ualr.edu/other_resources/black_indian_history/black_indian_freedman_choctaw.htm
 
 
FREEDMEN ENROLLMENT CARD NUMBERS INDEX BY ROLL NUMBER:  http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ewyatt/Cherokee%20Index.html
 
 
 
 
 
KERN-CLIFTON ROLLS:
(Created in 1896-1897, the Kern-Clifton Roll was created to fill in the omissions of the Wallace Roll.CENSUS of the Freedmen and their descendants of the Cherokee Nation taken by the Commission appointed in the case of Moses Whitmire, Trustee of the Freedmen of the Cherokee Nation vs. The Cherokee Nation and the United States in the Court of Claims at Washington, D. C., the said Commission being composed of William Clifton, William Thompson and Robert H. Kern, the same being made from the testimony taken before said Commission in the Cherokee Nation between May 4th and August 10th, 1896.

First, Authenticated Freedmen and their descendants.)

WALLACE ROLL OF CHEROKEE FREEDMEN:  http://www.accessgenealogy.com/native/wallace.php

(The Wallace Roll of Cherokee Freedmen in Indian Territory was created due to the citizenship of many ex-slaves (freedmen) being disputed by the Cherokee Tribe. To the freedmen, the ability to establish their status was important, not only for the sharing of the Cherokee lands, but also the payments and annuities the Cherokee Tribe was to receive in the future. A series of investigations were conducted by John W. Wallace, 1889-1890; Leo E. Bennett, 1891-92; Marcus D. Shelby, 1893; James G. Dickson, 1895-96; William Clifton, William Thompson, and Robert H. Kern, 1896-97. These investigations resulted in the Cherokee Freedmen Rolls known as the Wallace Roll, and the Kern-Clifton Roll.

A schedule of names of Cherokee freedmen created by Special Agent John W. Wallace. Individuals on the schedule were entitled to share with the Shawnee and Delaware in the per capita distribution of $75,000, appropriated by Congress in October 1888, and issued under the supervision of his office. Because of discrepancies, additional supplements were added. In 1896-1897 the Kern-Clifton Roll was created to fill in the ommissions of the Wallace Roll. Genealogists not finding their Cherokee ancestor in the Wallace Roll, should search the Kern-Clifton Roll   to insure that this ancestor was not one of those originally ommitted by Wallace.

Many names appear more than one time in a district, and some appear in all districts.)

 

BLACK CHEROKEEE SURNAMES RECORDED ON THE DAWES ROLL:  http://www.aaanativearts.com/article787.html
  
“CHEROKEE BY BLOOD: BLACK INDIANS”:  http://www.cherokeebyblood.com/blackindians.htm
  
DESCENDANTS OF THE FREEDMEN OF THE FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES (WEBSITE):  http://www.freedmen5tribes.com/
  
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Here are links where the Cherokee Nation gives biased, one-sided statements about the Cherokee Freedmen/Women, the Cherokee Constitution/Treaty of 1866, and the legal rights the Freedmen/Women have as citizens of the CN:
 
“CITIZENSHIP STATUS OF NON-INDIANS”:  http://freedmen.cherokee.org/
 
  
  RACIST ROOTS OF” THE CHEROKEE NATION’S DISENFRANCHISING THE CHEROKEE FREEDMEN/WOMEN”:
 
 
“CHEROKEE NATION TO VOTE ON EXPELLING SLAVE DESCENDANTS”:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/02/AR2007030201647.html
  
 CHEROKEE NATION RESPONSE TO THE CBC ON THE DISALLOCATION OF GOVERNMENT FUNDS:  http://freedmen.cherokee.org/Portals/13/Docs/1607-LR-CX.pdf
 
  
  
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REFERENCES:
  
1.
Black Indian Slave Narratives (Real Voices, Real History) by Patrick Minges (Paperback – Jun 2004)
4.0 out of 5 stars (1)
 
 
 
2.
4.2 out of 5 stars (5)
 
———————————————————————————————————-
 
 
RELATED LINKS:
  
For more information on the Seminole $56 million reparation case, click here:
  
 
“A NATION DIVIDED:  SEMINOLE RIFT MORE THAN A BLACK-WHITE ISSUE”:   http://afgen.com/seminole.html
 
“SEMINOLES AND SLAVES: FLORIDA’S FREEDOM SEEKERS” BY JEAN WEST:  http://www.slaveryinamerica.org/history/hs_es_seminole.htm
 
WPA OKLAHOMA SLAVE NARRATIVES (BOOKS GOOGLE.COM)
 
“““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““““`
 
OTHER LINKS:
 
 
  • Editorial Observer; The Black Seminole Indians Keep Fighting for

    The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs took a step toward fairness recently when it made some black Seminoles eligible for a few low-level benefits — though

  • The Black Seminoles

    They were referred to as Black Seminoles, and were so interrelated with the tribe that Chief Micanopy took up official residence among them.

  • Who Is a Seminole, and Who Gets to Decide?

    The black Seminoles are represented by a New York lawyer, In legal papers, the black Seminoles‘ lawyers say federal officials and blood Seminole leaders

  • Black Seminoles‘ Fight

    Sylvia Davis’s struggle on behalf of black Seminoles places her alongside Rosa Parks, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Frederick Douglass.

  • Editorial Observer; The Seminole Tribe, Running From History

    In Oklahoma, where the Seminoles were settled, the residents — black, A similar fate has befallen aging and disabled black Seminoles who have been

  • Who Is a Seminole, and Who Gets to Decide?

    The battle over the place of the black Seminoles is now at the center of two It was here that both black and blood Seminoles were forced to move from

  • Editorial Observer; When Racial Discrimination Is Not Just Black

    Both the Seminole and the Cherokee tribes have employed discriminatory policies to prevent black members from receiving tribal benefits — and to strip them

  • Mineral-Rights Money And Political Realities

    The court fight over the black Seminoles is being watched in Washington, Even while black Seminoles and blood Seminoles are battling over the millions

  • Who Is a Seminole, and Who Gets to Decide?

    EXCLUDED Polly Gentry, top, and her nieces Polly Jackson and Molly Morrison, above, are among the people who call themselves black Seminoles but have been

 
In conclusion of my trilogy, I will address Sen. Barack Obama’s stance that he has “against any congressional interference at this point”, in the ongoing controversy over Cherokee Nation citizenship for the descendants of former slaves. 
 
 
THE CHEROKEE NATION’S CONTRADICTORY STANCE: http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096414762
  • OUTRAGES IN INDIAN TERRITORY.; THE BLACK RESIDENTS PERSECUTED BY

    THE BLACK RESIDENTS PERSECUTED BY THE CHEROKEE COUNCIL–RELIEF ASKED OF THE GOVERNMENT. WASHINGTON, Feb. 25.–A delegation of colored citizens of the Indian

  • An Unjust Expulsion

    The so-called blood list contained nonblack Cherokees, listed with their percentage of Indian ancestry. The freedmen’s list included the names of any black

 See also these links on other Afro-Indian groups, many denied Native American status due to their black/African blood lineage:

-Lumbee

-“Lumbees Clash With Cherokee At Senate Hearing

-Buffalo Ridge Cherokee

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U.S. CONSTITUTION 14TH AMENDMENT:  http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment14/

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30 Comments

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30 responses to “THE FREEDMEN/WOMEN AND THE CHEROKEE NATION: PART 2

  1. There will be hearings held by the CBC I believe in September on the Freedmen matter.

    It would be could if Barney Frank could get some CBC members on the joint committee with the Senate on the Indian Housing Bill that is being held up if the Cherokee Nation is receiving funding.

    There is a lot of injustice in Indian Country. Most borne out of the greed that comes with casinon money. The Pechanga tribe has violated the civil rights of many of its members, which I document on my blog.

    The Freedmen issue has gotten a lot of publicity due to the hard work of their people. Other tribal members that have been disenfranchised can learn from their tenacity.

  2. Ann

    Original Pechanga.

    Thanks for stopping by and giving me that heads up on the CBC hearings in September. I will keep an eye on it.

    “Other tribal members that have been disenfranchised can learn from their tenacity.”

    Indeed.

  3. kurux

    over 90% of the enrolled tribal members are less than 1/4, and over 60% live outside the jurisdictional boundaries.

  4. cherokeerosa

    I am wondering why the Freedmen/Women are working so hard to become part of a tribe that, according to your article, enslaved and treated their ancestors like animals.

    Why would they want to go to that same tribe and beg for benefits when if they needed help they would get better service from the US government? Tribal benefits are not all that great. Especially the health care. In Indian country, if you are really sick you don’t want to go to an Indian clinic unless you’re ready to die.

    Your article mentions casinos. Is it for part of the casino money? Even if they ever in the future decided to divide profits from the casinos among the tribal members (which is unlikely), there are so many Cherokees each persons take would be pretty small.

    Is it revenge for the sins of their ancestors? Is it all about reparations?

    Why does the CBC fight only for inclusion of Blacks into the tribe, and not fight for others who think they have Indian blood, too? I have family members who cannot get tribal benefits either because their Indian ancestors didn’t sign up on the white man’s census rolls. They aren’t sueing the tribe. They know they have Indian ancestors and they are comfortable with who they are.

    And isn’t this all supposed to be decided in court? Why doesn’t the CBC wait for the court case to be decided based on the laws and treaties we already have before they waste time holding hearings and trying to pass new laws?

    I am not trying to be confrontational. I just can’t figure out why all this is happening and just curious about what your take is on all this.

  5. Ann

    @cherokeerosa:

    “I am wondering why the Freedmen/Women are working so hard to become part of a tribe that, according to your article, enslaved and treated their ancestors like animals.”

    In my post, I stated that the CN had disenrolled the Freedmen/Women after casino money began to roll in. I mentioned the Seminole tribe which had included formerly enslaved black people as citizens, BUT, when the $56 million reparations from the U.S.government came in, they too disenrolled the Black Seminoles who had fought side-by-side with the Seminole Indians for generations.

    All. . . .for. . . .the. . . .love. . . .of. . . .money.

    America also enslaved and savagely mistreated my black ancestors as well, but, am I too understand that as a black woman that I should pack up MY bags and leave America after all my people had put into it? How can you ask such a question of the Freedmen/Women? They were citizens of the CN, before ANY money came into being, and they should have been allowed to keep their citizenship, not have it stripped from them, just because a few Judas pieces of silver have fallen like crumbs from Massa.

    No one forced the Cherokee to enslave black people; no one forced white people to enslave black people, but it was done, and therein lies half the animosity and hatred towards black people. Black people are a living testament to racist hatred from this country and the Five Tribes of the American South. Black people of today, are a daily reminder of racist white hatred, and Five Tribe hatred, as you can see so well in the many colors we come in. And since white men and red men sexually abused defenseless enslaved black women, that rape/race-mixing has made black Americans unwilling COUSINS to BOTH whites and the Five Tribes Indians.

    The other half is that many black “Indians” HAVE been more Indian than many Indians, just as millions of black Americans have been MORE AMERICAN than millions of white Americans, and they did that as citizens.

    Citizens with all the rights that should come with such a reality.

    The Freedmen/Women ARE citizens of the CN. The CN should accept that fact, just as white-run America should accept the fact that black Americans ARE U.S. citizens. Face facts Five Tribes: ya’ done wrong (Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, Chickasaw, Choctaw); your people enslaved black people. Hating and seeking the destruction of those who have contributed so much to your nation makes you (racist Cherokees) worst than the most racist of white people.

    Why are the Freedmen/Women fighting so hard to “become part of a tribe that, according to your article, enslaved and treated their ancestors like animals”. . . .

    They are not fighting hard to become a part of anything.

    THEY ARE a part of the CN. They WERE citizens. They should have their citizenship restored.

    How can you become a part of something that you are, in this case a citizen? How can you become a family member…a brother, as sister…when you already are a part of that family?

    If you (Cherokees) were going to emulate any race, it should have been black people, not white people. Just goes to show that everyone wants to use black people, until they have grown strong from leeching off black people, and then kick them to the curb.

    It is about citizenship, and the CN found a way to get rid of black people from their so-called nation. Something many whites who read my words desire to do as well with black Americans if this country could do it. …… and get away with it.

    But, there is that pesky U.S. Constitution, especially the 14TH Amendment (which I strongly advise ALL Americans to read) that keeps this country from doing to black people what the CN did to the Freedmen/Women.

    (Not saying that it cannot happen; always possible with the good ol’ USA.)

    But, hateful behaviour always finds a way to come back and bite you in the ass.

    Ask the Seminoles.

    “Why would they want to go to that same tribe and beg for benefits when if they needed help they would get better service from the US government? Tribal benefits are not all that great.”

    I am fully aware that many Indian tribes are starving, destitute, have lands that have been polluted by uranium. . . .and ALL tribes are not rolling in casino dough. But, on the other hand, neither are all tribes kicking their black citizens to the curb. The Pequots are a good example of Indians who by working together, have strengthened themselves and did not follow the lead of the Five Tribes in tearing themselves apart due to materialistic greed.

    Also, many Indian tribes are denied health care by a cold and callous U.S. government:

    http://kathmanduk2.wordpress.com/2008/01/28/bush-threatens-a-veto-on-health-care-for-native-americans/

    So, it is erroneous and even disingenuous for many uninformed people to think that all the Freedmen/Women want out of this is money. They want what is rightfully theirs, what is rightfully their birthright: their citizenship returned to them.

    “Indian health care”? I don’t think so:

    http://kathmanduk2.wordpress.com/2008/03/07/report-details-native-american-health-in-cities/

    Hmm. Don’t have to live on the reservation to have abysmal health care.

    America having the “great” health care? For ALL of her citizens? I don’t think so:

    http://kathmanduk2.wordpress.com/2008/03/24/in-sickness-and-wealth-unnatural-causes-is-inequality-making-us-sick/

    Where Native America women are raped more than any other race of women, with black American women coming up a close second:

    http://kathmanduk2.wordpress.com/2007/11/25/rape-of-native-american-women-uninvestigated/

    Therefore, I am aware that many NAs do not have it so great.

    The Freedmen/Women ARE NOT BEGGING FOR BENEFITS.

    They want their citizenship back.

    Nothing more.

    Nothing less.

    As a U.S. citizen, I am automatically given rights AND benefits THAT COME with being an American citizen. That is a no-brainer. So too is it the same for the CN and the rights that its black citizens should enjoy: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…..rights of due process of law; rights to vote; rights to live safely in their homes/property; equal rights under the law….you know….those pesky ol’ laws that always get in the way when a government wants to annihilate its most hated citizens.

    The CN should do the same towards all of its citizens, not just some of them. The rights to citizenship include rights not to suffer from suppression, oppression or any other human rights wrong, and that is what the CN did to its black Freedmen/Women.

    But, still, does that give some of them (Five Tribes) the right to disenfranchise their own citizens?

    No. It does not.

    “Your article mentions casinos. Is it for part of the casino money? Even if they ever in the future decided to divide profits from the casinos among the tribal members (which is unlikely), there are so many Cherokees each persons take would be pretty small.”

    My understanding is that the Freedmen/Women desire to have their citizenship back, and that as citizens of the CN they have always practiced and kept their “Indian” traditions and tribal culture intact for generations, that they are not some Johnny-come-latelies who have attached themselves to the CN. (Remember, it was the CN which “attached” itself to the free slave labor of black people, enslaved black people and took freebies (free work, free crops, free forced sex, free skills, etc.) from enslaved black people, so, the Freedmen/Women have been with the CN from the start and stayed with the CN, for better or worse, through heaven and hell.

    So, no, the Freedmen/Women are not in it for the money. Monies from casinos is supposed to benefit all with the building of schools, hospitals, community neighborhood centers, etc., NOT to be spent on individual people. That would be self-defeating, when the monies from casinos should be intelligently spent to benefit ALL.

    “Is it revenge for the sins of their ancestors? Is it all about reparations?”

    No. And no.

    “Why does the CBC fight only for inclusion of Blacks into the tribe, and not fight for others who think they have Indian blood, too? I have family members who cannot get tribal benefits either because their Indian ancestors didn’t sign up on the white man’s census rolls. They aren’t sueing the tribe. They know they have Indian ancestors and they are comfortable with who they are.”

    The CBC HAS fought for other tribes, as well as for black Americans. To my knowledge, the CBC, unlike other so-called social justice organizations, and unlike other parts of the legislative branches, have fought for many non-Indian people and Indian people, something that LULAC, MALDEF, and many others cannot say. You say you have family members who cannot get tribal benefits and are not suing. A question to you?

    Have any of your family members had their citizenship illegally taken from them?

    “And isn’t this all supposed to be decided in court? Why doesn’t the CBC wait for the court case to be decided based on the laws and treaties we already have before they waste time holding hearings and trying to pass new laws?”

    Because treaties were written by whites, have been broken by whites, and are NOW being broken by the Five Tribes. Why should the Freedmen/Women trust the CN to do right by it when even the CN will not honor its own treaties with the Freedmen/Women via the abolition of black slavery in the Treaty of 1866?

    You are aware that the Dawes Roll WAS/IS a racist response to the long-held solidarity that existed between NAs and Black former slaves? You are aware that whites searched all ways they could drive a wedge between blacks and reds, and that they found it with the Dawes Roll (“Indian” if you looked Five Tribes enough); “Freedmen’s Roll” (if you looked African/Black enough). Land and some resources if you looked Indian enough; next to nothing and scraps if you looked black enough. So, I would be very leery of people who say that they have my best interests at heart, if I was a Freedman/Woman, when the knife is being plunged into my back and twisted.

    “And isn’t this supposed to be decided in court?”

    I guess as a black woman it is hard for me to have faith in ANY court when it comes to black people’s help and interest. I find it hard to have faith in white men’s courts, as well as red men’s courts.

    So many have used and kicked down black people; real hard for me to trust and put my faith in a nation (CN) that has shown blatant virulent racism towards its own citizens.

    “I am not trying to be confrontational. I just can’t figure out why all this is happening and just curious about what your take is on all this.

    No confrontation taken. I welcome all comments that are respectful and that stick to the topic discussed, as well as add insight to further the discussion.

    Thanks for your comments.

    And thanks for stopping by.

  6. Ann

    @kurux:

    “over 90% of the enrolled tribal members are less than 1/4, and over 60% live outside the jurisdictional boundaries.”

    Yes, many Native Americans” are not so “Native American”. (At least genetically.)

    I believe that if a person keeps the tribal cultures, traditions, concepts, practices…and beliefs…. and honors them, generation, after generation, then they ARE a true part of the “tribe”.

    And yes, many native peoples live in urban areas, not on “reservations” as so many people erroneously believe.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Ann

    @Eli Grayson.

    Thanks for the link, very informative. There is much work to be done to inform many people of the situation that “Black Indians” face in this country, and the more knowledge that is obtained, the more enlightened many people will become.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Jojo

    Ann- But, on the other hand, neither are all tribes kicking their black citizens to the curb.”

    Are you saying that the Cherokees are kicking their black citizens to the curb?!

    What I can’t get over is the idea that the Cherokee is kicking out all the black people from their tribe. This is either an oversimplification of what is going on, or I am misunderstanding.

    Please explain.

  9. Ann

    “Ann- But, on the other hand, neither are all tribes kicking their black citizens to the curb.”

    I never stated that all tribes are disenrolling their citizens. I did state that the Pequots are a good example of a tribe that lives in harmony as a nation should, with no favouritism or racism against any group in its tribe as referenced by the link I provided in my first post on the Freedmen/Women/CN:

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1077/is_n8_v50/ai_16898311

    “Are you saying that the Cherokees are kicking their black citizens to the curb?!”

    By disenrolling legal citizens of the CN, yes, they are kicking their black citizens to the curb.

    From my post:

    “The petition drive for the ballot measure followed a March 2006 ruling by the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court that said an 1866 treaty assured freedmen descendants of tribal citizenship.”

    From my previous post, Part 1:

    “For the better part of the 20th century, black Indians were permitted to vote in elections, sit on tribal councils, and receive benefits. Tribal leaders now insist that the Freedmen were never actually citizens and that they will never attain the honor of membership because they don’t have Native American blood. In 1983, the Cherokee tribe established a rule requiring citizens to carry a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood. This federal document is available to anyone whose ancestors are listed on the Dawes Roll – a 1906 Indian census that excludes Freedmen. In 2000, the Seminoles expelled all 2,000 black members and denied their families a cut of the reparations money – never mind that their ancestors joined the tribe in the 18th century, endured the march from Florida to Oklahoma in the 1830s, and have considered themselves Indian for generations.”

    From the Treaty of 1866:

    ARTICLE 4.

    All the Cherokees and freed persons who were formerly slaves to any Cherokee, and all free negroes not having been such slaves, who resided in the Cherokee Nation prior to June first, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, who may within two years elect not to reside northeast of the Arkansas River and southeast of Grand River, shall have the right to settle in and occupy the Canadian district southwest of the Arkansas River, and also all that tract of country lying northwest of Grand River, and bounded on the southeast by Grand River and west by the Creek reservation to the northeast corner thereof; from thence west on the north line of the Creek reservation to the ninety-sixth degree of west longitude; and thence north on said line of longitude so far that a line due east to Grand River will include a quantity of land equal to one hundred and sixty acres for each person who may so elect to reside in the territory above-described in this article: Provided, That that part of said district north of the Arkansas River shall not be set apart until it shall be found that the Canadian district is not sufficiently large to allow one hundred and sixty acres to each person desiring to obtain settlement under the provisions of this article.

    ARTICLE 5.

    The inhabitants electing to reside in the district described in the preceding article shall have the right to elect all their local officers and judges, and the number of delegates to which by their numbers they may be entitled in any general council to be established in the Indian Territory under the provisions of this treaty, as stated in Article XII, and to control all their local affairs, and to establish all necessary police regulations and rules for the administration of justice in said district, not inconsistent with the constitution of the Cherokee Nation or the laws of the United States; Provided, The Cherokees residing in said district shall enjoy all the rights and privileges of other Cherokees who may elect to settle in said district as hereinbefore provided, and shall hold the same rights and privileges and be subject to the same liabilities as those who elect to settle in said district under the provisions of this treaty; Provided also, That if any such police regulations or rules be adopted which, in the opinion of the President, bear oppressively on any citizen of the nation, he may suspend the same. And all rules or regulations in said district, or in any other district of the nation, discriminating against the citizens of other districts, are prohibited, and shall be void.
    * * * * * *

    ARTICLE 9.

    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 10.

    Every Cherokee and freed person resident in the Cherokee Nation shall have the right to sell any products of his farm, including his or her live stock, or any merchandise or manufactured products, and to ship and drive the same to market without restraint, paying any tax thereon which is now or may be levied by the United States on the quantity sold outside of the Indian Territory.

    Source: Indian Affairs: Laws and Treaties. Vol. II (Treaties). Compiled and edited by Charles J. Kappler. Washington : Government Printing Office, 1904: Treaty of 1866.

    (Referenced in my above post.)

    All the Freedmen/Women were declared citizens of the CN with the rights to have delegates to represent them, buy land, sell their own crops and live lives of peace.

    For more background on the CN/Freedmen/Women case read this:

    http://kathmanduk2.wordpress.com/2008/07/12/the-freedmenwomen-and-the-cherokee-nation-the-story-begins-part-1/

    Hope that answers your questions.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Tsalagi Ageyv

    Regarding the the Freedmen/Women and The Cherokee Nation: Part 2… The definitively racist and racemongering tone found here along with unsubstanuated self-serving claims and documentable slander is most disappointing. After reading it is especially telling that the writer chose to leave “Cherokee” out of the part in the title that reads: “The Freedmen Women,” thus juxtaposing clearly the cultural separateness between non-Indian Freedmen, Cherokee Freedmen and Women in general and the Cherokee Nation within her mind set. I had hoped to find a thoughtful and factual perspective when someone forwarded me the title and address for this site but sadlly what I find appears to be a racist with a chip on her shoulder.

  11. Ann

    “After reading it is especially telling that the writer chose to leave “Cherokee” out of the part in the title that reads: “The Freedmen Women,” thus juxtaposing clearly the cultural separateness between non-Indian Freedmen, Cherokee Freedmen and Women in general and the Cherokee Nation within her mind set.”

    I use the phrase “Freedmen/Women to mean black men and black women, citizens of the CN. Not as you so erroneously state (“Women in general”). I meant very clearly what I stated, and I had no other race of women in mind when I wrote Freedmen/Women: Black women who happen to be citizens of the CN, along with black men: FreedMEN/WOMEN. Nor did I state what you miscomprehended: “non-Indian Freedmen”. FREEDMEN and FREEDWOMEN: descendants of former slaves of the Cherokees.

    They would be citizens as members of the Cherokee Nation. That they were disenrolled from the CN makes them no less citizens…..then….and now.

    There is no “cultural separateness” of the Freedmen/Women. They ARE members of the CN, with all the rights and benefits they have earned as citizens of that nation. That they were disenrolled by the Chad Smith racist regime, does not lessen their rightful claim to reclaim their enfranchisement as legal citizens of the CN. That they were disenrolled shows the cultural separateness of the CN in disenrolling them in the first place. The real cultural separateness was shown in the Chad Smith racist regime/CN having the audacity to run from its history and lie and state that the Freedmen/Women are not citizens of the CN.

    “I had hoped to find a thoughtful and factual perspective when someone forwarded me the title and address for this site but sadlly what I find appears to be a racist with a chip on her shoulder.”

    If speaking the truth makes me a racist, then it shows in your uncomprehension of the horrific wrong the CN has done to its black citizens.

    And just what did you hope to find: lies, myths and fabrications in the denial of the CN of its racist enslavement of black men, women and children? Sweetened up watered-down writings on the callous disregard and utter disrespect of the Freedmen/Women by the CN disenrolling them?

    Swept-under-the-rug coddling of the truth?

  12. Tsalagi Ageyv

    Ann, you said, “If speaking the truth makes me a racist, then it shows in your uncomprehension of the horrific wrong the CN has done to its black citizens.”

    In response I say, speaking the truth requires the “whole” truth. You lost credibility after stating several documentable falsehoods. You enlighten and unite no one when you selectively carve out only part of the truth, throw in provocative mis-information and launch personal untrue attacks on innocent people. I find your apparent total lack of comprehension and facts regarding this issue inexcusable. I really don’t know what your intentions are here but from what I have read thus far “speaking the truth” isn’t one them.

    You never mention that many Freedmen and the hundreds of freed slaves that came up from the south to Oklahoma on their own to stake their land claims inside Indian Territory before the state was open to do so, did not want to be governed by the Cherokee Nation nor any other tribe. In fact dozens of Black Towns were established in Oklahoma. Leaders among those who built these towns called on the U.S. to make Oklahoma a Black State. Many of these historic black towns are still in tact. There are plenty of documents available regarding this part of history just prior to Oklahoma Statehood.

    I have never read a document that stated that so-called slaves of some Cherokee citizens were put into chains and forced along the trail of tears behind their masters on horse back. If you know where this can be documented I would appreciate it if you would share the link/source with readers. I am never to closed minded to the truth.

    You fail to mention the fact that many Cherokee men were shackled and taken to prisons down in Florida just prior to the Trail of Tears purportedly because they were considered a threat to those stealing the Cherokee lands, nor did you mention that Cherokee men, women, children and elders were forced from their homes by the Georgia militia and herded into stockades for weeks prior to the Trails of Tears where many died from dysentery and 4,000 more died on the trail from Georgia to Indian Territory now known as Oklahoma.

    The truth is the “Cherokee Nation” never held slaves and documentably only about 0.03% of the Cherokee citizenry ever held slaves.

    One hundred years ago, Congress — and not the Cherokee Nation — extinguished by statute any entitlement to enrollment or property in the Nation by descendants of Freedmen.

    The Five Tribes Act of 1906 further superseded the language of Article IX of the 1866 Treaty and removed any lingering doubt about who was included in the class defined as Freedmen. Certain Members of Congress and non-Indian Freedmen descendants wrongly rely on this Article of the 1866 Treaty for Freedmen descendant citizenship claims in the Cherokee Nation.

    Specifically, Congress moved the term “and their descendants” from the end of the paragraph closer to the description of those who qualified under the Freedmen Roll, further clarifying whether Article IX referred to only Freedmen descendants then living or to those in perpetuity. The Five Tribes Act provides:

    The roll of Cherokee freedmen shall include only such persons of African descent, either free colored or the slaves of Cherokee citizens and their descendants, who were actual personal bona fide residents of the Cherokee Nation August [11, 1866], or who actually returned and established such residence in the 1 Act of July 1, 1902 (32 Stat. 716, chap. 1375). (Emphasis added).

    The truth is that the so-called non-Indian Freedmen descendants who are suing to become citizens of this tribe have never been citizens of this tribe until a CN JAT in a 2-1 decision some 28 months or so ago determined that to maintain the current citizenship criteria the Cherokee people would need to clarify Cherokee Nation citizenship criteria. Via an iniative petition it was the Cherokee citizens and NOT the Principal Chief of this tribe, who called for a special election and in May 2006 Cherokee citizens voted for the 3rd time in the past three decades that an individual must be a descendent of at least (1) Cherokee ancestor whose name appears on the tribe’s base roll. Tribal citizenship is not based on the color of one’s skin or ethnicity. Our paperwork is colorblind. There are Black, Asian, White, Hispanic Cherokee citizens today. (see the article below by a Black Cherokee citizen)

    Back when I grew up here most of our Cherokee people were living in abject poverty and many were forced to move out of state just to find work to feed their families. I never knew of anyone back then suing the tribe so that they could be citizens. However, today the Cherokee Nation is prospering and employs around 7,000 people and oddly enough it appears many people want to be a citizen of this tribe. This is the same for many tribes around the country today, not just the Cherokee Nation.

    In 2006 One group of so-called non-Indian Freedmen descendents filed a law suit against the U.S. demanding land allotments, $50 million, and the right to own and operate a casino in the middle of Cherokee Nation’s jurisdictional boundaries. One group filing a lawsuit against the Cherokee Nation, it’s tribal officers and the U.S. demanding citizenship in the tribe have arbitrarily formed their own band calling themselves the United Cherokee Freedman Band.

    There are volumes of present time and historical documents in which one can find facts regarding this issue from all perspectives including the U.S., Cherokee Nation and non-Indian Freedmen history. Informed debate on the issue requires having documentable facts to begin with.

    The following article by a Cherokee citizen proud of both her Afro-American and Cherokee ancestry shares some facts around the issue and her personal thoughts. She is NOT a racist. The greater majority of the Cherokee are not racists and neither is Principal Chief Smith. Facts clearly prove this is not racist issue. It is however a sovereignty issue. I will not pretend to be an expert on something I know little about, if you will do the same. Then perhaps we all can learn something that unites us makes us better people.

    Tsalagi Ageyv

    UNITY

    http://unitynews.org/2008/07/25/emotions-flare-during-naja-panel/#comment-112

    What gathers people, nations, and cultures together-shared views, blended life experiences, or the desire to have an understanding of the other, insight…

    Each of us could bring elements and ideas, adding definition of what unity means to them.

    As the grandmother and mother of Afro-American and Cherokee by blood children, and citizens of Cherokee Nation, our families are defined by those relationships we build into our lives and communities. Tribal citizenship starts with blood-ties, then you build the culture.

    The media and public has neglected to see and hear from those of us who are Black-Cherokee by blood citizens in Cherokee Nation. Thereby failing to recognize that we existed before and will continue to long after this ‘issue’ has settled.

    Some will walk away and find another task to attach themselves to and wage war, again. But many of us will walk throughout our life time and our descendents’ in the footsteps of being a blended family of both Afro and Cherokee by blood.

    I am not aware of our journalists of color seeking out the diverse communities within Cherokee Nation beyond a PR spin, yet are quick to proclaim what is happening within our neighborhoods, homes, governments, and thinking in regards to how we live. I’d like to see and acknowledge how the Black politicians (CBC), representatives, and speakers have come into our nation and homes, to spend time with our families to see the exchange of relationships that better represent those portrayed as being “kicked out and purged” from the rolls and nation, in the mis-informed words of Congresswoman Diane Watson, who has refused multiples invitations to come visit our homelands and people.

    We are still here as Black-Cherokee citizens before and after the March 3, 2007 vote, which defined and further embraced our rich cultures, diversity, and acknowledged the unity which can exist between people.

    My children, and theirs, can return to the communities of their ancestors in eastern Oklahoma and still be at home with their relatives. That’s unity! tp

    Twila Pennington
    Cherokee Nation citizen, Blue Clan.

  13. Ann

    Tsalagi Ageyv.

    I am aware of the Trail of Tears, else, I would not have spoken/nor shown the map route of the Trail in my post, if I was not aware of its history. I am aware of how this decimated the Cherokee:

    -1838-1839 – Trails of Tears. US Government’s forced removal of 17,000 Cherokees, in defiance of Supreme Court decision (1835 – Treaty Party signs Treaty of New Echota, giving up title to all Cherokee lands in southeast in exchange for land in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma.). More than 4,000 die from exposure and disease along the way.

    “You fail to mention the fact that many Cherokee men were shackled and taken to prisons down in Florida just prior to the Trail of Tears purportedly because they were considered a threat to those stealing the Cherokee lands, nor did you mention that Cherokee men, women, children and elders were forced from their homes by the Georgia militia and herded into stockades for weeks prior to the Trails of Tears where many died from dysentery and 4,000 more died on the trail from Georgia to Indian Territory now known as Oklahoma.”

    I am very well aware of why the Trail came about with the removal of the Cherokee/Five Tribes from Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. Their removal opened the lands to white settlers and planters.

    Yes, I am very well aware that 4,000 Cherokee died on the Trail, but, am I to believe that ONLY Cherokee died on the Trail, and that none of their enslaved blacks did? I find that very hard to believe. That enslaved black people were immune to starvation, disease, and exposure to freezing/blistering temperatures, whereas the Cherokee were not?

    The Cherokee originally did not enslave black people, but, with the adoption of European culture and agriculture (cotton, indigo, tobacco, rice – including SLAVERY and SHARECROPPING), around the late 1700s the Cherokee as a people/nation, changed. The adoption of slavery was in effect a sanctioning of the belief in the inferiority of black people, and thus it was allowed under the Cherokee Nation.

    Why do you think the whites called the Five Tribes “Civilized”? Because the tribes adopted many European traditions, including the most hateful and repugnant of white Americans—American slavery—the enslavement of a group of people (Blacks/Africans) based only on their race/color.

    ******************************************************************************************

    “You never mention that many Freedmen and the hundreds of freed slaves that came up from the south to Oklahoma on their own to stake their land claims inside Indian Territory before the state was open to do so, did not want to be governed by the Cherokee Nation nor any other tribe. In fact dozens of Black Towns were established in Oklahoma. Leaders among those who built these towns called on the U.S. to make Oklahoma a Black State. Many of these historic black towns are still in tact. There are plenty of documents available regarding this part of history just prior to Oklahoma Statehood.”

    All-black towns in Oklahoma.

    And what does that have to do with this discussion of the Cherokee Freedmen/Women—the descendants of slaves formerly held under slavery by Cherokee slaveholders.?

    I am aware of black towns built in Oklahoma, with many black residents going to Oklahoma to escape white supremacists/KKK.

    Between 1865 and 1915, approximately 50 years after the Civil War, there were at least 60 Black Towns settled in the United States. With more than 20, Oklahoma led all other states.

    I am very well aware of the many black towns (Boley, Tatums, Brooksville), that are still in existence, to name just a few. Black Southern migrants formed their own frontier communities, largely self-sustaining. Black towns offered hope-hope of full citizenship; hope of self-governance; and hope of full participation, through land ownership as U.S. citizens.

    Black presence in Oklahoma dates back at least as far as the Sixteenth Century, when blacks accompanied Spanish explorers to the area.

    And, yes, I am aware that Oklahoma was once considered as the site of an all-Black state.

    Senator Henry W. Blair of New Hampshire introduced a bill in favor of that proposal.

    In 1879, Blacks migrated in large numbers from the South to Oklahoma, as well as to Kansas and other parts of the Midwest.

    Many Blacks prospered in Oklahoma as members of the various Native American tribes:

    (1) Black freedmen (formerly enslaved black people of Cherokee slaveholders), in Oklahoma were known as “Natives,” while Black immigrants from other areas, particularly the South, were called “State Negroes.”

    Hannibal C. Carter helped establish the Freedmen’s Oklahoma Immigration Association in Chicago in 1881.

    Very few of the “Sooners” who came to Oklahoma in the great land run of 1889 were Black; many of the Sooners were whites.

    Historically, Oklahoma once boasted more all-Black towns than any other state.

    Edwin P. McCabe: Father of the All-Black Town Movement

    McCabe was for a time the highest-ranking Black elected state official in Kansas, serving two terms as state auditor (1882 -1886).

    McCabe was a prominent, popular member of the Republican Party (back then, when it was a party that did not ignore blacks the way it does now) in both Kansas and Oklahoma.

    McCabe lived for a time in Nicodemus, Kansas, one of the early and prominent all-Black towns.

    Two Black ministers, William Smith and Thomas Harris, conceived the idea of creating an all-black town in Nicodemus, Kansas.

    McCabe came to Oklahoma in 1889 at the time of the great land run.

    McCabe founded Langston, Oklahoma and the Langston City Herald newspaper to encourage migration to the town.

    In 1890, McCabe visited with President Benjamin Harrison, intent on convincing him of the wisdom of creating an all-Black state in Oklahoma. (This was BEFORE Oklahoma became a state.

    I am also aware that MILLIONS OF WHITES gobbled up Indian lands, NOT former black slaves from the American South. (Around 1889 – Unassigned lands in Indian Territory opened to white settlers known as “boomers.”

    When Oklahoma became a state in 1907, the first official legislative act was the passage of rigid “Jim Crow” laws. McCabe filed a lawsuit against such measures. (Black people began to suffer from the humiliation and segregation of Jim Crow.)

    McCabe died a pauper in Chicago on February 23, 1920.

    McCabe is buried in Topeka, Kansas.

    (Link: http://kathmanduk2.wordpress.com/2008/02/27/black-history-month-all-black-towns/ )

    I know of all-black towns in Oklahoma. I know that the newly arrived from the south black people wanted their own communities free from Cherokee AND white America governance. That is understandable for any people who wish to self-govern themselves, especially the former black slaves of whites. Why live under a new set of rules, when you have just left a former set of rules? Why should the ex-slaves of whites be made to go from one hell (American slavery) to another hell (Cherokee control/governance)? Why ask this of the formerly enslaved blacks of whites? Why ask them to give up THEIR RIGHT to self-governance, BUT, not ask it of WHITES or CHEROKEES? Why is it always okay that EVERYONE ELSE has a right to self-determination, BUT, BLACK PEOPLE do not?

    This history of all-Blacks is not some new revelation to me.

    Just as I know of the most famous of all-black towns destroyed by vicious white racists:

    Greenwood (Tulsa), Oklahoma.

    **************************************************************************************

    “Via an iniative petition it was the Cherokee citizens and NOT the Principal Chief of this tribe, who called for a special election and in May 2006 Cherokee citizens voted for the 3rd time in the past three decades that an individual must be a descendent of at least (1) Cherokee ancestor whose name appears on the tribe’s base roll. Tribal citizenship is not based on the color of one’s skin or ethnicity. Our paperwork is colorblind. There are Black, Asian, White, Hispanic Cherokee citizens today. (see the article below by a Black Cherokee citizen)”

    I am aware of the election in 2006 of a descendant being of at least (1) Cherokee ancestor, whose name, as you put it, “appears on the tribe’s base roll”, as I am aware of the March 2007 vote by Cherokee Nation members to disenroll the Black Cherokee Freedmen/Women from tribal rolls.

    And the tribe roll is based on the Dawes Roll. The racist roll created by around 1893 – when lands of the Cherokee Outlet were opened for white settlers. Then the Dawes Commission arrived to create a hell on earth with its Dawes Roll (“blood quantum” Cherokee), and the Freedmen/Women Rolls (Kern-Clifton, and Wallace Rolls).

    Why continue to use a racist roll created by whites to divide and conquer both Cherokee and the Freedmen/Women (formerly enslaved black people of Cherokee slavers)?

    Since you state that a descendant must be on the “tribe’s roll”, explain to me why Freedmen/Women like Marilyn Vann have been stricken from the CN?

    “Back when I grew up here most of our Cherokee people were living in abject poverty and many were forced to move out of state just to find work to feed their families. I never knew of anyone back then suing the tribe so that they could be citizens. However, today the Cherokee Nation is prospering and employs around 7,000 people and oddly enough it appears many people want to be a citizen of this tribe. This is the same for many tribes around the country today, not just the Cherokee Nation.”

    You are preaching to the choir. I am aware that many tribes are not rolling in the dough. I am also aware that now—with the money coming in, all-of-a-sudden….2,600 Freedmen/Women were stricken from the CN rolls.

    Pray tell, why were they not stricken BEFORE ANY U.S. government allotment/money/casinos? Why this purging initiated in 2006?

    ***********************************************************************************

    “There are Black, Asian, White, Hispanic Cherokee citizens today.”

    Yes, aware of that information, as well. And how many of those Asians, Hispanics, etc., have married a Cherokee whose ancestor is listed on the Dawes Roll?

    And not on the Freedmen’s Rolls (Kern-Clifton, and Wallace Rolls)?

  14. Ann

    “They were the first
    party to emigrate under the “Schermerhorn treaty.” Ridge was accom-
    panied by eighteen slaves. After arriving in the West, he settled on the
    north side of Honey Creek and put his blacks to work clearing land.
    Ridge’s son John sent his slaves West but kept three with him–a woman
    to cook, a man to drive the carriage, and a governess for the children.
    Upon arrival at Honey Creek he built “a good double log house” and put
    his slaves to clearing, fencing, and breaking land. He owned twenty-four
    blacks at that time.

    “Believing that total removal was inevitable, the John Martin and George
    Washington Adair families left Georgia for the West in 1837. They traveled
    in covered wagons and took their livestock and black slaves with them.
    These families had black nurses for the children, maids for the kitchen
    and household chores, and many field hands. Adair settled on Saline
    Creek near the present town of Salina, and Martin made his home on
    Grand River near the present Locust Grove, two miles south of the Adair
    family. 27 About 2,000 Cherokees, mostly members of the Ridge faction,
    migrated under the terms of the Treaty of New Echota.

    “By this time there were about 8,000 people in the West and more than
    1,000 farms had been established. Missionaries’ correspondence indicates
    that it was an EXCEPTIONAL CASE to find a family of Cherokees WITHOUT AT LEAST ONE SLAVE to do the more arduous work. ”

    (Caps mine, for emphasis.)

    SOURCE: “Red Over Black: Black Slavery Among the Cherokee Indians”, by R. Halliburton, Jr., Greenwood Press, 1977. Chapter 4: “The Last Decade in the East”, page 59.

    Link: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst;jsessionid=LWdM2HKQ16KtJJvRh2v4xhQ0x4qt7HWD5yX6J6h8sgsYbTkvBQRs!128054815?a=o&d=14881444

    “The Treaty of New Echota, ceding all Cherokee lands east of the Missis-
    sippi River, had been signed in December 1835. It gave the Cherokees
    approximately six million acres in present-day northeastern Oklahoma
    and allowed two years for the removal. The bulk of the Eastern Indians
    did not migrate until 1838 and 1839, however. The hardships suffered
    during that migration are well known. Principal Chief John Ross’s wife,
    Quatie, died at Little Rock, Arkansas, during the journey. The Cherokees
    refer to the trek as Nuna-da-ut-sun’y, “The Trail Where They Cried,”
    which is commonly known as the Trail of Tears. It is not commonly
    known that MANY BLACK SLAVES ALSO TRAMPED THAT TRAIL and that 125 to
    175 of them perished during the journey. ”

    (Caps mine, for emphasis.)

    SOURCE:

    “Red Over Black: Black Slavery Among the Cherokee Indians”, by R. Halliburton, Jr., Greenwood Press, 1977. Chapter 5: “The New Nation in the West”, page 61.

    Link: http://www.questia.com/PM.qst;jsessionid=LWdM2HKQ16KtJJvRh2v4xhQ0x4qt7HWD5yX6J6h8sgsYbTkvBQRs!128054815?a=o&d=14881444

  15. Tsalagi Ageyv

    Ann.. to answer some of your questions and perhaps enlighten through discourse of this issue will share the following:

    Marilyn /Vann and other non-Indian Freedmen descendants cannot in your words “be kicked to the curb” since they have never been on the street to begin with. Truth is that Congress itself in the 1920’s denied tribal citizenship to descendents of non-Indian Freedmen living within the Cherokee Nation’s jurisdictional boundaries thus rending any article in the 1866 Treaty a moot point. Vann and others in her group were not citizens of this tribe until approximately 24 or so months ago as a result of the tribal justices’, Leeds and Dowty‘s 2 to 1 court ruling which in tern led to the people’s Iniative Petition to clarify the tribe’s constitution regarding citizenship criteria just as the court said it was their right to do. Vann and others continue as citizens today pending the out come of litigation. Criterion for citizenship in the Cherokee Nation has remained the same for more than three decades. The May 2006 vote did not change criteria in practice. As it was before and after the vote, one must be a direct descendant of a Cherokee Indian Dawes Commission enrollee whose name appears on the final base roll. These Cherokee Indian ancestors where living here on this “street” when the rolls were closed in 1906. In light of your question, perhaps you can tell me why should non-Indian Freedmen descendants be entitled to Cherokee Nation citizenship when hundreds of thousands of certified Cherokee Indian descendents listed on many different Cherokee Indian rolls are not? Why shouldn’t all Americans citizens who may be descendants of the people of France, or England or Scotland or Spain and other countries of the world, be instantly entitled and allowed citizenship in these countries… an interesting question for a whole other debate these days re: one-world government. The Cherokee citizens today, just like their ancestors and like all Native Americans in this country have at great sacrifice fought to preserve, protect and maintain their sovereign rights, culture identity, language and heritage. Lessons from history say that it is the wonderful vital differences and resultant consequential innate intelligence found in the diversified and unique cultures of this world that have contributed to positive progress around the world. Any attempt to homogenize all citizens around the world would most likely destroy it. Ie; 911 …. Thinking alike can prove at times to be a dangerous proposition. Respecting those differences however proves to be an excellent proposition.

    Each of the more than 587 different Native American Nations historically established their own citizenship criteria. The U.S and other nations of the world have historically established their respective citizenship criteria. Please don’t throw up the Seminoles here. The Seminole case is a moot point in this argument because the legal points in that case are totally different and therefore legally inconsequential to the Cherokee Nation case. Suffice it to say for now that the Cherokee constitution and historic legal precedence in all courts to date have given Cherokee citizens the sovereign right to determine their own citizenship criteria, which is the same sovereign right that all other tribes enjoy.

    You unjustly and erroneously call the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation a racist. Your accusation is an outright falsehood. It was the Cherokee people themselves who “called” for a special election in May of 2006 to decide by majority vote for the third time in the past three decades that to be a citizen of the Cherokee Nation you must have at least 1 ancestor on the tribe’s base roll and able to acquire a CDIB card from the BIA. So, if you must and insist on calling someone racist for legally voting to require that only direct descendents of Cherokee Indian people living here in the Cherokee Nation and whose name appeared on the tribes final base roll, then make sure you aim your charge to fit the target of your false accusation. It was the Cherokee Nation citizens who “called for the vote” not Chief Smith Chief Smith was bound by his sworn oath of office to uphold the law and abide by the Constitution. He did his duty when presented with a citizen’s initiative petition calling for a special election to clarify by a constitutional amendment the exact same citizenship criteria that the tribe has used for decades. If he had denied the people’s iniative he would have violated the law and his sworn oath of duty. Let me repeat, that no one but the Cherokee people by majority vote may determine citizenship criteria. Under our laws, neither the Chief, Deputy Chief nor the Tribal Council has the right to determine citizenship criteria in the Cherokee Nation. You mislead readers when you say that Chief Smith called for a special election the same as you do when you call him a racist. So speak the truth here… again if you are all fired up and just need to unjustly call someone racist because of the May 2006 vote then get it right. It was the majority of all Cherokee people who called for a vote, and then voted in the May 2006 election. They legally voted for the third time to retain and maintain the exact same citizenship criteria that the tribe has practiced over the last three decades.

    Why do you and the so-called non-Indian Freedmen descendants constantly focus on their African American ethnicity and race to attempt to force an Indian tribe to accept them as citizens? Facts prove unquestionably that this is not a racial issue. Most all Black Cherokee citizens of the Cherokee Nation that I know in this tribe honor their Indian heritage and know the struggle of their Indian ancestors to protect and defend tribal sovereignty. I know of no informed patriotic Native American from any tribe in this country who would support the actions of Diane Watson or any other anti-Indian sovereignty advocates trying to force a tribe to accept non-Indian people as citizens or tolerate this type of interferance in internal tribal affairs and government. This is particularly incomprehensible since the majority of the Cherokee people, exercising their sovereign right to do so, have determined tribal citizenship criteria. Historically this right has been upheld in the U.S. courts and within Cherokee Nation constitutional law. Certainly the U.S. Congress has time and time again upheld this right. Neither the Chief, Deputy Chief, Tribal Council, nor a U.S. representative can legally determine the citizenship criteria of the Cherokee Nation. This right legally and exclusively belongs to the Cherokee people as promised by the U.S. in government-to-government treaties as well as acts of Congress and U.S. Courts.

    The Cherokee Nation is a nation of laws, and our nation respects the law of the Cherokee Nation, the state, the U.S and International laws. If the highest court in the land determines to limit and abrogate the sovereign right of the Cherokee people to determine citizenship criteria by majority vote, the Cherokee people and its leadership will follow the court’s directive. Will Diane Watson and Congress do the same? This remains to be seen.

    As a writer said so well in a recent article entitled ”Story on Tribes Misleading,” most American Indians are well satisfied with their government in about the same proportions as are most mainstream American. And, they do have mechanisms in place to protect their rights.

    Most tribal members who are unhappy with their government are usually people whose day in court did not go the way they thought they should, and instead they want to throw the baby out with the bathwater. That is an unjust self-serving wholesale condemnation of the nation and its leadership. The Cherokee people exercised their legal right to establish tribal citizenship criteria… Now we have a non-Indian group suing the Cherokee officials because they didn’t like the way the vote turned out. If for any reason D.C. District Court Judge Kennedy, who as you may know, and since it appears to be an important factor in your ongoing discussions on this issue, is himself African American, were to allow litigation against Cherokee Nation officials in this case…., well, as some one else said in a recent post…the next time the people of the U.S. elect a President that a group of citizens don’t like, we can expect that Judge Kennedy would allow all just to sue the U.S. government officials for relief in court.
    I think Judge Kenendy is an extremely intelligent justice. He will no doubt honor the law and merits of the case before him in seeking justice for all concerned.

    Non-Indian Freedmen descendents gain nothing when they call the Cherokee people racists in their attempt to force the tribe to accept them as citizens when they have “never” been citizens of the tribe prior to the 2006 Leeds/Dowty court ruling that resulted in the Iniative petition to clarify the tribe’s constitution regarding citizenship criteria. Again, and with emphasis I want to say that citizenship criteria did not change because of the vote. The vote only clarified what had already been determined by majority vote and practiced by the Cherokee people for decades. The non-Indian Freedmen descendents are fighting for something which they are not entitled too at all cost clearly even if it means terminating our tribe and hurting all our people. The big difference between the non-Indian Freedmen descendents and today’s informed, traditional and patriotic Native American citizens all around the country is that informed tribal citizens would not recklessly and carelessly place their tribal sovereignty and that of all other tribes in harms way to serve their own self-interest by siding with those in the mainstream who seek to diminish or terminate the rights and soveignty of all tribes.

    I have observed that most mainstream posters have about as much knowledge or experience with Indian law, governments, culture, and issues as the time it takes them to google it on line and come back here and post it. Same can be said regarding the Freedmen issue. Informed debate on this issue may provide a better understanding for all concerned. However, unjustly calling innocent people names, making false accusations, carving out only selected portions of a whole body of facts to the exclusion of all others has no part in informed debate. Informed debate can provide enlightenment regarding the very complex subject of historic Indian law and government-to-government relationship between the U.S. and the respective Native American Nations in this country.

    If you are are going to call someone a racist it is best to know the definition of the word. I can assure you that the Cherokee people and its leadership are not racists by any definition of the word. The Cherokee Nation is a nation comprised of citizens of diverse ethnicity who all share one common bond. By policy and law the Cherokee people have no desire to “rule” others, nor do we hold one race is superior to another. We do not believe various human races determine cultural or individual achievement. We have no policy, system of government, etc. based on fostering a doctrine; discrimination. We do not hate or intolerate another race or other races. As a unique indigenous nation of people that has existed long before this land became known as America, and one that has held government-to-government treaties with the U.S. and Great Brittan since the early 1700s, we demonstrably today seek only to peacefully exist free from oppression and those who would seek to take our lands and unlawfully undermine our sovereignty and rights as a unique and enduring nation of people… and only ask that the U.S. live up to promises made. I personally applaud the U.S. Apellate Court for its recent decision to validate Cherokee Nation sovereignty and long held historical legal precedence in the dismissal of the non-Indian Freedmen descendants lawsuit against the Cherokee Nation.

    If the goal here is to thoughtfully (meaning heedful, or mindful of the facts) offer an opportunity for discourse on this complex issue to enlighten diversified perspectives then the name calling and half truths and slanderous name calling have no place in my opinion.

  16. hflanagan

    First, thank you for trying to address my first question. You posts alarmed me because I am Cherokee and I have two black nephews. I called my sister to make sure that her sons were not getting kicked out of the tribe and she just laughed and then explained the whole thing to me. They aren’t getting kicked out because they can prove they have an ancestor on the base Dawes rolls. She said that the people who are fighting for citizenship only got it as recently as 2006, and only then because the court ruled that the constitution’s language was not clear enough to justify the membership laws that went back to the 1980’s stating that you had to have an ancestor on the By Blood rolls in order to be a citizen. That membership law was removed and lots of Freedmen enrolled. The court had ordered that the Constitution could be changed, but the change had to be done in the open. So, that’s why the Cherokee people held the vote; to publicly vote on whether or not to change their constitution. Now I understand the situation a lot better and have a balanced perspective on the whole Freedmen issue.

    I do have to agree with Tsalagi that branding the Cherokee Nation and the Chief as racists because of the Freedmen issue is non-productive. In fact, I read about a joint panel between Cherokee Nation Officials and the CBC/Freedmen representatives that was meant to bring both sides to understanding. Once the racist label was thrown out, though, communications broke down, tempers flared, and nothing was accomplished. I’ve also been reading about how the Chief and other Cherokee Nation representatives have made numerous attempts to meet with Watson and she has refused. Why would she not want to meet with them, even in an open forum? I kind of think she knows her own limitations and is trying to play it safe, but that’s just a guess.

    I also would like to know where you read about the slaves in chains behind the wagons. This whole issue has prompted me to do some reasearch, and I’ve recently read two different books that deal with slavery in the Cherokee Nation before the Civil War. The type of horrific treatment you point out is never mentioned. In fact (although I think any form of slavery is disgusting and inexcusable) in Theda Purdue’s book about the slavery practice in the minority of Cherokee culture that practiced it frequently points out that slaves held by Native Americans were treated much differently than slaves held by whites because the concept of chattel slavery was new to them. In her book called “Slavery and the Evolution of Cherokee Society, 1540-1866,” she quotes a slave as saying he would much rather have a Cherokee master than a white one. The other book by William McLoughlin (After the Trail of Tears: The Cherokees’ Struggle for Sovereignty 1839-1880) talks about slavery as well, and the chained accounts you mentioned above seem very much out of step with these texts. If you can provide a direct reference that supports the imagery you used, I would love to add it to my research materials.

    Thank you

    P.S. I have also been reading about how more Cherokees fought for the Union than the South; it was the same rougue faction of Cherokees that signed the New Echota Treaty who were the owners of the majority of the slaves and who chose to fight for the Confederacy. That same faction was and sometimes still is despised by other Cherokees. Some good books that touch on this faction are “The Trail of Tears” by Gloria Jahoda, “Between Two Fires” by Lawrence Hauptman and “The Cherokee Nation in the Civil War” by Clarissa Confer.

  17. Ann

    “I also would like to know where you read about the slaves in chains behind the wagons. This whole issue has prompted me to do some reasearch, and I’ve recently read two different books that deal with slavery in the Cherokee Nation before the Civil War. The type of horrific treatment you point out is never mentioned. In fact (although I think any form of slavery is disgusting and inexcusable) in Theda Purdue’s book about the slavery practice in the minority of Cherokee culture that practiced it frequently points out that slaves held by Native Americans were treated much differently than slaves held by whites because the concept of chattel slavery was new to them. In her book called “Slavery and the Evolution of Cherokee Society, 1540-1866,” she quotes a slave as saying he would much rather have a Cherokee master than a white one. The other book by William McLoughlin (After the Trail of Tears: The Cherokees’ Struggle for Sovereignty 1839-1880) talks about slavery as well, and the chained accounts you mentioned above seem very much out of step with these texts. If you can provide a direct reference that supports the imagery you used, I would love to add it to my research materials.

    Thank you.”

    I am familiar with the book, “Slavery and the Evolution of the Cherokee Society”, by Theda Perdue, and in fact I am waiting for it to arrive at my neighborhood library (since it is in transit from the central branch library). I look forward to reading it and seeing how she addresses the issue of enslavement of black people by the Cherokee.

    “In fact (although I think any form of slavery is disgusting and inexcusable) in Theda Purdue’s book about the slavery practice in the minority of Cherokee culture that practiced it frequently points out that slaves held by Native Americans were treated much differently than slaves held by whites because the concept of chattel slavery was new to them.”

    I, too, consider enslavement by of one human being by another as the lowest low-life behaviour ANY human can do to another. To leech off the free labour of another human being is beyond reprehensible. Only parasites take what is not rightfully theirs, and that is what a slaver does.

    As for the following comment:

    “In her book called “Slavery and the Evolution of Cherokee Society, 1540-1866,” she quotes a slave as saying he would much rather have a Cherokee master than a white one.”

    So, ONE SLAVE’S treatment by one Cherokee slaver equals the experiences of ALL black people under Cherokee slavers? Slavery is wrong, no matter who engages in it. If you have ever HEARD (as well as READ) the slave narratives of ex-slaves taken down via audio tape during the 1930s WPA Project under the administration of FDR, you will hear in their voices that there is much that many slaves DID NOT speak of that they endured under American slavery.

    A slave master is a THIEF, and no amount of a so-called “kind master” will ever absolve any human being of owning another one.

    “P.S. I have also been reading about how more Cherokees fought for the Union than the South; it was the same rougue faction of Cherokees that signed the New Echota Treaty who were the owners of the majority of the slaves and who chose to fight for the Confederacy. That same faction was and sometimes still is despised by other Cherokees. Some good books that touch on this faction are “The Trail of Tears” by Gloria Jahoda, “Between Two Fires” by Lawrence Hauptman and “The Cherokee Nation in the Civil War” by Clarissa Confer.”

    I am aware of the Keetowah Society that vehemently fought against slavery, and of John Ross’s fight to keep the Cherokee out of league with the Confederacy, and of the pro-slavery Chief Stand Watie’s pro-Confederate faction.
    The Civil polarized the Cherokee Nation, just as it did white-run America at the time. Just as their were whites who were pro-slavery/anti-slavery, just so were there pro-, and anti-slavery factions amongst the Cherokee.

    The Union opponents of slavery were the Keetowahs who bitterly opposed slavery; on the other hand, there were the “Knights of the Golden Circle” (sometimes called “Knaves of the Godless Communion led by Chief Stand Watie, a large slave holder from Honey Creek, who were pro-slavery, and eventually sided with the Confederate States of America.

    “They aren’t getting kicked out because they can prove they have an ancestor on the base Dawes rolls.”

    And therein lies the rub.

    The Dawes Roll split up families when it was enacted over 100 years ago. And the contention that is occurring amongst the Black Cherokee Freedmen/Women – CN of today DID NOT start a few years or decades ago. This abhorrent divide started before 1906, and even can be documented as one of my links in my post above proves:

    OUTRAGES IN INDIAN TERRITORY.; THE BLACK RESIDENTS PERSECUTED BY …
    THE BLACK RESIDENTS PERSECUTED BY THE CHEROKEE COUNCIL–RELIEF ASKED OF THE GOVERNMENT. WASHINGTON, Feb. 25.–A delegation of colored citizens of the Indian …February 26, 1879

    This battle between “Dawes Roll” Cherokee and “Freedmen/Women Roll” ‘Indians’ has been going on for generations, and the documentation of unjust treatment towards the Freedmen/Women is nothing new.

    As for the use of the word, “racist”, ANYONE who continues to cling to the racist Dawes Roll, will represent a negative image in my mind. There was never anything fair, or equitable, about the Dawes Roll, and that is why the whites instituted it. To divide and conquer, and drive a wedge between “Cherokee” and Freedmen/Women”.

    And they accomplished what they (whites) sought.

  18. hflanagan

    I have heard the personal accounts of slaves, and they make me cringe, they make me cry, they make my blood boil. I can imagine if it was one of my ancestors that I was listening to, I would feel those emotions magnified a million times.

    I get those same feelings when I read about forced removals and the genocide of Native Americans all over the continent. How Western settlers simply gathered up rounds of 100-200 natives living in California and killed them all, dumping them all in mass graves. I am also Irish and so I get emotional when I read about how the Irish were enslaved by the British for generations, and how Ireland’s poor and starving babies and children were jerked from their mother’s arms and slaughtered by British soldiers.

    Oppression is an ugly, ugly act, regardless of who is involved. I never meant to minimalize the suffering dished out by Cherokee slavers. I was only trying to get your exact reference for the slaves in chains dragged behind the wagons on the Trail of Tears, because it was uncharacteristic of the accounts I was reading.

    I agree that the Dawes Rolls are very imperfect and perhaps even racist towards both the Native Americans and the Freedmen. Afterall, they were masterminded by the white government of the early 1900’s. At that time if you skin was anything other than lilly white you were considered a colored…Cherokees received no better treatment from the white man than the Freedmen did. If using the Dawes Rolls as a basis of citizenship makes one a racist, then how should citizenship into the Cherokee tribe be determined? What methodology is objective, verifiable, and cost-efficient? How can the Cherokee Nation move beyond the Dawes Rolls and still retain any shred of lineal basis for the tribe? And is that important to the Freedmen? Somtimes I can’t figure out from the Freedmen side of the debate if they actually consider themselves Cherokees because they claim to be descended from them and want to maintain that cultural tie, or if they are seeking retribution for the wrongful slavery they endured. Which do you think it is? I’ve heard more than one Freedmen supporter attack the Cherokee Nation because the tribe spends money on language preservation efforts. Isn’t that what a Native American tribe is supposed to be about? Preserving the culture? Anyway, that is what confuses me. Are the Freedmen fighting because they believe in their hearts they are Cherokees, or because they believe in their hearts that the Cherokees must suffer for the sins of their forefathers?

    Thank you for being understanding and keeping the conversation going. That is the only way we’ll ever get anywhere, is to try to engage in discussion and understand each other.

  19. Ann

    “If using the Dawes Rolls as a basis of citizenship makes one a racist, then how should citizenship into the Cherokee tribe be determined? What methodology is objective, verifiable, and cost-efficient? How can the Cherokee Nation move beyond the Dawes Rolls and still retain any shred of lineal basis for the tribe? And is that important to the Freedmen?”

    That is something that can only happen between the Black Cherokee Freedmen/Women and the CN. They will have to sit down at the proverbial table and come to terms with the following:

    “Where can. . . .where will we go from here? Will we continue to allow racist whites from the past, racist whites dead, gone, and buried, to continue to dictate to us, how to treat each other? Or will we come together and build a coalition as CITIZENS ALL of the CN without regard to the racist concept of, “How much “Cherokee blood” do you have in you?, which is what the Dawes Roll is.

    Anyone who keeps the FAITH with Cherokee culture, Cherokee language, Cherokee traditions, Cherokee customs. . . .IS a Cherokee to me. It is not enough to have “Cherokee blood”, to consider oneself a “Cherokee”. IN ADDITION TO HAVING CHEROKEE BLOOD, the tribal ways must be kept as well.

    And thanks to Cherokee male slavemasters, many Black Cherokee Freedmen/Women DO HAVE Cherokee blood flowing in their veins.

    A “Cherokee” (Freedmen/Women and “Blood Quantum has the blood AND the tribal customs as part of their heritage.

    One must be able to walk the walk, and talk the talk. One must live daily all that is, and ever will be, all that ever was and ever should be, the very best of what a Cherokee means.

    That is what many Black Cherokee Freedmen/Women in the CN have done.

    And are still doing…….whether living in the CN, or outside of its jurisdictions.

    AS for the tribe itself, of course it is necessary and very important to the Freedmen/Women that the CN continues. Just as I am a citizen of America, and truly love it, even when I am chastising it for its wrongdoings……so too do the Freedmen/Women ALSO as citizens of the CN truly love it and want to continue to be a part of it.

    “Somtimes I can’t figure out from the Freedmen side of the debate if they actually consider themselves Cherokees because they claim to be descended from them and want to maintain that cultural tie, or if they are seeking retribution for the wrongful slavery they endured. Which do you think it is? ”

    You will have to ask a Cherokee Freedman/Woman those questions. Only they can speak on that issue. (And by
    a Cherokee Freedman/Woman”, I mean more than just one or two Freedmen/Women. There are as many diverse opinions among Black Americans, as there are among Red and Black Cherokees, so it would behoove you to get as varied a response as you can from all the Cherokees (Red, and Black) that you speak to.)

    “Isn’t that what a Native American tribe is supposed to be about? Preserving the culture?”

    ANYTHING that preserves the culture of any NA tribe is important, and valid. That includes, stomp-dancing, learning to read, write and speak the Cherokee language, and keeping the tribal customs intact….as well as practicing them EVERYDAY.

    “Are the Freedmen fighting because they believe in their hearts they are Cherokees, or because they believe in their hearts that the Cherokees must suffer for the sins of their forefathers?”

    I truly believe the Freedmen/Women are fighting to maintain their heritage as citizens of the CN. And as citizens of the CN, they only want what ANY CITIZEN would want: inclusion, acceptance, and for their humanity as Cherokees to be acknowledged before the world.

  20. Ann

    Oh, and “jojo”/”hflanagan”…..

    ……your IP address is showing. There was no need to use two different names to question me on the Freedmen/Women. Next time, please, be more upfront and come right when you have questions on a topic. The need to use more than one user/sign-in name smacks of disingenuousness, as well as dishonesty.

  21. hflanagan

    Ann,
    I do have a need to use more than one user/sign-in name, and I am sorry that I used them both on here. However I hope you can see that I have been writing as the same person, with the same voice, continuing conversation with you from post to post, even though using two different names. I have not been posting as if I am two different people, I just happen to have two different log-in names. So there was no deceit on my part, just the failure to keep to one log-in name. If this confused you or your other posters, I am sorry.

  22. Ann

    Hflanagan.

    Thanks for clearing that up.

  23. peggy rickard

    It is time for you non-Indian Freedmen to go rally the government for your own lands. Why are you doing what the white man did and try to steal Native land and culture? You have your own culture-arent you proud of it? You can never be honestly Cherokee. Why would you punish Native elderly and children by with holding federal funds> That is horrendous. You show me who you really are by running to the N.A.A.C.P. and the black national congres and a black congresswoman-that shows me you are black> You are no better than any one else and any other race who has to prove Indian by blood. Prove it and you become a Cherokee citizen. Its been that way all along. You neeed to stop lying about the Cherokee Nation because your lies will come back to haunt you.It is an Indian reserve not a black reserve.Indian reserves are for Indians!!!!! There are many people who are nearly full blood Indian and cant be enrolled and they have more right than you and should come first. The government created this situation and they should fix it-not the CHEROKEE NATION. Have some dignity and get your own African American reserves-go to the U.N. and tell them the government owes it to you

    • Ann

      Wow. Looks like this has been the week for ignorant, lame-brained, hateful, and stupid comments.
      The Black Cherokee Freedmen/Women are/were legal citizens of the CN. Therefore, they were disenfranchised by the CN. The BC have not behaved like Whites; those of the CN who voted to disenfranchise the BC behaved like Whites in stealing enfranchisement from the BC.

      As for the NAACP and the CBC, they exist to help all citizens whose rights to enfranchisement are under attack. It is a pity you are too ignorant to realize that.

      “You are no better than any one else and any other race who has to prove Indian by blood. Prove it and you become a Cherokee citizen. Its been that way all along.”

      And neither are the many white-looking/nearly-full blood Cherokess any better than anyone else, ‘kay. The BC have been a part of the CN for over 100 years; the rest of the CN needs to accept this and stop fighting against the truth of that history.

      “You neeed to stop lying about the Cherokee Nation because your lies will come back to haunt you.”

      Lies. Wow, you are really hilarious. Such a comedian, and a woefully ignorant one at that.

      Just like Chad Smith and his cohorts have lied?

      The real liars are the thieves who disenrolled over 2,800 legal citizens of the CN, and those thieve’s lies will come back to haunt them, not the BC whose rightful claim to citizenship was annihilated.

      “Indian reserves are for Indians!!!!!”

      Indian reserves for Indians……..which is what the BC are, but you are too full of hate to accept that fact.

      “There are many people who are nearly full blood Indian and cant be enrolled and they have more right than you and should come first.”

      And unless they can prove, like the expelled BC is doing, that they too are CN citizens, then no, they will not be able to become citizens of the CN.

      “The government created this situation and they should fix it-not the CHEROKEE NATION.”

      The government created this situation…..but, that does not mean the CN should continue this racist hateful pogrom against the BC. Just because those who came before them (white racists) created this filth, does not mean the CN should stoop to a lowlife level and practice the same race hatred against their own fellow citizens in a monkey-see, monkey-do fashion.
      Either the CN mans (and womans) up and does right by its CITIZENS, or it will face a legacy of racist hate for kicking the BC out of citizenship JUST as money comes down the pipe.

      “Have some dignity and get your own African American reserves-go to the U.N. and tell them the government owes it to you”

      The BC ALREADY have their own lands….as citizens of the CN.

      As for your your paltry comment about the UN……

      ….you are a wheelbarrow full of bricks, an empty pocketbook, and a decade late.

      By your uninformed and venomous comments, you care nothing about what the UN might do for the BC.

      Go back and read all of the trilogy on the CN/BC fiasco, and see if you can learn something from it this time, ‘kay.

      Otherwise, stay off my blog if you cannot cease in leaving misinformed, uninformed, and disinformed comments that reek of racist hatred.

  24. V.E.G.

    Believe it or not, the sibling of Chief James Vann is a direct descendant of Glen Arval Spivey. Spivey is a man from Texas and he is a Mr. Fix-it man.

  25. Rapier

    For it to be considered racism, it is my understanding that it must be a race of the majority. American Indians make up .2% of the population. Black-Americans make up the largest minority group in the United States with the Latino population closing in. The vast majority of the population in the United States did not have slaves. There were people called indentured servants which is a form of slavery and they were caucasian. Many people in this country had no choice in the matter and you forget that many an African made their riches selling their own people into the slave trade. The truth can be molded into what ever you want it to be. The fact is this land belongs to the Indigenous People. When all people have contributed to the destruction of this continent you can return to your country of orgin. Where will the American Indians go? This is their home.
    At least you still have your continent be thankful for that.

    • Ann

      “For it to be considered racism, it is my understanding that it must be a race of the majority.”

      Incorrect and faulty logic.

      Racism has nothing to do with numbers, or majorities, or individual people. The British Raj and the white Boer/Afrikaners who lorded hell over India and South Africa, respectively, did not have huge numbers to commit atrocities against the dark peoples of those countries. Racism has to do with structural/systemic/government sanctioned race hatred, which in the case of the Cherokee and American Constitutions, laws were written into them both recognizing the enslavement of Black/African/black-skinned people. Racial hatred that worships white supremacy, whiteness, and the indoctrination of internal race hatred. Over five centuries of racial white supremacy has poisoned this country and everyone in it, and the holding of enslaved Blacks by the so-called Five Civilized Tribes is proof that Whites/Europeans were not the only ones who swallowed hook-line-and-sinker racial hatred and enslavement of Black people in the South.

      ”American Indians make up .2% of the population. Black-Americans make up the largest minority group in the United States with the Latino population closing in. ”

      And your point is what?

      “The vast majority of the population in the United States did not have slaves.”

      Ooh boy, here we go, the famous tired old lame always often trotted response of a strawman known as the “ “We/they did not own slaves, so we/they have no history of race hatred against Black Americans.”

      Common sense would tell anyone who is knowledgeable about slavery in America that one’s ancestors/family did not have to own enslaved Blacks to do wrong to them. The White yeoman of the American South did not own slaves, but, that did not stop them from joining slave patrols which were made up mostly of Scot-Irish poor Whites, who beat, raped, tortured and murdered any Black slave they could get away with doing harm to in enforcing the Black Codes. The North does not have clean hands, nor conscience, where the enslavement of Blacks is concerned either. Patty Cannon and her filthy gang of kidnappers (in upholding the Fugitive Slave law) stole and sold into slavery many a free Black; other whites in the North did the same as she did.

      You (in the plural) did not have to own slaves to do wrong towards Black people. The laws, de jure and de facto, condoned race hatred against Blacks because in the early 1600s slavery was from then on tied to a black skin.

      “ There were people called indentured servants which is a form of slavery and they were caucasian. Many people in this country had no choice in the matter……”

      Wow, you need to learn the difference between indentured servitude (Blacks, Whites, Indians) and race-based slavery (America’s “peculiar institution).

      You in no way can compare indentured servitude to chattel inhuman slavery. Indentured servitude had terms attached to it where the indentured could work off their contract to their owner, after a certain amount of years. They were not indentured because of their skin color. Race-based American slavery had no such terms where one could work their way out. With the destruction of the English Common Law on child paternity, and the institution of the child’s race following the mothers, race-based slavery in America became entrenched, and from the eary 1600s on out, any child born to a Black woman was considered a slave for life.

      Do not insult the hells that Black Americans suffered under slavery by comparing race-based slavery to indentured servitude. Learn the difference between the two.

      “Many people had no choice”? Do not give me that lie. Many people had a choice to not condon the enslavement of their fellow human beings, but, many people had not the balls or the tits to have a conscious and not kiss white supremacy. No one held a gun to anyone’s head to do wrong, so you can take your “they made me do it” lie back.

      “……and you forget that many an African made their riches selling their own people into the slave trade. ”

      Ya’ know, I am really sick of this lame-ass trite retort which smacks of ignorance and extreme laziness. Not all African Tribes sold their own people into slavery, and many tribes fought against the invading European hordes who stole and sold Africans into slavery. African tribes did not get rich off of selling Africans—–beads, trinkets, gun powder do not equate with wealth.

      Stop comparing African slavery to American slavery. You cannot equate the two as being the same. Your comment shows that you have not picked up any book on the history of African slavery, indentured servitude, nor the history of American slavery.

      “The truth can be molded into what ever you want it to be.”

      You are molding the truth into whatever you want it to be, I am interested in hard cold factual historical evidence, not lies and misinformation and disinformation which you obviously are so happy to believe in.

      “ The fact is this land belongs to the Indigenous People. ”

      Before anyone came to this land, whether of their own free will (Whites/Europeans, Asians, etc.) or whose ancestors were brought here against their will (Black Africans), Native Americans did live here.

      Now everyone belongs to America, and they had better learn from its history, get on with the business of reconciling with that history, and doing right towards each other. This is the only country that everyone has, and all had better make it a better place or continue to see this place spiral down into an abyss.

      “When all people have contributed to the destruction of this continent you can return to your country of orgin. ”

      So, since “all people (Native Americans, Blacks, Whites, Asians, etc.) —–born in this country—–have “contributed to its destruction” you want them to all——poof—–disappear, and return where?

      They, native-born Americans, can no more return to Europe, Africa, Asia or anywhere else their distant ancestors came from. Like it or not, they are Americans, and they will have to learn to take care of what they have for the sake of their children’s children—–their Americanchildren.

      The country of my origin is America, and I have no intentions of leaving it at all.

      “Where will the American Indians go? This is their home.”

      Did anyone say they have to pack up and go anywhere? That is your conscious speaking to you about wanting Native Americans to leave. They can do what any other American can do—–work to make America a better place for all. This country is no longer just the home of Native Americans. It is the home of all who live here regardless of their race or ethnicity. It is the home of any and all who wish to build it into a greater country. You may think the future for America is hopeless, but, hey, that is you.

      America now belongs to Blacks, Asian Americans, White Americans—-and Native Americans—-not just because they were born here. Nativism is relative just like so many other things, and no one group owns a monopoly on who should or should not stay here.

      “At least you still have your continent be thankful for that.”

      Damn, it just gets better.

      The continent of Africa does not belong to me or Black Americans. I have no familial lies to Africa, nor any blood relatives in Nigeria, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Liberia, Kenya. . . .

      The country of my birth is the United States of America.

      For many Black Americans, the American South is our Old Country.

      Therefore, with all that we have put into America, we will not leave it. We have contributed much to the betterment of America, in laws, education, social society, etc., and we can be proud of that.

      Obviously my telling the truth about America’s vicious racist history upsets you, but, the truth is what it is. My responsibility as an American citizen and as a human being is to speak the truth and not to lie about America’s history.

      Oh, I have my continent to be thankful for alright. . . .and that continent, North America, has within its borders the United States of America———–for all who wish to make it a better place for everyone.

  26. randy

    The cherokee paid their debt. At what point to we quit making future generations pay for what happened in the 18 and 19 century. At what point do we say it is time to stand on your own. We have paid our debt. America has done more for the black race than any other country in the world. I say it is time for black people to recognize what caucasions have done for them and show a little appreciation. They could go to africa and live for a year or two and then come back to america. Maybe then, they would appreciate what this country has done for them and maye they would want to call themselves “American”

    MODERATOR: This comment has been edited for content.

  27. Pingback: CHEROKEE NATION REVOKES TRIBAL CITIZENSHIP FROM DESCENDANTS OF SLAVES | BEAUTIFUL, ALSO, ARE THE SOULS OF MY BLACK SISTERS

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