Skip to comments.Okla tribal court reinstates amendment that bars some freed slaves' descendants as members
Posted on 08/24/2011 6:51:13 AM PDT by ConservativeStatement
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. The Cherokee Nation Supreme Court on Monday reversed a lower tribal court decision that voided a voter-approved constitutional amendment denying citizenship to non-Native American descendants of tribal members' former black slaves.
In a 10-page opinion, tribal court justices wrote that the Cherokee Freedmen, as they are known, were never afforded citizenship in the tribe by the Treaty of 1866, but that a "fair reading indicates that it was an expression by the parties that the Freedmen would be treated as equals" to Cherokees under federal law that existed at the time.
(Excerpt) Read more at therepublic.com ...
Some Indians are more equal.
Looks like the Tribe is being a better steward of other people’s money than our national government. Anything that reduces our costs of care for the Sovereign Nation can’t be all bad. A reduction of 25,000 potential, additional wards of the government and their ensuing offspring sounds real good to me.
Strange. The slaves were freed under US federal law and got US citizens rights. Why should they be allowed citizenship and voting rights in the Cherokee Nation issues if they don’t have a blood relative listed on the census at the time of the treaty? Membership in the Nation is by blood right, not by federal law.
Both my children have membership based on their great grandmother’s census roll number and they are the last in our line that will be able to claim it because of their mixed blood.
Then they lost the war.
The United States took mercy on the Cherokee and signed a treaty with them that REQUIRED the Cherokee to give their former black slaves the same rights as other tribal members.
In thanks for having been allowed to exist as a nation from that time forward the Cherokee decided to turn their backs on that treaty and the promises they agreed to and kick out the black Cherokees.
The proper response for the United States is to disestablish the NON-BLACK Cherokee government and tribal membership, and give it all to the black Cherokee. Maybe they can figure out who's a member and who's not (a little better).
Remember, when it comes to war losers gots to pay!
Yet you are totally discounting the fact that membership in the Nation is based on BLOOD, not federal law. That was part of that Treaty! Membership in the nation was based on having a BLOOD RELATIVE on the census roll at the time! It’s still that way TODAY! Even if you have a blood relative on that census roll, you cannot be a voting member of the Cherokee Nation unless your BLOOD is not diluted more than 1/8th. My children are the last in our line that can have voting rights on Cherokee Nation issues with their 1/8th bloodline. My grandchldren with their 1/16th blood line can’t even a piece of paper acknowledging their distant relative as being a member of the Nation anymore!
The Treaty with the United States let's the black folks have all the same rights.
BTW, all those black descendants probably have as many Cherokee ancestors as the white ones.
There's a Mohawk group in Canada who want to do a one time only elimination of the blood quantum for all Indians, and let people chose their identities.
Then they close the books again and those issues are settled for a generation.
Some groups (e.g. other Iroquois) keep the membership rolls secret so someone whose folks got away from the tribe would probably have to prove decent with birth records and such. There's a Pocahontas Society made up of descendants of Pocahontas (actually the Powhatan Indian Tribe). They've been around a long time and are not recognized as a tribe.
The little blue card does have some value to some people I guess, but to most the certified birth records have more value.
More important than all of that a good number of North American Indian groups have the X-Factor DNA sequence that denotes Sa'ami ancestry. That's the kind of list you want to be on ~ have it inscribed in your very genome.
WELL, NO, the terms in that Treaty were THAT MEMBERSHIP IN THE CHEROKEE NATION IS BASED ON BLOOD!
“BTW, all those black descendants probably have as many Cherokee ancestors as the white ones.”
ONLY if they have a BLOOD RELATIVE on that census roll! Not just because they were freed men with no blood tie to the nation. If you’re not a BLOOD RELATIVE, you don’t get voting rights on Nation issues.
One of the great, festering problems of the US is that the treaties between the tribes and the federal government are disastrous. Which was known even back when they were cobbled together, often with unrelated padding cut and pasted from law books, and using transitory features to establish boundaries, etc. Broad chunks of many of those treaties are gobbledegook. Almost random words stuck together.
1) The big reasons that most tribes live in backwards conditions today is, oddly enough, a *lack* of federal business law. Corporations would love to make contracts to enter the reservations and develop them to the benefit of the tribes, but they *can’t*, because there is no contractual framework.
2) The Bureau of Indian Affairs is a nightmare. It has basically stolen billions of dollars that were supposed to be given to the tribes as royalties for mining, oil drilling, forestry, etc. And to make matters much worse, intentionally threw out the paperwork, so nobody knows who owes what to whom.
3) Though there is some modest improvements, many tribal governments are utterly worthless as well. Several tribes should regularly have federal elections monitors, and nepotism and favoritism are rife in tribal governments.
Again, it all goes back to the treaties. The best way to deal with this is for the president and congress to set up an office of the State and Interior Departments, for long term negotiations with the tribes, with an eye to creating new treaties that are far more satisfactory to both nations.
EQUAL RIGHTS FIRST, by treaty, and then DAWES ROLLS, by U.S. Law (which provides for the issuance of the certificate of blood).
Seems to me pretty clear that in 1866, for the purpose of keeping their tribe, the Cherokee leaders agreed to a really big change in membership ~ to wit ~ political affiliation in a nation ~ and later they let the Dawes Commission screw with them and take them back to an earlier time BEFORE COLUMBUS.
This business of tossing out the black Cherokee is pretty recent. The Congressional Black Caucus has proposed withdrawing federal recognition from the Cherokee.
Again, that seems fair to me. You sign a treaty in 1866 and then repudiate your agreement 100+ years later so you can snickersnack the black folks out of your tribe ~ that tells me you no longer want to be a tribe ~ you want to be something else ~ maybe you want to be white folks.
There is certainly no shortage of white folks in America, nor black folks, so I guess most modern Cherokee could fit right in.
I don't have any sort of dispute going yet but I've got 800 families of people eligible for Oneida membership ~ and that's more people than the Oneida currently have ~ so they probably don't want to cut us in on the Turning Stone revenues ~ or, maybe they do.
It took the Onedia 200 years to get the US government to recognize their treaty rights ~ where they were the ally of the United States in the Revolution. New York ruled that they were all white people so they didn't have the right to be Indians anymore ~ they then took their land and gave it away to illegal aliens.
The Oneida could probably use another 800 families.
Actually, the TREATY said exactly what I said it said! Not to mention that those FREED MEN are DEAD and no longer exist and can’t quality for jack squat in the Cherokee Nation!
The fact that all the Freedmen are dead does not mean the tribal authorities can kick out their descendants (once it gets back up to the US courts).
Remember, as far as the white folks are concerned, you are all non-whites anyway.
Sure it does. The freed men are DEAD! Unless they’re a blood relative, NOBODY qualifies for jack squat!
No doubt a Dawes exception should have been included but who knew?!
Frankly, if this is no longer the Cherokee nation of history but some new creature that wants to dissolve all bonds with its past (as serious slave masters dating back to before Europeans came here), then I think it's time to dissolve the 1865 treaty.
Without that treaty there is no Cherokee nation.
Amazing that the Cherokee would allow themselves to disappear like that ~
They’re not diminishing themselves...they are preserving themselves. The many many Cherokees have and STILL mary Cherokees...THEY are the ones that should have the blood rights to vote on issues in their nation. Not a bunch of quad-breeds or sextant-breeds that have no interest or business within the Cherokee Nation.
My children still have interest in their inherited culture from their grandparents. But they don’t feel they have a right to interfere in the business of their kinsmen who actually live within the Nation and its laws.
Culture and sense of nation goes with personal political affiliation ~ not your genes.