Thursday, May 20, 2010

What is Wrong With This Picture?...

Congressman Jim McDermott (Wash) and Senator Sam Brownback (Kan) had nothing better to do than indulge in stroking Chad Smith’s ego and further perpetuating the myth that the Five Slave Holding Tribes have some moral authority to be present at a ceremony “apologizing for "ill-conceived policies" and acts of violence against American Indians by the U.S. government.”

Ebony 2008 Marilyn Vann
This is the same man that stated slaves were forced on the Cherokee people, yet even my son’s history book continues the myth that the Five Slave Holding Tribes were just “farmers” when they were forced to “remove” to Indian Territory now present day Oklahoma.

Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of issues Native Americans have to argue concerning their treatment by the United States, you will get no argument here, but for three representatives from the Five Slave Holding Tribes to be present at this reading of the “apology” bill screams of hypocrisy!                                                                                                

For the record, the Cherokee, Creek (Muscogee) and Choctaw nations to “force” themselves in this ceremony with “The Chief Who Shall be Named Today” Chad Smith; as the mouth piece for reconciliation is beyond belief. One has too ask how much did these three tribes pay to get in front of a camera to talk about; ““Storytelling is a valued tradition in Native American heritage and coupled with an opportunity to relive Cherokee history on these revered grounds was a tremendous experience for guests,” added Chief Smith. “The Congressional Cemetery provided for a unique setting where visitors were immersed in traditional stories and historical accounts regarding the Native American people.”

This man can’t even tell about his tribe’s history of enslaving people of African and African-Cherokee heritage, but he wants to extol on the fabled “traditions” of “Native American heritage” what a crock! Chad Smith was in Washington, D.C. when the Cherokee Supreme Court ruled that according to the treaty of 1866, the former slaves AND their descendants were deemed to be “citizens of the nation with ALL the rights and privileges as any Cherokee citizen.” Once he got wind of this decision he flew back to Tahlequah, OK and immediately began a campaign of overturning a legal decision and further took steps to place his on man as the Chief Justice of the Cherokee Supreme Court because he did not ever want to have a decision rendered like that again.

Tulsa Today Online Chad Smith and wife

This man and his and members of the Cherokee tribe have done more harm to the idea that Native People have been harmed by the injustices of this country because they don't have the moral character too do the same for the people The Five Slave Holding Tribes enslaved, and fathered children by Indian men and now he refers to them as "non-Indian."

The Cherokee Nation fought on the side of the Confederacy and were required to enter into treaty agreements that abolished slavery in their so called “sovereign nations” AND adopt their former slaves as citizens in 1866. To the credit of the leaders at that time, they adopted ALL freedmen and their descendants in 1863 and reinforced that act by the langugae of the 1866 Treaty. I know that may never come up in a traditional story telling event like the one held in D.C., but keep hope alive!
Clearly McDermott and Brownback may have written their legislation with all the good intentions it deserves but I must say to have representatives of five Indian Nations present and three of the five representatives of the Five Slave Holding Tribes is a remarkable feat of ignorance on their part.

Jet Magazine 2009 Congresswoman Diane Watson
For almost ten years Cherokee Freedmen led by Marilyn Vann and efforts by Eleanor Wyatt have brought the history of the Five Slave Holding Tribes to various publications like the Washington Post, Ebony Magazine, Jet, Wire Magazine, ABC Newshour, and other numerous print and broadcast stations, and yet, these two “gentleman” were clueless on the symbolism that Chad Smith brings too the party? Incredible! I guess it is nice to have some of the best lobbyist’s in the country on retainer if you are Cherokee?

To show you how out of touch these two congressmen were about the history of the Five Slave Holding Tribes are this part of the article just blows me away:

“Prior to A Time of Rededication and Story-Telling event there was an official presentation and reading of The Resolution of Apology to Native Peoples by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), co-hosts of the day’s events and co-authors of the resolution, which took place in the Congressional Cemetery chapel.

The Resolution of Apology to Native Peoples cites seven key acknowledgment and apology points including one that apologizes on behalf of the people of the United States to all Native Peoples for the many instances of violence, maltreatment and neglect inflicted on Native Peoples by citizens of the United States.

There is no way on God’s green earth the representatives from the Cherokee, Choctaw and Creek tribes could keep a straight face when they heard “the many instances of VIOLENCE, MALTREATMENT AND NEGLECT INFLICTED ON NATIVE PEOPLES BY CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES” and not understand what their so called traditional sovereign nations did too people of African and African-Native descent who were enslaved in their nations and suffered VIOLENCE, MALTREATMENT AND NEGLECT INFLICTED ON BLACK PEOPLES OF THE FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES.
Ebony 2008 photo of Verdie Triplett

Just like there is a record of the trials and tribulations of Native People at the hands of the United States, these five tribes have some serious blood on their hands figuratively and factually! Instead of attempts at reconciliation these five tribes are attempting to hide, ignore and obfuscate their own sordid history so they can continue receiving enormous preferential funding based on their suffering at the hands of the United States. Must I remind you slaves in the United States and Indian Territory were not involved in their maltreatment, but can they say their tribes were not complicit in the maltreatment of African and African Native people?

For more on this subject I hope these links are still good:

A nation divided

Kenneth J. Cooper
March 8, 2007 — Vol. 42, No. 30
Kenneth J. Cooper, a Pulitzer Prize winner, is a freelance journalist based in Boston.

16 Offspring of Slaves Owned By Cherokees Seek Damages


Published: June 22, 1984

An Unjust Expulsion

Published: March 8, 2007

The Cherokee Nations decision to revoke the tribal citizenship of about

2,800 descendants of slaves once owned by the tribe is a moral low point in modern Cherokee history and places the tribe in violation of a

140-year-old federal treaty and several court decisions. The federal government must now step in to protect the rights of the freedmen, who could lose their tribal identities as well as access to medical, housing and other tribal benefits.
This bitter dispute dates to the treaties of 1866, when the Cherokee,

Seminole and Creek agreed to admit their former slaves as tribal members in return for recognition as sovereign nations. The tribes fought black membership from the start even though many of the former slaves were products of mixed black and Indian marriages.

BIA leader resigns amid controversy

By JIM MYERS World Washington Bureau


His 13 months in office were marked by the Cherokee freedmen dispute.

WASHINGTON -- Bureau of Indian Affairs leader Carl Artman, a major player in the ongoing freedmen controversy with the Cherokee Nation, is leaving office, U.S. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne announced Monday.

Artman, 41, was confirmed to his position 13 months ago. His entire term in office has been marked by the Cherokee freedmen descendants controversy, which has drawn the interest of Congress.

Freedmen Can Sue Cherokee

Chief Smith: Let Courts Decide on Freedmen

Opinion: Playing the Nation Card Over Freedmen

Cherokee Nation Wrong on Freedmen

NAACP Denounces Cherokee Nation Over Freedmen

Opinion: Ross Swimmer to Blame for Freedmen


  1. I have passed the Ancestor Award on to you for your wonderful blog. You can pick it up on my blog here:

  2. Greetings Lisa,

    I want to thank you for taking the time to consider me for the "Ancestor Approved" Award, it is gratifying to know what I do is appreciated and considered worthy of an award.

    You and Angela Walton-Raji evidently considered me for the award at the same time and that makes it twice as nice!

    You should see the big Cheshire Cat smile on my face :-D