Thursday, January 27, 2011

Non-Indian is Not the Issue!

The Cherokee Nation is at it again, manipulating language and deceiving people with their cries that citizenship in the Cherokee Nation is for “Indians” ONLY!

I could get into the intellectual argument of what defines an Indian or for the matters of this article what defines a Cherokee but that is not and has never been the basis of the actions by the Cherokee Nation and “The Chief Who Shall Not Be Named.”

You only have to look at many of the initial Cherokee “by blood citizen” Dawes card to see that non-Indian is NOT the issue when it comes to citizenship in the Cherokee Nation.

Citizenship in the Cherokee Nation and the other Five Slave Holding Tribes has always been based on the enforcement of rights gained by the Treaty of 1866 regarding the former slaves and their descendants.

Thousands of former slaves and their descendants in Indian Territory WERE NOT citizens of the United States!

Thousands of former slaves and their descendants were EMANCIPATED IN INDIAN TERRITORY, NOT the United States!

Thousands of former slaves of the Five Slave Holding Tribes, RECEIVED CITIZENSHIP BY TREATIES IN 1866!

Non-Indian is NOT the Issue!

The idea that citizenship is based on the “status of the mother” is clearly ignored when it came to the enrollment status for the citizenship of John WATKINS and Benjamin WILLIAMS. Their mother’s were non-citizens and it did nothing to restrict their enrollment as a Cherokee citizen by blood.

I wrote about this issue last year in articles concerning the Choctaw Nation.

Non-Indian is NOT the Issue!

This is the type of manipulation the tribe has engaged in to deny the rights of Cherokee Freedmen. The tribe continues to ignore the ruling of their courts that directed the nation to adhere to the Treaty of 1866 when it came to the citizenship of Cherokee Freedmen. Theirs is a pattern of behavior that demonstrates no respect for the Constitution of the United States or the rule of law.

Non-Indian is NOT the Issue!

Let the record reflect, in their latest act of clever use of language, the Cherokee Nation’s attorney general has trotted out the need to have this case decided by the “Cherokee Nation’s highest court.”

Cherokee Nation News Release January 25, 2011

"A constitutional case of this magnitude should be decided by the Cherokee Nation’s highest court," said Diane Hammons, Attorney General for the Cherokee Nation. "The district court failed to follow our highest court’s precedent, set in the 2006 case which allowed for non-Indian citizenship in the Cherokee Nation.

Non-Indian is NOT the Issue!

The problem with this is the Supreme Court decided this issue in 2006, it will be interesting if this act to delay the implementation of the District Courts order to process citizenship application "within 30 days" will be enforced?

As you can see, the nation and it’s lawyer want the world to believe non-Indians are not already citizens of the tribe but it would take a fifth grader little time to look at the Dawes rolls and see there are numerous so called non-Indians already on the roll because of their descent from Intermarried Whites and Non-Citizens.

Non-Indian is NOT the Issue!

What is the fixation about freedmen descendants who received their citizenship from their ancestor’s who were granted citizenship as a result of the Treaty of 1866?

Non-Indian is NOT the Issue!

The press release went on to attempt to confuse the argument more…

In that case, our high court said "The Cherokee citizenry has the ultimate authority to define tribal citizenship," and the people did that with an amendment to the Constitution which passed with 77% of the vote."

There are two statements in this press release by the Cherokee Nation that is misleading and require correction. The first correction being the Cherokee Nation's district court's ruling. Like the ruling in 2006 the court based its decision on the Treaty of 1866!

Non-Indian is NOT the Issue!

It would be advisable to actually read the decision rendered by the Cherokee Supreme Court in 2006 to see EXACTLY what they said, not the interpretation by the biased opinion of the Chief Who Shall Not Be Named and his well paid lawyers.

The Cherokee Supreme Court did indicate Cherokee citizenship should be determined by Cherokee citizens, but the District Court in my opinion correctly pointed out that authority was trumped by the Treaty of 1866 regarding citizenship for Cherokee Freedmen descendants.

Non-Indian is NOT the Issue!

Additionally, Judge Cripps' recent ruling made it quite clear; treaties negotiated among "Sovereign Nations" are considered "Supreme Law."

Non-Indian is NOT the Issue!

This is what Judge Cripps indicated in his ruling and it is what the Cherokee Nation seeks to ignore and argue against. The Cherokee Supreme Court has already ruled freedmen descendants gained their citizenship because of the 1866 Treaty.

Non-Indian is NOT the Issue!

If treaties are Supreme Law and the Cherokee Supreme Court adheres to the decision in 2006, it seems they have no choice but to affirm the decision by the Cherokee District Court.

Non-Indian is NOT the Issue!

The second part of this statement has been flaunted around for about five years now and has been repeated more than I care to count. Evidently the Cherokee Nations lobbyist and public relations people think they can get people to believe elephants can fly?

The Cherokee Nation and its "Chief" have repeatedly stated that an "overwhelming majority of citizens" passed a vote to overturn a PREVIOUS CHEROKEE SUPREME COURT RULING that former slaves and their descendants ARE entitled to citizenship in the Cherokee Nation.

Non-Indian is NOT the Issue!

What they never mention when stating the OVERWHELMING figure of 77% is it is based on  a TOTAL of less than nine thousand (9,000) people in a nation that alleges its population to be more than two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000). If you conservatively give them 50% for people eligible to vote, this would still be less than 5% of their VOTING population!

This is hardly overwhelming in my opinion. By the way, does the United States government require the Cherokee Nation to verify its population when they allocate funds based on that population?

In a Cherokee Nation news release dated March 3, 2007 this is what they stated about their own voting results:

"Cherokee Nation Special Election Results


Cherokee voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the Cherokee Nation Constitution in a special election Saturday, March 3, by a decisive vote of 6,693 (77%) for the measure to 2,040 (23%) against...

Folks I couldn't make this stuff up!

Perhaps now they will stop trying to mislead people about the results of that "SPECIAL ELECTION" that sought to remove "Cherokee citizens" disparagingly referred to as non-Indian?

Non-Indian is NOT the Issue!

It should also be mentioned in that same "news release" on March 3, 2007 the Cherokee nation attempted to use the concept of treaties to justify its position regarding the expulsion of freedmen descendants.

The Cherokee people exercised the most basic democratic right, the right to vote," said Chad Smith, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. "Their voice is clear as to who should be citizens of the Cherokee Nation. No one else has the right to make that determination. It is 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."

This is more of that emotional heart tug that susceptible people fall prey too when they don't have all of the facts. This man is denying the rights of people who JUST SO HAPPENED to come along the same tear stained trail in SHACKLES but he wants to remove their descendants, yet in the same breath, proudly states the government of the Cherokee Nation is affirmed (say it with me boys and girls) BY 23 TREATIES WITH GREAT BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES!!!

Non-Indian is NOT the Issue!

Now this press release on March 3, 2007 was on the day of the election and the "Chief Who Shall Not Be Named" or one of his well paid public relations specialists continued the PR game for maximum effect:

"Smith added that the number of voters who turned out to vote on the constitutional amendment was actually more than the approximately 6,700 who approved the Cherokee Nation Constitution four years ago. "

  • This only demonstrates the voting public is apathetic and ill informed about what was deemed an "historic election."

“This was an unexpectedly high turnout, considering it was a special election with nothing else on the ballot,” Smith said. “I think that reflects the idea that this is an issue that has been close to the heart of the Cherokee people and an issue they have thought about carefully before voting.”

  • Only someone with a public relations background could fix their face to spin this tale of "high turnout."

"The special election was brought about by a petition of registered Cherokee voters, and was an historic event for the Cherokee Nation, as its first ever stand-alone election to vote on a Constitutional amendment."

Does anyone actually believe some "registered Cherokee voters" were the driving force behind this "special election" if you want, you might believe the "Chief Who Shall Not Be Named" ONLY WANTED TO SEE JUSTICE FOR HIS PEOPLE!

Non-Indian is NOT the Issue!

Note the date on this article, before the ink could dry on the ruling the "tribal chief" was the driving force that "brought about by a petition of registered Cherokee voters."

Let's look at some information leaked just days before the election and see how voters in the Cherokee Nation "thought about carefully before voting" in this "historic" event for the Cherokee Nation.

Date: Thursday, 1 March 2007, at 4:52 p.m.

Subject: [All-Employees] Special Election

Dear Employee,

I encourage every Cherokee to vote Saturday, March 3, in a Special Election focused on the single issue of who should be citizens of the Cherokee Nation. It is my hope that our citizens will take the time to educate themselves about the issue that is coming before them in the special election and cast an informed vote. …

Freedmen were former slaves of Cherokees and were emancipated and given Cherokee Nation citizenship by an 1866 amendment to our 1839 Constitution after the American Civil War. The evidence shows that people with Cherokee blood were placed on the by-blood rolls and non-Indians were listed on either the Inter-married White rolls or Freedmen rolls by the Dawes Commission…

Although the Cherokee Supreme Court decision to include the Freedmen as citizens is controversial, I believe everyone understands it is a question reserved for the Cherokee people to decide. Whatever “side” you or I or any of us may have, I sincerely hope everyone will participate in this democratic process, and remember that many people in other parts of the world do not enjoy this privilege.

Chad Smith

Principal Chief

Cherokee Nation

It is because of actions like this Congress passed the "Hatch Act" where governmental officials could not engage in political activity which could be interpreted as patronage. Apparently the Cherokee Nation is in dire need of similar legislation?

The statement by the "you know who chief" stating the 1863 Constitution was changed by "AN AMENDMENT" is again deceptive and inaccurate language, IT WAS A TREATY! The fact is, the 1863 Constitution was change emancipating Cherokee slaves and granting them citizenship, it was reinforced by the TREATY of 1866.
Non-Indian is NOT the Issue!

"What a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive!"

Non-Indian is NOT the Issue!

• To see the actual decision by the 2006 Cherokee Nation Supreme Court use the link provided

1 comment:

  1. Excellent points made!

    Another form of manipulation----77%!

    Well if one looks at the numbers only 3% of the people voted. 3% is NOT 77% AND----furthermore----77% of 3% is LESS than 3%.

    Well----more and more people are looking closely and beginning to understand the issues.