October 10, 2011 |
More than 170 years ago the proud Cherokee people in the South were brutally driven into exile in Oklahoma along what became known as the Trail of Tears. Now, an unlikely group of descendants is battling the tribe for its rights. They are the so-called black Cherokees, some of whose ancestors were held as slaves by members of the tribe. Their quest came to a head in recent days as Cherokees went to the polls in northeastern Oklahoma's Indian country to select a new chief. Of the more than 300,000 Cherokees in America, about 2,800 are black, and many say their fate could ride on the outcome.
December 14, 2010 |
The genocidal removal of Native Americans from their ancestral homelands is one of the most shameful episodes in American history. Over and over, A.J. Langguth reports in his unfocused but nonetheless scarifying account, U.S. presidents proclaimed that it would be terribly wrong to force entire tribes to move simply because white settlers wanted their territory ? but added that it would be nice if the Indians would voluntarily relocate west of the Mississippi. Once Andrew Jackson became president in 1829, pretense about resettlement being voluntary quickly faded.
July 16, 2007
Re "Who's a Cherokee?" Opinion, July 10 Heather Williams writes that the Cherokee tribal constitution has been amended to require proof of a by-blood connection to be granted citizenship in the Cherokee Nation. Rep. Diane Watson (D-Los Angeles) believes that this is discrimination and that federal funds to the tribe should be cut off by reason of racism.
July 10, 2007 |
I'M PROUD TO BE a Cherokee citizen who is also descended from black slaves, and the Cherokee Nation I know is one of the most diverse, welcoming societies on Earth. Yet today, my tribe stands accused of racism and is the target of legislation introduced by Rep. Diane Watson (D-Los Angeles) aimed at cutting off our federal funding because we amended our tribal constitution to affirm that, in order to be a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, you must prove by-blood descent from Cherokee Indians.
March 4, 2007 |
Cherokee Nation members voted Saturday to revoke the tribal citizenship of an estimated 2,800 descendants of the people the Cherokees once owned as slaves. With a majority of districts reporting, 76% had voted in favor of an amendment to the tribal constitution that would limit citizenship to descendants of "by blood" tribal members as listed on the federal Dawes Commission rolls from more than 100 years ago.
September 6, 2004 |
Cherokees should not forget the Trail of Tears and should be watchful of U.S. government policies that erode their nation's sovereignty, the Cherokees' tribal chief said. In his State of the Nation address in Tahlequah on Saturday, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith said members needed to become involved in the political process. "History does have a way of repeating itself, and we are once again at a point in history where impending doom lurks on the horizon," he said.