Oklahoma Is Not OK!
Deprivation of Nationality
It is, in every sense of the word, the worst of times at the end of the Trail of Tears here in the remnant of ancient Tatil Coya (in Oklahoma), an absolutely horrid time in U.S. socio-economic history to be forcefully exiled from one’s Nation, stripped of Citizenship, Nationality, purposefully cut from medical care (services, insurance coverage, eligibility), to be the victim of reneged-upon food stipends, low-income homeowner’s assistance and “other services”. However, that is precisely what happened to Cherokee Freedmen when a 76%± share of cold blooded Cherokee Indians stood behind a Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Decision to uphold the results of their 2007 Special Election to amend the Cherokee Nation Constitution to remove descendants of Freedmen from eligibility to inhabit the legal jurisdictional geographical boundaries and sphere of influence of that nation as Citizens…(with extreme prejudice).
This despite the “indefeasible 1866 Treaty Rights of the Cherokee Freedmen (ceded the Canadian District and overflow domain comprising portions of the Cherokee Outlet).
Power of Discernment: Keenly Selective Judgment
Check Your Ability To Separate Cotton From Seeds and Wheat From Chaff
Cherokee Freedmen (which also includes the descendants of historical Black Cherokees that were never Slaves, but mixed-blood Free Persons of Color with Indian Blood inhabiting that Nation), regardless of Caste, all were Freed En Masse in 1861 and Adopted En Masse in 1863 by their Principal Chief and Spring Frog, a descendant of the Great Chiefs of Chota (who also had Black Cherokee Family Members as far back as the 1700s, one of whom was the wife of Attakullakulla whose reigned ended in the 1790s.
Still other Black French Speaking Cherokees (like French John and Capee Capee) functioned as Ambassadors and trusted Counsel to the Chief.
The Old Great Chiefs of Chota also had Black Cherokee Adoptees (even a settlement of Black Biloxis--in the 1700s!). Their descendants today would naturally have no other legal identity except Cherokee. In fact, this was the group that Attakullakulla‘s Black Indian wife hailed from, and they lived in the Old Nation in North Carolina.
The descendants of these and other Ethnic Cherokees have a right to maintain their own history and as much right as any other Indian to benefit from the largess of their victorious Union Loyalist Ancestors that fought so hard and thought so much of them that they preserved the rights of Cherokee Freedmen within an 1866 Treaty Document so powerful that we find ourselves still fighting about it today; including the rights that the ancestors so passionately tried to protect into perpetuity, until now, the supposed enlightened age of 2011.
What are we really allowing to happen to these unique people? It is illegal (according to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, which was signed and announced by President Barack Obama on December 16, 2010).
The U.S. is now a legal signatory bound by the laws of this International Convention.
We can’t be certain about Mr. Obama’s intent, but Oklahoma’s Freedmen understand fully that America had no idea that the President signed an International Convention that protected the Rights of descendants of Aboriginal Africans, Australian Aborigines and America’s Black Indians.
Now that is something to be celebrated in the U.N. implemented 2011 International Year for the People of African Descent, now marred by an American Indian Action against persons of both Cherokee and African Descent.
In my lay opinion, the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court action looks back, acts, behaves and feels like an Ex Post Facto Law that specifically deprives Cherokee Freedmen of original Rights to Citizenship and Nationality (gained by much more than a Tribal Constitutional Amendment). Their Citizenship and Nationality was gained by birthright, inhabitance, residency, Adoption, Legislative Action, then Constitutional Ratification of that Action, resulting in the Tribal Constitutional Amendment in question, in the lead up to their final enfranchisement by the language of the 1866 Treaty (same as the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole Freedmen protected by their 1866 Treaties between the aforementioned Tribal Nations and the U.S. Government).
Therefore, the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Decision against Freedmen must surely constitute Ex Post Facto Law imposed to deprive and/or remove the rights of a particular entitled group (in this case Freedmen), a highly specialized Class of Indian Citizen and historic Cherokee National, deriving such right by the 1866 Treaty with the Cherokees, as descendants by;
Article 3. “heirs or assigns.” (under repealed confiscation laws, allowing them to re-inhabit their homes confiscated by Confederates in the Civil War in Indian Territory).
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.”
How then could something so legally solid as Freedmen Nationality and Citizenship be unraveled by manmade racism?
The newly imposed Cherokee Supreme Court Law, vigorously pursued by Principal Chief Chad Smith imposed a Hail Mary Play that makes an end-run around the 1866 Treaty and allows that Nation to hide behind a public campaign implemented to get the public to believe that the Cherokee Freedmen move to assert their right to Nationality and Citizenship, was an affront to Indian Sovereignty, predicated by that nation’s right to choose it’s own citizens
I would also say that the Freedmen were stripped of their Nationality, Citizenship and Exiled without having committed either Treason, Sedition, and without threatening to overthrow the Cherokee Nation Government, except that the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma wants you and I to believe that it does not have to adhere to the same Human and Civil Rights Law that it’s host Government must itself adhere to, because of their Sovereign Immunity and Right To Choose their Own Citizens, notwithstanding the rights of Ethnic Cherokee Freedmen to be free from persecution and exile based upon their Ethnic origins.
Being an Ex Post Facto Law instituted to deprive rights, makes this a very controversial issue, in that the Cherokee Nation chose to deny persons having definable rights by Treaty.
OK! Let’s begin again, how best do we resolve the situation diplomatically, without ending up in an armed siege like the one carried out in the Seminole Nation Capitol after that Nation’s Freedmen faced a similar referendum?
Answer: It matters not that the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma doesn’t want Black Cherokees in their Tribe…it still does not relieve or excuse the U.S. Government (as a Plenary Authority serving as Stewards, Guardians, and Hosts Legally Responsible for the Character of the Tribes) from upholding the guaranteed Rights of their Ethnic Citizen Class, Ethnic Protectorate and Special Treaty Entitlement Group, including Elders, Women, and children who are legal descendants of original Cherokee Citizens and Nationals with rights enshrined by an 1866 Treaty, to which their forebears were an indispensable original part, as facilitators, interpreters, signatories, beneficiaries and Citizens. They are to be treated like any other Tribal Band arising from the parent Nation in an Autonomous Action, under a Declaration of Independence as Successors in Interest (for instance Shawnees and Delawares who gained the same rights under the same Treaty as the Cherokee Freedmen). Both were enhanced by Provisions of Separation. The Shawnees had their Provisions of Separation introduced by none other than Senator Coburn, who also extracted language from the 1866 Cherokee Treaty for use in the office document, cementing the legitimacy of the 1866 Treaty in the year 2000.
The 1866 Treaty also provides the U.S. President with the right to abolish any Tribal Nation law weighing oppressively upon the Cherokee Nation Inhabitants of the Canadian District [translation: the President may render void any law that discriminates specifically against Cherokee Freedmen ceded their own autonomous Canadian District and portions of the Cherokee Outlet by the 1866 Treaty].
The Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act and Indian Reorganization Acts of 1934 and 1936, grants the rights of Tribes to restructure and become individually Chartered, providing the U.S. Government yet another avenue by which to aid the various Tribes to attain parity in Nation to Nation relationship with self-administrated Freedmen Tribes, as Successors-In-Interest, Citizens and Nationals reorganizing for the benefit of its Citizens and Preservation of their Indefeasible Treaty Rights. Cherokee Freedmen (as well as Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole Freedmen) met all the criteria of time and were still legally attached (or eligible for modern Citizenship) in each of their ancestral Tribes at the time each sought Charters of Federal Recognition. Due to the dire situation of Freedmen, all waiting periods and untoward actions levied against them and their rights by parent Governments must be immediately waived and/or rendered null and void.
Let this become the definable historic Teachable Moment asked for by Dr. Ogletree in Oklahoma. The Rule of Law Must Rule!