Sunday, June 24, 2007

The 1866 Treaty

If you click the title above you can read the entire text of the 1866 treaty.

The opening article declares a prior treaty void - isn't that interesting:

The pretended treaty made with the so-called Confederate States by the Cherokee Nation on the seventh day of October, eighteen hundred and sixty-one, and repudiated by the national council of the Cherokee Nation on the eighteenth day of February, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, is hereby declared to be void.

Articel 4 states very clearly, these were freed slaves:

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, who may within two years elect not to reside northeast of the Arkansas River and southeast of Grand River, shall have the right to settle in and occupy the Canadian district southwest of the Arkansas River, and also all that tract of country lying northwest of Grand River, and bounded on the southeast by Grand River and west by the Creek reservation to the northeast corner thereof; from thence west on the north line of the Creek reservation to the ninety-sixth degree of west longitude; and thence north on said line of longitude so far that a line due east to Grand River will include a quantity of land equal to one hundred and sixty acres for each person who may so elect to reside in the territory above-described in this article: Provided, That that part of said district north of the Arkansas River shall not be set apart until it shall be found that the Canadian district is not sufficiently large to allow one hundred and sixty acres to each person desiring to obtain settlement under the provisions of this article.

Seems to me the U.S. is responsible for whatever problems they've created with this treaty.

The United States guarantee to the people of the Cherokee Nation the quiet and peaceable possession of their country and protection against domestic feuds and insurrections, and against hostilities of other tribes. They shall also be protected against inter[r]uptions or intrusion from all unauthorized citizens of the United States who may attempt to settle on their lands or reside in their territory. In case of hostilities among the Indian tribes, the United States agree that the party or parties commencing the same shall, so far as practicable, make reparation for the damages done.

One can read from the language of this treaty that it was certainly meant as punishment to for those Cherokees who fought on the side of the Confederacy and that this is most certainly a Civil War Treaty.

The NAACP has in the past, referred to many of the civil war relics as offensive in that they are *a badge of slavery* still visible today.

The 1866 Treat is a badge of Slavery to both the Freedmen and the Cherokee Nation and as such has no place in the U.S.'s arsenal of Treaties or documents which are relied upon in relationships with the Indian Nations.

Therefore: this treaty should either be renegotiated and the U.S. strike it's own Freedmen to U.S. agreement or better yet the Congress should declare the treaty null and void as out dating its purpose and as a civil war relic that no longer belongs on any negotiation table.

I don't pretend to know all the ins and outs of this treaty so perhaps Don Stroud says it best:

The people speak: Let’s enforce all 31 articles in 1866 Treaty

I read state Rep. Mike Shelton’s March 12 column in the Phoenix . Although I find it somewhat ironic that the representative would use the same tone used to counter the 1960’s Civil Rights and Black Power movements, I have to agree with his support of our Cherokee treaty rights.
By believing “we should preserve the treaties between our federal government and the tribes and respect tribal sovereignty,” does he mean all the provisions of the 1866 Treaty?

Article 9 grants freedmen and their descendants citizenship.

Article 31 reaffirms “all treaties heretofore ratified,” leaving intact our nation’s boundaries.

Article 8 prohibits the granting of a “license to trade goods, wares or merchandise” by the United States “unless approved by the Cherokee National Council.”

Article 26 contains “The United States guarantee to the people of the Cherokee Nation the quiet and peaceable possession of their country,” and “They shall also be protected against interruptions or intrusion from all unauthorized citizens of the
United States who may attempt to settle on their lands or reside in their territory.”

Article 27 states, “And all person not in the military service of the United States, not citizens of the Cherokee Nation, are to be prohibited from coming into the Cherokee Nation, or remaining in the same, except as herein provided; and it is the duty of the United States Indian agent for the Cherokees to have such persons, not lawfully residing or sojourning therein, removed from the nation.”

I take it “those of us in the Oklahoma government” will not object to the enforcement of all 31 articles of the 1866 Treaty. Shelton ’s constituents would not be affected as the district he represents is outside our nation’s boundary. My high school civics teacher pointed out that the U.S. Constitution reserves treaty-making powers to the federal government and prohibits entering into a treaty by any of the states.

Just for clarity, I am not a member of the Cherokee Nation government, nor am I a nation employee. I am just a regular old Cherokee citizen expressing his opinion.

Don Stroud

Congresswoman Watson likewise would be well advised to listen to a few of her Oklahoma colleagues in reference to this matter.

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