This is in reference to a story out of the Cherokee Phoenix:
“This is the redefinition of who the Cherokee Nation is and that it participated in an ugly chapter of American history. It had the ability to right that wrong, to go forward and heal this wound that divides them but they did not,” he said of the tribe’s March 2007 vote that disenfranchised about 2,800 Freedmen. (right what wrong - the US emancipated the slaves long before this Treaty - so the wrong has been righted)
When discussing House Resolution 2824, a bill to sever U.S./CN relations, Velie said the CN has told Congress to “butt out, let us oppress our own…we have that right to define our own membership like other nations…” (There is no oppression here on the part of the Cherokee Nation - the oppression is on the part of the Freedmen and Rep Watson, oppressing the Cherokee Nation by telling them who can or can not be a tribal member. If you carry this to it's logical conclusion - all southern slave owners would have been required to have allowed the slaves to remain on their land after they were emancipated - after all many spent a life time working for the southern planters, some becoming like family members - did that happen, no, the slaves were allowed to leave and pursue their own history and ID - that is what ought to happen here - the only moral issue is whether or not congress and the freedmen have a moral right to tell the Cherokee Nation who may or may not be tribal citizens - our citizens have responded with a resounding no to that issue)
“But they’re wrong morally,” he said, “and the reason I’m standing up here is because they are wrong legally. The Cherokee Nation is so hell bent on oppressing its own, on ethnically cleansing itself and eradicating the history of the Freedmen…that it’s exposing all treaties. It makes arguments that the (1866) treaty was abrogated by the act of Congress implicitly.” (as stated above the moral issue regarding slavery was answered over 100 years ago - they were emancipated - laying a guilt complex on us over 100 years later would be just as morally wrong as forcing the Cherokee Nation to define its self as a tribe of not all Cherokee - the moral high ground comes with allowing the Cherokee Nation to be just that - a Nation of Cherokees not wannabees.
It is not our fault the Dawes Commission didn't do it's job properly - that is a US moral wrong which can not be righted at the expense of another people.
It seems the only thing the Freedmen have in their history list was the Trail of Tears - so their ID is Slave Descendants who were on the Trail of Tears not that they are Cherokee - and as such they should be seeking to create their own band and request recognition from the BIA - they can then deal directly with the Rep Watson to their desires content. Native Americans were here long before any slaves - and look what the US is doing to us now - so just who is oppressing whom.
We object to the inclusion of non Cherokee as Citizens of the Cherokee Nation.
Neither I nor our family feels the least bit responsible for slavery - that was a sad time in US History long before our time, but it's over and no payment is due as far as I can see - as the court of claims stated: they're 100 years to late for any claims. Get over it and move on!
They should be asking Rep Watson to delay any action, that includes another hearing on the matter, until after the courts have made their rulings - or as Velie says - this issue will just keep raising it's ugly head - let's decide it once and for all. Or perhaps, Rep Watson would like to help the Freedmen with their own recognition process - that then eliminates the whole mess without court action)