This is in response to a printed story in the Cherokee Phoenix the date of July 2008, I'm not sure if it's online or not but the title is: Watson reaffirms her Freedmen Support by Will Chevez.
She states she was *outraged* when she learned of the vote of the Cherokee people to require that one be Cherokee to be a member of the Cherokee Nation; well, we're outraged she would force us to accept non Cherokees as Citizens. Then she goes on about Artman, head of the BIA at the time said he would study it, she figured that was a *go away sign*. Artman was willing to wait for a court decision - again something Rep. Watson doesn't like.
She claims her bill is not a Termination Bill, well, hmmm, when you cut funding to the Nation, what exactly would you call that? Yes, it sure is punishment for what she perceives is a wrong against HER Black people however, heck, you're just punishing a bunch of Injun's, those Hollywood savages, why should she care about us, after all the U.S. has been stomping on us for years and darn they just can't get rid of us. (all the sarcasm you read here is indeed intended....)
Listen up Rep Watson - the issue is: you and the Cherokee people have two different ideas as to what that 1866 treaty does, did or continues to do - so to solve that issue, which apparently congress is incapable of doing is to allow the courts to decide it. However, Rep Watson response: she's going to fight for the Freedmen even if the courts rule against them. Whoa, whose not following the law here. That's pretty testy.
She then states that Congress has a role in how it's spends taxpayer's money. I might say, that's an unquenchable spending thirst and usually goes unfettered. In other words, most of us pay taxes and have no say in how it is spent.
What I find outrageous is:
1. The US financial community has a real crisis on it's hands, with a government bailout of billions of dollars and they only allocate $300,000,000.00 for the people of the Cherokee Nation;
2. We have thousands of illegal immigrants coming into this country over our southern borders in California;
3. Middle class jobs are being outsourced right and left and will never return;
4. Gas prices here in CA are over $4.00 per gal.;
5. Freeways are so congested you spend 2 hours in parking lot conditions (traffic isn't moving on the freeway, so you just sit there);
4. Yet, with all this she has nothing better to do than worry about whether or not 2,800 Freedmen are citizens of the Cherokee Nation, nothing better to spend money on than ANOTHER congressional hearing;
5. She is a black congresswomen from Los Angles California;
6. She belongs to a Blacks only Black Congressional Caucus, taxpayer money pays for that as well; oh, I forgot the racial laws don't apply to her;
7. Indians in her own state are being dis enrolled right and left and no outrage over that, hmmm...;
8. We have a community of enrolled Cherokee and Creek in Orange County, CA and no Indian Clinic within a 2 hour drive;
9. The Juaneño Band of Mission Indians in Orange County have not yet gotten Federal Recognition - Rep Campbell is afraid they'll have a casino - listen up Reb Campbell, they might also have an Indian Clinic that would serve us all!!
10. Yet, she is going to spend my taxpayer money fighting for 2,800 Freedmen in Oklahoma; Good Grief where is Orange Counties Indian Clinic?
11. Yet, she is going to tell the Cherokee Nation who can or can not be citizens based on her interpretation, and hers alone, of an 1866 Treaty.
12. Yet, she is paid what $100,000.00/yr salary which comes from my taxes, I say cut her salary.
13. Yet, she's outraged over 2,800 Freedmen who are not Cherokee not being allowed in the Cherokee Nation as citizens.
Cherokee and Freedmen Citizens alike have followed the Dawes Commissions ruling - you had to be living in the 14 counties of Oklahoma where the Cherokee's occupied the Indian Territory to even get on the Dawes Roll. Some folks didn't make it on the Dawes, Cherokee and Freedmen...because at the time the Dawes was put together, they were not living in the Indian Territory where the Cherokee Nation is now located, the 14 Counties of Oklahoma.
These are the facts: These are all descendants of Freed Black Slaves, whether on the Dawes Roll or not - they are NOT CHEROKEE. Congress ruled who would or would not be on the Dawes 100 years ago, so now she wants to change that. That's kinda like the Catholic who was BBQing a steak in the backyard on a Friday evening; with a quick flick of a little water, he pronounced *yesterday you were a steak, now you are a fish*. (you probably need to be a bit older to get that....:)
No Amount of Water, Rep Watson, will ever make the Freedmen Cherokee. Those are the facts.
The truth is: Rep Watson is Black, belongs to an all Black Club, the Congressional Black Causus, which our tax payer funds support and she waged a war against the Cherokee Nation, who isn't even in her state of California. Since she has not supported the dis enrolled Indians of California it is quite clear, her only concern is not for the Indians or the dis enrollment but her only concern is for the Black Freedmen in Oklahoma. So what does that tell you about her?
The Cherokee Nation is required to expend funds to fight her bill and the lawsuit the Freedmen filed in Federal Court - we did not start this but we certainly have every right to at least let folks know what the fight is about and in today's world, that costs money, so that's a bit of a lame argument on her part. The only historical revisions being made here are by the Freedmen - the rumor that the blood quantum on the Dawes is wrong has been around for eons as well - so let's ask, what would it take to solve this issue?
The Freedmen want to be Indians - well, if congress is all that eager to get involved, make them Indians of their own Tribe: The Freedmen of Oklahoma, give them Federal Recognition and let them deal directly with Rep Watson or the BIA or a Congressional Committee or whoever in congress does that, Indian Affairs;
The Cherokee Nation wants to be a Tribe of Cherokees - not a private club of whomever congress thinks should or should not be members.
But don't make the Freedmen something they are not, they are NOT Cherokee.
(and for those of you, who will email me telling me, "what if it was me being dis enrolled", I know the Cherokee Nation has the right to determine it's own citizenship and the 1866 treaty only comes into question when you are talking about Freedmen, so we have no *Treaty Rights* to citizenship - but I sure wouldn't be suing anyone or running to congress to have them cut funds off to the Nation - but I know my family line and I know I'm Cherokee - so no one can take that away from me ever....:) So save the finger action on that *what if it was you* argument, doesn't work on me either)
(There are Freedmen by the way, that can prove, have proven they are Cherokee with a Cherokee Ancestor on the Dawes Roll and as such do belong to the Cherokee Nation as citizens.)
For the Official positions of the Cherokee Nation on the theft of our Identity: