Thursday, August 14, 2008

Book Review

Title: Bad Fruits of the Civilized Tree - Alcohol & the Sovereignty of the Cherokee Nation.
Author: Izumi Ishii (this is a Japanese lady, living in Japan, who did some research at the U of North Carolina and U of Tenn - she gives no other credentials)

Well, this is indeed *quite* a book.

She actually would have been better exploring alcohol in 1800 America - however, somehow she has tied Alcohol with Sovereignty - she does recognize two things: 1. Alcohol in early America was not an Indian Problem but a Societal problem in other words everyone drank. 2. Alcohol became the Indian's self medication to their hopelessness and despair at being oppressed by the US. She also seems to believe that alcohol was integrated into Cherokee Culture in some way - I'm not aware of any cultural requirements involving alcohol.

At the end of her last chapter, she states: *In the end, the loss of sovereignty and the creation of Oklahoma brought the uniquely Cherokee temperance movement to an end."

It appears she falls into the false assumption that somehow the state of Oklahoma swallowed up the Cherokee Nation and again I would direct you to the most recent case of Freedmen vs Cherokee Nation

http://pacer.cadc.uscourts.gov/common/opinions/200807/07-5024-1130149.pdf

This case very clearly lays out that the Cherokee Nation was here before the Europeans, remained intact before and after Oklahoma Statehood and is still here today. The Cherokee Nation has never *lost* it's sovereignty. In most cases, the Nation has been marginalized by Congress and oppressed by the Europeans and US government since they came and the US was formed. However, we have always been a Nation. In the 21st Century it appears that Rep Watson and the Congressional Black Caucus has become the oppressors using false and inaccurate information in which to again put their *thumb* on the Indian peoples of this country.