(we all know this is about Blacks pushing folks around, has nothing to do with Indian Issues - although the Civil War freed the slaves, they are still holding the Cherokee Nation hostage! They will never be Cherokee - and we call upon Congress to keep an eye on that Congressional Black Caucus - I would think congress would have more to do than watch the Cherokee Nation anyway....they will never BE Cherokee...:))
Congressman Diane E. Watson - Representing California's 33rd Congressional District
July 30, 2008
D.C. Circuit Court Permits Cherokee Freedmen to Pursue Claims Against Cherokee and U.S. Officials
Washington, DC- On Wednesday, July 29, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals ruled that the Cherokee Freedmen's suit could go forward against U.S. Government and Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma officials, including Principal Chief Chad Smith. The decision is a victory for the Freedmen and individual Indians who have won their day in court to enforce their treaty right to their identity, citizenship, and equal treatment as Cherokees.
The Court's brief affirms the Treaty of 1866 and, under Article XIII of the Treaty, that the Cherokee Nation had promised to extend 'all the rights of native Cherokees' to the former Cherokee slaves. The Court's brief states the following: 'The Cherokee Nation has no interest in protecting a sovereignty concern that has been taken away by the United States. As the district court went to great lengths to explain, Vann 467 Supp. 2d 66-70, the Thirteenth Amendment and the 1866 Treaty whittled away the tribe's sovereignty with regard to slavery and left it powerless to discriminate against the Freedmen on the basis of their status as former slaves. The Cherokee Nation does not just lack a 'special sovereignty interest' in discriminatory elections-it lacks any sovereign interest in such behavior.' The Court of Appeals ruling is decisive and powerful. It gives the Cherokee Nation's leadership the opportunity to reverse its past discriminatory practices. But it also remains the right and responsibility of Congress to ensure the enforcement of and compliance to our nation's laws and treaties. Current and past claims by the Cherokee Nation of immunity from such review by Congress are nothing more than a ruse and totally lacking in credibility.
It is past time for Congress to exercise its oversight responsibilities and investigate the activities of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and its leadership. I call upon all the appropriate committees of Congress to closely monitor the actions of the Cherokee Nation and the Bureau of Indian Affairs with respect to the Freedmen. The schedule of Congress should not become a vehicle to allow discrimination to take root.
Contact: Dorinda White
Lois Hill Hale/Sharita Moon