Manataka™ American Indian Council
The following letter was sent to the Cherokee Phoenix newspaper and the Cherokee National Council on March 03, 2007 in response to the Travis Snell article published in the Cherokee Phoenix, “Unrecognized Cherokee tribes flourish,” (Jan. 07, 2007) and the Robert Conley book: The Cherokee Nation – A History.
This article is a timely and important comment on the most recent developments of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians campaign to disenfranchise members of over 200 Cherokee organizations across the country. Read "Who is Cherokee?: Will the REAL Cherokees Please Stand Up?
Indian according to the B.I.A.
By Paul Thomas Vickers, Author of Chiefs of Nations
O’siyo to my Friends of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma,
I take this occasion to both state my concern’s regarding your recent article in the Jan. issue, and hopefully provide enough light to illuminate an understanding concerning this current issue.
This whole problem is due to the accumulated knowledge that is and will continue to be ingrained and relished in the minds of the federally recognized Cherokee people. The false history that has been circulating not only projects a view that has and will continue to propagate ideology’s such as what was written by Mr. Snell: as demonstrated in this thesis, it undermines the Cherokee Nations sovereignty, defames and demoralizes the most sacred people of the Cherokee – Keetoowah people; it also discriminates against people in Arkansas and Southern Missouri that are truly of Cherokee blood. This recurrent attitude, if the history is portrayed accurately, is unfounded.
Surely there are frauds that “Wannabee” Indian, and there are organizations that have let their interest foster and even dictate these circumstances; they should be brought to justice. However, the people that are truly Cherokee should be looked upon as such and deserve to be respected; we as Arkansas Cherokee remained in Arkansas because we were following tribal edict; this is made very clear in my book and within this heretofore thesis. My Great grandparents represent only two families of the many thousands of Cherokee whom remained in Arkansas; to them, following the removal from the east, the White River country was irreplaceable, and I feel the same as all Arkansas Cherokee do.
Compelled to do so or not ,we never put our names on any documents that entailed us compromising our national status, that would at a later date, allow us to become “ legally “ Indian, as is the case of the Dawes enrollee’s of the Cherokee Nation. For 70 years and prior all Cherokee People in Ok. had no CDIB cards nor Cherokee Nation cards, this did not make them frauds!! Like my great grand parents, they lived in a previously designated Indian territory! We cannot undo what was done by our Pseudo leaders of the past, yet we can confound their selfish and often corrupt motives and understand the outcome and its affects by examining an accurate account of the past, by extracting it from the records; the books you have learned from do not provide this insight.
We request the UKB and Cherokee Nation of Ok. understand this situation better. The true leaders of the Cherokee Nation did not go into present Ok. This by no means vilifies the Oklahoma Cherokee people of the past and present , in fact, it creates a more tragic montage for all of us. Our land was stolen and our sacred Chiefs and medicine priest have been demoralized!! Can you and will you continue to turn your faces and look the other way? Is this exercising what is considered as an inherit trait of the Cherokee people! A proud people as we are, you should look to rectify the atrocities that were committed upon us; this means to indulge yourself into matters that are valid and deserve to be attended to, and not cast stones at all of us due to your lack of knowledge on this subject matter. This is a very cumbersome story to grasp, via research , it took me years to figure out. What was done to our people 200 years ago, has an affect on us today: we live on foreign lands, federally recognized or not, were divided between the factions of the past, most people cannot speak the language and so many others question the intrinsic value of Cherokee culture and Cherokee heritage¼I live here in the Ok. area and know of the struggles of this nature.
If the Chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma or any council members, members of this task force including Mr. Jack D. Baker wish to comment, please do so in the form of either agreeing or objecting to what I have stated about the history that your nation espouses to your members and citizens and the general public, at the various public and educational venue’s .You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at my website at www.arkansascherokees.com I will publish on my website, your refuting objections and comments, if they are supported by official documentation.
Note : Recognition as an Indian Tribe: Federal register/ VOL. 48, no. 150/ Wed., August 3rd, 1983 /Rules and Regulations.
“Indian means any individual who is a member of a tribe, band or organized group of “Indians” Indian Tribe means any federal or State recognized Indian tribe, band , nation, rancheria , pueblo, Alaskan native Village corporation as defined in or established under the Alaskan Native claims settlement act( 85 stat,688) that exercises the power of self-government.
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