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From: wredgranny10/1/08 4:25 PM 
To: All  (1 of 17) 

NAHASDA Funds Continue

Last week was eventful in our defense of the Cherokee Nation.  We have been defending our sovereign right to self-determination, defending our citizenship laws which removed non-Indian eligibility.  We were standing up to Congresswoman Diane Watson from California and others who have tried to attach language to laws that would forbid Cherokee Nation from receiving federal funds.  Our main messages about this issues has been that we are a sovereign Nation that has the right to decide citizenship laws and that any conflicts with our laws can and should be decided in a court of law, not by the federal government.

The United States Senate and House of Representatives passed measures last Thursday and Saturday preserving Cherokee Nation’s federal funding for housing services (Native American Housing and Self-Determination Act reauthorization, NAHASDA).  The language of the measure stipulated that Cherokee Nation would receive these funds as long as a court order allowing citizenship for non-Indian Freedmen descendants remains in place throughout the tribal court case that will determine their eligibility for citizenship in the Cherokee Nation.

I see the language in the bill as a sign that Congress recognizes the sovereignty and authority of tribal courts to settle internal disputes, which should be considered a victory for not only the Cherokee Nation but all tribes.

It is unfortunate that Congress voted to single out an Indian tribe over a disagreement about the tribe’s internal citizenship criteria, but I consider it a good sign that they have decided that this is a matter that should be decided by the courts and not by politics.  There are several elected officials who helped us defend our tribal sovereignty: Senators Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Lisa Murkowski (D-Alaska), as well as Congressmen Dan Boren (D-Okla.), Melvin Watt (D-N.C.), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Dale Kildee (D-Mich.) and Steve Pearce (R-N.M.).  I thank them for their leadership and for proposing a solution that is not punitive to Cherokee citizens who need housing assistance.

Here is some background information on this issue:  Currently, more than 300 non-Indian descendants of Freedmen are suing the Cherokee Nation in tribal district court over a constitutional amendment passed by Cherokee voters in March 2007 that restricted citizenship to people who have an Indian ancestor listed on the Cherokee Nation’s base roll. That amendment effectively ended a one-year period in which non-Indians were allowed to register as citizens based on a 2006 tribal court ruling. Those non-Indian Freedmen whose citizenship is in question have full citizenship rights, including access to social services and the right to vote, because of a May 2007 tribal court order that continues citizenship while the case is pending.  

If you would like to read about the facts of the citizenship issue of non-Indian Freedmen, you can look it up online and

Chad Smith

Principal Chief

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From: Mike (stormstudio) DelphiPlus Member Icon10/1/08 7:03 PM 
To: wredgranny  (2 of 17) 
 2500.2 in reply to 2500.1 

Righteous. I expected Chad to do right with it, for the right reasons.

Best, Mike


From: ctj201010/2/08 9:55 AM 
To: All  (3 of 17) 
 2500.3 in reply to 2500.2 

Amazing and intrugiing!

But,  time et al will tell who is right or wrong,   and the outcome won't be determined by popular opinions  alone...

Believe me!

Believe that!



From: Mike (stormstudio) DelphiPlus Member Icon10/2/08 2:03 PM 
To: ctj2010  (4 of 17) 
 2500.4 in reply to 2500.3 

Huh. Since stated by the Chief "Those non-Indian Freedmen whose citizenship is in question have full citizenship rights, including access to social services and the right to vote," how could it be wrong. It's certainly more than others that HAVE Cherokee heritage but cannot verify it.

The condition of specific lineage as a prerequisite to citizenship is the standard throughout Indian Country. To force an acceptance otherwise & in perpetuity, that's the thing that is wrong, and is a considerable threat by federal government to tribal sovereignty itself. Again - he did the right thing for the right reasons.


From: MadamD3310/2/08 5:49 PM 
To: Mike (stormstudio) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (5 of 17) 
 2500.5 in reply to 2500.4 

tribal sovereignty itself. Again - he did the right thing for the right reasons.

Sing it from the mountain tops....HE DID THE RIGHT THING.....and gov interference in tribal sovereignty is the real issue most are facing these days...peace to you d


From: ctj201010/3/08 11:35 AM 
To: Mike (stormstudio) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (6 of 17) 
 2500.6 in reply to 2500.4 


You have your opinion(s)....


I have mine...


Chief Smith dare not disenfranchise those present day Freedmen Descendants,  i. e., who both via CNO's and federal court rulings do indeed affirm that much earlier Cherokee Treaty of 1866 etc. made some of the Freedmen descendants' ancestors etc. part of the nation-- and therefore gives them the right to be too:

So-- if the nation does indeed continue to interrupt the process-- which has led to the reenrollment of 2, 800 Freedmen Descendants-- the feds will cut off some of the federal funding to the CNO...

I'm afraid  to find out that even you're also risking being a victim of the Smith clique's spin,    i. e.,   how they try to proclaim a 'victory'  out of what is actually another defeat and (set back ) for their faction,   etc.

Also all of this (double) talk about 'non' indian freedmen (whereas many of them have documents which prove they have indigenous ancestors) is as dishonest (or deceitful) as it gets!

But I neither did or do want to make this 'personal'  (when it's really political)...

So let us continue to agree to disagree and move on to other things we do agree about...





  • Edited 10/3/2008 11:37 am ET by ctj2010

From: Mike (stormstudio) DelphiPlus Member Icon10/3/08 3:09 PM 
To: ctj2010  (7 of 17) 
 2500.7 in reply to 2500.6 

I'm not going to argue with you about it.

"Those non-Indian Freedmen whose citizenship is in question have full citizenship rights, including access to social services and the right to vote."

He said & did the right thing - for the right reasons.

You continue to mischaracterize me as some "victim of the Smith clique's spin".

Yet you say you won't make this 'personal'.

The issue comes down to NON-Indians not eligible, Freedman or not. Period. I never said otherwise.

Certainly not going to agree, or continue to agree or disagree with your opinion. If you find the above disagreeable, tell HIM. Not me. His email's available.

But this approach of trying to drag me into debate about it at any opportunity, is expected.

And the continued expected approach, reproach & mischaracterization of me - always on this issue - is the main reason I don't & won't allow you access to post at All Natives. No matter how many times you email me wanting back in.


From: ctj201010/4/08 10:25 AM 
To: Mike (stormstudio) DelphiPlus Member Icon  (8 of 17) 
 2500.8 in reply to 2500.7 

I also do have my right to air an opinion...

It need not be yours...

You had your right to respond to it or not as well...

And the very reason I directed mine at all of the posters on this board was my attempt to not get into another clash of egos over any of it...

So I'm neither making this personal nor trying to drag anybody into discussing or debating any of this with me...


Edited 10/4/2008 10:27 am ET by ctj2010

  • Edited 10/4/2008 10:27 am ET by ctj2010

From: ctj201010/4/08 10:35 AM 
To: All  (9 of 17) 
 2500.9 in reply to 2500.7 

The need and my want is that all of the facts be presented as regards the Cherokee Freedmen Descendants ongoing conflicts with Principal Chad Smith and members of the CNO council over the Freedmen Descendants disputed right to be members of that nation...

If one starts out believing the false allegation that none of them either have indigenous ancestry or that only the non-indigenous folk are subject to review because they don't honor their treay obligations etc. then I'm not the one making it personal and/or being subjective about it all...

I too would've hoped and prayed cooler heads prevail and the parties in conflict would just revolve their conflicts on their own:

But at best that's a idealistic viewpoint...

Reality implies and suggests some (if not all) of the courses of action the Freedmen Descendants have resorted to they really didn't and don't have that option at this late date...

So let us all hope and pray in the future the other side comes to their senses,   as in quit operating on the basis of how they just feel and/or use their heads for more than hatracks...



From: Mike (stormstudio) DelphiPlus Member Icon10/5/08 2:45 PM 
To: ctj2010  (10 of 17) 
 2500.10 in reply to 2500.9 

"If one starts out believing the false allegation that none of them either have indigenous ancestry or that only the non-indigenous folk are subject to review because they don't honor their treay obligations etc. then I'm not the one making it personal and/or being subjective about it all..."

I'd like to know who is making these allegations. I don't think it's anyone in this forum. And naturally resent any implication that I make them. I've been extremely clear on my view.

The sense I get from this place and from tribal politics nationwide is that tribal sovereignty trumps non-Indians from claiming citizenship. As it necessarily should.

It is regrettable that this would come about, with the promise made by the tribe to them centuries ago. But allowed to continue indefinitely, there'll be a large segment of 'Cherokee' in the tribe with no actual Cherokee heritage. An unacceptable condition with all other tribes today. Particularly with so many wanting on tribal rolls for benefits or whatever. Cherokee cannot be an exception.

What if anglos with the heritage insisted the tribe instate them with no solid proof, and there are many more of them than there are Freedmen with no heritage or proof. It's the same rules for everyone. We're all on the same boat.

Like many, I'm one of them. I have no solid proof save my appearance, family history and my ancestors' appearance. I'm told my Great-granddad on mom's side either (a) wouldn't register with CNO & Dawes when he moved here from the east, or (b) was an alcoholic who sold his citizenship for drinking money (or just needed money), a common occurance.

But unlike the disgruntled on both sides and today, I don't insist. I do the smarter thing - involve myself and participate in specific tribal ways. Like I'm told my Great-grand said in effect,"I don't need a government paper for me or my people to know what I am." And recommend this approach to those so inclined. It garners a lot more respect and results, the kind that matters.

One can hold to their opinions, regardless. And one can parse the circumstance however it suits them. But the bottom line is - tribal lineage and integrity. Sovereignty and tribal self-determination. It cannot be marginalized.

And Chuck, you have and do target me as an adversary on this topic. When my stance has always been we all individually must accept our lot as recognized or non-recognized, but be honest and continue living as seen fit. It would be childish to think debate will 'correct' it. It's out of our hands. The Freedmen who are Cherokee, who are at least 1/8th in lineage, need to remain Cherokee. Others should accept their lot. I have.

With that, you should realize, and act on it - you and I really need to be done with this as regards one another. You just do what you can, where you can. I have been doing it for some time.

That said; Respecting you as well. And those in your family who may not have heritage, but are still family. You have to know, it was not an easy nor was it a sole decision - you know already, family is centrally important to us as well. Sovereign or not, CNO did need correcting regarding how those Freedmen finding themselves non-indigenous could most humanely be tribally released. Something I've felt long before the letter, and entirely pleased it would come about.

Best, Mike

  • Edited 10/5/2008 4:13 pm by Mike (stormstudio)

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