Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Some Congresspeople WANT Cherokee and Creek To Get Away with Civil Rights Violations

Remember when our Congress wanted to PROTECT Americans from civil rights violators? And they would stand up to Nations like, SOUTH AFRICA when they did these things? But now, they want tribes to get away with stuff like that....


House members from Oklahoma will call upon the Justice Department not to investigate several Native American tribes for alleged mistreatment of the Freedmen — descendants of freed slaves once owned by Indians. OP: Did they get mentioned in the recent documentary about the trail of tears?

The planned request, announced Tuesday by Reps. Dan Boren (D-Okla.) and Tom Cole (R-Okla.), comes a day after The Hill reported on an April 30 letter signed by several prominent liberals on Capitol Hill, such as Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), John Conyers (D-Mich.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), that asked Attorney General Eric Holder to began a full-scale investigation into the tribes for alleged civil rights abuses against the Freedmen.

WHY would they discourage a civil rights investigation?


t'eetilawuncha! said...

The last line of this article reminds me of how Pechanga in particular has treated it's membership.

He said it appears the lawmakers have gone from "attack first, facts second, to guilty first, trial second."

Thanks to the CPP, Pechanga has attacked True Pechanga people, by ignoring historical facts, and violating members rights with bogus hearings by people who wanted to gain control of the tribe.

Anonymous said...

Just follow the money trail...see how much the Tribe has given to these 2 House buys silence in this country...why would they want to stop an investigation? may stop their money line....

Allen L. Lee said...

It is kinda weird to ask another sovereign that you rely on for funding to not ask questions about internal rights violations.
By-Blood inheritence of citizenship is a common form of establishing citizenship through-out the world. It is the legal premise that if your ancestor was a citizen, than you are a citizen.
By-Blood citizenship in the Native Nations sense has taken a sinister racist definition largely due to American racism. Native Nations have been encouraged by the U.S. to us racial qualifiers of blood rather than ancestral qualifiers of blood to prove that someone is a citizen of a Native Nation.
Ancestral citizenship rights do not translate to racial citizenship rights and the U.S. can no longer be allowed to promulgate this false By -Blood interpretation in Native Nations or any state, territory, or commonwealth, under its jurisdiction. It is in direct conflict with the supreme laws of the land, the U.S. Constitution. While they are investigating the tribes they will also need to investigate themselves and how they have encouraged Native Nations to define By-Blood citizenship by race rather than the recognized status of an ancestor.

'aamokat said...

The bottom line with me is the 1866treaty that says the Cherokee Freemen were and are citizens of the Cherokee Nation.

But does that apply to the other member tribes of the Five Civilized Nations?

If it or a similar treaty was not signed for those other tribes, then the Freedmen who had or seek membership with those tribes can be denied membership.

Does the 1866 treaty cover all of the five civilized tribes or is it just for the Cherokee Nation?

Mr. Lee, a tribe does have the right to determine its members on the basis of having Indian blood if it so chooses if it is done in a fair and impartial way.

But my question for the Cherokee Nation is why all of a sudden almost 150 years after the fact are they making blood an issue now?

I don't like to bring race into our issues but there is a feeling among us, the California disenrolled, that Diane Watson and the CBC would not care one bit about disenrollment or at least not bring it to the forefront if not for the fact that the Freedmen are black people.

After all, what has Watson done, other than give lip service that it was wrong for us to be disenrolled, to help us?

Maybe she and the CBC are doing something to help in a round about way with the Freedmen issue but the feeling is that we are just a second thought with them.

Ironic in that there is one family within the larger Hunter Clan of Pechanga that has black children and who are also direct blood descendants of original Pechanga Indian Paulina Hunter and what have Watson and company done to help them which in turn would help the rest of the Hunter Clan?

Another irony is that we, like Watson, are from California and the Freedmen are not.

Allen L. Lee said...

Hello 'aamokat,

I do understand being alienated from something that you know you ave a right to belong to, and I hear a lot of your frustration based on that.
The Congressional Black Caucus, like several other Black organization have a specific motivation to address issue involving people of African descent in this country and abroad that others have chosen to ignore or minimize. I know I mentioned this before but until Diane Watson and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus are joined in this battle, side by side, rather than being left out front to take the hardest blows, by organizations like the NARF, and the National Congress of the American Indian, they will continue to keep the Freedmen case as their primary focus.
Let me reverse the situation, If Blacks from Los Angeles or New York were to approach the above mentioned Indian organizations or the American Indian Movement about racial profiling of Blacks in their cities, what do you think the Indian activists organizations answer to those Blacks is going to be?
There is no way to be a fair or impartial race nationalist. Any Nation which requires a race criteria is unjust. I remember attending an indian conference a while back and one Hopi speaker made the universal point when he said that anyone can become Hopi if they agree to live the Hopi way.
This was a discussion regarding a dispute about the federal government giving Hopi land to the Navajo and the suggestion that it was the navojo's responsibility to live the Hopi way on Hopi land.
African-Americans are having a similar delimna with urban gentrification. Investors by Cheap land in Black communities and build high end properties that extend beyond typical African -American income. This new economic class moves in and alienates the pre-existing population via economics or in the case of foreign immigrants by language. The Hopi point rings true in African-American communties as well.
Anyhow, I can't speak for Diane watson but I still feel hat the ICRA as a congressional Act and the 1866 Treaty as equal to a congressional act bear equal power of enforcement and should be enforced equally.
Allen L. Lee

Allen L. Lee said...

Hello 'aamokat,

I realized that I didn't address a very important question you asked:
"Does the 1866 treaty cover all of the five civilized tribes or is it just for the Cherokee Nation?"

There were four actual separate Treaties with the Choctaw and Chickasaw treaty combined as one.
The important thing to understand about the treaties is that they laid certain condition for the tribes to meet as former Confederate Nations to meet in order to resume recognition as sovereign nations by the U.S.
The tribes could have refused to meet the conditions and the U.S. could have continued to engage in warfare on one end of the scale of responses or chose to do absolutely nothing about a tribes refusal to meet the conditions, which in the Chickasaw case is close to what happened.
Some Cherokee have taken the position that the U.S. was extraordinarily harsh on native American Nations that sided with the Confederacy while the Confederate States got off easy, I think it was six of one and a half dozen of the other.
While the native nations were able to resume sovereign recognition relatively quickly after the Civil War Much of the Confederate state were divided into military districts, similar to Iraq's green Zone today. many Confederate Whites were denied citizenship, right to vote, be elected, or own land until they took oaths of allegience. I don't believe that the Union was truly gracious in victoryto the Confederate states as some Cherokee may try to say.
The end result was that in spite of this, The former Confederate states once recognized as State sovereigns were able to recover most of their land under their sovereign control, while the former native Nation Confederates lost nearly half of their land to U.S. designs for western expansion and setttlements for African-American freed slaves ( not to be confused with Native Nation freed slaves, who still weren't U.S. citizens)White homesteaders, and other forced relocation Native Americans like the Delaware( Lenni Lenape)
I beleive that the same rights that exist for the African descent members of the Former Confederate tribes through the treaties exist for all native nation citizens throught the Indian Civil Rights Act. it is why I think the Snoqualmie federal court action is huge. The judge gave a federal order from a federal court regarding ICRA without a specific congressional directive on how to enforce the act. This is a true precedent.
Anyhow, here are portions of the treaties for your review:

"Treaty with The Seminole
March 21, 1866

Article 2.
The Seminole Nation covenant that henceforth in said nation slavery shall not exist, nor involuntary servitude, except for and in punishment of crime, whereof the offending party shall first have been duly convicted in accordance with law, applicable to all the members of said nation. And inasmuch as there are among the Seminoles many persons of African descent and blood, who have no interest or property in the soil, and no recognized civil rights it is stipulated that hereafter these persons and their descendants, and such other of the same race as shall be permitted by said nation to settle there, shall have and enjoy all the rights of native citizens, and the laws of said nation shall be equally binding upon all persons of whatever race or color, who may be adopted as citizens or members of said tribe."

"Treaty of 1866 - Choctaw & Chickasaw Nation

The Choctaws and Chickasaws, in consideration of the sum of three hundred thousand dollars, hereby cede to the United States the territory west of the 98° west longitude, known as the leased district, provided that the said sum shall be invested and held by the United States, at an interest not less than five per cent., in trust for the said nations, until the legislatures of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations respectively shall have made such laws, rules, and regulations as may be necessary to give all persons of African descent, resident in the said nation at the date of the treaty of Fort Smith, and their descendants, heretofore held in slavery among said nations, all the rights, privileges, and immunities, including the right of suffrage, of citizens of said nations, "

"1866 Treaty With Creek Nation
Articles 1 - 4 Pertaining to Freedmen
and Loyalists to the Union
June 14, 1866, Ratified July 19, 1866, Proclaimed Aug. 11, 1866
The Creeks hereby covenant and agree that henceforth neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, otherwise than in the punishment of crimes, whereof the parties shall have been duly convicted in accordance with laws applicable to all members of said tribe, shall ever exist in said nation; and inasmuch as there are among the Creeks many persons of African descent, who have no interest in the soil, it is stipulated that hereafter these persons lawfully residing in said Creek country under their laws and usages, or who have been thus residing in said country, and may return within one year from the ratification of this treaty, and their descendants and such others of the same race as may be permitted by the laws of the said nation to settle within the limits of the jurisdiction of the Creek Nation as citizens [thereof,] shall have and enjoy all the rights and privileges of native citizens, including an equal interest in the soil and national funds, and the laws of the said nation shall be equally binding upon and give equal protection to all such persons, and all others, of whatsoever race or color, who may be adopted as citizens or members of said tribe."
The Cherokee Nation having, voluntarily, in February, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, by an act of the national council, forever abolished slavery, hereby covenant and agree that never hereafter shall either slavery or involuntary servitude exist in their nation otherwise than in the punishment of crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, in accordance with laws applicable to all the members of said tribe alike. They further agree that all freedmen who have been liberated by voluntary act of their former owners or by law, as well as all free colored persons who were in the country at the commencement of the rebellion, and are now residents therein, or who may return within six months, and their descendants, shall have all the rights of native Cherokees: Provided, That owners of slaves so emancipated in the Cherokee Nation shall never receive any compensation or pay for the slaves so emancipated."

Allen L. Lee said...

One more interesting point about the Treaties. The included stipulations for freed native nation slaves to have their own land bases for their own self-determination if the tribes refused to except them as equal tribal members. this is one aspect of the Cherokee dis-enrollments that has already come to for as a rumor that the Cherokee Chief had agreed to help the Freedmen descendents start their own separate tribe.
In 1866 seperate but equal was totally acceptable for race relations and a separate Black state would not have been unjust. Today seperate but equal is considered unconstitutional and i personally can't imagine the U.S. honoring the terms of the treaty which would provide for a separate Black state. given the option between equal rights within the Cherokee Nation or a seperate Black state as the treaty provides for if the freed slaves were rejected, I think the U.S. will opt for the former, not the latter.

'aamokat said...

I would say the language of the 1866 treaties is clear that the Freedmen were granted citizenship in those tribes.

Mr. Lee, what do you think about the argument the Cherokee Nation uses regarding black people who have a Cherokee ancestor on the Dawes roll who are and will remain citizens of the Cherokee tribe regardless of how the Freedmen case is decided?

They use that as an example that they don't discriminate against anyone.

I remember meeting a member of the Cherokee tribe who is black and I was surprised he was against the Freedmen retaining their tribal citizenship.

He said he was Cherokee by blood so he thought it was fair his tribe decided to disenroll the Freedmen.

I asked him about the 1866 treaty but he said it didn't apply to the Freedmen.

I am not sure why he thinks this as it seems clear to me that it does apply to the Cherokee tribe.