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Cherokee Nation - You disgust me sometimes!

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Today I was excited when I ran across a group on Facebook that posts info on the heritage of the Cherokees, but my excitement was quickly replaced with outright disgust.

The group was named something like, "I am Cherokee and I can prove it!" I added a post asking them to please not forget about thousands of people who are Cherokee but unable to prove it through no fault of their own. My mistake was posting my comment without reading the entire page.

I have never liked the fact that the "Cherokee Nation" in Oklahoma has such an elitist attitude and completely disown many of their own brothers and sisters. The responses I got from my post only strengthened my opinion that many of them are pompous asses. I refused to waste my time debating the issue, so I deleted my post and left the group.

Now they say my refusal to debate them proves their assertion that most Cherokees are fakes. One person actually called my entire tribe a "group of frauds." My family has their "Indian roll cards" and we are all members of the Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama. We have documented our Cherokee heritage and there is actually a higher blood quantum that we can't prove through documentation alone.

Because I have no interest in joining the tribe in Oklahoma, that makes me a "fake Indian"? That is just stupid! Why would my family want to join a group that is out-of-state over our local tribe? Think about it, if you were born in Texas but live in Oregon - would you get a TX drivers license or one from where you actually live? That doesn't mean you aren't a real Texan.

As for their claim that most "Indians" are fakes: Don't flatter yourself! It isn't your little paper card that makes you an Indian - it is your blood and no document can change that fact. I may just be naive, but I can't imagine why someone would even lie about something like this. I have to think they have some reason to believe it is true.

I have no children and my nephew is the end of the family blood line, so this issue really doesn't affect me either way. I always love a good debate, but at this point I think I am just "beating a dead horse." I have much better things to do with me time than debate membership of a group I have no interest in joining.

My tribe isn't that large and doesn't have casino money, but I am so very proud of the Echota tribe and of my ancestors. You can call me a fake or a fraud if you want, but remember this: I don't have to prove shit to anybody!

It isn't my future that is at stake here - so the tribes can behave as badly as they want. There is a saying that "Your actions speak so loudly that I can't hear what you are saying!"

As a nation, we need to stop dividing ourselves and view each other simply as "Americans."

Enough said?

-- Gary Wright II


Reader Comments

Warrior Wolf - I certainly agree with you 100%. I'm a member of that group and I openly said I was a member of the Echota Tribe of Alabama, a legitimate state-recognized tribe which makes all of its members prove their indian heritage. The first time I applied for membership, I was rejected by the Echotas. I have documentation to prove my heritage, and I can post it whenever necessary, but to members of that group, I do not have to prove anything. A CDIB card is only worth the ink and paper it is written on. What is worth so much more is what is insde us as individuals. Blood quantum means nothing if you do not have our Cherokee culture and language written upon your heart as well. By the way, I'm taking a Cherokee language class for the 2nd time. I'm starting to pick up lots of words. As usual, I will share whatever I learn with all who ask.


Warrior Wolf - I want to say that I really enjoyed the above article. However, this one could prove to be slightly controversial. There are some good points and I agree that the Dawes Roll is not the only source to prove your heritage.

However, just because one's ancestor may or may not be on one of the many rolls does not mean that he or she is not Cherokee. The likelihood is great that he or she is not, but not necessarily true.

A Cherokee woman marries into a German family during the late 1700s or perhaps even the early 1800s. She moves with her husband's family to Missouri and lives in the St. Louis area. She gives up most of her Cherokee culture and language to live as a "white."Does this make the woman any less Cherokee? Perhaps, but she still has Cherokee blood running through her veins and she is going to pass that blood to her children and grandchildren.

The above scenario is not just a fantasy. It happened a lot during the 1700s and early 1800s.

Perhaps, she or her offspring would no longer be considered Cherokee by members of her own tribe...but she still has Cherokee blood...and how is it the fault of her descendants if they wish to discover their Cherokee heritage?

My point is that just because somebody cannot produce evidence of being on some roll, does not automatically make them a "wannabe" or a "fake".

Also, why would anyone want to claim they have a heritage of a persecuted, sometimes very serverly persecuted, people? I would be inclined to give those who claim heritage the benefit of the doubt and say that they must have some native american blood running through veins. I can't see why generation after generation whole families would continually perpetrate a lie...

Anyway, these are just my thoughts. I am a Cherokee and can prove my heritage, but I choose not to....because I know who I am and only need to prove it to my Creator.


Gary Wright II - Warrior Wolf - you (and Honoring You) are perfect examples of why I am so proud of the members of my tribe! I learn something new from you guys every day.....

Gary Wright II - Warrior Wolf has one of the articles from the Facebook group in his blog and that is what is being referred to in his comments.

Warrior Wolf Blog on MySpace

Actually there are two great posts there : Look for "What do you think?" and "Attitude of the Cherokees"


Warrior Wolf - As an afterthought, the group mentioned above "I am Cherokee and I can prove it" are going to close their page and have opened up a private group. Just to humor myself, I requested to join and this is the response I received from David Cornsilk:
Hi Mike,
Thanks for the request to join the "I'm a Real Cherokee and can Prove it" group. I have discussed your documentation with my co-administrator and we came to the conclusion that your evidence isn't strong enough to join the group yet. I'm still looking at the information your ancestor provided in her Dawes application. At this time we won't be able to confirm you membership. Stay in touch with me though because we aren't saying you aren't a Cherokee, only that your documentation isn't sufficient at this time.
David Cornsilk

And this is the response I returned to him:
That's okay David. I wasn't aware that I had to prove anything to become a member of a Facebook group. You can cancel my request at this time. By the way, the Smith line is not my only Cherokee line. But I'm not going to waste my time waiting for somebody to "approve" me because of some silly governmental document which does say that my Smith ancestors were Cherokee, but that they were not admitted into the Cherokee Nation. I know who I am and so does my Creator. So we'll just leave it at that. Thank you for your time though.

I also wrote another email to another member (or former member). This is what I wrote:
I received the following email from David Cornsilk regarding the new group:

Hi Mike,
Thanks for the request to join the "I'm a Real Cherokee and can Prove it" group. I have discussed your documentation with my co-administrator and we came to the conclusion that your evidence isn't strong enough to join the group yet. I'm still looking at the information your ancestor provided in her Dawes application. At this time we won't be able to confirm you membership. Stay in touch with me though because we aren't saying you aren't a Cherokee, only that your documentation isn't sufficient at this time.
David Cornsilk

I guess they doubt my Cherokee blood, otherwise they would have accepted me. I really hadn't posted any of my documents other than the affidavit from John R. Gourd...which does state that he knew my ancestors in the Old Nation and that they were Cherokee and that their Cherokee blood was not disputed.

I really don't have any need for groups who call you a "fake and wannabe" because my ancestors are not on the rolls. My Cherokee blood is not a debatable issue. I have affidavits and other documents which state that my family is Cherokee.

However, I don't have to prove anything to some Facebook group. I am already a member of a tribe and I don't need to prove it to somebody else.

Sorry that I'm venting. But those people are being nitpickers and they are trying to play the CNO. That's too bad. I was beginning to like and respect David Cornsilk. He seems like somebody that knows his history and I could use his help. Oh well, I guess I'll have to study it on my own.

I removed myself from the page also. I have no use for groups like that. I have read and heard enough about David Cornsilk and his brother John Cornsilk to know that they are "rebels" within their own tribe.

At those two places you can read some of their writings. It's a shame that real Cherokee people have to carry on as they do, playing like they are the CNO. ....


This discussion continues with the next blog entry.

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