U.S. Congresswoman Watson Calls For Termination Of Cherokee Nation
U.S. California Congresswoman Diane E. Watson has introduced legislation (H.R. 2824) to sever U.S. relations with the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. The legislation calls for cutting all federal funding to the Cherokee Nation, until such time that the Cherokee Nation as she see's it, restores full tribal citizenship to a group of African Americans known as Freedmen.
Some members of the Freedmen group lay claim to citizenship to the Cherokee Nation through a 1866 treaty abandoned by the federal government over one hundred years ago. Last March, Cherokee Nation citizens voted to expel anyone regardless of race, that had not proven their Cherokee blood relationship to a tribal citizen listed on their roll books.
Congresswoman Watson's legislation also call's for suspending the Cherokee Nation's authority to conduct gaming operations. This action alone would cause thousands of people to loose their jobs to include Freedmen citizens of the nation , plus cause countless other businesses to close down. Any member of congress supporting congresswoman Watson's Inhuman cause with H.R.2824, will open up a Pandora's box that will shake the hall's of government's coast to coast far beyond election year in 2008. Democrats and republicans are on notice as to the ramifications and short coming of H.R.2824 passing.
The American Indian community is outraged that a congresswoman in our time today would disgrace themselves as the federal government did back in the 1800's toward Indians. It's time to take a stand and send a strong message to Congresswoman Watson and the federal government as to our tribal nation's sovereign right's, there the supreme law of this land! Congresswoman Watson should be voted out of office to say the least over her actions covering this issue.
Congresswoman Watson is not calling for the full restoration of the 1866 treaty, that action would mean that all the land that is now called the state of Oklahoma, would have to be turned back over to Indian nations that were forced to sign on to the 1866 treaty. No where in the 1866 treaty is the word citizenship stated covering any Freedmen.
The American Indian community is further outraged over the fact that every time a U.S. House member or caucus has a problem with an Indian nation government, they call for severing reconnection of the Indian nations government. It's the same old 1800s hang-em high vigilantly law, don't let the facts or truth get in the way, stop the Indians anyway you can as they see it.
The Indian War's are not over by no means, today there being played out in congress through bills and resolutions like California Congresswoman Watson's H.R.2824. Not since the Termination Era of the mid 1950s, when the official policy of the federal government was complete destruction of indigenous peoples, has American Indians and Americans seen such a piece of legislation."
Congresswoman Watson's bill leaves the false impression that the Cherokee Nation's constitutional amendment expelled all African Americans from citizenship in the Cherokee Nation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Facts concerning the Cherokee Nation are that they proudly count thousands of African Americans among its citizens, including more than 1,500 citizens who are descendants of Freedmen who have proven Indian ancestry. The Cherokee Nation also stands behind the statement that, Congresswoman Watson's H.R.2824 resolution will essentially punish the Cherokee Nation for requiring its citizens to have Indian ancestry, the same requirements enforced by more than 500 other Indian tribes in the United States.
The American Indian community is demanding that our U.S. representatives open their eyes and see California Congresswoman Watson's H.R.2824 resolution for what it truly is, a throw back to the days of the "Custer policy" against all American Indian men, women and children.
Our sons and daughters today are giving their life for America on battlefields around the world against terrorism. It's a sick national joke that an elected member of the U.S. House of Congress would disgrace them with a resolution like H.R.2824.
Mike Graham is a citizen of the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation, a retired service connected disabled Army veteran. Founded United Native America in 1993 to form a national group to take action on American Indian issues. The groups main issue is to bring about a federal national holiday for Native Americans. United Native America's motto is, "Standing up for America and the American Indian community."
Graham has been a guest speaker on national and international radio talk shows to include television programs concerning Indian community issues, his reports on Indian issues have been published in newspapers all over America. He has traveled across the country discussing issues with Indian nation leaders, he has presented Indian issues at college's and high schools.