Congresswoman Watson conducted two town hall meetings that took place in Tulsa and Muskogee, Oklahoma on August 29, 2007. Watson informed everyone that she was not there to hear about any other issue than the Freedman's citizenship. Watson went on to say that the Cherokee Nation broke federal law in its’ citizenship vote March 3, 2007 that affected about 2,700 Freedmen descendants claiming citizenship to the nation under a federal 1866 treaty.
In June 2007 Congresswoman Watson introduced H.R. 2824, a bill to sever federal relations with the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma until such time that it restores full tribal citizenship rights to Freedmen descendants. The Cherokee Nations citizenship vote requires anyone regardless of race to document their ancestry to "one family member" listed on the nations roll books. Congresswoman Watson has rejected all attempts from Cherokee Nation officials to meet with them concerning this issue.
Congresswoman Watson was, however, confronted with questions from Cherokee Nation citizens demanding she admit that the federal government not only broke the 1866 treaty from it's beginning, it also abandoned the 1866 treaty when it opened up all Indian territory land now called the state of Oklahoma to settlement to non Indian nations citizens.
Congresswoman Watson refused to answer any questions relating to the federal governments’ part of breaking the 1866 treaty as to federal law. Watson kept repeating that the Cherokee Nation was in violation of breaking federal treaty laws over their citizenship vote. She is demanding that the Cherokee Nation honor the treaty. Congresswoman Watson again would not speak of the federal governments’ responsibility to fully honor the 1866 treaty.
Congresswoman Watson is unwilling to let the issue work it's way through tribal court and federal court as it is on- going at this time. Watson plans to move her bill H.R. 2824 forward in September when Congress is back in session. Watson's bill is not limited to just addressing the Cherokee Nations sovereign right to determine its’ citizenship requirements, it also covers other Indian nations within the state of Oklahoma.
Oklahoma State Government will face a human crisis over termination of Cherokee Nation. Oklahoma state government would be hit with a social economic melt down with passage of Congresswoman Watson's bill H.R. 2824, to include Freedmen that are citizens of the Cherokee Nation. The Oklahoma state government would be overrun with tens of thousands of people that will lose jobs, businesses, health care, their homes, plus closings of schools. Watson's bill would create a health care crisis that Oklahoma state agencies are in no way prepared to contend with in any manner.
Congresswoman Watson's bill would stop two hundred and seventy million dollars of federal funding going to the Cherokee Nation each year. In no way, does that funding come close to covering the nations funded programs to its’ some three hundred thousand citizens. Cherokee Nation business enterprises caries the bulk of the nations financial responsibilities to it's citizens. With the forced closing of all Cherokee Nation businesses and social economic programs, the Oklahoma state government and federal government would have to come up with billions of tax dollars to replace revenue now coming from the Cherokee Nation and its’ citizens.
Congresswoman Watson has had her fifteen minutes of Fame-Shame and grand standing before national press. Now, congress and the senate will have to deal with the legal and human realities of Watson’s bill H.R. 2824. Cherokee Nation Fact Sheet:
Cherokee Nation Businesses. CNI is a very large Defense contractor that creates thousands of jobs in Eastern Oklahoma for Cherokee Citizens:
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.