June 22, 2007

Watson to shut down Cherokee Nation?

Watson bill over freedmen could fall hard on Cherokee if compromise cannot be reached[O]utrage at the Cherokee has grown at a much greater pace since they expelled their freedmen members in a March vote that aroused international interest, and nowhere on Capitol Hill has it grown more than within the Congressional Black Caucus. The so-called 'dear colleague' letter to other congressional members that Watson circulated as a companion to her bill states that the Cherokee are pursuing "the sovereign right to discriminate," which she called "no right at all."

Watson's bill would pull approximately $300 million in federal funding from the Cherokee, suspend its gaming operations, and waive its sovereignty so that the freedmen could sue the tribe in court--all this "until such time as the Cherokee Nation restores full tribal citizenship to the Cherokee Freedmen," she states in her letter to colleagues.

As quoted in a media release, she added, "The Treaty of 1866 states unequivocally that the freedmen are citizens of the Cherokee Nation and have all the rights of Cherokees. It particularly pains me, over forty years after the passage of the historic Civil Rights Act, that legislation has to be introduced to compel the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma to recognize the basic civil rights of the Cherokee Freedmen."

4 comments:

russell said...

Writerfella here --
The most recent news item here in Oklahoma was that the Freedmen in Federal Court lost their attempt to stop the next Cherokee election, but the judge said that they still could vote in such an election. The Cherokee Tribe agreed with the decision, and so we find that the Freedmen must rally support for their cause among what they consider to be their own people. That's how democracy works, under the American system. Prevention and/or abortion of the elective process is NOT democracy in action. It is anarchy, no matter what opinion outsiders may hold of the situation. writerfella wishes the Freedmen good luck...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

The Freedmen claim a treaty guarantees their right to be Cherokee citizens. A democratic vote doesn't--or shouldn't--allow you to overturn a lawful treaty.

russell said...

Writerfella here --
Nonsense. Treaties have been overturned many times by a vote of the people in many states. Usually, Natives lose...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

State voters can vote to ignore a treaty, but the treaty still remains lawful. That the US doesn't enforce its treaties with Indian nations doesn't render them null and void.

If you think state voters have actually overturned a federal treaty and rendered it null and void--unrecognized by any governing body--give examples. Good luck with your answer.