September 04, 2009

Cherokee Nation vs. United Keetoowah Band

UKB deserves apologyMany members of the CN tribe have laughable amounts of Indian blood. The average CN blood quantum is less than 1/16th, and the predominant CN ancestry is Scots-Irish, followed by German, English, and then Cherokee ancestry, in distant fourth place. Less than 1 percent of CN members speak the language. You would not suspect a lot of them of being Indian even if they were standing in the Cherokee Casino, wearing turbans.

Meanwhile, the Keetoowahs back in the woods--the Cherokee-speakin’, Cherokee-lookin’ actual Cherokees--are pushed aside further and further. These full-bloods must traverse a sea of white Cherokees to visit the Indian clinics. Go and see for yourself. These CN Indians, classic double-dippers, gleefully pass as suburban whites but also get full treaty benefits. They get free or reduced-price houses, cheap car tags, free medical/dental/optical, free higher education, preferential Indian hiring, food commodities and other taxpayer-paid-for-perks. Is this what the Cherokees’ treaties have come down to?
Comment:  Some of these "perks" come the Cherokee Nation's gaming revenue, I believe, not the federal government.

I think the CN determines membership by lineal descent, not blood quantum. That's why so many members have so little Cherokee "blood." It's a legitimate policy choice, not a conspiracy to defraud the government.

Lowering the membership requirements until most Indians are white "by blood" could be the future of many tribes. That's why some people have suggested tribes require their members to learn their language and culture.

For more on the subject, see Hoklotubbe on Who's a Cherokee and Hillbilly "Indian" vs. 1/256th Cherokee.


Anonymous said...


That's a sad fate for a federally recognized tribe. I think its now rational to call the CN the white man's tribe.

Just look at its members on the poster. The "Johnny Depps" of the Rez.

Anonymous said...

This is indeed a sad fate for the Cherokees', at least for the one's who adhere to a bq. Unfortunately they are all painted with the same brush and are believed to be all or mostly white which is not true.

In most Indian communities the Cherokees' are the butt of jokes, looked down upon and are disregarded as real Indians. There is a saying when someone is griping or whining; Shut up! It could be worse, you could be a Cherokee. Aaayeee.


Anonymous said...

Being Cherokee by blood and having a detailed family oral history are more accurate than any government document. What did Indians do to recognize each other before the roll books where introduced by the government??? If you can't believe your family history over a white man document maybe your NOT a real Indian after all.

Anonymous said...

So true.

Anonymous said...

I am Adohi of the North Carolina tribe. My great grandmother and grandfather was full blood Cherokee. The white man says I am not Cherokee and are racist against me. One look at me and there is no denying who I am. It truly makes me sick to see these black and white people calling themselves Cherokee and they say I am not. Seeing this Poster ("We Are Cherokee") these so called Cherokee people hurts me like a knife cutting me deeply.