…MY GRANDMOTHER WAS A CHEROKEE INDIAN PRINCESS…

By Jamie K Oxendine on November 18, 2011
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“…MY GRANDMOTHER WAS A CHEROKEE INDIAN PRINCESS…”

CHEROKEE CITIZENSHIP/MEMBERSHIP

By Jamie K. Oxendine, Lumbee/Creek

Editor, PowWows.com

Director, Black Swamp InterTribal Foundation

PRELUDE

To any Native American that travels a great deal and attends and participants in a large amount of cultural events, it would appear that everybody has an “Indian Princess” in the family. Usually this person is a “Cherokee Indian Princess” … or at least it would seem so with the many stories one gets from the average and general public. Even more disturbing is this story is also widely told and used by Native Americans that claim they have a “Cherokee Indian Princess” as an ancestor. But not to be outdone and to show that other Native American Nations are not discriminated against, the story does not always have to be Cherokee…in many instances and especially since 2000 all Native American Nations/Tribes are included in stories that somebody has an “Indian Princess” of some Native American Nation/Tribe in their family.

But that aside, this really is a genealogy paper and thus with that beginning paragraph it is one of Cherokee Genealogy.
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This article is to help both anyone that feels they may be of Cherokee origins as well as help the Cherokee by hoping that many will read this and understand the viewpoints of Cherokee Genealogy per enrolled citizenship/membership. This of course does not mean that one cannot be Cherokee or of Cherokee heritage. While doing research for this paper and other projects in correspondence with the Cherokee Tribes, they all admit that there are many people of Cherokee Ancestry and Cherokee Blood that are not enrolled for many various reasons.

If one is looking at the official acknowledgement of being Cherokee here is the information they may need as put forward by the Cherokee Tribes:

THE CHEROKEE

As of 2011 there are 3 Federally recognized Cherokee Groups:

The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma in Tahlequah, OK.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in Cherokee, NC.

The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Tahlequah, OK.

GUIDELINES

Tribal membership is a status of citizenship in a sovereign nation, AND –

In the United States only the Federal Government has the authority to recognize a sovereign foreign nation with foreign indicating a government other than the United States of America, AND –

For Federal, State and Common Law in all cases of American Indian citizenship, Tribal Law always governs the terms of citizenship/membership, AND –

The degree of “American Indian Blood” is irrelevant to Tribal citizenship/membership if a law has been established creating different basis for enrollment as a citizen/member as not all Nations use a degree of “American Indian Blood” for citizenship/membership.

REQUIREMENTS

Requirements for citizenship/membership among the Cherokee greatly varies in both procedures and details. There are actual rules here and they can vary but basically it involves being able to legally establish a Direct Lineal Descent from one that was enrolled in the official final rolls of citizens/members and a calculation of Certification of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB).

Direct Lineal Descent

This must be established by some type of legal documentation. This may include items such as state or court ordered birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates and or other legal documentation that justifies a direct lineal descent. One may also use a “judicial determination of heirs” which legally establishes the nearest enrolled relative.

Certification of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB)

This document is the process of the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs. The minimum CDIB is established by each Federally Recognized Tribal Government and varies greatly even among Tribes that are of the same origins.

There may be many other requirements established by each individual tribal government.
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REQUIREMENTS OF EACH CHEROKEE TRIBE

The current requirements for Cherokee citizenship/membership are as follows:

The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma

1. Direct Lineal Descent from a Dawes Roll citizen/member

2. Any degree of Cherokee Blood Quantum

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

Cherokee Tribal Ordinance #284 of June 24, 1996 states -

1. Direct Lineal Descent from a citizen/member of the Revised Baker Roll and 1924 Baker Roll

2. 1/16 degree of Cherokee Blood Quantum

The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians

1. 1/4 degree of what is known as the “Old Settler” Keetoowah Cherokee Blood.

ISSUES

The above seems simple enough but one must realize that there were rules and or regulations long before these especially since Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma uses a final Dawes Roll of 1906, The Eastern Band of Cherokee uses a 1924 Baker Roll and the Keetoowah Band uses a Base Roll of 1949.

Anyone of Cherokee descent has heard the phrases Dawes, Baker and even Old Settler when referring to being Cherokee. They are rolls and or census based on Acts established to count and keep track of the Cherokee starting in the early 19th Century.

BAKER ROLLS 

This is the final roll of the Eastern Cherokee as prepared by U.S. Agent Fred A. Baker by an act of The 68th U.S. Congress on June 4, 1924. Before this roll, the Act had required that all land, money and property of the Eastern Cherokee be transferred to the United States for final disposition. The goal of course was total termination of the Eastern Cherokee as a government, people and political entity. This total termination failed however but the Eastern Cherokee continued to use the 1924 Baker Roll as its base roll and Baker Revised Roll as its final roll. Descendants of those persons of the original Baker Roll are enrolled on the Baker Revised Roll and they must also meet the other citizenship/membership requirements of the Eastern Cherokee.

DAWES ACT & FOLLOWING ACTS

The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma are enrolled as follows:

Citizens/Members by blood

Citizens/Members by marriage

Citizens/Members enrolled by an Act of Congress in 1914

Delaware Indians adopted by the Cherokee

Freedmen

Minor citizens/members by blood

Minor freedmen

New born citizens/members by blood

New born freedmen

The original enrollment closed September 1, 1902 with additional children added until March 4, 1906.

NEWER ENROLLMENTS

The requirements for enrollment in the Cherokee after the Dawes Act include:

One must appear on previous tribal rolls of 1880 or 1896.

One must have applied between 1899-1906.

 One must have a permanent residence within the Cherokee Nation in the 14 Northeast counties of Oklahoma.

 Any ancestors that separated from the Cherokee Nation and settled in the states of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas now lost their citizenship within the Cherokee Nation.

Only enrolled members of the Cherokee Nation named on the Final Rolls and their descendants are issued Certificates of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) and Tribal Citizenship/Membership.

Certificates of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) are only issued via the natural parents. In any cases of adoption the quantum of American Indian Blood must be proven through the natural biological parents back to the original enrolled ancestor. For all adoption claims a copy of the Final Degree of Adoption along with a State Certified Birth Certificate/Record must accompany the application for Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB).

All other Cherokee citizenship/membership rules were basically extinguished by the actions taken around and after the final rolls.

THE “OLD SETTLERS” ENROLLMENTS

The “Old Settlers” was those Cherokee that were removed freely (not a forced march) to what was known as Indian Territory under the treaties of 1817 and 1819. One must remember that Indian Territory then was what is now Arkansas. Settlements for these Cherokee were between the Arkansas River and White River.

What became known as the “Old Settlers” were identified by two census rolls: The Emigration Roll of 1817 and the Old Settler Roll of 1851. The 1817 Emigration Roll became a list of all Cherokee that freely chose to move to Indian Arkansas Territory. The 1851 Old Settler Roll included all from the 1817 Emigration Roll that were still alive in 1851 and living in what was now Indian Territory of Oklahoma. The main body of the Cherokee Nation had now been in this new Indian Territory of Oklahoma since 1839 by forced removal. Remember Arkansas became a state in 1836 but Oklahoma stayed Indian Territory almost until it was admitted to the Union in 1907.

Only the Cherokee on the 1851 census that were also enrolled under the Dawes Commission retained citizenship/membership. So any Cherokee on both the 1817 Emigration Roll and The 1851 Old Settler roll became officially known as “Old Settlers” because they had resided in the older Indian Territory of Arkansas between 1817 and 1840 at them moved to the “new” Oklahoma Indian Territory after Arkansas became a state and within a few years of the main body of the Cherokee being established in Oklahoma after forced removal from the South East.

As one can see, dates and territorial/state lines became a very important aspect of who was and who was not Cherokee.

CONCLUSION

The Cherokee Tribes admit that there are many people that are “of Cherokee Ancestry and Blood” that can trace and document their ancestry and maybe even blood quantum to earlier generations who were at one time Cherokee citizens/members. Due to a great deal of internal strife and civil war among the Cherokee in the mid-19th Century, these ancestors lost their citizenship/membership as a result of many various choices and decisions made by both them, the Tribal Governments, State Governments and most importantly and most sadly the Federal Government. For the most part this “loss” came about due to something as simple as where one chose to live. In many other cases it came about due to agreements and dis-agreements on treaties or other documents.

Because of both Federal and Tribal Law, large numbers of people who were of Cherokee heritage lost their citizenship/membership at the time of the respective final rolls. There are many reasons for this and it has been a much heated debated for over 200 years. Opinions vary greatly in this argument as there has never been any type of official census on those that lost their Cherokee citizenship/membership due to the guidelines and requirements of said citizenship/membership.

Of course ask anyone that truly feels and believes they are Native American and or Cherokee and they will resoundly tell you that all of the above is not the Native way of saying one is or one is not Native American and thus Cherokee. This makes logical sense since even the Cherokee admit that the system of citizenship/membership did not even exist until the governments (both Tribal and Federal had to establish such guidelines). But as anyone knows and as Nakeysha A. Kemp (Enrollment Clerk of The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians) states if we do not have such measures then anyone and everyone could claim Cherokee enrollment and the Tribe would have millions of members.

Finally, who is and who is not Cherokee sometimes comes down to whether one signed or did not sign certain Tribal, State and Federal papers and where one lived during certain dates. There is no legal documentation process for non-Cherokee to be citizens/members. Not one of the 3 Federally Recognized Cherokee Groups offer any kind of recognition process for descendants of any individuals that surrendered their citizenship/membership. This includes any that may have “disappeared” from any Tribal, State and Federal records, rolls, census or other official papers.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Various correspondences via phone, e-mail, and U.S. Mail from March 2011 to November 2011 with:

The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma in Tahlequah, OK.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in Cherokee, NC.

The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Tahlequah, OK.


Indian Census Collection


TOPICS: Featured, Native American Articles, Native American Genealogy, Native American History

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50 Responses to “…MY GRANDMOTHER WAS A CHEROKEE INDIAN PRINCESS…”

  1. frank elliott says:

    My cousin, Lige Troxell is the Great-Great-Great Grandson of Jacob ( Big Jake ) Troxell and Cornblossom, daughter of Double Head, the last Chief of the Cumberland Plateau Cherokee. Does this qualify him to be Cherokee. If so, to which Band would he be considered for?

    • Raschel Garland says:

      Hello Frank Elliot! My name is Shelly, and I am from McCreary County, Ky; the home of the Ywahoo Falls, “Big Jake”, and the legend of “Princess Cornblossom”. I can not say my knowledge on whether that particular descent would or would not qualify. However, I can point you to some documents and information that might help in the matter!
      This first link is to a page written by Dr. Ken Tankersley of the Cincinnati University. He has done extensive anthropological and genealogical research into this particular legend. This page details much of his own findings and may lead to some inspiration of where to find more information.
      http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~brockfamily/YahooFalls-byKTankersley.html

      This second page is a genealogical record page of cornblossom’s supposed family.
      http://thejamesscrolls.blogspot.com/2009/04/chief-chuqualataque-doublehead.html

      WORD OF WARNING:
      As there is a question of her existence, there is a question of the ENTIRE genealogy. There was no word or concept of ‘princess’ in my knowledge of the Cherokee Nation at that time, it is assumed this word has been ‘tacked on’ to such names by colonial forces to describe the daughter of a chief.
      As well, there were three or four men of the name “Chief Doubblehead” (the supposed father of Beloved Woman/War Woman Cornblossom). They all lived at similar but offset time frames, and none are known to have had a daughter by the name of cornblossom; although it is possible that it was a name taken later in life and not well recorded, it is still suspect. I would also find it of merit to mention that there are at least (according to my own research) three men of the name Jake/Jacob Troxell. All of which lived at similar times, but none of which were enrolled military members and alive during the time frame of the legendary massacre. To be honest, a LOT of work would have to be done to gain any documentation, and even from there, the legal process is daunting.
      I hope some of this information is helpful to you, and I wish you luck on your journey!
      -Shelly

  2. frank elliott says:

    My cousin, Lige Troxell is the Graat-Great-Great Grandson of Jacob Troxell ( Big Jake ) and Corn Blossom, the daughter of Double Head, the last chief of the Cumberland Plateau Cherokee. Would he be considered to be Cherokee and if so to which Band would he be considered .

  3. Blue_Bear says:

    Hmmm. Politics. Seems like lot’s of people like it.

  4. Blue_Bear says:

    OK, so say you are not on a roll or enrolled. I met a creek guy last week who was unmistakably ndn. There was no doubt. He announced he was an unenrolled Muskogee Creek from OK. In this country he is not legally allowed to call himself that without possibility of being fined or arrested according to the Arts and Crafts act of 1990. BUT you don’t even have to be NDN to sell NDN art as long as a federal or state tribe tells you it’s ok. So you can be any race and sell art as Native American as long as a tribe says you can. How is this even right? Why complain about what the government did in the past if you are so eager to follow their ways now? And if you are NDN but not enrolled what the heck race are you supposed to call yourself? Ppl need to stop with the politics already and get back to the way life is supposed to be.

  5. koda says:

    man! i see this all the time! im onondaga seneca from up in ny and gd from window roc az baby! o yea, navajo too, im in sc right now if i had a dollar for everytime someone said that to me i would be rich! just the other day i had this woman come to me and tell me she was the great great great grat great great great grand daughter of pocahontis! i mean come on now people! its like me going to tell every person in the world my great great great great granddaddy was george washington or custer! now who will beleave me ? lmao! one time this couple came ok. and said they were a part of the “secret sociaty band of cherokees” i man come on people!
    i think the cherokee did alot of tee pee creapin then ain it! ayyyyy!

    • Memphian says:

      Cherokees didn’t use Teepees

      • John Toineeta aka John Grant Jr. says:

        lol Back when I hit the powwow trail hard I used a teepee lol so yes some Cherokees have used teepees lol Why worrie about such things when the more pressing issue is what is happening to the world today I mean this winter isnt even a winter at all. What is going on? I am glad I can pray. Maybe everyone else should do the same no matter what your background is.

  6. Jingler2011 says:

    White people always say that there grandma was a Cherokee Princess when there is no such thing. I’m Cherokee and I hate it when people say that. It makes them look bad! I hate that.

  7. Jean Wilson says:

    Need researched facts about Native American Indian Princess Weeko. I have a lovely old print of her signed by F. Harper. What tribe was she from, when did she live, and how old is this print?

    • Arbitration says:

      I am really impressed with your writing talents as smartly as with the layout on your weblog. Is that this a paid subject or did you customize it yourself? Anyway stay up the excellent high quality writing, it is rare to peer a great weblog like this one these days..

  8. White Hawk says:

    I am Cherokee mixed with a few different other blood. I may carry less then 1/4 but in my heart I know who I am. Plus also know there is no such thing as a Cherokee Princess. When you refer to haveing a Cherokee Princess as an ancestor it just simply means that she was the daughter of a Chief. The term Princess was given by the Euerpeons and their view of Rolaty.

  9. American Historian says:

    December the 11 th 1734

    Three of the Great Men of the Cherrikee Indians attended by di-
    verse others of that Nation this day desired to be admitted to offer cer-
    tain Proposals to the Governor and Council & being accordingly admitted
    they said that all the Lands in this part of America once belong’d to
    them but now it is King George’s, & his Subjects may now use it as
    freely as any of their Nation us’d to do that they look upon themselves
    also to be King George’s Subjects & to be as Brethren to the Saponies
    Tuskaroroes Nottoways & other Indians living amongst the English that
    he the person who spoke for them was told so by the King when he
    went to England with S r Alexander Cumming That they come hither
    now to see the Governor of Virginia as their Friends & to propose a
    nearer Correspondence with the People of this Colony & are therefore
    desirous to Settle on a Branch of Roanoke River that from thence
    they may enjoy the Conveniency of a free Trade with this Colony They
    were answered that [they] may Trade here with all freedom so long as
    they continue in Peace & Friendship with his Majesties Subjects but as

    344 Executive Journals, Councils of Colonial Virginia

    to their removing to Roanoke it did not seem so convenient for the Hunt-
    ing because they might frequently be disturbd by the Northern Indians
    who Hunt Yearly thereabouts whereupon they Signified that they were
    very desirous to make peace with the Northern Indians if they cou’d
    find means to propose it, The Governor then told them he wou’d write
    to the Governor of New York to treat of a peace with the Cherrikee
    Nation & wou’d endeavour to procure a safe Conduct for their Agents
    to Repair to the Northern Indians to that Purpose And then having
    acquainted them that he had prepared presents for them as a Testimony
    of the Friendship of this Colony toward their Nation they withdrew

    Ordered

    That the Interpreter who attend cd the Cherrikee Indians be paid
    five Pistoles for his trouble & Service therein

  10. stephanie says:

    My grandpa has always refered to himself as being of Black Dutch..For along time we always thought it ment they was poor..when i was working on my family tree I looked up black dutch and c ment came across that it actually was anouther term for cherokee..so i tried looking up my grandpas surname and found nothing on the rolls that i can find..however his surname was spelled in different ways .one family member would spell one way and the other would spell it anouther way..so my point is im not sure if it is even true or if grandpa would say black dutch just to be saying it..one thing for sure is i prob will never know.

  11. stephanie says:

    Also..when I started to work on my dad mothers side of the family..her mother my gr grandma was listed in the census as either being the niece in the houshold or grandaughter in anouther household back in the ealry 1900s which gets a little confusing when it comes to her family tree one household was said to be muttalto race and anouther white..howver i spoke to a guy i met at a powwow and he said the surname was lumbee..so i looked up the surname on lumbee and there are many brooks but have no way of knowing for sure..my mom always said she was native american but since the elders no longer around.. i have no way of knowing for sure.

  12. John Toineeta aka John Grant Jr. says:

    Why is someone that is not Cherokee posting stuff about Cherokee enrollment? just a question.

    • Memphian says:

      It’s useful information. People need to understand what they need to do in order to become a member of one of those true, documented Cherokee Tribes, instead of creating a fraudlent Cherokee tribe, which there are many in Arkansas, Tennessee, and other parts of the South. If you have documentation, the link, to someone on one of those rolls, become a member the right way.

    • Rebecca Hunt Locklear says:

      Hey John John (yes I know you – met you several years ago at a powwow) Jamie is the Editor and thus he was asked to write about the issue and obvioulsy he got a great deal of information from the 3 Cherokee Nations including yours in NC. You should be glad this is out there to hopefully make some think twice about saying they have a Cherokee Indian Prinicess and saying stupid stuff about being Cherokee when they are not. I whole heartly agree with Memphian as this is great information and maybe the Cherokee offices will get less idiot calls if they read these.

  13. Fire Woman says:

    Those of us who carry the blood of our Native American ancestors in our veins realize that it flows through the soul.

    Even if there are no longer records to connect us, our souls do.

    • act 3535 says:

      Fire Woman I am with you. I have always known my gr grandmother was full blooded Cherokee as well as other grand parents. Unfortunately, my documents show Cherokee on the applications that were submitted but denied. I have heard how unfair the signing up of the Dawes Rolls or other Rolls were so it does not surprise me that for generations my ancestors were denied acceptance to the rolls. But my heart and soul are totally Cherokee and I could care less if I meet someone’s criteria to be recognized in one of the Federal Tribes. I don’t need government money or anything else they give out because I know what is in my heart and I am learning the Cherokee ways from other elders who have been raised the Cherokee way and that is enough for me.

  14. Unregistered Cherokee says:

    What about THIS? Is any of this true about the officers at Cherokee Nation of OK? If it is, then you can add this to your list of wrongs committed against Cherokees.

    Kerry Holton

    Kerry was raised in Georgia and is of minor Indian ancestry on his mother’s side. Kerry claims to be 1/8th Delaware and the great-great-great-great grandson of their historic leader Chief Black Beaver. As recently as 2007, he was equating his collection of Dream Catchers with signifying his Delaware ancestry. He is married to a non-Indian and did not live in Oklahoma until winning the President’s position of the Delaware Nation by a vote of 38-37. He has submitted a resolution to the National Congress of American Indians calling for the removal of state recognized tribes from the organization and calling such tribal communities wannabes. Kerry does not speak Delaware and was not raised within a cultural Delaware context. He is a supporter of the Cherokee Nation Task Force which was created to attack the identities of “non-federal” tribes.

    Cara Cowan-Watts

    Cara was a primary instigator in the attempted removal of the Black Cherokee population more commonly known as Cherokee Freedmen. She is of 1/256 Cherokee blood as per her CDIB card. She has claimed in the past that her father is of both Cherokee and Choctaw ancestry and that her mother’s side of the family is of much more Cherokee ancestry than she has been able to substantiate. She has since repealed this on her own website which she formerly made the claims on. Cara has also attempted to remove children from the Cherokee Nation Immersion School who are not members of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma even though these children have been there since the early days of the schools opening. She is a highly intelligent and highly paid politician who understands the game well and presents herself as a “holding babies, working for the people” type. She has been very successful in projecting this image of herself. She is an enrolled Cherokee based on descent from one historic figure who she says was a prominent Cherokee politician many, many, generations ago. Cara is a founding member of the Cherokee Task Force which was created to attack the identities of “non-federal” tribal communities. She was not raised within the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma jurisdiction (she was raised in Seminole, Oklahoma) and was not raised within a cultural Cherokee context. She does not speak Cherokee.

    Gayle Ross

    Like the majority of Indian identity police, Gayle Ross claims descent from an historic famous Indian. Her descendant is of course the legendary 1/8 Cherokee John Ross. Gayle was not raised within the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, but rather in Texas. She makes a living as a “traditional Cherokee storyteller”. She said that she was “inspired to” telling stories by her grandmother. She was careful to not mention that she learned traditional stories from her grandmother. She has been an outspoken critic of the Cherokee Freedmen’s inclusion within the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. She does not speak Cherokee and was not raised within a Cherokee cultural context. Her blood quantum is unknown.

    Julia Coates

    Julia Coates is from the Southwestern United States and of minor Cherokee ancestry. She has a true joy of calling others wannabes, though she does not speak Cherokee and was not raised within a Cherokee historical context. She is a highly paid politician within the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. She will not disclose her blood quantum, so that pretty much speaks for itself. She is a supporter of the Cherokee Nation Task Force which is tasked with attacking the identities of “non-federal” tribes.

    Troy Wayne Poteete
    Troy sits as judge on the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma Supreme Court after a very contentious and close vote of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma council. Troy came into his Cherokee identity later in life and has risen through the bureaucracy to become a highly paid tribal employee. He is a civil war re-enactor and designs “traditional Cherokee turbans”. Troy has lobbied nationally against “non-federal” tribes and even claims a friendship with Office of Federal Acknowledgment Director Lee Fleming. In 1994 Lee Fleming said in documents that Troy needed mental help. It was alleged at that time that Troy had misused or embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars during his tenure as the head of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma Historical Foundation. Troy is 1/32 Cherokee by blood and is founding member of the Cherokee Task Force which is tasked with attacking “non-federal” tribes.

    Terri Rhoades (formerly Ellenwood)

    Terri is a founding member of the Cherokee Task Force and formerly a member of the state-recognized Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama, who she now advocates against. She was raised in Pennsylvania and is a lawyer and Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma employee. She also derives income from her work as a “Cherokee” artist. She was previously a member of the Tennessee Indian Commission and lived in that state. In 2001, she filed legal paperwork to have her racial identity changed from white to Indian in Pennsylvania. On her own website she does not show a picture of herself, but routinely shows her daughters, who are brown and identifiable due to a former marriage with a fullblood Nez Perce, as somehow representative of their families Cherokee identity. Terri is of minor Indian descent (she will not show a copy of her CDIB) and her move from Pennsylvania, to a state Cherokee tribe, to Tennessee, to membership within the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma is one for the record books.

    David Cornsilk

    David is the classic example. His father is of predominantly Cherokee ancestry and his mother is white. He dealt with identity insecurity (still does) during his youth as he is a white phenotype individual. He struck up an oppositional stance to more recent Cherokee leadership and in doing so decided to take the side of the Cherokee Freedmen in the recent disenrollment battles. He did so simply to get back at the CNO leadership though he admits that he grew up with racist beliefs towards Black people. David has bashed state tribes and made racially antagonistic remarks towards tribes such as the MOWA Choctaw and United Houma Nation. A New York Times article published about him a little over a decade ago reveals much of his insecurities. He was one of the individuals who drafted the Indian Arts & Crafts Act which became law in 1990 and also recognizes state recognized Indians as Indian artisans. Go figure? He now works hard against Indian artists who are not from federally recognized tribes.

    There are other names on this rap sheet, but is this really true??

  15. Gary says:

    there is no such thing as a cherokee princess

  16. Rebecca says:

    I know I am just a beginner in this, but was informed from my father before moving from OK to MN of my great grandmothers. 1 great is full blooded Cherokee and the other is full blooded Choctaw. Both are deceased and the only number I have is a house number that was given to the Cherokee side. Is anyone willing to help me with a start on who to contact? I believe in the “Old ways” of helping others, and will help others who are willing to help themselves, I am willing to help myself, just need a point in the right direction is all

  17. Laura Green-Salter says:

    Any info on a Ladson Indian Reservation who would have my family Low(e)ry. My Mother’s side. Lowery, Pettit, Ward. names my mother mentioned before her passing. Dewey Lowery was my grandfather & Samuel Lowry & Elizabeth was his Parents.

  18. John Ervin says:

    On February 15, 1922, Henderson wrote to Bertha M. Eckert of the Dallas, Texas Y. W. C. A. about the Lumbee:

    In the strictest sense of the word I would not class the Croatan [Lumbee] as Indians. They do not have a reservation. Unlike real Indians they acquire all the land possible and sell very little. They work well and have fairly good homes; as good as I might say as the whites of like station in life. They are neither whites nor Indians. The whites will not associate with them as equals. The state of North Carolina provides schools for them separate from the whites. At the last session of the N. C. Legislature $15,000 was appropriated for their normal and industrial school at Pembroke. It is thought that the Lost Colony [of Sir Walter Raleigh] of Roanoke went to these Indians as they have a great many characteristics that are purely English. Living at or on the rivers near the coast escaped pirates, many of whom were Portuguese, joined the colony and no doubt many runnaway [sic] negroes. You will see, therefore, that they are evidently an amalgamation of a number of races. These people will have nothing to do with the Southern negroes. They call themselves Cherokee but in reality have no Cherokee blood and not really any kinda indian blood at all.

    • Rebecca Hunt Locklear says:

      Mr. John Ervin,
      Yes that was said by back in 1922 – since then those statements have been found to be quite biased and quite racist and proven wrong. As you well know many Tribes have no reservation but are Indians, many Tribes since this statement in 1922 have acquired reservations and some have lost reservations. And many Tribes have changed their name or acquired a new name or found a lost name since 1922. The Lumbee are Indians and the only reason they do not have BIA status is pure GREED (Money) because other Tribes are so afraid that their Government money will be cut to get the millions that the Lumbee would get. BUT that is not true! Any new Tribe that gets BIA status does not cause any cuts to other BIA or event State Tribes.

  19. Samuel M. Hay III says:

    First and foremost, are we not considering DNA testing as being factual? THIS seems to best and most accurate determining factor, even possibly more accurate than any records kept by the (great and infallible ) government.
    In my case, I was very early retired and had always been interested in working with Native Peoples in the quest for right and equality. I have about six years of volunteer Native advocacy work under my belt.
    I have Cherokee ancestry on both paternal and maternal sides of my family. I also have almost all the physical characteristics including the extra wrinkle on my forearms. Its a Cherokee thing. Of extreme interest is the possibility this mark may just prove to be the ONLY totally distinctive physical trait of any race, ethnic group in the world! (Agreed, it begs for further research but it is something I have observed for more that 50 years. (Dont laugh, I have practical experience in learning these features and every bit of it seems to be a reality) My maternal grandmother spoke fluent Cherokee language. She was from the Toccoa region of North Georgia. My paternal gr gr grandmother was given to a family named Dobbs in North Georgia at the time of the removal due to her age and poor health as a baby.
    We all know the rolls are incomplete. My maternal grandmother stated those who hid in the mountains so they wouldnt be removed are not on any rolls.
    I dont want BIA assistance. I dont want casino money. I do want the truth and no written records will be able to prove that.
    So, back to my prelude. How could you argue with the DNA testing?
    Samuel M. Hay, III AKA Bearded Wolf Teneska
    Covington, GA

  20. Samuel M. Hay, III says:

    I believe in my case, a grandmother who taught me so much about Native ways, and spoke fluent Cherokee, I would have no reason to doubt her authenticity.
    I have many funny stories over the years dealing with people of many races.
    Sharing only one with you at this time, hope it will give you a chuckle as it does me.
    (ME) “By appearance you obviously have Native American ancestry”….
    (RESONSE) “I dont but my grandmother did!”

  21. Cherokee Nation of Mexico says:

    The Cherokee Nation of Mexico accepts enrollment from ALL Cherokee descendants regardless or color or religious preference.

    The Cherokee Nation of Mexico is officially recognized by the Republic of Mexico, one of three countries – Canada, the United States and Mexico, which make up all of North America. The Cherokee Nation of Mexico and the Spanish Dominion was first recognized in the 1700s and was spiritually mandated in 1842 by one of the most influential of Native Americans, the great Cherokee intellect, educator and freedom activist – Sequoyah.

    Osiyo, welcome to every person of a good heart.

    It is with pleasure we welcome you and your families and friends to our tribe. We want to thank you for your interest in the Cherokee Nation of Sequoyah. We are a growing celebration of Cherokee heritage and look forward with great happiness to you becoming a member of our tribe and joining in the fun.

    Over the past 10 years, we have been a source for those who feel the need of wanting to enjoy the Cherokee culture and to take pride in its history, and the many wonderful stories about the Cherokee ancestors have come from people and families just like yours.

    All of every person’s stories are priceless among all Cherokees, as we respect all of those persons who came before us; their stories activate a commonality in the sense of belonging to a tribe and a bond of friendship through the experience of family historys. For this is the spirit which binds us all together.

    Our membership procedure is strictly a process that allows us to document and organize the large numbers of interested applicants. The first step is this simple membership application. This will allow us to contact you and learn more about you and your family.

    This easy to fill out application will allow us to create a Cherokee name based upon talking to you and reading your family stories, or if you already have a Cherokee name that you have outgrown, we can get to know you and, through the winds that carry all things good, we will work with you to rename you. Most people prefer our White Chief to name them, as that seems to be a correct name fit every time.

    All new members will also be a part of one of the seven clans of the Cherokee Nation of Sequoyah so that when you come to our festivities and gatherings, you will have a chance to meet with other clan members, the same as it was done thousands of years ago.

    Every year there will be gatherings and ceremonies performed by the tribe, and all family members of any age are welcome, for that is what the Cherokees are about, “togetherness of the people”. In ancient times, should the parents die, it was impossible to be an orphan, for the Cherokees had no word for orphan; all the adults are the mothers and fathers of the children– in fact, grandmothers and grandfathers were interchangeable as needed by the circumstances of life’s changes.

    Got to http://CherokeeDiscovery.com and click on the “Registration” link

    Please return this application via email or postal mail and the White Chief, Waterhawk Garrett himself, will read it and respond to your application, and be in communication with you, to lead you on the white path back to the tribe of your ancestors.

    “Look forward to uplifting times.”

    Regan Waterhawk Garrett
    The White Chief of
    Cherokee Nation of Sequoyah

    copyright © 2012 Cherokee Nation of Sequoyah

  22. Gladys (Sunshine) Randolph says:

    My Grandmother was Cherokee. She taught me many things growing up. She is not listed on any roll. I would be very happy and content to be listed on a roll, but the happiest for me is KNOWING My heart is Cherokee. My Grandmother lives on in my life. I am proud to posess the Cherokee blood of my Grandmother. My Grandmother always called me by the name, “Sunshine.” I always feel “at home,” when I go to Cherokee N.C. It is though I can be happy knowing this is where my Grandmother came from. She passed away when I was 15 years old. I am now age 72 today and I still feel close to my brothers and sisters in Cherokee N.C. Thank you for the article. it is wonderful, simply wonderful! Almost as wonderful as MY PEOPLE The Cherokee. God bless you..1 Cor. 13 P.S. I would be delighted to hear from you White Chief.

  23. Tictoli Gvnagei says:

    Thank you Mr Oxendine for this article, it is very informative, as are the comments.
    I am a former member of the state recognized Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama, but left once I found out the truth of former Principal Chief Charlotte Hallmark, and her lies. I left the tribe, and enrolled with the state recognized Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama A.K.A Cherokee’s of Jackson County.
    I claim my blood from my paternal grandmother, who is around 1/2 American Indian, Cherokee and Eastern Siouan.
    My maternal grandfather is Native as well, but not proven.
    My ancestors have lived in Jackson County, Alabama since the early 1800’s, they stated in there Guion-Miller Roll of 1909 applications that when the other Cherokee’s were going to North Carolina, they asked my 5x great grandparents and all there children to come along with them to what is now the Qualla, but my family refused. Because like me, there were proud, and would not suffer to be pushed from there home by greedy evil men.
    Many of my family members were discharged from the Confederate Army, for being American Indian, and yes, this is well documented.
    As well, I have distant cousins enrolled in the federally recognized, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.
    Tsitsalagi, I am Cherokee.
    I do not care for what Pollys Granddaughter, David Cornsilk, and others like them have to say about me, or my people. because they have lost the true meaning of being Anigaduwagi. We are not stealing there identity, we are reclaiming our own. We are reclaiming our place at the sacred fire. I hope for peace among our peoples, but I will not hold my breath to it. And as long as they try to discourage us, I and many others like me, will continue to build our people up. That’s all I have to say.

  24. Will Anderson says:

    The Cherokee Nation briefly had a Emperor who was a suzerain vassal sovereign under King George of England… that is the genesis of the Cherokee princess expression. Pocahontas mother was a Cherokee named Amopotuskee, and she was a Powhatan “princess.” Indian nations inside the United States are not sovereign… if they were they would have artillery! They are de jure (in law) Domestic Dependent Nations that are, in de facto (in practice), operating like municipalities or counties. If the Cherokee Nation was truly sovereign, they would have been allowed to sell their lands in Oklahoma and migrate back to Mexico which is what the council wanted to do. There such three attempts to migrate back to Mexico that were blocked by US authorities before 1900. Much of the Cherokee Nation migrated back to Mexico in 1721 after the Treaty of Holston. That body of our people, who had the “M” and “R” sounds in their dialect, wrote a letter to Tahlequah, stating that they were at Lake Chapala and were moving south. Sequoyah made three attempts to locate that group, did locate a remnant, and died during a third attempt after being kidnapped by Texian agents and making his escape. Standing Rock made affidavit of the facts to Chief John Ross concerning Sequoyah’s demise and his tomb went hidden until a few years ago. Mexico recognized The Cherokee Nation in Mexico 2001 for the 4th time since the 1700s.

  25. Brittany LeMay says:

    I think it’s very important that there is a balance between what is too much and what is not enough, as far as the guidelines put into place in legally identifying Native Americans. I wonder if Native Americans today feel that they are being forced to jump through too many hoops in order to be recognized and receive the benefits they deserve.

  26. Raschel Garland says:

    Fantastic! I love the responses almost as much as the writing itself! It is interesting what a reaction people have to simple truths, and basic facts.
    I also liked that it gave me an opportunity to shine and share my own knowledge with someone!

  27. Mark Chase says:

    The history behind these rolls that determine who is and who isn’t a Cherokee shows just how fragmented the Indian Nations could be at times. They also reveal the sheer impact of the federal government’s encroachment on historically native lands and how redistributing the native populations divided the people against themselves. It truly is a shame that ancestors who had Cherokee blood in them were cast out simply due to where they chose to settle when these rolls were in effect.

  28. Noah York says:

    My Cherokee ancestors left the reservation and fled to the mountains because they didn’t want to be known as Cherokee. It saddens me that they lived at a time when it was considered bad to be a Native American… I remember my great grandmother saying that her father had left the reservation, and she didn’t feel it right to claim Cherokee citizenship. (after she was grown, and her father had passed, she learned that her father had left his Cherokee wife and children on the reservation… another reason not to claim citizenship.)

  29. Nate Zona says:

    I have heard so many obviously European people say “my great/grandmother was a Cherokee Indian Princess.” It’s so sad to see the pervasiveness of this myth without any fact checking or respect for the indigenous culture. Thank you for writing detailed information about tribal membership, it certainly helps weed out the ‘Generokees’ haha.

  30. Storm Norton says:

    Great informative read it helped me understand the somewhat complex rules and regulations to become a member/citizenship of the Cherokee whether that is direct lineal descent or CDIB.

  31. Brianna Coulter says:

    Although I think it’s important for the Cherokee tribe to have these sets of measures and requirements, I also think it’s a shame that so many people have lost their heritage and/or chance to be a member of the tribe because of where they settled.

  32. Gary Jeffrey says:

    The process and limitations to citizenship has me intrigued about the other citizenship processed for other tribes as well. The comments and points brought up by others definitely served as a good learning piece as well! Very informative piece, not only from your research but from many others and their opinions as well!

  33. Alvelia Farmer says:

    It seems to me, that in order to be considered of Cherokee descent, there is a lot of legal guidelines and stipulations. I never knew things could get so complicated! Overall, another thought provoking article.

  34. Memphian says:

    I believe that’s CNO’s fault for not requiring a certain amount of Cherokee Blood. It became a club that anyone could join, just a linkage to someone from the Roll is all you need.

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