Talk:Cherokee/Archive 1

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Archive 1Archive 2

what's in a name?

The main article begins with:

"The Cherokee, or Cherokee.svg (Unicode: ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ) (ah-ni-yv-wi-ya) in the Cherokee language"

That erroneously claims "Cherokee" = "ah-ni-yv-wi-ya" which it does not.

Cherokee = Tsalagi, same word, just different spelling, Tsa-la-gi merely a "force-fit" being spelled in the anglicized letters to phonetically conform to the syllabary. Neither of those words equates with "ah-ni-yv-wi-ya". They are 'foreign words', used by others to identify the "Cherokee". "ah-ni-yv-wi-ya" is what the "Cherokee" traditionally called themselves, "real people" or [egotistically] "the principal people".

"Cherokee" to the "ah-ni-yv-wi-ya" is akin to "Sioux" to the "Lakota". Qureus1 21:41, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

New article name?

Wha...? Explain, ~ender, please? Martin

Roger's Cherokees of Mexico

This is important oral traditional teachings of the Cherokee Without this aricle those who read this encyclapedia will be missinformed about the Cherokee People.We have been here and are not the stereotype people you think we are. Angela Layton

And this is the Traditional History: History of the Nacion Cherokee de Mexico (Cherokee Nation of Mexico)

“When the one Creator of all things, U-nay-kla-nah-hi, made the first Cherokees, the stars began to twinkle with approval; thus it is our responsibility to live up to these heavenly expectations.” Chief Jahtlohi Rogers

When you learn that Cherokee history is a multi-colored rope, woven by our ancestors from the beginning of time. Their weaving was strong and good enough to get us here, but not without many, many of the strands breaking. Then during thunderstorms, you will be able to hear the old ones chant “Be warned, Cherokee! Weave stronger, Cherokee! Be warned” Chief Jahtlohi Rogers

A Mayan carving of people who had come from The East and who had but one God.

Osiyo. Our grandfathers’ most ancient stories tell us that we Cherokees were in exodus and walked a great distance when we came to the ocean. With faith we built rafts and crossed the ocean, coming from the East to the West and established a life for ourselves in this new land of the Americas. About 1000 B.C., a people from a rubber tree forest invaded Eastern Mexico. The indigenous Mexicans called these newcomers the Olmec. They were a people completely obsessed with magic; we avoided them by traveling to the North.

Many Mayan carvings suggest racial mixtures.

Our Cherokee traditional stories interlock and agree with several of the ancient pre-Columbian Mayan and Mexican legends which tell of a people arriving from the East who believed in a single, benevolent, providing God. Some of these travelers from the East had different coloration of eyes and skin shade; some had beards. The Maya and other early Mexicans drew pictures of these people, who wore hats and turbans not unlike those the Cherokee have always worn and wear today. The Mexican legends said that these people would return in time.

Mayan carving showing man in a turban & beard with a non-Mayan nose.

It is not known to this day which people or combination of peoples built the great pyramid city of the Valley of Mexico, but the Cherokees were living in Mexico at that time, as were the Tlamatinimi (which means “wise men” in the ancient Mexican language). They were a pre-Columbian group of intellectuals, engineers, and astronomers who shared a common belief or connection with the Cherokee in that their religion also had only one God who was merciful, who had created all things, and who would provide what you needed, not necessarily what you wished. This ancient Mexican society, the Tlamatinimi, was supremely rational and civilized, arguably even more civilized than Greeks or Romans. Their society existed within different Mexican civilizations and were unfazed by the threat of a gallery of monster gods used to motivate and control the populace. In 1450 A.D. they were centered at Texcoco.

Mayan carving showing Turban with blond mustache & freckled cheekbones supporting Mayan legends of a people who came from the East who worshipped but one God.

Cherokee migration legend tells of our exodus north, three to four thousand years ago, past the river of the ferocious ones, which we believe to be the Rio Grande River where the cannibalistic Karankawas lived. In the mid-1800’s, Stephen F. Austin saw this tribe in person and described them as very handsome and intimidating, with men averaging 7 ft. in height and women 6 ft.

A bearded man in a cloth cap distinguishes this Mayan carving.

The Cherokee pushed on to the big waters of the Mississippi, then on to the headwaters of the Ohio, where they built walled cities and huge mounds for burial. The Delaware came from the west and, with assistance from the Iroquois federation, fought to remove the Cherokee, for the time period of 7 chiefs, or approximately 200 years, before the Cherokee went East to the mountains and coast. The exodus was pressured by war to continue south with the Cherokees arriving in the Georgia area in approximately 800 to 1000 A.D.

Cherokee Chief John Jolly as depicted by George Catlin

The first European or Spaniard to visit the Cherokee in the Georgia area was the explorer conquistador DeSoto in 1540. His official writings astonishingly state that many of the Cherokee were light skinned while, of course, many were not. De Soto noted “some with light brown and blond hair equal in coloration to some of my Spanish soldiers”. Of the hundred or more indigenous tribes visited by this Spanish explorer, no other tribe would be noted for the great mystery of being racially mixed like the Cherokee. According to oral tradition and existing written history, we know we have been mixed for several thousand years. Cherokee Chief Oconostota, whose forefathers had all been chiefs, had himself been chief for 60 years when, in 1782, he told Col. Sevier about the Cherokee history of the Welch people who had come in approximately 1100. The Chiefs story also agrees with the Welsh legend of Prince Maddox, who was said to have come with ten shiploads of white people and settled on the Hiawasse River. The Cherokee fought with them, took prisoners, and negotiated the retreat of the Welsh, who joined the Mandan tribe on Mobile Bay. (This is stated in an existing document dated 1808 which Col. Sevier sent to Major Stoddard, who was trying to locate these racially mixed Indians.)

To be pedantic, De Soto wrote nothing about his travels in America -- he died during the trip. There are several texts written by other members of his army, but interpretation is made difficult in that the three or four texts often contradict one another and do not give good enough geographical information to work out the exact route they took.
Also, the story of a medieval Welsh journey to the southeast always struck me as one of the many tales told of "civilized" Old World people coming to the Indians. There are many stories of how ancient Hebrews came to America, or Chinese, or even Egyptians. The basic premise of these stories, it always seemed to me, was that the Indians couldn't have built the giant mounds and stonework ruins that are found in America, so some civilized Old World culture must have come over and built them, or at least taught the "savage" Indians how to. The Welsh story seems to be one of these, to me. I've never before heard of Oconostota telling Sevier about medieval Welsh. Are you sure Oconostota wasn't playing a joke on Sevier if he told him this? Or perhaps he meant De Soto and the Spanish, and Sevier misunderstood? Pfly 00:06, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

The natural beauty of Coahuila has always attracted Native Americans.

The first Cherokees to return to Mexico went in 1720 to the mountains of Coahuila.

The great Cherokee educator and social activist Sequoyah urged Cherokees to come and live in freedom and dignity in Coahuila.

In 1822, a newly independent Republic of Mexico granted the Cherokees freedom and immigration rights to the eastern part of the Mexican province of Texas.

One of the last remaining houses of the once great Haciendo Patiño where Sequoyah was befriended after escaping arrest.

Seventeen years later, in 1839, the United States began the anti-indigenous eastern ethnic removal, a hardship that killed thousands, of the Cherokees from their homelands of a thousand years in Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina to reservations in Oklahoma. This ethnic removal was only exceeded in injustice by the same anti-indigenous elements of the Republic of Texas government who coveted the Cherokee’s 600,000 acres and began a western ethnic removal of over 1000 Cherokee men, women and children. The Cherokees were led by Chief Bowles, a white skinned, freckled man with dark red hair; a powerfully built warrior with a fair and honest heart, he spoke little English. He and over 100 of his Cherokee brothers were killed in defense of their property that had been granted them by Mexico under the same legal process that Austin’s Anglo settlers had received before the Texas Revolution. Cherokee families who had been peacefully farming their land for almost two decades were now, in 1839, homeless and country-less, many orphaned or widowed.

An 1839 painting showing Mexican Cherokees at leisure.

Before this ethnic cleansing, Sam Houston asked the Attorney General of the Republic of Texas for and received an opinion that stated that “it would be illegal for the Cherokee land to be taken”. Texas President Mirabeau Lamar ignored this legal opinion from his own government and ordered the ethnic cleansing to begin; Burnett carried it out militarily and he personally received the Cherokee lands, which he sold to the public for a huge profit. Lamar had helped write the Indian Removal Act of 1828 in Georgia before coming to Texas to seek his fortune. He was an admitted Cherokee hater.

This part of Cherokee and Texas history ought to be remembered and included in articles on both histories. Sam Houston was, if I remember right, a Cherokee by adoption, Chief Jolly being his adopted father. Pfly 00:06, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Cherokee Medicine Man Swimmer. A noble profession, a noble Cherokee.

The surviving Cherokees were arrested and faced with the captivity of the military reservation, but instead resisted and fled to the freedom of the Republic of Mexico. These refugee Cherokees asked the courageous Mexican leaders for help and were granted “amparo” or political amnesty. They were granted permission and settled in the Mexican states of Coahuila, Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas, with the majority choosing to settle in mountainous Coahuila near the historic city of San Fernando now known as Zaragosa.

The history of Cherokee migrations to Mexico has always intrigued me. I only recently learned about it. Thanks for the information! All I knew was that "some" Cherokee had migrated into Mexico, and Sequoyah did too, or at least died along the way to Mexico, but that he encouraged other Cherokee to migrate to Mexico as well. Pfly 00:06, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Chief John Ross, one of the most famous mixed-blood Cherokee Chiefs, he was 1/8th Cherokee.

The most famous Cherokee in history to come and live in the freedom of Coahuila, Mexico was Sequoyah. This world famous educator is the only person in human history to develop a written system of syllables, which enabled all Cherokees to be able to write their language proficiently after only two months of study. For this work of genius, the great Sequoyah was featured in every U.S. newspaper and most major world publications.

Mr. Ridge was very typical of Cherokees with European admixture.

[this line seems to be misplaced and causes confusion.. most of the following paragraph seems to relate to Sequoyah, not the treacherous Ridge I think.] Qureus1 08:52, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

He was an U.S. Army veteran known, honored and loved in his time by the red and white man throughout the United States. To this day, U.S. national parks and giant redwood trees bear his name. For his achievements, he was given a house and a yearly monetary pension for the rest of his life in the military-controlled Indian territory, yet he loved and valued freedom so much that he urged all Cherokees to live as a free people in Coahuila, Mexico. Indeed, earlier (in 1836), Chief John Ross had been denied permission by the U.S. Secretary of War to be allowed to sell the Cherokee lands and move the entire tribe to Mexico. Much later, in 1895, the Western Cherokees would consider a vote to move to Mexico to whence Sequoyah had moved in 1842.

Cherokee Mary Delilah Price, 1880, The great-grandmother of Chief Rogers and many of the Cherokee Nation of Mexico members.

Immediately upon Sequoyah’s arrival in Mexico, the anti-indigenous elements of the 1842 government of the Republic of Texas who feared Sequoyah’s intellect, celebrity influence, and pro-Native American activist presence in Mexico pressured authorities to dispatch agents that covertly and illegally entered Mexico. Without the process of law and under threat force, they arrested Sequoyah who, even at 73 years of age and suffering from a severe lung infection, managed to “suddenly disappear”, escaping his captors while crossing the Rio Grande River at night. Sequoyah, fighting collapse, persevered and returned to Zaragosa where the kind-hearted Mexican people of that city and the Patinos-Rodriguez-Salinas families of a nearby hacienda, who had all grown to love the venerable Sequoyah, bravely and without consideration for their own personal safety hid him in a secret cave. Sequoyah, who had been very ill for some time, became exhausted from this struggle and flight from captivity to his freedom. The Great Sequoyah died peacefully, a free person, among some of his Cherokee family and many Mexican friends, but not before prophesying that a Cherokee child would someday come, find his grave, and bring his spirit of brotherhood back to the Cherokee and all other people of good heart.

That is interesting.. all I had read was that Sequoyah died on the way to Mexico or "somewhere in Mexico". Pfly 00:06, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

The Cherokee Indian with the knives is at Fort Sill in 1904 when Geronimo was a prisoner there. He is Joe Howard Layton, grandfather of Chief Rogers, son of Mary Price.

According to the legends of both Western Cherokee and Mexican Cherokee, Sequoyah believed with all of his being that Mexico was the ancient land in which our ancestors felt there was a source of knowledge and power. Like a migratory bird, he was determined to return to freedom, even if he perished in this quest.

Charles Ahdoelayhoeski Prophecy Rogers in the darkness of the tomb of Sequoyah points to markings he found.

After Sequoyah’s passing, seventy Cherokee warriors fought during the 1842 conflicts in an attempt to reclaim their land. Seventeen Cherokee died.

Every year the Cherokee Nation of Mexico has the honor of starting the Cabalgata - a trail ride of 8,000 horses.

On August 4,2001, President Vincente Fox historically signed Mexican constitutional amendments to reflect the legal presence and protected cultural status of all of the indigenous people of Mexico. This profound act of respect for indigenous cultures by the republic of Mexico is unique among all countries of the world.

Governor receives a beaded bolo symbolizing the respect that we of the Cherokee Nation of Mexico have for him, the state of Coahuila and all Mexican families.

On August 22,2001, the Cherokee nation and tribe of Mexico petitioned Coahuila Governor Enrique Martinez y Martinez to confirm, through formal recognition, the strong continuing bond that exists between the Cherokees and the Mexicans.

Chief Rogers and Clay Spirit Walker Garrett bring the noble 1910 Mexican Revolution flag from a collection in Chicago back to its home in Mexico as a gift. It was received by the Governor on behalf of all Mexico.

Governor Martinez y Martinez acted without hesitation to extend the hand of continuing friendship and ancient brotherhood with formal recognition of the Cherokee, in the same courageous Mexican spirit as the Governor of Coahuila in 1839 and the President of Mexico in 1822.

Cherokees come in many colors and we feel that this is one of our strengths which allows us to understand and respect all humans as brothers. Wado (Thank you.) Charles L Jahtlohi (Kingfisher) Rogers M.D. Traditional Chief (Ugu)

“Spotted Owl fell asleep under a dancing star. this was the night he learned to dream. His soul became a strong white bird, his mind a snapping terrapin, his body as strong as a bear, his medicine important and peaceful” Marijo Moore - Cherokee

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What a story. It's historical fact the Cherokee fled to other countries from the U.S. and what some Cherokees heard is some went north to Canada, as a few thousand Cherokees decidedly turn away from the "trail of tears". When the Cherokee Nation had international diplomacy with some Latin American countries, there was a voluntary movement of Cherokee farm hands after the US Civil War took a toll on the tribal culture. They abandoned farms and plantations, as well the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma was under occupation by the U.S. army from 1865 onward to the opening of lands to settlement in 1889.

Remember that the U.S. is a land of emigrants like any other, such as the 15,000 former Confederacy citizens loyal to the Southern U.S. went to Brazil, Venezuela and Cuba to restart their fortunes and lives. A number of Cherokee landowners and skilled farmers were invited to settle in bargain priced land plots. By the end of the 1880's, some authorities in Brazil claimed 10,000 Cherokees among 40,000 other Americans relocated there. The towns of Campinas and Americana, São Paulo are a developed region north of São Paulo, Brazil, where some historic remnants of those hardy families of American descent, Amerindian or Anglo-European, are observed. But in a generation or two, they assimilated into Latin American culture.

However, the Cherokee are probably there in Central and South America since the late 16th century, when the Spanish purchased enslaved Cherokees through trade. Joaquin Murrieta, the 1850s bandit of noble background claimed Cherokee ancestry from his Chilean-born mother, his father is a Californio, Spanish colonial inhabitants of then Mexican California. His notoriety as an outlaw was not he fought the "white" Anglo-Americans who took ranchos, lands from earlier Californio owners, but Murrieta was patronized as he sympathize the struggle of the American Indian.

The Cherokees of Mexico, some others migrated into Canada, their communities across the US, and any overseas descendants indicated a mass dispersion, but the CNO aren't exactly sure if any "lost cherokee" are authentic or a fraud pandemic in their hands. The tribe wants to take precautions on admittance of new members, because some claims of "lost cherokee" turned out to be scams or the fact is historical records of Cherokee dispersal are few and between.+ 04:30, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

State Recognized/non-recognized Cherokee Groups

Although many groups throughout the Southeast claiming to be Cherokees do indeed have Cherokee ancestry and can trace/prove it, they seldom existed as coherent tribal groups (generally as loners, one here one there or a few here and there) and are of minimal ancestry like many of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma(usually well under 1/4). Their culture is not different from surounding rural whites and the Cherokee language is not spoken, unless of course through present-day revival efforts, similar to a large majority of Oklahoma Cherokees. As such, inside Native circles these elements are often not taken as seriously.

Futhermore, states such as Georgia and Alabama (and maybe MO and Arkansas) have formally "recognized" a few of these groups having researched their claims.

Tribal membership in some of these state-recognized groups is obtained by merely signing an affidavit that one is Native, while in others, notably the Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokees and the Cherokees of Northeast Alabama, strict tracing and documentation to early Cherokee rolls are required. --Tuttobene 22:12, 24 Dec 2004 (UTC)

>>> Response: Many of these groups that are trying for recognition, are indeed Cherokee and if one wanted to spend time with their people this would be easily discovered. Some groups, it must be noted, are indeed bogus. Others however, are native people. The vast majority of the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation do not, in fact, speak fluent Cherokee any longer. That's why Cherokee language classes are being held there. They too, must revive spoken Cherokee.

Further, there is NO required blood quantum for Cherokee Nation membership. Some members have as little as 1/1000. In these cases, tribal membership is based upon US government "selected" rolls taken around the turn of the 20th century. The last figure I saw was that only 8,000 or so Cherokee nation members were full bloods, out of 175,000 or so. Clearly, the Keetoowah are the greatest blood percentage. The Eastern Cherokee allow a 1/16 blood percentage. So, why would blood percentage make one person more Cherokee than another? Perhaps in some cases, lineage, heritage, documented family histories, historic geographical location, and community recognition should also be used as a marker along with blood percentage. And, that is exactly what many of these non-recognized tribes attempt to do (some don't).

Who is a better judge of who is Cherokee? The US government who murdered most of them, or Cherokee members of a tribe themselves? In fact, one COULD argue that since many non-recognized tribes use a 7 pronged approach to membership (lineage, heritage, historic geographical location, geneaology, community recognition, blood percentage and old tribal rolls), they may indeed be more Indian than some Federally recognized tribes who rely only upon US Government rolls. The names on rolls that are the foundation of some tribal memberships were gathered the same way many non-recognized tribes are gathering their names today, essentially: by claiming they are Indian, showing their historical/geneaological information and having someone to vouch for them. That's how the names got onto the US Government rolls a hundred years ago. Non-recognized tribes are using the same process except it's one hundred years later. How is that less valid?

All tribes (and I do mean all) have lost parts of their culture because of native genocide. So, not having a particular part of the original culture (language, dance, traditional religion or farming methods) does not, in itself, mean a tribe is less American Indian. The Eastern Band of Cherokees have stayed on traditional land AND have kept the language. The Cherokee Nation did not keep the land and has nearly lost the language. Does that mean the Eastern Band is more Cherokee? Of course not.

States have jurisdiction over who they wish to recognize as Natives within their borders. Should a US State say a people are native, that in no way takes away from their being native. Does this mean that states also have a right to NOT recognize native tribes within their borders? If so, would this mean that at any given time a Federally recognized American Indian could not be considered Indian in Wisconsin, Texas, Vermont or any other state? It seems that tribal membership making one person more Indian than another is a slippery slope at best. Relying on the Federal Government to decide makes it worse. Yes, I'm Cherokee --celtbox

This is notice that I am going to delete the "Lost Cherokee of Arkansas" as a link and from the box chart on the main page. It is a frivolous addition to the site; furthermore, due mention is given to non-recognized "Cherokee" groups in the body of the text. Otherwise, this will lead to a page full of useless outside links and a chart full of the hundreds of non-recognized "Cherokee" groups stretching miles in length. I am for deleting the "n" in the chart altogether. Furthermore, it strains credulity to see a "tribe" put "Lost" in its name. The chart should only list those Cherokee groups which have LEGAL recognition, as evinced by legislation or duly adopted regulations of state or federal governments. Everyone, please help keep this page free of overt or obvious agendas, this is an encyclopedia and should not be treated as simple toy. --Tuttobene 23:55, 12 August 2005 (UTC)
The history of Cherokee in Arkansas is interesting and has sound primary sources to draw on. Someday I'd like to add some of it to wikipedia. My own ancestors lived near and passed through the Cherokee Reserve of Arkansas before it was abolished. I'm not sure if this "Old Settlers" Arkansas Cherokee is what celtbox was writing about or not. Pfly 00:06, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

>>>> Will you accept State recognized tribes in your box? If so, please add them. If not, please explain why you would refuse to add them. Please forgive me, but your original post above and last post below may have set an overt and obvious agenda. You are correct that there could be endless links. But gosh, what happens if all these unrecognized tribes demand to be listed? Can you delete them all? Constantly? It's clearly better to leave the (n) in the box. --celtbox

Ok "celtbox," you are clearly not aware of procedure and etiquette on Wikipedia. First of all, sign in and timestamp your "work." If you are going to list this so-called "tribe," you should make a list including it under a heading "non-recognized Cherokee groups." Putting a little known fringe group called the "Lost Cherokees" (not found by other Cherokees yet it seems) with a direct link to its website seems as though you advertizing its credibility. Those of us enrolled in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, UKB, and EBC (all federally recognized) have not and do not take fringe groups claiming to be Cherokees seriously. I also find it laughable that you think Cherokee is almost lost in the Cherokee Nation as a language. Did you grow up listening to it? What do you know about our communities? There are several thousand native speakers in NE OK, even more than those in the Eastern Band. It really doesn't matter because this is not the forum to discuss "Indianess," but rather to provide a -factually neutral point of view-, known here as NPOV.
Providing a chart with the only 3 federally recognized, Nation to Nation, Cherokee groups, and then slapping your *one* and only one, non-recognized group unheard of in Indian country, is extremely suspect. If that doesn't persuade you, how will this side chart accomodate the addition of the 6 other state-rec groups, and then the literal hundreds of non-recognized groups. Again, it seems as though you are making this your forum to underscore the "Cherokeeness" of your group. I can assure you in legal circles the inclusion of your group holds no water. In the interest of academia do not list your "Lost Cherokee" group next to 3 federall recognized Nations in an effort to impart an air of legitimacy. If you cannot make it more academic, we will just delete it again and nominate it for a POV check. Hopefully you can chose the later, as having an article on the Cherokee is a valuable resource here. --Tuttobene 02:59, 13 August 2005 (UTC)

>>>> Hey, sorry about breach of etiquette. I stand corrected. My apologies. I'll try and do better. I'm still not sure if I have it all figured out. I've logged in. Please do not make fun of or belittle me for not understanding. It means you haven't a decent grasp of the issues.

I was trying to provide a more balanced point of view. But as mentioned before, your earlier posts set the agenda. The Lost Cherokee happened to be the only organization I could find that represented these people from the old Arkansas Reservation. They have been discussed on the floor of the Arkansas State Legislature (2005), had a bill before an Arkansas legislative committee (2005) and are currently being reviewed by another State committee. *Their history as a 'total group' is clearly linked to the History of Arkansas.* I'm not sure they'll get anything from the State or not (they probably won't). Doesn't really matter to me. I listed them as **"non-recognized"** on the chart and that didn't "impart legitimacy" to me. It should have been clear they were **non-recognized**.

I didn't provide the chart. Someone else did. Please read the discussion page.

Wouldn't it be better to have a page dedicated to each Federal tribe? Do they not have varying backgrounds and culture? My foundation for this thought is that in the realm of the web, each of these tribes has it's own website. Could that concept be extended here?

I'm not too familiar with the legality of the whole issue. But I'm thinking these Arkansas Cherokees can be Cherokee all day and never violate the law UNLESS they try for federal funding/benefits by saying they're Federally recognized Cherokee, which I think would be fraud. Or if they violate any regular state or federal law. Aside from that, I would assume they can do as they please, whether anyone thinks they are legit or not. If that is a true statement, then your argument on legality and not taking "fringe groups" (your words, not mine) seriously is mute. In your original post above, you spoke against "affidavits" which are sworn documents. I think these can be used in a court of law. So, are you against one part of the legal system (affidavits) and only for the part that recognizes a Federal tribe?

Further, I'm sure there have been non native academic studies (done by those qualified) on various groups of Cherokee that are not recognized. If there are no studies, perhaps there should be. Also, as far as knowing communities is concerned: What do you really know about the communities of the state recognized tribes? Do you know their histories? Do you understand their histories are different? Or do you think everyone has to be the same Cherokee? (please see my entries above starting with "All tribes...") If you discount their truths, isn't that being selective? Yes, I grew up hearing the language but can't speak it. Just like a bunch of other folks.

You still did not answer my above questions: Will you allow State recognized tribes in the box? If so, please add them. If not, explain to the discussion page why they should not be allowed to be entered. Understand this is my last discussion on the matter, so you may vent as you wish. Your decisions will make you self evident. And I hope they will be positive

---celtbox ( 20:47, 13 August 2005 (UTC))

Recent News

Someone explain to me why the only thing listed under recent news is the gay marriage issue with the Cherokee Nation? This horse hockey! I'm going to edit this section. This gay marriage thing was a tiny, tiny blip in relation to all of the issues that the tribe has faced in the last 20 years. This is NOT NPV.-----Keetoowah 19:25, 14 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Gay marriage isn't the only problem of the Cherokee, as I mentioned on an early post on clans avoided marriage within the clan. I never know anything on heavy customs or restrictions regarding gay marriage/ between members of the same sex. American Indians are completely aware on issues of homosexual or inter-sex identity was mystical for them. I doubt any absolute acceptance or toleration of homosexuality was common among the Cherokee, then the majority of Cherokees today are Christians (esp. in Protestant churches of Baptists and Methodists) as these churches condemn and oppose gay marriage. + 02:18, 11 June 2006 (UTC)


The article says, "Sequoyah is the only person in history to invent a written language single handedly." That's nice, but kind of a pointless statement. I could sit down tonight and invent a written language and then that statement would be wrong. Now granted, my hypotheical language is useless compared to Cherokee, making Sequoyah's work remarkable. Also, how do you know no one has done this before in history? Absolute statements like this are usually just plain wrong. I am going to change the article now. Rangek 23:32, 2005 May 6 (UTC)

I suppose the phrase "single handedly" was used because Saint Cyril worked with his brother. --Kevin Myers 04:16, May 7, 2005 (UTC)
It's still wrong. Constructed languages have had written forms created by few or (in some cases) a single author since the 19th century. Probably the most famous of these outside of linguistic circles would be the Languages of Middle-earth, created by J. R. R. Tolkien (and the original motivation for the well known trilogy, The Lord of the Rings). -Harmil 22:56, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Sequoyah was not the only person to create a Syllabary for the Cherokee. One existed long before he was born, but was lost for hundreds of years. But he did do it alone, and he was a great scholar and contributor to our people. Harmil is absolutely correct here. 16:50, 16 September 2005 (UTC)

Sequoyah was, as far as i know, the only known person to create a written representation for a previously exclusively oral languiage, and have it adopted by a sizable population ofnative speakers, much less to do so single-handed. Moreover he did this without, as I understand it, having been previously literate in any language at all. All other people who perfomed such feats are lost in times before reccorded history, and quite possibly did not act alone. St Cyril is different in that he adapted exixting writing syustems to represent a different language. The inventors of modern conlangs have the benefit of being fully literate in one or more existing systems of writing, and the further advanage of knowing the results found by scientific linguistics, for the most part. And none of them, as far as i know, has had his or her creation adopted by any significant population as a representation for their native (first) speech. The creator or creators of the ancient Cherokee Syllabary are not, as far as I know, known to us as individuals. neither are the creators of the Greek alphabet, Egyptian hieroglyphics, or any other system of writing. DES (talk) 13:56, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

The Cherokee syllabary itself is based on one syllable sounds, just like the alphabets of east Asia (Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, Khmer, Burmese and Malayan), when a word is represented is based on a sound. "Tsa-La-Gi" are 3 words and sounds, just like the Japanese term "Ni-Hon-Go" to mean "Japanese" are also 3 words. Sequoyah might studied the languages in Asia contains word characters to mean a sound, but they are a separate word. But to spell one actual word to represent a singular thing, the Cherokee syllabary acts like that of the Asian alphabets.

Sequoyah was a scholar whom studied European, Middle Eastern, African, American Indian and Asian, or let's say universal languages. His writing system of the alphabet preserved a language based in north America, one of the few American Indian alphabets to date. I wonder he studied Aztec and Mayan hieroglyphs in his quest of knowledge of indigenous peoples in the Americas was more advanced than thought in his time.+ 02:53, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Gay Marriage, Trivia, Flag and other changes

I stumbled on this page while looking over History of South Carolina, and it was rather hard to read in places. My changes are all structural, not historical or content:

Now, to follow up on previous comments about the gay marriage item: I fully agree that the environmental and gay marriage issues don't make up the full picture of modern Cherokee affairs, but the solution to that is to add more detail. I would think about 5-7 sub-sections would be appropriate in both the history and modern sections, and I'm sure we can get that much info.

A problem with putting the flag in the box at the top of the page is that the flag represents (if I'm not mistaken) the Cherokee Nation, only a portion of all Cherokee people. Kind of like using the Union Jack to represent all English-speaking people. The John Ross image is perhaps not universal, but it's closer. --Kevin Myers 03:06, July 22, 2005 (UTC)
It's a matter of using an emblem rather than a person to symbolize other people. I'd be thrilled if we used the symbols of all three groups in some sort of arangement. However, your analogy is a bit off given the numbers involved. The Cherokee Nation flag represents 89.7% of the Cherokee, where the Uniion Jack represents a fairly small fraction of all english-speaking people. -Harmil 03:23, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
I think your math is a little off. There are about 730,000 people who identify themselves as Cherokees in the United States. Enrollment in the Cherokee Nation as reflected in the table may be outdated, but if it's currently about 200,000, that's about 27% of Cherokees. --Kevin Myers 04:05, July 22, 2005 (UTC)
I'm going strictly by the table. If the table is wrong, we should get an authoritative source and update it. When in doubt source and add. That's my theory. -Harmil 11:24, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
The first table refers only to enrolled members in the three federally recognized tribes. Not all Cherokees (or Native Americans in general) are enrolled members of federally recognized tribes. In the second table further down in the article, you'll find the total Cherokee population. Maybe that figure should be in the first table, to avoid confusion. --Kevin Myers 13:52, July 22, 2005 (UTC)
I added the seal of the United Keetoowah Band today. How's that look? -Harmil 11:59, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
Visually it looks quite nice, although the same limitation applies: those 2 flags combined represent perhaps less than one-third of Cherokees. Maybe that's not a big deal -- I'm just pointing it out. --Kevin Myers 13:52, July 22, 2005 (UTC)
It sounds like there are a large number of Cherokee who are simply not represented by an organization that we can point to. That's fair, but I think the correct answer there is to list their approximate number in the table, thus making it clear that these are people not covered by the listed flags/seals. I do intend to get the third. I have a query out to the webmaster of the primary site for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. We'll see if they can produce a seal or flag I can use.... -Harmil 14:00, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
Update on the third seal. I've been given a phone number to call at BIA, so I'll call that on Monday, and see what I have to do to get a copy of it. -Harmil 14:08, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
On a related note, I count about 28 state-recognized (i.e. non-federal) Cherokee bands here. --Kevin Myers 14:45, July 23, 2005 (UTC)
Proceed with caution! Here is the legal side: there are definitely not 28 state-recognized Cherokee groups in the United States. Many quasi-tribal groups have extensive websites and make all sorts of claims, and post pictures with "tribal members" with politicians, but they are usually not "state-recognized." State recognition is brought about by the legislature of the state in question passing a law recognizing the "tribe." Governor proclamations and "resolutions" by state legislatures do not confer legal status. In the alternative, a state can create an -agency-, much like a mini BIA, which is empowered to "recognize" tribes. For a clear example, see the Alabama Indian Affairs Commission at I would venture to say that there are very few state-rec Cherokee groups, in the strictest legal sense, in the entire United States. --Tuttobene 04:06, 4 August 2005 (UTC)
Good point. As far as I can tell, "official" state-recognized Cherokee "tribes" in the U.S. number no more than six, four of them in Alabama alone. [1] --Kevin Myers 04:38, August 4, 2005 (UTC)
There should really be a separate section in the article about issues relating to contemporary Cherokee identification, i.e. who is recognized (or not) as Cherokee, how and by whom, and why or why not. Much useful information could be written on that topic. It could even touch upon famous "fake" Cherokees like Iron Eyes Cody and Ward Churchill, and other various celebrities who have claimed Cherokee heritage without evidence. --Kevin Myers 02:36, August 13, 2005 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly agree Kevin, see my recent postings under "State rec" groups above. And if you will, help enjoin vandalism of this page and POV edits. It can get out of hand. This is an informative encyclopedia, and as always, in many topics on this 'pedia, people impose their opinions on others. However, NPOV is the rule. Some non-Indian fringe groups are always looking to legitimize themselves (very common, I suggest you ask keetoowah as he could verify it as well, and we Cherokees are the most plagued unfortunately). This is not the forum to do so. I would be a happy contributor to your proposed section. --Tuttobene 03:10, 13 August 2005 (UTC)
I agree.----Keetoowah 01:46, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

Some unofficial tribes of Cherokees living in South Texas (the Rio Grande valley) and New Mexico (Union county) are under review. The unofficial Arkansas bands, northern Louisiana (Southern Missouri) and Tennessee valley (Alabama, Georgia or Tenn.) groups might be state recognized, but not belonging to the 3 federally recognized "Cherokee" tribes. I wish for the posters to send more footnotes, web links or sources to help keep things calm in here.

I don't know anything on undeclared tribes of Cherokee in the west coast, often are considered to either assimilated or became an ethnicity by a little need to create tribes. California and other western states made Indian gaming operations easier, by new laws (like California's prop. 5 in 1998 passed by a majority of voters) and permitted vegas-style machines, if they are located on tribal jurisdiction.

I'm worried of a fraudulent claim of a "Cherokee tribe of Cal.", the most common name of pseudo-tribes, would put pressure on the state govt. to run their own casinos. It seems the majority of fake-Indians live in Beverly Hills or Berkeley, san Francisco or Santa Barbara, very affluent and billionaires, and new age mystic types talk of "indian princesses" (you mean a chief's daughter is your relative or a deragatory term for prostitutes?) or "spiritual visitations in their sleep" like it guides them to a casino.

I'm told by a few native American friends from the net to stay away from fake Indians, and to be aware of anti-fraud laws before they enter any tribal membership rolls. I'm not sure Iron Eyes Cody is Cherokee (well turns out he's not really), but another tribe or simply a "white Indian". So was Texas revolution hero/Texas republic president and Cherokee tribal member Sam Houston, which was verified many times over.

But this political trash talk of Ward Churchill, Prof. in Univ. of Colo. is playing "the race card" to make people feel sorry for his anti-American rants, not harmless opinions. The news media received word from the UCN tribal office of Churchill can't proof he's an Indian. But one athlete was able to confirmed it, Park Owens catcher of the Colorado Rockies in the 1990s, was definitely truthful. + 03:05, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

i looking for a flag of cherokee please contact me at :

New text moved to Cherokee/Temp

I've moved the large essay that was injected into this article to Cherokee/Temp. Please feel free to go there and edit it or talk about it. I don't have time to par it down into a useful, well edited, NPOV section right now, but if you do, then be bold! -Harmil 18:09, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

Moved Jeff Merkey Cherokee Ancestry Discussion and Controversy to user:gadugi =

Entire section moved to user:gadugi where it is more appropriate since this whole discussion involves personal information. Gadugi 07:51, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Cherokee Nation Response to Vryl (<>)

 Subject: jeff merkey's status as a cherokee From: "Dusty Delso" <> Date: Tue, 20 Sep 2005 10:44:56 -0500 To: <> CC: <> Return-Path:<> Received:from EXCH1-VS1.cnmain.cherokee.local ( []) by (Postfix) with ESMTP id E26255401A for <>; Tue, 20 Sep 2005 07:44:33 -0600 (MDT) X-MimeOLE:Produced By Microsoft Exchange V6.5.7226.0 Content-class:urn:content-classes:message MIME-Version:1.0 Content-Type:multipart/alternative; boundary="----_=_NextPart_001_01C5BDFA.3FFA9781" Message-ID:<BBF56C56DA57074FB19FA1A1B12639E039513D@EXCH1-VS1.cnmain.cherokee.local> Thread-Topic:jeff merkey's status as a cherokee Thread-Index:AcW9+j+AHcJ2JfEDQKCn1xVcv24ZOA==  George,   Jeff Merkey is indeed a citizen of the Cherokee nation.  He is a gifted pioneer in computer operating system development and donated one of his open source systems to the Cherokee nation.  He is a dear friend of mine and cares deeply about the Cherokee nation and his people.   I am curious who or why he was moved from the listing of famous Cherokee to controversial Cherokee.  Anyone who was one of the original authors of the novell operating system is a famous Cherokee in my book.   Thanks for the e-mail   Dusty Delso ph.d Executive director of education and culture Cherokee nation 

I hope this closes the discussion about me. I will not perform any vanity edits here, despite the wishes of Dr. Delso and my people. That is for someone else to do. Gadugi 23:19, 20 September 2005 (UTC)

The what 'operating system'? With all due respect, talented though he may be, he is not "Pam Anderson", "Paris Hilton", "John Trudell", "Bill Gates" or "Steve Jobs" nor a "household word", so not generally "famous". Still, he may be a name to add to the rolladex for some future project.Qureus1 21:52, 4 February 2007 (UTC)


When an ethnic group and a language have the same name, it's standard practice to use pages like this as disambiguation pages. Just have a look at Sindhi, Norwegian and Shona for examples. This article should be moved to Cherokee people according to this formula.

Oh, and if you do make the move, please don't keep the dab page at Cherokee (disambiguation) with a redirect from Cherokee. That makes as much as sense as redirecting French language to French (language).

Peter Isotalo 14:38, 19 September 2005 (UTC)

Moved material

I moved this content from the article ah-ni-yv-wi-ya, which is now a redirect. I personally feel that most of the content has nothing to do in this article, since it's just a very trivial and anecdotal way of explaining linguitic information which is already covered in Cherokee language. None of it is in any way relevant to an article about an ethnic group.

Peter Isotalo 19:44, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

I object to this move and redirect. if anything, the ah-ni-yv-wi-ya articvel should be edited to be more clearly an articel about a word, not a group. Why should I not revert this action? I might add that a redir was suggested on the recent AfD debate and did not gain consensus IMO.DES (talk) 19:48, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
An article "about a word" is a dictionary definition. An encyclopedic article is about a term or a concept used in the language the encyclopedia is written in. Like I've pointed out before, we don't keep 日本人 separate from Japanese people because we're not a dictionary.
Including irrelevant linguistic info along the lines of "Cherokee is really, really different from English" doesn't mean we have to keep the info. Why would it be more relevant than explaining the history of the Cherokee people in Cherokee language?
Peter Isotalo 20:58, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Content needs to be left alone. I am writing a language reference and I would appreciate it being left alone until I complete it unless you are a native speaker of our language or have something constructive to add other than page blanking. Gadugi 21:16, 24 September 2005 (UTC)
Would you care to actually respond to any of the points I've made above? I've tried to explain several times why linguistic information isn't relevant to an article that isn't about linguistics. If you want to demand to have the last say in all Cherokee-related articles, I suggest you read Wikipedia:Ownership of articles.
Peter Isotalo 22:09, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

No response is required. We don't agree. Voting has ended. Stop vandalizing pages. You need to read Cherokee Clans section on Clan Voting. During the Afd process, all the white beads were tallied and he continued to place a black bead back into the basket. He failed to honor the majority votes, and should focus on some other matter somewhere else at this point and take his black bead with him. 22:11, 24 September 2005 (UTC)

I don't now if this is Gadugi editing incognito, a friend or just simple flame baiting, but please keep in mind that Wikipedia is not a democracy nor a bureaucracy. Please note that these wordings are official policy, not just general guidelines. I also suggest reading polls are evil.
Peter Isotalo 22:29, 24 September 2005
Wikipedia is also not a soapbox either. 05:53, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

Content from ah-ni-yv-wi-ya

Ah-ni-yv-wi-ya (pronounced Ah-nee-yuh-wee-yaw) is the name the Cherokee people have used to refer to themselves from the dawn of recorded history. The word "Che-ro-kee" is a European derived word which came originally from the Choctaw trade language. "Cherokee" was derived from the Choctaw word "Cha-la-kee" which means "those who live in the mountains" or "those who live in the caves."

Some report that there are several other possible phonetic roots for 'Cherokee':
1] "Chelokee" (Creek) meaning "people of a different speech". This makes sense since the Iroquoian language they spoke was different from the other tribes in the southeast 'USA'.
2] "Chilukki" (Choctaw and Chickasaw) meaning 'dog people', perhaps derogatory as was Sioux [little snakes] bestowed on the Lakota by their enemies.
3] "Cha-la-kee" (Choctaw) [note similar sound to #2, but with different meaning ascribed as "those who live in the mountains" or "those who live in the caves."
This latter definition, 'people from the mountains' or 'land of caves' seems to be consistent with many other 'foreign' words that don't sound like 'Tsalagi' or 'Cherokee' but were used to identify them:
Entarironnen (Huron) for 'mountain people'
Matera (or Manteran) (Catawba) for 'coming out of the ground'
Oyatageronon (or Oyaudah, Uwatayoronon) (Iroquois) for 'cave people'

References [some redundant]:
Qureus1 08:40, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

The Cherokee language does not contain any "r" based sounds, and as such, the word "Cherokee" when spoken in the Language of Ah-ni-yv-wi-ya is expressed as Tsa-la-gi (pronounced Jah-la-gee or Cha-la-gee) by native speakers, since these sounds most closely resemble "Cherokee" in the native language.

Cherokee words are very complex in comparison to English, and Cherokee words typically comprise an entire sentence or a series of thoughts within a single word verb stem construct.

The literal translation of Ah-ni-yv-wi-ya is broken down as:

Ah = "human", ni = plural which becomes "humans", yv-wi = Which means "it has a spirit" or "it is a sentient being", ya = When placed at the end of a verb stem means "these are" or "these belong to".

So the literal translation of the word Ah-ni-yv-wi-ya translates as "the human people these are" or "these are all the human people."

It's been said by some anthropologists in the past on whether the Cherokees are of extra-American origins: are they descendants of Celts? Phoenicians? Iberians from Galicia? The 10 lost tribes of Israel? Vikings from Greenland? Hindus/East Indians? or the native American cultures developed in isolation? Cherokee words like "tsa-la-gee" resemble the word "ska-lie-ki" or "galician" to mean a Celto-Iberian tribe in Spain or Portugal.

I don't agree with the theory came upon some European anthropologists in the 1800's spoke of a past "when the Indians had visits by a white Indo European empire", but those words to mean "principal people" with that of Galicia are similar in spelling and prounounciation. I guess pre-American history itself is mysterious and unwritten, yet no evidence is found to connect Cherokees and Galicians.+ 03:09, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Separate pages for modern tribes?

Does anyone think it would be a good idea to make new articles for the modern Cherokee Nation, United Keetoowah Band, etc., treating the articles like those of other nations, such as Spain and Russia? Since these are Federally Recognised sovereign nations, I think this would be good. The info from the "Modern Cherokee Nation" section could be moved there then, and more information could be added. Then this article could just be about the Cherokee people in general. Let me know what y'all think about it.  –Benjamin  (talk)  18:51, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

I wonder the varied tribes were dispersed clans of the Cherokee? My grandpa's family line of Underwood came from the Blue clan, but includes those from the Bird, Paint, Wolf and wild potato clans. There's a good reason why clans don't marry within each other, due to how closely related they are by blood or within the same relation. Please note the prohibitions of inner-family marriage isn't isolated to the Cherokee or Native Americans, but universally as it's widely refered to as insect or "mixing your own blood". + 02:15, 11 June 2006 (UTC)


Osiyo. First time ever on this site so please don't attack me if I do this wrong. I have a few questions regarding some of these postings. First the listing of famous Cherokee people. How many of them are actual enrolled members of Federal tribes? I would bet money that most of them on the list are not. So why are people so quick to claim someone is Cherokee that has no federal card just because they are famous but yet the average Joe out there is beat down? For those that do have their little Federal ATM cards that feel your more legit while others without one are not. Why? Did your ancestors 300 years ago decide who was and was not by what the white man wrote down in a roll book? Always has been the problem since the outsiders stepped on this land. Divide and destroy. They did not need and still do not need to do a thing to the people. They do it to themselves. They will fight each other to death while the enemy laughs at them. John Ross who was 1/8th Cherokee was good enough to be leader of the people yet all you hear is how much blood a person is and if they were written in the Cherokee "Lambs book of life". (it is said it is easier to get into heaven than the Cherokee Nation) How does blood amount determine who you are? I have to say in all honesty there are a lot of people out there trying to make a buck off eager people wanting to claim their heritage. I have seen it first hand more times than I care to. I have seen people go off on power trips with these little groups and banish people. I can say also I have seen some people with more heart and soul for the culture and people than some full blood card holding members. Please do not judge all non-federal people by the few bad seeds and we won't judge all you card holders by the few jerks. I have a friend that is an enrolled member of the Nation in OK. His family still lives there and some even work for the nation. He goes back to visit often. He can not speak Cherokee. His family can not speak it. They have young ones learning the language now in school and coming home to teach their family and he is so excited. He married a full blooded german woman. Their daughter does not "look" Cherokee. She is glow in the dark white with blonde hair. She is a card holding member of the nation. She can't speak the language and is not being raised in old ceremonies,culture etc. Why is she Cherokee while someone else is not? She holds that magic card. One day when they figure out they are looking in the mirror and fighting with their own image maybe the people and Nation will advance. Wado for your time cousins. - signed by an ANON IP

Osiyo. Aho. Wado. Some of the answers you seek are in: Blood Politics: Race, Culture, and Identity in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Circe Sturm. Berkeley CA: University of California Press, 2002. xi + 249pp. , photographs, notes, bibliography, index.

Circe is also writing another book along the same lines, but I don't see any public info on it yet.

Famous Cherokee

I was looking to add Hawk Littlejohn to the list of cherokee, but I am confused, because the list describes itself as containing individuals who are not wholly ethnic Cherokee, a description which is unclear, needlessly exclusive, and which makes me unsure if Hawk belongs here. Should that sentence be changed, or is there a better place to put Hawk? Smmurphy 05:32, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

I am really uncomfortable with the line, Others who have identified aspects of their bloodline as Cherokee, while not wholly ethnic Cherokee, include: Could we at least remove while not wholly ethnic Cherokee? If they are part Cherokee, and they want to be considered Cherokee, then they are Cherokee, no? Saying some people are Cherokee but not ethnically Cherokee just seems weird to me. Smmurphy(Talk) 20:28, 11 December 2005 (UTC)
I think we can distinguish people of wholly Cherokee ancestry from people who had one Cherokee ancestor three generations ago. --Saforrest 17:23, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I have some problems with this list. The list of famous celebrities with smatterings of Cherokee ancestry seems vaguely offensive, suggesting perhaps that a famous celebrity with a small amount of Cherokee ancestry is more notable than a modern person with closer cultural and ethnic ties to the Cherokee world.
As well, the idea of composing the list of people with claimed, not demonstrated, Cherokee ancestry could be controversial, though I expect that requiring proof of this sort of thing would be impossible. --Saforrest 17:28, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

The issue lies in how much or how qualified the celebrity is to be included as Cherokee or native American. Country music stars like Tim McGraw and Garth Brooks are continually disputed on having Cherokee ancestry. I've heard Kelly Clarkson, the first American Idol winner has some American Indian in her, then don't have the info. on what tribe. The issue on white and black celebrities claimed American Indian descent is well discussed on the Wikipedia article Native Americans in the United States under "Indian princesses".

It's common for many people who felt they are 1/8, 1/16 or 1/32 indian would simply say "Cherokee". It can be the person actually has African American descent, but the families changed the story to avoid the once-vivid stigma of inter-racial identity. Radio talk satire host the Phil Hendrie show said something like this: "If you're part Indian, you may well be part-black!" or he means you're qualified as a racial minority. He said over-the-air on one segment, in US history the rate of white master-black slave intermarriage and miscegenation was common in the days of slavery, thus some whites as well many blacks have genes from other races, and it's likely they know about it...somehow they're told they are "part-Indian".

The many so-called "wannabes" or "twinkies" some full-blood Indians call the part-bloods in question, should research their family roots before they understand where exactly the roots came from. The majority of new tribe members in the Cherokee Nation are part-blooded, compared to old UCN tribal membership rolls in the late 1970's stated only 15,000 are full-blood. For one to grow up/ know he's American Indian outside any reservation or raised far from tribal traditions, is comparable to someone of ethnic origins: Irish American for 5 generations, Italian American for 3 generations, or my own father from France lived in the US for 38 yrs. now.

My maternal side having American Indian ancestors does not make me instantly an "Indian" unless one chooses to mark the race box on state or federal forms. How can a "Cherokee American" I call myself really knows my own distant roots? Let me say it's similar to Japanese-Americans or "Nisei" has little or no strong ties to Japan other than their ancestry, or the Mexican Americans or "Chicanos" whose families lived on US soil for over a century. Even some persons of Jewish origin may not observe all religious practices of Judaism, then count themselves as descendants of Jews of the holy land.

Cherokees and many American Indians today are mixed-race and have more than one tribe/nation. In Cal., midwest and Northeast states, many "urban" Indians have White, Black, Asian American and Latino relatives by blood or marriage. The array of identity and ancestry leads to new tribal questions has made the Cherokee more aware of their "indian-ness" than ever, and to challenge the tribal headquarters for citizenship qualifications will be difficult. And to verify any descendants from other countries may arise suspicions of fraud to tribal boards, the Cherokee Nation are used to dealing with this subject.

The Cherokee nation does not have blood quantum restrictions, yet it's highly advised to carry papers or documents to verify some eligible proof. You could get state vital records in OK. and the tribal office has collected family genealogical information of some members. However, the Cherokee Nation court and the US supreme court constantly reviewed cases of blood testing shown more or less "American Indian" genes than the person's official blood degree, and for now on, they may not simply accept the results like in the past. + 02:43, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

The list of people with Cherokee ancestors seems trivial and a bit pointless to me. And it is a good example of a problem I've noticed with wikipedia in general -- articles often become long lists of facts rather than well written explanatory essays. There are too many long lists, if you ask me. Perhaps if lists were given separate pages it would be better. On a main page, they just add clutter and noise. Pfly 00:06, 22 September 2006 (UTC)
I recommend heavily editing this list. There's no doubt plenty of errors in the list from what I can tell. It's best to check out and shorten the list to those that really have Cherokee ancestry and remove those where it is unconfirmed (I see some question marks in the list). I've never read of Cher's father being part East Indian, only Armenian. -- WiccaIrish 17:43, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
I'm happy to see the list of "famous Cherokees" has been reduced. Wikipedia has a problem with creeping listcruft. I was getting tired of seeing every random celebrity whose great-great-great-grand-aunt may have possibly been the great-grand-daughter of a supposedly part-Cherokee. As anon pointed out, claims of Cherokee ancestry are often quite dubious and without much proof. Many non-Cherokees were called Cherokees by people who didn't know better, back into colonial times. I myself supposedly have some Cherokee ancestry, but when I looked into it, the person who was said in family stories to be a full of half Cherokee seems to have been at best 1/4, and probably much less. And in any case, neither her nor any of her known ancestors sign their names to one of the "rolls". Another ancestor who was supposedly part Cherokee is well documented in old archives and clearly lived his life as a "white man", even though some of his grandchildren tried to join the Cherokee Nation based on his alleged Cherokee blood. There are still family geneologists who insist this guy was half Cherokee, with a full blooded Cherokee mother, although there is zero hard evidence for this. I think I found the person in my ancestry who was actually Cherokee, far enough back to make me something less than 1/128th. And I suspect this ancestor was far from full-blood anyway. For all I know she wasn't Cherokee but Kickapoo, or something. My research into it has shown me that claims of Cherokee ancestry are quite often dubious. So I'm happy to see the list of "celebrity Cherokees" removed from this article, yay! Pfly 09:24, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
Right...nobody can simply claim to be part-Cherokee or part-Indian, esp. a celebrity without providing evidence to their bigoraphers and genealogists. The blood degree laws are uncertain and might been altered or poorly stated. What if in my case, a grandfather who's mother is (by law) full-blooded, but his father is a quarter Cherokee? What's the blood degree for him according to the Cherokee nation or the US census' racial categorization practices?

The tribal nations insisted for the state of Oklahoma to make a law in the 1990's to make it very difficult for whites or blacks with "Native American" blood not to identity themselves as Indian without official documents, evidence and records for the state and tribal groups to actually read themselves.

They are fighting an increasing problem of "racial fraud" or persons whithout any knowledge of Cherokee heritage attempted to join the Cherokee nation and other tribes, but they never proved any bit of their Native American heritage or had faulty documents not recognized by the tribe, state and/or federal authorities.

It's been difficult lately for the Cherokee Nation to easily accept new tribal members, especially from other countries or those who's fathers are in the US armed forces during WWII in Europe and Asia, same goes to children of these soldiers from the Vietnam war...and the "lost tribe" stories from state recognized bands of Cherokee remains full of skepticism.

DNA testing is an option for new tribal members, however the tribe finds any Cherokee/American Indian DNA would reinvestigate to see the very origins of those genes. Are they African? Asiatic? and other European? The Cherokees are known for high rates of intermarriage and cultural absorption to the "white" mainstream society, except I wondered if at all, inherited a pyschological sense of Cherokee heritage. Mike D 26 12:39, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Native American spirituality request for aid

A new user recently created this article and seemed to have some issues with Wikistyle and guidelines. I have zero expertise in this area and I am commenting here because at the moment the article is mainly about Cherokee society/culture. More experienced editors may peruse the information and take what they will to other pages or improve the article as it is. Thanks all. -Scm83x 12:47, 1 January 2006 (UTC)

Gay marriage.

This ruling was made despite the long tradition of berdaches/"Two-Spirits" in Native American traditions. These "third-gender" individuals often lived as men or women despite their biological gender and were sometimes burnt at the stake, this "role assumption" included assuming the sexual and social position of the opposite sex.

Is there any evidence for these being a part of Cherokee culture specifically? As it stands, this sounds like an ignorant or patronizing aside.

Two-Spirits was not a Cherokee Belief. See the Cherokee Clans article as it contains an excellent section from a verified Cherokee historian about this dispute. 04:49, 26 January 2006 (UTC)

Wrong. The article says nothing about "two-spirits," only same-sex relationships. A relationship with a "two-spirit" was not considered a same-sex relationship. -- WiccaIrish 21:11, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Cherokees had their social mores and rules on gender identity. Women lived as domestic housewives and helpers aroun the house, but Cherokee Indians are noted for women took part in business and tribal affairs. There are councils made up of women participated in their villages and reported activities to the chief and his circles.

Gender roles are said not highly defined in Native American tribal societies, but women were forbidden to participate in shaman or medicine rituals in the Cherokee like other tribes. Other taboos include pregnant women must isolate themselves for her last trimester or over a month before she gives birth. Cherokee superstitions consider exposure to blood and placenta a possible contaminant.

There was divorce in the Cherokee, as a woman can simply pack her belongings and leave her home, and many Cherokee men had arranged marriage, but the selection of wifes aged 18-21 to males after puberty was common. Was there proof of maturity is valued in Cherokee women within the range of childbearing years?

Cherokee gender roles are the same like our modern western society, then the value of women and high lines of respect for "beloved" or elder women is reported a great value to the tribe and community. But,the gender roles was of an importance not subject to severe discrimination or to deny tribal women of most basic rights, and Cherokee religion contained spirits/goddesses involved in their world's creation. + 02:26, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

This has nothing to do with homosexual relationships. One must realize that a relationship with a "two-spirit" (male-bodied "two-spirit" with a cisgendered male or a female-bodied "two-spirit" with a cigendered female) was NOT seen as being a same-sex relationship. So was there Gay marriage among the Cherkoee? Most likely not. However, the Cherokee did in fact once recognize "two-spirit" individuals among them. According to Raymond D. Fogelson, a manuscript from 1825 by Charles Christopher Trowbridge in the archives of George Mason University, Washington, D.C. shows this. As well as personal communication with a traditional Cherokee woman that I once knew. Eastern tribes were acculturated much earlier than Western tribes. -- WiccaIrish 21:06, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Content from the Chad Smith article

Someone added all of this to the Chad Smith article, none of it is about Smith. I am putting it here so the editors of this article can use if it they wish. Please feel free to delete the content from this talk page when done culling the good from the bad and incorporating what you wish. KillerChihuahua?!? 14:08, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Note: It looks like this was virtually a copy-paste from this article, if so please just delete from this talk page. Thanks - KillerChihuahua?!? 14:30, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Allow Cherokee Freedmen Tribal Membership

this is not true...coming from a full blood cherokee in cherokee nc


On March 7, 2006, the Cherokee Nation announced that the Cherokee Freedmen, the descendents of African Americans who were Citizens of the Cherokee Nation and who were adopted into the tribe after the Civil War, are now eligible for membership as Cherokee Citizens because they were classified by the Federal Government as Indians by being entered on the Dawes Commission Lands rolls during the early 1900's [[6]]. The Cherokee in ancient times did not view a person's race as relevant regarding adoption into Cherokee Society, and historically viewed the Cherokee Society as a politically rather than racially based organization. The Cherokee Freedmen, due to intermarriage with the Cherokee, are for the great majority also of Cherokee Blood and ancestry. There are many exceptionally talented Cherokee artisans of Freedmen descent who currently reside within the Cherokee Nation. The Cherokee Freedmen suffered many of the same hardships as other Indian groups because of their Cherokee Citizenship at the turn of the century and were viewed by the Federal Government as Indians, which led to the freedmen being placed on the Dawes Commission Rolls as Cherokee Citizens during the early 1900's.

Many Cherokee Traditionalists have opposed granting tribal membership to the Freedmen, however, the Cherokee Nation also grants membership to Indians of Delaware Blood based upon previous treaties and agreements with the United States. The Cherokee Nation Supreme Court recognized the unique role of the Freedmen in Cherokee history and the mutual hardships and common experience with the Cherokee People during pre-Oklahoma Statehood in rendering its decision, and upheld the Cherokee Nation Constitution guarantees of equal rights for all Cherokee Indians.

United Keetoowah Band Controversies

Historic Cherokee Nation Courthouse where the State of the Cherokee Nation Address is given by the Principal Chief.

The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, also referred to as the UKB, have repeatedly sued the Cherokee Nation under Chad Smith's administration demanding the ceding of tribal land allotments and monetary damages over a variety of issues. All of these lawsuits have failed or been dismissed. The UKB also recently sued the Cherokee Nation for a share of HR Bill 3534, a bill that required the Government of Oklahoma and the United States to compensate the Cherokee Nation and was concerned with the illegal seizure of the Arkansas Riverbed by the State of Oklahoma for public use lands and hydroelectric power generation. The lawsuit filed by the UKB demanding disbursements from the Cherokee Nation from HR Bill 3534 was also ruled to be frivilous and without merit. During the State of Oklahoma lawsuit pertaining to the UKB's illegal casino operations (see United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians for more information regarding the State of Oklahoma prosecution of the UKB for operating illegal casinos), the UKB again sued the Cherokee Nation demanding cessation of tribal land allotments to the UKB to build casinos. These lawsuits were also dismissed, and it was ruled the UKB is not the successor of right to the assets of the Cherokee People.

UKBflag (bordered).png

The UKB held banishment proceedings against Chief Chad Smith, Chief of the Cherokee Nation who also had dual membership in both the UKB and the Cherokee Nation. Since the UKB scheduled the banishment proceedings at the exact time scheduled for the Cherokee Nation State of the Nation Address by the Principal Chief at the Cherokee National Holiday, the entire proceeding was perceived as a public spectacle by the majority of the Cherokee People and garnered disdain and disbelief. The UKB stated in a News Release that they were performing the banishment ceremony to punish Chief Chad Smith for failing to support the illegal UKB casino during the pendency of the State of Oklahoma prosecutions of the UKB Band.

The Cherokee People as a whole reacted unfavorably to the actions of the UKB regarding Chad Smith's banishment, and the event was widely viewed as a political embarassment and publicity stunt by the UKB. Many Cherokee believe the UKB is no longer an actual "band" but a social club, and have vocally stated as such in news announcements. Chad Smith criticized the UKB for disgracing the Cherokee People and behaving like a "social club" in response to their actions.

Modern Cherokee Societies, with the exception of the UKB, are true democratic societies which no longer allow banishment of tribal members.

Cherokee Nation Relationship with the Eastern Band


The Cherokee Nation has announced and participated in numerous joint programs with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and participates in cultural exchange programs and joint Tribal Council meetings involving councilers from both Cherokee Tribes which addresses issues which affect all of the Cherokee People. Unlike the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians adversarial relationship with the Cherokee Nation between the administrations of both tribes, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians interactions with the Cherokee Nation presents a unified spirit of Gadugi with the leaders and citizens of the Eastern Band. WITHOUT THE EASTERN BAND THERE WOULD BE NO OKLAHOMA NATION.THE EASTERN BAND WERE THE ORIGINAL CHEROKEES.REMEMBER TSALI ???

Oh yes, Tsali (he lived in the 1770s) was a famous Cherokee warrior and defender of his tribe from white or American settlers in the Carolinas. Tsali disliked the constant attacks by settlers onto Cherokee villages, because the settlers felt they blocked further expansion of the then colony North Carolina (1776). Tsali sided with British 'redcoat' soldiers, whom allied themselves with the Cherokee, and the British attacked the Western frontier of North Carolina, in part of the American Revolution. In 1780, the course of this little known war between Americans and Cherokee came to an end, when colonial troopers caught Tsali and put him on a staged trial. Tsali was lynched for his "high crimes" and the Cherokees encountered 40 more years of battles over sovereignity with the new country, the United States. Other great American Indian fighters like Tecumseh, Shawnee prophet, Nez Perce and Sitting Bull has heard of Tsali and his struggles against land grabs or settlers' attacks. I heard Tsali was of chief lineage or from the highest class of tribal warriors, then I have to continue my research in books and the web to verify claims of Tsali's clan.+ 03:13, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Marriage Law Controversy

WITHOUT THE EASTERN BAND THERE WOULD BE NO OKLAHOMA NATION.WE ARE THE ORIGINAL CHEROKEE,NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!!!! On June 14 2004, the Cherokee Nation Tribal Council voted to officially define marriage as a union between man and woman, thereby outlawing gay marriage. This was a decision made in response to an application for a union of a lesbian couple that was submitted on May 13. Furthermore, the decision kept Cherokee law in line with Oklahoma state law, which outlawed gay marriage as the result of a popular referendum on a constitutional amendment in 2004.

 eastern band of cherokee do not believe in gay marriages.we were taught better than that from our that sleep with other men and  women that sleep with other women were considered sick and were banished from the tribe. 

Cherokee Nation Warriors Memorial

The Cherokee Nation Warriors Memorial construction began in 2002 and was completed in 2005.

Cherokee Nation Warriors Society Color Guard and Color Guard for the Cherokee Nation.

The Cherokee Nation Warriors Society is a society of Cherokee Nation tribal members who are also military veterans, and who were honorably discharged from military service. The society is based in Tahlequah, Oklahoma and is administered by the Cherokee Nation Office of Veterans Affairs.

The Cherokee Nation Warriors Memorial and Pavalion in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

The Cherokee Nation Warriors Society members and those veterans who gave their lives in military service have bricks with their names inscribed paving the Cherokee Nation Warriors Memorial and Pavalion located at the Cherokee Nation Headquarters in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The memorial is dedicated to all Cherokee Citizens and their families who served in the United States Military and to those who gave their lives in defense of the United States and the Cherokee homeland.

End of the moved Chad Smith content

1999 Constitution

Information concerning the 1999 Cherokee Constitution, BIA's opposition to it and the efforts made to adopt it inspite of that opposition should be added to this article somewhere. The topic appears to be extremely controversial with some Cherokees, so it may be difficult to find a source that is both authoritative and unbiased. The information on the Cherokee Nation's own site dates from 2003, at which time an election was held which passed the 1999 constitution. However, I've been unable to find information concerning BIA's reaction to that vote. The true status of this constitution is therefore not at all clear to me. There are at least a few Cherokee websites which rather vehemently claim this constitution is invalid. (Of course, there is also at least one website which just as vehemently claims that the Oukah is the proper Emperor of All the Cherokees.) It may not be possible to deal with this topic in a way that is both WP:NPOV and WP:VERIFY, but it seems incomplete without at least mentioning it. — MediaMangler 04:25, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Cherokee Text in Unicode

A while back I added some text in the Cherokee script typed in Unicode (standard Wikipedia format), and it's since been replaced by an image. While I personally have no preference either way, I was wondering what Wikipedia's policy is on this, as Cherokee is present in the Unicode standard and there are several free fonts which can display it. 05:05, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia staff should take note to include Cherokee script in the future. It is an unique alphabet from a native American language. I don't know Navajo (Na-Dene) and Comanche, two languages used by the Armed forces in WWII is found on Wikipedia, see also Languages of the United States on the description of present-day fluency of the Cherokee language.

Some thousands of Cherokee speak, read or are fluent in their old language, esp. in isolated rural communities in Northeast OK, and the language is being revived by the Eastern band in their reservation in NC. There was a debate in pre-statehood Oklahoma on the official status of Cherokee, Choctaw and Creek languages, but the white settler-dominated territorial government wanted and made English the new state's "official" language.

The languages of Indian territory were threatened in the early 20th century by restrictions on the use in boarding schools banned their students from speaking it. Laws made in the 1930's and 1970's protected American Indian culture, such as religion, tribal ceremonies or language. Although most Cherokees are Christian, spoke only English and rarely observe all the tribal ceremonies. Any Cherokee tribal member who knew his/her heritage isn't going to loose that any longer and worked hard to review them.

For Wikipedia to ignore the speciality of the Cherokee script is not helping to promote native American culture to a new young generation seeking their roots, some are already aware by what their parents or "elders" taught them. My grandpa of Cherokee/osage descent was able to memorize, speak and write a few Cherokee words to me and my Mom. I'm familiar with "O-si-yo", "Wa-do-oh" and "ga-do-gi" (that's "hello", "goodbye" and "meeting place".) + 02:50, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

I added Cherokee names in Unicode where applicable and included a Special Characters notice. With several free Cherokee Unicode fonts available, and Windows Vista supporting Cherokee out-of-the-box, I'd say it's about time more Cherokee was used on Wikipedia and elsewhere. In the meantime, I encourage everyone to please go to the Cherokee Wikipedia Unicode page for help in reading and typing Cherokee online. Wikilackey 06:00, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Date needed

In the section telling of John Ross becoming chief, it should have a date of when he died, thus ending his "reign" (the right word did not come to mind). "John Ross became the chief of the tribe in 1828 and remained the chief until his death [in --(add date)]." If I knew the correct date, I would insert it. Cyberhawk93 15:53, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

I added the year of death from John Ross (Cherokee chief). — MediaMangler 18:29, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Notable Individuals who have identifiable Cherokee Ancestry

Is there really a point to the "Notable Individuals who have identifiable Cherokee Ancestry" section? Sure, some of the people listed actually do have a Cherokee ancestor at some point, some probably don't, but in any case how was it relevant to their lives if they had a distant Cherokee ancestor? I think we should list people who are actually Cherokee, or have a Cherokee parent, or identify as Cherokee with lesser ancestry, or something along those lines. It is kind of pointless otherwise. Mad Jack O'Lantern 07:06, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

I agree, to exactly count the number of people of Cherokee descent, famous or not, can exceed tens of millions. All I know is the census counted only those of evident Cherokee lineage, esp. registered tribal members of the UCN, OKB and ECB (the 3 federally recognized Cherokee tribes).

My home state, Cali. has a large Cherokee population, by tribe or lineage, many of them like myself, descended from families displaced in the "Dust bowl" era of the 1930s and 40s. The Los Angeles and San Francisco areas, Fresno, Baskersfield, Sacramento and San Diego, each have a small Cherokee/ native American community.

It's possible the lost bands of Cherokee did live in other Southeast, Central and western states, some might went to Canada to avoid the US cavalry, and the lost bands in Mexico and Latin America, was where Sequoyah sought to find when he died there.

The high number of Cherokee among native American US army soldiers may left some descendants in Europe and Asia. I know what happened in the past two centuries, the Cherokee became a large diaspora made up of a removed people from their ancient land of origin wishing to return.

There are still problems: confiscated lands and properties, much of their culture is gone or nearly extinct, and mistreated as a minority group, the Cherokee went through alot of suffering many times, until they stood up and fought back in courts to get what they lost to be fairly returned.

I'm proud but not fanatical of my Cherokee descent through my mother and my grandpa, born-raised in Osage County, Ok. and also lived in Kern County, Cal. but his blood degree isn't 100% nor 1/2 or 1/8. My great-grandmother is 100% while my great-grandfather is 1/4 or 1/3, so how much is he Cherokee???

If anyone does have a knowledge or awareness of a bond to Cherokee heritage or culture should enroll to the tribes, but you need evidence and records in genealogy or property to prove the authenticity of such claims. The UNC offer genetic testing to exam how truthful you are, but not available in UKB or EBC.

Why the Cherokee are highly numerous than most native American tribes? I think the Navajo, Lakota and Shawnee are larger, as well of Latin American indian tribes. How can I explain the size of the Cherokee could be luck, coincidence or the fact is, the "Indian wars" in the 19th century skipped them.

Remember there are four other "civilized" (I prefer the term "westernized") tribes were neighbors to the Cherokee in Oklahoma share great developments, achievements, history and sovereignity. They are Choctaw, their relative Chickasha and the Creek and Seminole, both are Muskogean.

The Cherokees might been the most renowned for victimization in the "Trail of tears", its important to know all Eastern US tribes also took the same path. To protect a people or tribe isn't easy nor meant to promote separatism, then every people or tribe has the right to keep their ways of life. + 03:47, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Diane Glancy

Hi, I have added Diane Glancy to the "famous Cherokees" list. I wasn't sure whether she is enrolled or not, so have put her in the "Notable Individuals who have identifiable Cherokee Ancestry" section for now. Can anyone verify whether she is enrolled or not? Vizjim 15:41, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Hello there, I can't verify Diane Glancy, but all I can say is you need to explore the web for web sites on her biography and genealogy. 03:11, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

  But I like to state you forgot to add other well-known Cherokee Americans. (you think it's a good term, although are native to North America?)  

1. Cher or her real name Cherilyn Sarkisian (her mother was Irish-french-Cherokee descent).

  2. Jimi Hendrix, the famous guitar solo star is half black, part-Cherokee and likely part-white.  3. country music vocalists Crystal Gayle and Loretta Lynn, are sisters (Cherokee-Scotch Irish-English descent),  4. Wayne Newton, part Cherokee/Tuscarora, is a pop music vocalist and Vegas regular star in his own stage act.  and 5. Jared Ashley, contestant of reality show Nashville star, officially joined the United Cherokee Nation.   I heard Cameron Diaz and Carmen Electra is cherokee, probably from lost band of Cherokee migrated to Cuba or Mexico in the 1840s (or from their other halves of family trees).   And one more, can anyone identify Lou Diamond Phillips' Indian tribe or ancestry? He's one of the few American Indian (well...racially mixed) actors and his many roles as American Indian characters in movies or indy films. 03:11, 6 June 2006 (UTC) 
What's the name of the country music guitarist whose song "I'm an Indian outlaw" back in the 1990's stirred protests by Native Americans over the song was offensive or stereotype them as bandits?...and it turned out he was 1/8 Cherokee? Somebody please tell me the name, was it Billy or Willy? I can only remember it ended in McGrath. 22:03, 4 November 2006 (UTC)
 Tim McGraw? 

and what about Hank Williams Sr? He was entered into the Native American Music Hall of Fame too. And has Will Rogers been mentioned? He was one of if not the most famous person in the world I think before his untimely death.

Please include in the article

I found a Cherokee prayer from the internet and it should be included on a future paragraph on religion: "Oh Great Spirit, grant that I may never find fault with my neighbor until I have walked the trail of life in his moccasins."

Split history section into article

I have suggested that Cherokee#History be split to and expanded in a new article entitled History of the Cherokee (consistent with other "History of" titles.) This is for several reasons: 1) the section is relatively short and still needs a fair bit of development, 2) every group/nation/people (at least the significant ones) should have a separate article for their history, 3) it makes it easier to assess the quality and content of both articles. 05:18, 31 August 2006 (UTC)

Early Distribution

This article states that the Cherokee inhabited the Eastern and Southeastern U.S. It would be nice if this was covered in more detail, possibly in the history section. More importantly, this implies a fairly huge area. But on the lanugage page, the map of the original distribution seems pretty small and not really Southeastern. I am just passing through and don't really know which is correct, but figured someone here might want to check it out. PerlKnitter 19:34, 21 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree that the pre-removal history is very thin and could use a lot more (probably in its own article) -- the relation between the Cherokee and the English and French colonies was very important to all participants. I've slowly been starting some stub pages on early / colonial-era Cherokee and events, for use in linking into a larger historical article. It is a long history, so may take a long time to write about!
The map on the language page looks small, but then the map show the whole continent. It is pretty large for a Native American language. Then again, it doesn't look like it is in quite the right place to me. A more detailed closer-in map would help. I'll make one if I get inspired. It would be interesting to have a map showing the changing Cherokee lands over time. From European contact to removal, there was quite a geographic shift before the Big Shift to Oklahoma. I've seen maps showing that changing pattern. Maybe I can find a public domain one.
Finally, "southeastern" sounds good enough to me. It is true the "original" distribution (where original = at the time of European contact) is more east-central, it is still in the general Tennessee area, which is typically called a southern state. Also, over time, the Cherokee moved ever further south into northwest Georgia, quite a bit south of the area shown on the original distribution map. On the other hand! -- one could argue that the Cherokee were more of a northern Iroquoian tribe that migrated to the southern Appalachians at some point before European contact, and that their cultural and linguistic history is quite distinct from other southeastern tribes. But it makes more sense, I think, to look at the similarities between the Cherokee and other southeastern tribes (like the Creek). Perhaps a more accurate description might be "a southeastern, southern Appalachian tribe".
Anyway, yes, more early history! Two good books on the topic are Mooney's "Myths of the Cherokee" and John Browns "Old Frontiers". Pfly 00:06, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Moytoy as Emperor?

Oops, I meant to comment on this, the start of the History section of the article:

"The Cherokee nation was unified from a society of interrelated city-states in the early 18th century under the "Emperor" Moytoy, with the aid of an unofficial English envoy, Sir Alexander Cumming. In 1730, Chief Moytoy of Tellico was agreed to be the "Emperor" by the Elector Chiefs of the principal Cherokee towns. "

I was under the impression that the title of Emperor given to Moytoy by this Englishman was, while an interesting development, somewhat of a joke. Or at least -- the English considered Moytoy "emperor", whose word was taken as the word of all the Cherokee, but to the Cherokee, I think a better word for Moytoy's position might be "ambassador". There may have been a brief spell of a few years during which other chiefs were more submissive to Moytoy, but it didn't last. Later in Moytoy's life he was clearly not an emperor but just one of many head chiefs. In fact, wasn't it Moytoy whose warriors fell into violent conflict with the Virginian army they were supposed to be assisting, in 1758, leading to the Anglo-Cherokee War? Maybe that was a different Moytoy, but whoever it was, he was hardly treated as a paramount chief by the other chiefs during the war, as I understand it.

In other words, I think this sentence is wrong in saying "The Cherokee nation was unified...". The English may have hoped it was, and acted as if it was, but it wasn't. Or am I confused? Pfly 02:15, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Population history

This table used to be in the article. Probably lost to vandalism. Feel free to put it back if you want.

U.S. Population[1]
*new counting methods used

If this is readded, the 'new counting method' needs to be explained in context, otherwise it's a worthless chart. Also, citations should be used for the data sourcing.ThuranX 04:43, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

It's all there, Sherlock—that little footnote thingy is not just for looks. Ironically, the chart was about the only thing in the article that was fully sourced. —Kevin 07:24, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

I removed the chart because there was nothing to indicate its relevance to the Cherokee. And because I wanted to put the Cunne Shote portrait somewhere useful after removing it from Stalking Turkey. Gazpacho 02:27, 15 December 2006 (UTC)


This sentence is found in the third paragraph of "Bands and naming", and I cannot comprehend it. Could someone please change the wording to make its meaning clearer?

Cherokee descendants sometimes hyphenated the name "Cherokee Americans" believed the US government destroyed documents and any legal proof, other than ancestry had identified them as "Indians" throughout the 20th century's federal census practice of racial categories. Kingturkey 09:32, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

I removed the sentence since what little sense it makes seems to be unverifiable conspiracy theory. MediaMangler 18:39, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

The Cherokee American identity issue found its' way under the Wikipedia: List of controversial issues. Someone deleted the list of famous Cherokees and the story (since it was unsourced or perceived as myths) on the Cherokee American identity of many people not in tribal nations is taken done. I'm not happy about this, since to me to do that is based on censorship ("false lies") and opinionated attitudes ("conspiracy theory") to look down on a numerous Native American people. In history of Census racial categories, any white American who openly admits their "Indianness" is at risk of becoming a member of a racial minority group, a way to face discrimination and in some states, they would be treated unfairly as "colored people". Then it's been widely known and researched that many Census practices has deleted any mention of "Indianness" of tribal members, who are by legal definition are Native Americans. 16:46, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Famous Cherokee people list gone

How come the list was deleted? At least some famous Cherokee people (tribal leaders, artists, authors and celebrities) have some mention of Cherokee ancestry in their respective articles. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and his daughter, Liv Tyler, an actress has personally claimed Cherokee ancestry. I'm gonna research that in biographical and fan club web sites, and any other famous Cherokee people on the web to verify their claims. I want to find out if the celebrities' Cherokee ancestry claims are true or myths concocted by a fan not knowing of their background like if it cared. Mike D 26 01:25, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

We've removed and edited down the list of famous Cherokee a few times. I think it is time for that again. Here's what I propose: (1) We remove all but a couple names from the section now, (2) we demand any additions be cited and remove uncited additions, (3) if/when we've got a dozen or so names, we move them all to a list, banishing this problematic section from this article (hopefully). Smmurphy(Talk) 05:00, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
There is evidence on Gloria Steinem's husband, David Hale is a Cherokee Nation tribal member. Is it required to look at her article and find the source, then include the Steinem-Hale marriage and the sources in the Cherokee article? Mike D 26 12:29, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Disputed: Cherokees are a diaspora

I'm not sure on historical evidence, but I copied and placed a deleted paragraph below. I haven't came to any evidence of Cherokee descendants in other countries except for the Mexican Cherokee nation or the fact Canada has a few thousand Cherokee descendants. The CNO recognizes tribal members in any country, but any documentation to verify the claim (facts or web pages), I'll restore it. I think we notify the CNO on further searches of "lost Cherokee" in Latin America, but let's make sure this is true at the first place. <<<Celebrities who are either members of Cherokee tribal nations, or of Cherokee descent, are sometimes referred to as "Cherokee Americans". Some claims of actual Cherokee ancestry of certain celebrities are disputed by biographers and the very tribal nations. It's been said Cherokees live in other countries through historic migration, involvement in wars as U.S. troops, and close contact with European and North American countries (Canada, Great Britain, France, Spain and Latin America, notably of Mexico and Brazil). >>> Mike D 26 02:10, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Cherokee Freedmen

I have tagged this section for weasel words due to the use of such(see the 'citation needed' section) and the contentious nature of the press coverage of the subject. Yahya 04:41, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Along with the removal below, the Freedmen section was recently rewritten with quite a bit cut out, which you can see here. Hopefully (for context) if any of the material here and below can be cited, we can put some of it back in. Smmurphy(Talk) 03:01, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Cherokee Freedmen? How racist that you want no mention of Congoid/Capoid descended people of Cherokee extraction. You can't erase history, the scientific/genetic evidence is undeniable. Relir 08:37, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Questionable content?

I noticed somebody had deleted this large chunk of text on the grounds that it was questionable and POV. I really don't know anything about the subject, so I'm putting it here in case anybody wants to argue with it. Aelffin 12:55, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Chief Joe Byrd's 1997 Cherokee Nation controversies

During the 1998 Cherokee National Holiday, Joe Byrd's private Security Forces and BIA Police armed with guns and rifles looked down from rooftops onto the crowd of Cherokee Elders, families, and children while a BIA helicopter circled overhead. Photos taken by Federal Law Enforcement.

- Chief Joe Byrd was elected in 1995 as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. During his administration, the Cherokee Nation experienced a nationwide political scandal from allegations of diversion, fraud, illegal wiretapping, mail fraud, embezzlement, misuse of funds, abuses of unit power and organized violence against the Cherokee People.[citation needed] Joe Byrd's illegal security force, armed with rifles, shotguns and automatic weapons, seized and orchestrated an armed standoff against the Cherokee Nation Judicial Branch. Byrd's forces boarded up the Cherokee Nation Courthouse and Judicial Department after these institutions attempted to indict and subpoena him for illegal diversion of Cherokee Nation Funds.[citation needed]

- Byrd was defeated by Chief Chad Smith in the 1999 Cherokee Nation Elections. He attempted to run for re-election of the Cherokee Nation in 2003 and in a near-landslide victory was again defeated by Chad Smith.

  1. ^ Population figures (rounded off) from Russell Thornton, American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987), p. 115.; 1990 population figure from the Encyclopedia of North American Indians; 2000 population from a USA Today news story, which explains that the 2000 population figure increased so dramatically because of a greater effort to count everybody, and because multi-racial people were, for the first time, able to identify themselves as belonging to more than one group.