Chad Smith letter to Congresswoman Watson

Elder John Cornsilk's  Debunking of the letter.
June 2008

Smith Said:

Your May 13, 2008 column in The Hill contained a number of errors and omissions. I would have preferred to bring them to your attention in a meeting with you, but, despite repeated requests since August of last year, your office has not agreed to a meeting.

"The Elder" Cornsilk says!

My thoughts would be, the office of Congresswoman Watson was well aware of the lies an absolute racist rhetoric smith wanted to impose up on the lady. Simply because of the situation itself she has to know the stance of Smith on Law, which would be, his total pretermission of the fact of law, if he were not a Lawyer his blatant disregard might be overlooked as ignorance. Watson is in the business of writing law so she most assuredly knows what it is and what it means As is demonstrated in her BILL HR 2824 simply read it people an see the understanding of law that is demonstrated and with citing of documentation for corroboration.

Smith Said:
Unfortunately, distortions and misrepresentations of the history, the law and the facts concerning this issue abound. If we could meet, I would explain the following facts:

1. At its core, this issue is about Cherokee identity and who is an Indian. To be a citizen in the Cherokee Nation, one must find an Indian ancestor listed on the federally authorized base rolls of the Cherokees. More than 1,500 descendants of former slaves, also known as Freedmen, can do so and are our citizens. We have many thousands more who have such Indian ancestors and also self-identify with other heritages, including African American, Asian American, Hispanic American, and Caucasian.

 "The Elder" Cornsilk says!
First off, Smith's fact # 1 is rife with absolute distortion and misinformation if not outright blatant lies! First of all, the core of the issue is not the the identity of an Indian, we are not concerned with what is or who is, the crux of the issues is what and who is a Cherokee...

Secondly, The base Roll Smith likes to mention, is a figment of his imagination/or distorted brain, it can be said to be a federally authorized roll of the Cherokee Citizens, called the Dawes Rolls, and the implication by the use of the term federally authorized for basis of authority as Rolls for Citizenship, is the above mentioned misinformation, it was simply an enumeration of the People living in the Cherokee Nation/Indian territory at the time that were actually Cherokee Citizens for the sole purpose of determining who as a Cherokee would receive a land allotment.

And the use of the Dawes Rolls as the document for determining who is a descendant of a Cherokee citizen, was NOT a federal requirement, in-fact they could care less, their concern is the violation of the Citizenship rights/Law of the Cherokee Freedmen by fact of Smith's violation of the 1866 Treaty. The use of these Rolls was written into the supposed Constitution of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma by Ross Swimmer in 1975,  read  "Article III Section 1. it says, All members of the Cherokee Nation must be citizens as proven by reference to the Dawes Commission Rolls, including the Delaware Cherokees of Article II of the Delaware Agreement dated the 8th day of May, 1867, and the Shawnee Cherokees as of Article III of the Shawnee Agreement dated the 9th day of June, 1869, and/or their descendants." So you can readily see even Swimmer back then, knew he was NOT talking about Cherokee Citizens except for the descendants thereof.

Thirdly, It is NOT who can be a Citizen of the Cherokee Nation, that was determined by the Dawes Commission, completed in 1906 with the enumeration of all Cherokee Citizens in the different sections of the Dawes Rolls, with Cherokee Citizens of each section being no more no less Cherokee than the other. And at the completion the United States Congress close the Rolls of the Cherokee Nation Forever with no more citizens to be added, except for a very few by court order up to 1914, and the Rolls remain closed today!

And the Fourth, Smith would still be wrong if he were talking about the Cherokee Nation, for all the reasons explained in sections 1, 2, 3, of this section, and this one number 4, but he is NOT, and can-not, he is talking about the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma CNO, an entity that was born in 1975 by Ross Swimmer's declaration he was writing a Constitution for the Cherokee, and he did it with out any basis of Cherokee Law...

The current government of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) claims to enjoy the same sovereign powers as every other federally recognized tribe, the constitutional foundations of the CNO government are, in fact, dangerously deficient and will likely remain so until the Cherokee people decide to convene an authentic constitutional convention and reorganize under the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act of 1936 (OIWA). The constitutional crisis now confronting the Smith Junta, that he refuses to deal with is the direct result of decades of an authoritarian style of executive decision making that has consistently valued political expediency above the due process of law. From W.W. Keeler to Ross 0. Swimmer to Wilma Mankiller, Joe Byrd, and today Smith of Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) have uniformly neglected the need for constitutional reform in the interest of preserving their own power. Smith's control, actually no different than the previous Chiefs live merely asserted the authority to govern without taking seriously the responsibility to insure that his authority is based on a REAL constitutional foundations, it simply isn't Folks!

Smith Said:

2. There is no such thing as a termination effort against the Freedmen. The fact that more than 1,500 Freedmen descendants are citizens of the tribe today is a testament to that fact.

"The Elder" Cornsilk says!

Smith must think the world is as ignorant as he, and the people he has hawking the Racist rhetoric, True there are some black Cherokee, absolutely no different than any other Descendant you will find with a blue membership card of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma products of the marriages of all the Cherokee Citizens listed on the Dawes Rolls. That Smith likes to tout as the base roll of the Cherokee, actual we as the the Cherokee people have no such thing as a base roll, that is used today, if there was one it would have to be the 1880 Census of the Cherokee if you will visit it you will get a true sense of who is a Cherokee, the Negro/Colored included, and black Cherokee Family members were simply listed as a Cherokee, and note this was long before the Dawes Rolls and the segregation of the black Cherokee as Freedmen, with just a little effort one can research and prove the asininity of the claim for the purpose of showing there ar Freedmen Cherokee Citizens, While it may true there may be a scant few blue card toting Cherokee Freedmen, Chad touts none of them as members of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, in fact their Status as Citizen is on hold awaiting the complete disenfranchising Smith is after. The black Cherokee he Touts as being members are descendants of a Cherokee Ancestor, absolutely no different than Smithchad.jpgor Mejohnpix2.jpg ...

The Cherokee Ancestor/Citizen on the Dawes roll married a free slave Negro/Colored just like Chad's ancestor and mine married a white person, thus eventually producing Chad a white man Part Cherokee and Me a Cherokee Part White but we both Cherokee because of the ancestor and verifiable by the BIA with the issuance of the certificate attesting to the Cherokee lineage. And the black Cherokee he touts, example Mike Graham, a black man that passes as white, with the BIA certifiable Cherokee lineage mg13.jpg hawking the Racist rhetoric of Smith against our black brothers and Sisters The Cherokee Freedmen, is this a sick form of racism or not?? Then there is this one Mz Heather Williams hw.jpg She hawks the Smith Rhetoric as well and to watch her say, "them black people only want something for free", is so disgusting! These two black Cherokee are Cherokee because of their Cherokee ancestor on the Dawes Rolls, NOT their Freedmen ancestors and this is what gets them their pedigree from the BIA, The CDIB card Thus their acceptance as a Cherokee by Smith and company, and you can believe if Smith could lump them with the freedmen he would, because they are black, BUT he can-not because they got the little white BIA card that says they are Cherokee, So he does the next best thing he uses their ignorance to hawk the racist rhetoric against our black brothers and sisters!

Smith Said:

3. The Cherokee people and no government body or official -- chose to return to what it was since time immemorial a tribe of Indians. Three thousand signatures were collected in a citizens petition to put the March 2007 amendment on the ballot for a referendum. This was the third time Cherokees have spoken on this issue since 1975, and the amendment passed by 77% of the vote.

"The Elder" Cornsilk says!

What is disgusting about this statement is the simple fact is Smith is a Lawyer and he knows better, we are what we have been from time immemorial, in the beginning we called ourselves A-ni-yv-wi-ya , later to be called Tsa la gi and today in English means Cherokee, in the 1700's early 1800's we could have been called a tribe, and the matrilineal Clan of government was the rule of law... In 1827 when the centralized form of Government was taken on by the Cherokee, and the 1827 Constitution of the Cherokee was passes and implemented we ceased being a Tribe and became a Nation of Nationals. Cherokee Citizens which included different ethnicity's even back then, some adopted blacks, adopted Whites, other Tribal members adopted, so even then we were a nation of Citizens not a tribe of Indians... Yes Smiths hacks who were designated to collect the signatures did come up with 3,000 but with the illegalities the petition process was fraught with, I would even question the number, as you can see from reading Justice Leeds dissent the one justice on the Court, Smith had no control over, justice Dowty did write a dissenting opinion as well which concurred with Leeds that the Petition should be thrown out. And Smith is right the measure was passed by 77 or so percent of the vote, but what he omits is only 2.6 percent of the Cherokee membership voted!

Smith Said: 4. Two-thirds of Cherokees fought for the Union in the Civil War against the Confederacy.

"The Elder" Cornsilk says! An inconsequential statement to the issue, the most important of the aspect of the Civil War and the Cherokee they officially treated with the confederates and fought the United states...And the war was won by the Union thus The Cherokee were treated as a conquered nation and for their own good realized they needed to sign a reconstruction treaty and they did in 1866, resulting in the making citizens of the freed slaves.

Smith Said:

5. The Cherokee Nation, as a nation, owned no slaves. Two percent of Cherokees held slaves before the Cherokee Nation voluntarily emancipated them in 1863 - well before the Civil War ended, the passage of the 13th Amendment, and the signing of the 1866 Treaty.

 "The Elder" Cornsilk says! Another inconsequential statement to the matter of fact, the Cherokee Owned Slaves, though it was a small number of thin blood nearly white Cherokee that owned the slaves emulating their White brethren...Even that was inconsequential simply because The Cherokee Government was of, by and for the Cherokee People and the Cherokee People was Responsible for the actions of the government: Thusly the Government responsible for the actions of its citizens.

Smith Said:

6. It is completely false that the Cherokee tribal court was ever dissolved, reconstituted and then packed. This simply never happened.

"The Elder" Cornsilk says!

This has to be the most asinine statement in this total niggle, once again the fact Smith is a Lawyer is what makes it utterly asinine...The Curtis Act a congressional act, (Act of June 28, 1898), ch. 517, 30 Stat. 495. Section 28 of the Curtis Act provided that on July 1, 1898, "all tribal courts in Indian Territory shall be abolished... No where in the act did it say except for the Cherokee Nation, it unequivocally states all tribal courts will be abolished, But Smith's statement is partially true the Cherokee Court has NEVER been reconstituted legally, and Smith knows that a Congressional Act or the Actions thereof can only be abrogated by the Congress it self ONLY there fore the Cherokee Nation has no Judicial system and Nether doe the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, In 1906, when Congress was considering the admission of Oklahoma to the Union. it was deemed by Congress the tribal governments were needed to be in place for what ever reason: therefore they were extended indefinitely by Joint Resolution No. 7 of March 2, 1906, 34 Stat. 822, and by Section 28 of the Five Tribes Act of April 26, 1906, ch. 1876, 34 Stat. 148. The Creeks face this problem in Harjo V Kleppe, 420 F. Supp. 1110, 1118-1131 (D.D.C. 1976), aff'd 581 F.2d 949 (D.C. Cir. 1978), the court held that the Five Tribes Act of 1906 continued the executive and legislative authority of the Creek government under the Creek constitution of 1867.

The Muscogee Creek Nation V. Hodel court ruling stated, neither the Five Tribes Act of 1906 nor the Harjo decision revived the Creek tribal court system. Only the re organization under the OIWA repealed the effect of the abolishment of their Judicial system by the Curtis Act, and allowed the Creek Nation to reconstitute its judicial system, if this is so for the Creek Nation in federal Court, you can be assured it holds true for the Cherokee Nation who have NOT been to any court to date nor been allowed as a special entity to restore their court system. The Cherokee Nation has No Court System, and most assuredly the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma does NOT either.

Swimmer knew all this when he wrote the supposed Constitution of the Cherokee in 1975 if you will read: Article VII Judicial. It says "There is hereby created a Judicial Appeals Tribunal composed of three (3) members all of whom must be admitted to practice law before the highest Court of the State of which they are residents, and -all of whom shall be members of the Cherokee Nation, appointed by the Principal Chief and approved by the Council for such terms as the Council may provide. The purpose of this Tribunal shall be to hear and resolve any disagreements arising under any provisions of this Constitution or any enactment of the Council. The Council shall provide for a procedure which shall insure that any litigant receives due process of law together with prompt and speedy relief, and shall generally follow that portion of the Oklahoma Statutes known as the Administrative Procedures Act, Title 75, Oklahoma Statutes, 301 et seq. The decision of the Judicial Appeals Tribunal shall be final insofar as the judicial process of the Cherokee Nation is concerned." As you can see this is a judicial appeal Tribunal NOT a Court of law!

Smith Said:

Furthermore, as is the case for the President of the United States and the Congress, neither I nor the Tribal Council have powers to dissolve the tribal courts or pack them with anybody.

"The Elder" Cornsilk says! No one is saying otherwise for The US Government, but the Simple fact is either can with respect to the Indian Nations the president simply by a stroke of the pen, because of the fact of the plenary control by Congress over Indian affairs they can and have by congressional act, and that is what took place in 1898 and that crippling blow to the Cherokee Nation has NOT been abrogated. And Just as the President packs the courts of the federal judiciary, so do the Indian Nations that have courts, Not all have Courts.

The Cherokee Nation is one that does not, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma has what is called a Judicial Appeals Tribunal which as we speak is morphing in to an illegal court, and is conducting judicial proceedings today, for the benefit of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma's administrative branch, and you better believe it is packed/stacked with Smith loyals 4 to 1.

Smith said:

In fact, only one Cherokee Principal Chief tried (and failed) to dissolve the courts and that was Joe Byrd, the man who spoke on your panel addressing this issue during the Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference in September 2007. This is the same man who, while a Tribal Council Member, voted three times to require Cherokee citizens to have an Indian ancestor.

 "The Elder" Cornsilk says!

This is another asinine babbling inconsequential to the issue! But Byrd did not try to abolish the Court, he was acting on the advice of a Lawyer who was actually working for the CNO political Machine that was out to unseat him, Byrd was to absorbed in power craze to know he was being got by his own people from within his circle...BTW Smith was a part of the CNO machine, What Byrd, tried to do was Impeach the justices, that had nothing to with the court, had he been successful the Court would have still been in place.

Smith Said:

7. The example of the Seminole Nation could not be more different...The Seminoles 1866 Treaty with the United States explicitly gave Freedmen citizenship in the Seminole Nation in perpetuity. The Cherokee Nation's 1866 Treaty did not. Also, the Seminoles lacked a tribal court system to adjudicate citizenship disputes, while the Cherokee Nation has had one for many years.

 "The Elder" Cornsilk says! This is just more complete asinine drivel, while I have not read the Seminole Treaty, I have read the Creek's 1866 Treaty and the Cherokee 1866 Treaty, neither treaty has a clause ending the Freedmen's citizenship rights granted at the end of any stated or specific time, and with the Cherokee Freedmen after being granted this right by law, having to fight in court numerous times proving their citizenship rights in EVERY instance, would indicate to me their citizenship is rather solidly perpetual!

Smith Said

8. The Cherokee Nation has honored the 1866 Treaty and no court has ever ruled otherwise. On the other hand, the U.S. Government and Congress have broken countless treaties with the Cherokees and other tribes for centuries, including the 1866 Treaty itself. In the case of anti-Cherokee legislation, Congress would be violating the treaty if it interfered with the courts as the 1866 Treaty was a negotiated document that left it to tribal courts to decide these issues and that's what they are doing today. While Congress might have the power to take away funding to our poorest citizens, doing so is a blatant violation of the 1866 Treaty, which left to tribal courts the authority and responsibility to determine citizenship disagreements.

I "The Elder" Cornsilk says!

Well finally an unequivocally correct statement, YES The Cherokee Nation Absolutely honored the 1866 Treaty and honored its Cherokee people as well, and did so in the same year of the signing of the Treaty they amended their 1839 Constitution, see Article II Section 5. this is an honoring of the fact of law they agree to in the signing of the Treaty!

Yes it could be construed the Treaty of 1866 gave the rights of self governance to the Cherokee to the extent it would honor the civil rights of all its citizens, but that is not what Smith is trying to do he is trying to abrogate this right the US swore to protect, and that is what they are doing with Watson's action. The Cherokee Court assuming it is an actual court has ruled on the issue, smith did not like the ruling and set out to over throw it, now it is up to the federal Court, and if they fail, the only other option is the Congress must act.

Smith Said:

9. We strongly disagree on the meaning of the 1866 Treaty. However, you cannot ignore what Congress did 40 years later. In 1902 and 1906, Congress passed laws that clearly removed Freedmen descendants as citizens in the Cherokee Nation. Subsequent federal court decisions confirmed that Congress had changed the meaning of the 1866 Treaty with respect to Freedmen descendants. Today, Congress wants to coerce the Nation into giving back to Freedmen descendants what Congress took away 100 years ago. The ongoing confusion surrounding these issues demonstrates why this matter belongs in the courts, which have all the facts and law before them, and not in Congress. With more than $270 million in federal assistance for health care, housing and education for the young, poor and infirm hanging in the balance, we have no choice but to continue to oppose H.R. 2824 and related legislation. We are proud that Indian Country in the United States in addition to indigenous peoples groups internationally -- stand with the Cherokee Nation on this issue. Hundreds of federally recognized tribes represented by the National Congress of American Indians and thousands of individual Native Americans have expressed their opposition to anti-Cherokee legislation. They view it as a dangerous precedent, similar to the kind of reckless and coercive congressional action that led to the Trail of Tears. They understand that Congress should not rush to judgment before the courts decide. And, more importantly, most Americans can understand why an Indian tribe should be comprised of Indians. It continues to be a sad fact that the contemplated approach to the Cherokee Nation and Indian Country is reminiscent of the dark periods of the 19th century rather than the more enlightened world of the 21st century. I hope you will accept my invitation to meet soon -- either in Washington, D.C. or when you come to Oklahoma on June 7 --to discuss these issues in greater depth.

"The Elder" Cornsilk says!

I am at a loss as to what the Congress did in 1902, that Smith could seize upon in attempt of claiming abrogation of a congressional act (THE CURTIS ACT) I know what he claims of the 1906 Act, but the Supreme Court rendered that concept moot in Hodel where it said neither the Harjo nor the 1906 act restores the judicial system of the Creek Nation. As for the thousands of people clamoring by mail for the congress to not pick on the Cherokee Nation, sadly all those letters are from the employees of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma who were told, mail those letters or lose your job! Congress needs to look into that as well! In fact Congress needs to order a full-fledged investigation in to the business ot the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

Well Chad Congress is only after the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma to do right by ALL its citizens', and any meeting you might have with Congresswoman Watson can only result in her learning what a liar you are, so I sincerely hope she will grant you a meeting and that you will actually attend, which I doubt you would!

John "The Elder" Cornsilk
 Cherokee CNO Member
Purveyor of Simple Truth!