----- Original Message -----
From: John Cornsilk
Sent: Sunday, April 13, 2008 10:24 AM
Subject: Article

Mr. Giagio,
I just read your article titled "Congressional Black Caucus Attacks Sovereign Status of Indian Nations"
And as a near full blood Cherokee, that lives here in the land of the "Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma" I am thoroughly disgusted with the article, on several points...With your stature as a Native American Author it would appear to me you would get prepared before you begin a subject, specially out of the element of YOUR TRIBE!

Point number 1.

You said:

The Congressional Black Caucus, in attacking the sovereign status of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is placing in question and in jeopardy, the sovereign status of all Indian nations. At least that is the conclusion drawn by many tribal leaders across America.

I say!

My Question is who are these Tribal leaders other than Chad Smith, and the NACIA? Where Chad’s flunky Deputy Chief Joe Grayson is a supposed leader...Joe as a Cherokee Man totally inept, who fills the stereotypical drunken Indian bill to the max, and uneducated fool. who is only there for the Indian appearance of the dynamic duo of top Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) aficionados!!.

Point number 2.

You said:
The people of the Cherokee Nation exercised their democratic rights when 70 percent of them voted to extinguish the tribal citizenship to the Cherokee Freedmen. The Freedmen are former Black slaves that became a part of the Cherokee Nation under the provisions of the Treaty of 1866.

I say!
First part of the this statement almost true, we are Cherokee People!! BUT there is NO Cherokee Nation!! It was abolished by the Curtis Act of 1898, we are simply descendants of Cherokee Citizens of the Dawes era...We are "members" (of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma (CNO), that was born in 1975, of Ross O. Swimmer) now as for who exercised their right to extinguish freedmen citizenship, It was NOT 70 percent of the people as you say, the fact of the matter it was actually 75% of the people that voted, which was a grand total of 8,000 give or take a few, 6,000 75% for kicking them out 2,000 25% said no by their vote...Here comes the rub with your statement, you are not alone though, every writer is guilty of the same thing, makes for drama in the article I guess...The populace of the members of the CNO totals 300,000 give or take a few, So do the math the vote of 8,000 was a whopping 2.66 % of the Cherokee members/people of CNO voted to kick out the freedmen...You are absolutely correct the Freedmen Descendant of the Cherokee Freedmen of the Dawes era, are Cherokee absolutely no different than the rest of we Cherokee and members of CNO.
The Article said, of the meeting between the Eastern Band of Cherokee of North Carolina: A joint resolution issued after the meeting reads, “This alarming, inappropriate and unacceptable overreach could set a precedent that undermines the sovereign tribal governments throughout Indian country. These proposed legislative actions threaten to turn back the clock on hard-won rights and to cease a nation’s right to exist.”

I ask:
Then are we to assume the following is your statement? or is this Smith Rhetoric?

The Article said:

It should be noted that California is one of the worst states in the Union where tribes are systematically removing and denying citizenship to members. Rep. Watson represents a voting district in that state. What has she done about this problem in her own district? And what about the rest of the Congressional Black Caucus? Are they not concerned that Indian people are often removed from tribes in California without even a democratic vote? Or will they only speak up when Black Americans are involved?

Point number 3.

You said:

And the final question in the Article:

What gives the Congressional Black Caucus the right to interfere in the internal affairs of an independent sovereign Indian nation?
These are all questions that every Native American leader and citizens should be asking every member of the CBC including presidential candidate Barak Obama who is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.
And isn’t ironic that the very word “Caucus” is derived from the Algonquin Indian language and meant, “A group of people united to promote an agreed –upon cause.”

I say!

I would have to assume this is more of the CNO babble of blatant out-right lie!! rather than your statement, it matches what they hawk, the question is, what is Obama's status, is he a Senator or Congressman, Senator I think, then is The CBC made up of both house members?

As for the Watson Bill and what it is and does only requires a simply reading, NO where in the Bill will you find the term of anyone or any Indian Nation Mentioned other than CNO, except under the Severance Section at
“#(3) OTHER FREEDMAN INDIANS- Not later than 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall issue a public report to Congress on the status of freedmen in the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Muscogee (Creek), and Seminole Nations of Oklahoma. The report shall address whether each of those Indian tribes is complying with all treaty obligations and Federal laws with respect to its freedmen members, the level of participation of freedmen in tribal leadership positions, tribal benefits received by the freedmen, and previous or current efforts on the part of those Indian tribes to disenfranchise its freedmen members.”

You say:

But I ask, Or is this more Smith Rhetoric?

When the CBC begins to use its power to go after some of the tribes of California for ejecting and denying citizenship to their members then, and only then, will their actions against the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma have the appearance of justice or otherwise their objectivity will always be in question to the sovereign people of the Indian nations.

I say!

The simple fact to remember, is when the California Tribes do what the Cherokee Nation is doing and in the complete racist fashion against or in violation of their own Law, State Law, which they are not, they have the right as a Legal Government to determine their membership, as long as it is not a violation of federal civil right Laws, as RACISM...And were it so, or happens to be proven so, then it will be up to California to step in first, because they are a Public Law 280 State, that has jurisdiction in Indian matters. If they refuse then the feds will get involved!

John Cornsilk
Cherokee, CNO Member!