Cherokee Nation wants a rep. in Congress, taking US government up on promise it made in 1835

  
Via:  1stwarrior  •  4 weeks ago  •  45 comments

Cherokee Nation wants a rep. in Congress, taking US government up on promise it made in 1835

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


The Cherokee Nation announced Thursday that it intends to appoint a delegate to the US House of Representatives, asserting for the first time a right promised to the tribe in a nearly 200-year-old treaty with the federal government.

It was a historic step for   the Oklahoma-based Cherokee Nation   and its nearly 370,000 members, coming about a week after Chuck Hoskin Jr. was sworn in as principal chief of the tribe. The Cherokee Nation says it's the largest tribal nation in the US and one of three federally recognized Cherokee tribes.

The move raises questions about what that representation in Congress would look like and whether the US will honor an agreement it made almost two centuries ago.

Here's what's at stake.

Why is this happening now?

The Cherokee Nation's right to appoint a delegate stems from the same treaty that the US government used to forcibly remove the tribe from its ancestral lands.

As a result of the 1835   Treaty of New Echota   , the Cherokee were ultimately made to leave their homes in the Southeast for present-day Oklahoma in exchange for money and other compensation. Nearly 4,000 members of the tribe died of disease, starvation and exhaustion on the journey now known as the Trail of Tears.

A delegate in the House of Representatives was one of the ways the US government promised to compensate the Cherokee Nation.

So why is the tribe only taking up the offer now?

Ezra Rosser, a law professor at American University, told CNN that the US government has long made it difficult for tribes to exercise rights afforded to them in treaties. But now, tribes are asserting themselves in a way that demands the attention of non-Native Americans.

"We have to recognize that we imposed a genocide on tribes and we imposed harsh measures toward any government structure that they had," Ezra Rosser said. "To me, it's not surprising that it would take somewhat deep into the self-determination era for tribes to be in a position to assert some of these rights."

Hoskin echoed that sentiment, telling CNN that "the Cherokee Nation is today in a position of strength that I think is unprecedented in its history."

Why is this important?

Having a delegate in the House would fundamentally alter the relationship between the US government and the Cherokee Nation, Rosser wrote in a   2005 article   for the Boston University Public Interest Law Journal.

Right now, the federal government and Native American tribes largely operate as two sovereign nations that interact with one another, Rosser said. Representation in the House would incorporate the Cherokee Nation into the US government itself.

The two other Cherokee tribes recognized by the federal government are the United Keetoowah Band in Oklahoma, which has about 14,000 members, and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina, which has about 16,000 members. It's unclear if they would have the same right to appoint a delegate.

What power would a delegate have?

The treaty doesn't specify whether or not the Cherokee Nation's delegate would be a voting member of the legislature. But Hoskin said the position might look something like the non-voting members that represent Washington, D.C., and five US territories.

"I think we have to look at the roadmaps that are laid out as a suggested path to seating our delegate, and certainly the delegates afforded the territories give us an idea of what is workable in the Congress," he said.

There are currently six non-voting members in the House. Washington D.C. and four permanently inhabited US territories -- American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the US Virgin Islands -- are represented by a delegate, who serves a two-year term. Puerto Rico is served by a resident commissioner, who is elected every four years.

Those representatives can't vote on the House floor, but they can vote in committees that they are on, introduce legislation and engage in debate. Hoskin said he hoped the Cherokee Nation's delegate would help advance the interests of the tribe and, more broadly, all Native Americans.

Who will be the tribe's delegate?

Kimberly Teehee has been nominated to serve as the Cherokee delegate.

She is currently the tribe's vice president of government relations, and previously worked as a senior policy advisor on Native American affairs for three years in President Barack Obama's administration. For about 12 years before that, Teehee was a senior advisor to Dale Kildee, then a Democratic congressman from Michigan.

What's the next step?

First, Teehee has to be confirmed by the tribal council of the Cherokee Nation in a special meeting on August 29.

Then Congress will need to take legislative action, Hoskin said. The tribe plans to continue its conversations with Oklahoma's representatives in the House and begin crafting ideas about what that legislation will look like.

"It will be a process that I think will be a long one, but it's one we're prepared to take," Hoskin said.

Will there be resistance to the move?

Maybe.

There's reason to believe that the US might not recognize its treaty with the Cherokee Nation. In the past, the Supreme Court has upheld legislation that infringes on US treaties with tribal nations, according to Rosser.

Some organizations could mount legal challenges to the Cherokee Nation's push for a delegate, Rosser added, potentially arguing that the move gives members of the tribe more representation in Congress than non-indigenous US citizens.

Rosser said it's also likely that the Cherokee Nation's appointment could face resistance from other tribes, particularly those who were also forced from their lands but weren't granted their own delegate through a treaty.

Other tribes might argue that a delegate for the Cherokee Nation threatens their own relationships with the US government, according to Rosser. The Cherokee Nation's delegate could end up becoming the de facto voice in Congress for all tribal nations, raising fears that the representative might favor the Cherokee Nation at the expense of other tribes.

Despite the potential hurdles, Hoskin said he is optimistic.

"I can boil this down very simply for the Congress," he said. "Does the Congress intend to keep its word to the Cherokee people? If the answer's yes, then Ms. Teehee will be seated."

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1stwarrior
1  seeder  1stwarrior    4 weeks ago

Let's just see how "serious" the U.S. government is about "honoring" their treaties - you know - the "Law of the Land" as stated in the Constitution???

U. S. Constitution, Article 6 - "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

 
 
 
Krishna
1.1  Krishna  replied to  1stwarrior @1    4 weeks ago

Unfortunately I do not see this coming to pass anytime in the foreseeable future, the U.S. hasn't honoured the treaties & agreements its signed in the past (from numerous treaties with Indians to as recently as the Nuclear treaty we signed with Iran)-- so I don't think we will now.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
1.1.1  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Krishna @1.1    4 weeks ago

There are 374 BROKEN Treaties between the U.S. and the Native American Tribes/Nations.  The U.S. has violated each of those treaties.  

The U.S. has shown the international community that they see no reason that the U.S. should abide by any treaty they've signed with other communities at the U.S.'s discretion, not of the discretion of all member nations who have also signed onto the treaty.

 
 
 
†hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh
1.1.2  †hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh  replied to  1stwarrior @1.1.1    4 weeks ago
The U.S. has shown the international community that they see no reason that the U.S. should abide by any treaty they've signed with other communities at the U.S.'s discretion, not of the discretion of all member nations who have also signed onto the treaty.

Our government is corrupt, we should abolish it.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
1.1.3  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  †hε pε⊕pレε'š ƒïšh @1.1.2    4 weeks ago

Well, it is getting to the point of other nations/states not trusting us as far as they could throw us.

 
 
 
XDm9mm
1.1.4  XDm9mm  replied to  Krishna @1.1    3 weeks ago
from numerous treaties with Indians to as recently as the Nuclear treaty we signed with Iran

I'll be the bearer of bad news.  We never had a "nuclear treaty" with Iran.   We had an 'agreement' that Obama signed because he knew it was such a piece of shit it would never be ratified by the Senate as a treaty.

 
 
 
Texan1211
1.1.5  Texan1211  replied to  XDm9mm @1.1.4    3 weeks ago

Hey, he had a pen and a phone! 

Didn't need no stinking approval from the Senate!!

 
 
 
Kavika
2  Kavika     4 weeks ago
U. S. Constitution, Article 6 - "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; andall Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States,shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding."

There isn't a prayer in hell that the Chrerokee rep would be a voting member of congress. 

Since treaties are the law of the land the U.S. government was violated most every treaty made with a native nation...Don't see that changing. 

 
 
 
Raven Wing
2.1  Raven Wing  replied to  Kavika @2    4 weeks ago
Since treaties are the law of the land the U.S. government was violated most every treaty made with a native nation...Don't see that changing. 

Totally agree. Most every treaty made by the government has been violated or compromised. The government has taken more and more of the land from the Reservations granted by the government since day one. What is more than obvious is that the government never intended to keep any of the treaties. They were just a fairy tale promise they never intended to come true.

And there is no reason to believe that will ever change. 

The Cherokee Delegate to the House will not be able to vote, but, can give their views and advice to the House members, and have a voice on matters concerning all Native American issues.

But, it won't take long before their voice will be silenced.

JMOO

 
 
 
Ronin2
2.1.1  Ronin2  replied to  Raven Wing @2.1    4 weeks ago
But, it won't take long before their voice will be silenced.

I am not so sure. I think it will depend on the politician they are talking to. If the delegate represents all of the recognized tribes that is a significant voting block. Politicians in areas with large native American populations will not want to alienate them.

It sounds like they have made a decent first selection with experience working within government, and strong ties to the Democratic Party.

 
 
 
Raven Wing
2.1.2  Raven Wing  replied to  Ronin2 @2.1.1    4 weeks ago

I can only hope you are right, Ronin. But, hundreds of years of experience fraught with lies and Treaty violation by our government does not present much hope. 

And of course, the whole thing depends on whether or not the House will have to take legislative action to approve such a Delegate, which may or may not have much of a chance even with the Democrat majority.

So it is all up in the air at this point and still along way to do to become a reality.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
3  Sean Treacy    4 weeks ago

What's the clause in the treaty at issue?

 
 
 
1stwarrior
3.1  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Sean Treacy @3    4 weeks ago

ARTICLE 7. The Cherokee nation having already made great progress in civilization and deeming it important that ever proper and laudable and inducement should be offered to their people to improve their condition as well as to guard and secure in the most effectual manner the rights guarantied to them in this treaty, and with a view to illustrate the liberal and enlarged policy of the Government of the United States towards the Indians in their removal beyond the territorial limits of the States, it is stipulated that they shall be entitled to a delegate in the House of Representatives of the United States whenever Congress shall make provision for the same.

https://americanindian.si.edu/static/nationtonation/pdf/Treaty-of-New-Echota-1835.pdf

In essence, this is saying that they have to petition Congress for receipt of the entitlement - I think.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
3.1.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  1stwarrior @3.1    4 weeks ago

Thanks for the info.

 
 
 
TTGA
3.1.2  TTGA  replied to  1stwarrior @3.1    4 weeks ago
it is stipulated that they shall be entitled to a delegate in the House of Representatives of the United States whenever Congress shall make provision for the same.

1st,

This clause gives them the absolute right to petition Congress to accept the treaty obligation.  Unfortunately, given what we know about the reluctance of politicians to share power with anyone unless they are absolutely forced to do so, the clause giving Congress the power to decide is almost certain to result in nothing being done.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
3.1.3  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  TTGA @3.1.2    4 weeks ago

TTGA - I know you're right, but I'm the eternal optimist.  Native Americans have four members in the House - two of those members are excellent negotiators - Cole and Haaland - both have been beneficial to the Native Americans as a whole.

Keeping my fingers crossed.

 
 
 
squiggy
3.1.4  squiggy  replied to  1stwarrior @3.1    3 weeks ago

"...whenever Congress shall make provision for the same. "

They left themselves a backdoor from that idea. It can be painful to find out what 'may' means.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
3.1.5  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  squiggy @3.1.4    3 weeks ago

Squiggy - the "assumption" is that Congress will treat the Native Americans as they have for years.  This potential privilege will also be denied.

 
 
 
Split Personality
4  Split Personality    4 weeks ago

During the "O" Administration, Russia, formerly the USSR,previously Russia, used some twisted logic to insist that the Crimea was theirs and they thumbed their noses at the world, defying NATO and the UN to stop them.

Parallels?

Israel.

After several thousand years the UN and other "civilized nations" know as the Allies and the British Mandate and the UN blah blah blah...,

awarded Palestine to Israel.

So there is plenty of precedent, to take up arms and take back the native American Indian lands particularly those where the treaties are still on the books and being ignored by the Feds, citing state's rights and vice versa. 

Tell me where to donate.

 
 
 
dave-2693993
4.1  dave-2693993  replied to  Split Personality @4    4 weeks ago

https://debforcongress.com/

Let's do it legally.

The O administration and a certain secretary of state left the middle east and eastern Ukraine in deadly shambles. We do not need anymore of that, especially on our shores.

 
 
 
Krishna
4.2  Krishna  replied to  Split Personality @4    4 weeks ago

Israel.

After several thousand years the UN and other "civilized nations" know as the Allies and the British Mandate and the UN blah blah blah...,

awarded Palestine to Israel.

False.

I'm surprised you are posting false information here....either you are ignorant of the actual facts, or you are deliberately trying to deceive us. I think we should give you the benefit of the doubt and assume your intent is positive but you are obviously merely ignorant of the true facts.

Here are the true facts rather than your "alternative facts" (BTW this information is widely available if anyone wants to check it on their own-- it was all spelled out in UN Resolution 181):

The   United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine was a proposal by the   United Nations, which recommended a   partition   of   Mandatory Palestine   at the end of the   British Mandate. On 29 November 1947, the   UN General Assembly   adopted the Plan as UN Resolution 181:

The resolution recommended the creation of independent Arab and Jewish States and a Special International Regime for the city of   Jerusalem. The Partition Plan, a four-part document attached to the resolution, provided for the termination of the Mandate, the progressive withdrawal of British armed forces and the delineation of boundaries between the two States and Jerusalem.

The UN Resolution does not award Palestine to Israel as you falsely stated. Rather, it awarded parts to create a new Arab state ("Palestine") and part to create re-create an ancient stae (ato be called "Israel"). Also jerusalem was to be neither but rather an internationally ruled city. 

 
 
 
1stwarrior
4.3  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Split Personality @4    4 weeks ago

Let's stay on topic of the Cherokee Nation's potential delegate.  Don't want this to become a pizzing contest over other countries and their issues.

 
 
 
Vic Eldred
5  Vic Eldred    4 weeks ago

Other tribes might argue that a delegate for the Cherokee Nation threatens their own relationships with the US government, according to Rosser. The Cherokee Nation's delegate could end up becoming the de facto voice in Congress for all tribal nations, raising fears that the representative might favor the Cherokee Nation at the expense of other tribes.

That is something that should be worked out between the Cherokees and the other tribal nations. The one tribe with delegate status could act on behalf of the other tribes. It does raise the Cherokee Nation to the level of "first among equals."

 
 
 
1stwarrior
5.1  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Vic Eldred @5    4 weeks ago

That is going to be a huge bone of contention.  The Cherokee delegate will only be a delegate for the Cherokee Nation.  The other 576 Federal Tribes will have to meet and discuss just what they envision how the delegate will conduct representation of the Cherokee Nation and its potential impact on their relationship with Congress.

 
 
 
Enoch
6  Enoch    4 weeks ago

I vote for Raven Wing to represent the Cherokee in Congress.

 
 
 
Raven Wing
6.1  Raven Wing  replied to  Enoch @6    4 weeks ago

LOL!! Thank you for your vote of confidence, Dear Brother Enoch. It would certainly be one voice that would not be easily drowned out. jrSmiley_79_smiley_image.gifjrSmiley_91_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
MrFrost
7  MrFrost    4 weeks ago
Cherokee Nation Wants A Rep. In Congress, Taking US Government Up On Promise It Made In 1835

One? Should be three at a minimum. 

 
 
 
Dulay
7.1  Dulay  replied to  MrFrost @7    4 weeks ago

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton represents over 700,000 in DC. Many Reps. have a huge constituency. 

 
 
 
MUVA
8  MUVA    4 weeks ago

Do indigenous peoples not have representation now do they not live in voting districts of  a congressman or senator?Not trying to be a smart ass it is a real question.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
8.1  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  MUVA @8    4 weeks ago

MUVA - no, there are no Indigenous Peoples Representatives in Congress.  There are U.S. territories (16) of which four have delegates in Congress. People in U.S. territories cannot vote for the President of the United States, and they do not have full representation in the U.S. Congress.

 
 
 
MUVA
8.1.1  MUVA  replied to  1stwarrior @8.1    4 weeks ago

Then should get a representative in Congress and a senator they deserve it.

 
 
 
Tacos!
9  Tacos!    4 weeks ago

There is precedent for it in that we already have had other non-voting delegates. The only thing about it that I don't love is that they can apparently vote in committee (although I have read that it has to be on legislation they themselves introduced).

 
 
 
1stwarrior
9.1  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Tacos! @9    4 weeks ago

That's correct Tacos.  America Samoa is a prime example of that status.

 
 
 
Kavika
9.1.1  Kavika   replied to  1stwarrior @9.1    4 weeks ago

There is a major difference between the territories mentioned and tribal nations. With the exception of Samoa, all are US citizens and Samoa being US Nationals. 

They cannot vote in US presidential elections. American Indians are both citizens of the US and of their tribal nations and have lengthy treaties with the US government. They can vote in all elections including US presidential elections. This applies to Native Hawaiians as well as they can vote in US presidential elections. 

IMO, all should be US citizens and should have the right to vote in presidential elections and have a congressman and senator representing them.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
10  Nerm_L    4 weeks ago

Interesting.  I believe pursuing a Cherokee delegate would also require establishing a territorial government.  That would require a separation of the Cherokee nation from Oklahoma to form an independent, self governing territory.  The other possibility would be to revert Oklahoma into a territory which would eliminate voting representation in Congress.

All of this depends upon what was involved in granting statehood to Oklahoma in 1907.  The granting of statehood is also a sort of treaty and the representation of the Cherokee nation may have been addressed in the granting of statehood.

Nevertheless it's an interesting legal question that obviously will require a lot of research to resolve.  The Cherokee nation does have treaty rights and exercising those rights isn't unreasonable.  

 
 
 
1stwarrior
10.1  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Nerm_L @10    4 weeks ago

The Cherokee and Choctaw Native American tribes each have the right to send delegates to Congress. The right to a non-voting delegate to Congress was promised to the Choctaw under the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830 and to the Cherokee under the Treaty of New Echota in 1835.  Neither tribe has utilized this position in the past and it looks like the Cherokee will take the first step.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
10.2  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Nerm_L @10    4 weeks ago

The Cherokee Nation, and all Native American Tribes/Nations have sovereignty over their Tribe/Nation which is, case in point, territorial as established by the Constitution and Federal Indian Law.  They are already "separate" from the governments of the U.S. and of Oklahoma.

An interesting tweak to that separation will be the results of SCOTUS's case of the Creek man (Murphy).  SCOTUS heard the case during this session and has asked for additional oral arguments during their next term which is a positive note.  If SCOTUS issues an opinion in favor of Murphy, then they will be agreeing that the Creek Reservation was never de-established meaning that the Creek Nation has all the lands in Oklahoma ceded them during the removal in the 1830's.  That will be the first "Nation" within a "State" with no ties to Oklahoma and Oklahoma will have no authority over the Creek Nation.

There are other Tribes/Nations who also have not had their reservations de-established by Congress also.  So, will this open a complete Pandora's Box of the Tribes/Nations making/taking their "lands" back or will Congress go into a massive de-establishment frenzy and can they "Legally" strip the tribes of Treaty Rights on such a massive scale??

 
 
 
Dulay
10.2.1  Dulay  replied to  1stwarrior @10.2    3 weeks ago
 can they "Legally" strip the tribes of Treaty Rights on such a massive scale??

Nothing has stopped them from doing so for hundreds of years. Case in point, the Treaty of Fort Laramie. 

 
 
 
1stwarrior
10.2.2  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Dulay @10.2.1    3 weeks ago

Not to mention Lone Wolf vs Hitchcock, Lyng vs Northwest Indian Cemetery Association, Morton vs Mancari and Oliphant vs Suquamish Indian Tribe - plus 'bout 60+ other cases where our sovereignty is slowly being stripped away.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
11  Sean Treacy    4 weeks ago

Putting aside whether Cherokee support of the Confederacy and participation in the Confederate government abrogates the 1835 treaty, it seems like this would violate equal protection, since this gives two separate Congressional representatives to Cherokee voters. They would become super citizens, voting  for regular members of Congress  and their own special representative. To me, it seems the right to a delegate ended with the formal extension of citizenship. 

 
 
 
Dulay
12  Dulay    3 weeks ago
it seems like this would violate equal protection, since this gives two separate Congressional representatives to Cherokee voters.

Well hell Sean, since 'corporations are people too' and money is speech, there are a TON of people who have more than one Congressional representative. 

 
 
 
1stwarrior
12.1  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Dulay @12    3 weeks ago

Waiting for all the Congressional folks to start wearing their Sponsor's patches.

 
 
 
Ronin2
12.2  Ronin2  replied to  Dulay @12    3 weeks ago

Are there a ton of people that vote for more than 1 congressional representative legally? Last I heard it was you voted in the district you were registered in; and registering in multiple districts and casting multiple ballots was illegal.

Corporations don't vote. Yes, they can donate money to candidates, PAC's, and special interest groups- but that is as far as it goes.  Good luck on getting politician to ever back stricter campaign finance rules. They all love to find out new ways to exploit them.

 
 
 
1stwarrior
12.2.1  seeder  1stwarrior  replied to  Ronin2 @12.2    3 weeks ago

Let's not roam too far from the topic, OK?

 
 
 
Dulay
13  Dulay    3 weeks ago
Are there a ton of people that vote for more than 1 congressional representative legally?

So all of the BS from Trump about MILLIONS committing voter fraud is a lie. Glad you recognize at least that. 

Last I heard it was you voted in the district you were registered in; and registering in multiple districts and casting multiple ballots was illegal.

Yet Trump wallows in his fever dream that claims it happens all the time. The only time I am aware of it is when Indiana's GOP Secretary of State did so. He was found guilty of 6 counts of voter fraud. 

Corporations don't vote. Yes, they can donate money to candidates, PAC's, and special interest groups- but that is as far as it goes. Good luck on getting politician to ever back stricter campaign finance rules. They all love to find out new ways to exploit them.

There has been plenty of legislation on stricter campaign finance rules over our history. Citizen United all but whipped them all out. 

 
 
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