Great Grandmother Georgia Cherokee, Mary Price
Welcome to the Library Page.
Listed on this page are reference articles and materials to help you in
your studies of the Cherokee, both in this country and Mexico. This
page will be in a state of constant update as newly found letters and
documents are conscientiously researched for accuracy and authenticity.
Cherokee Nations Bands & Tribes
The story of the Cherokee Nation
of Mexico is a story of the continuing journey of Sequoyah. According
to the stories from the elders in Coahuila and Tamaulipas Mexico, this
where the descendants of the Cherokees fled Texas after the murderous
Mirabeau Lamar became President of the Texas Republic. The Mexican
government petitioned the Cherokees to come and live with them as early
as 1818, but the political environment and the refusal of the American
government to allow them to go, prevented this from happening. But, now
it has happened and the result is the Nacion Cherokee de Mexico.
· To learn more about the Cherokee
Nation of Mexico, click HERE.
2nd Cherokee National ceremonial house built in Mexico in 164 years.
The Cherokee Nation, now in
Oklahoma, has had a history of strife and conflict beginning with the
Trail of Tears. The Old Settlers had lived in what is now Oklahoma
since the late 1790’s and had set up their own government. When Chief
John Ross and the Eastern Cherokee came to Indian Territory (Oklahoma)
in 1839, they wanted to be the Cherokee government, and so it began.
Both groups had legitimate claim to the government; the Old Settlers
because they had been there and had a government established; and the
Removal Party who had brought the power of government with them. The
in-fighting is still going on.
· To learn more about the Cherokee
Nation (United States) click HERE.
Cherokees making a friend out of each Vaguero
The United Kituwah (Keetoowah)
Band of Cherokee , at one time, were part of the present day Cherokee
Nation. Now they have separate governments. The United States Congress,
through the Act of 1946, legislatively authorized the United Kituwah
Band of Cherokee Indians of Oklahoma to organize as a separate tribal
entity under the Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act. The Secretary of Interior
approved the Constitution of the United Kituwah Band in 1950. Read
their complete history and the origin of the UKB Cherokees plus the
Legend of the Kituwah.
· To learn more about the History
of the United Kituwah Band (OK) click HERE.
Clay White Bear Garrett listens to the Chief’s prayer for blessings on
the families of Mexico.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee
Indians trace their descendancy from about 1,000 Cherokees who managed
to elude this forced removal. About 300 of these Cherokee claimed US
citizenship; the rest were living in Tennessee and North Carolina towns
or hiding in the mountains. These 300 or so Cherokees were known as the
Oconaluftee Indians. In order to stay on their farms, they became
citizens of the United States, and considered themselves separate from
the Cherokee Nation. By so doing they were allowed to stay on their
farms. Fearing nullification of their special status, however, they
grudgingly joined in the search for the Cherokees who had escaped the
Trail of Tears and fled into the mountains.
· To learn more about the Cherokee
Eastern Band (NC), click HERE.
Clay Spirit Walker Garrett & his son Clay White Bear Garrett
meet 3 governors & 1 cabinet secretary.
This letter is a must read for all Cherokees, all Native Americans, and
Kevin Gover, Assistant Secretary Indian Affairs
Department of the Interior
Ceremony Acknowledging the 175th
of the Establishment of the
Bureau of Indian Affairs
September 8, 2000
In March of 1824, President
James Monroe established the Office of Indian Affairs in the Department
of War. Its mission was to conduct the nation’s business with regard to
Indian affairs. We have come together today to mark the first 175 years
of the institution now known as the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
It is appropriate that we do
so in the first year of a new century and a new millennium, a time when
our leaders are reflecting on what lies ahead and preparing for those
challenges. Before looking ahead, though, this institution must first
look back and reflect on what it has wrought and, by doing so, come to
know that this is no occasion for celebration; rather it is time for
reflection and contemplation, a time for sorrowful truths to be spoken,
a time for contrition.
Chief Rogers instructs his son Charles in his duties during the pipe
We must first reconcile
ourselves to the fact that the works of this agency have at various
times profoundly harmed the communities it was meant to serve. From the
very beginning, the Office of Indian Affairs was an instrument by which
the United States enforced its ambition against the Indian nations and
Indian people who stood in its path. And so, the first mission of this
institution was to execute the removal of the southeastern tribal
nations. By threat, deceit, and force, these great tribal nations were
made to march 1,000 miles to the west, leaving thousands of their old,
their young and their infirm in hasty graves along the Trail of Tears.
As the nation looked to the
West for more land, this agency participated in the ethnic cleansing
that befell the western tribes. War necessarily begets tragedy; the war
for the West was no exception. Yet in these more enlightened times, it
must be acknowledged that the deliberate spread of disease, the
decimation of the mighty bison herds, the use of the poison alcohol to
destroy mind and body, and the cowardly killing of women and children
made for tragedy on a scale so ghastly that it cannot be dismissed as
merely the inevitable consequence of the clash of competing ways of
life. This agency and the good people in it failed in the mission to
prevent the devastation. And so great nations of patriot warriors fell.
We will never push aside the memory of unnecessary and violent death at
places such as Sand Creek, the banks of the Washita River, and Wounded
Cherokees greet 8000 riders which stretch 3 to 4 miles.
Nor did the consequences of
war have to include the futile and destructive efforts to annihilate
Indian cultures. After the devastation of tribal economies and the
deliberate creation of tribal dependence on the services provided by
this agency, this agency set out to destroy all things Indian.
This agency forbade the
speaking of Indian languages, prohibited the conduct of traditional
religious activities, outlawed traditional government, and made Indian
people ashamed of who they were. Worst of all, the Bureau of Indian
Affairs committed these acts against the children entrusted to its
boarding schools, brutalizing them emotionally, psychologically,
physically, and spiritually. Even in this era of self determination,
when the Bureau of Indian Affairs is at long last serving as an
advocate for Indian people in an atmosphere of mutual respect, the
legacy of these misdeeds haunts us. The trauma of shame, fear and anger
has passed from one generation to the next, and manifests itself in the
rampant alcoholism, drug abuse, and domestic violence that plague
Indian country .Many of our people live lives of unrelenting tragedy as
Indian families suffer the ruin of lives by alcoholism, suicides made
of shame and despair, and violent death at the hands of one another. So
many of the maladies suffered today in Indian country result from the
failures of this agency. Poverty, ignorance, and disease have been the
product of this agency’s work.
And so today I stand before
you as the leader of an institution that in the past has committed acts
so terrible that they infect, diminish, and destroy the lives of Indian
people decades later, generations later. These things occurred despite
the efforts of many good people with good hearts who sought to prevent
them. These wrongs must be acknowledged if the healing is to begin.
I do not speak today for the
United States. That is the province of the nation’s elected leaders,
and I would not presume to speak on their behalf. I am empowered,
however, to speak on behalf of this agency, the Bureau of Indian
Affairs, and I am quite certain that the words that follow reflect the
hearts of its 10,000 employees.
Let us begin by expressing our
profound sorrow for what this agency has done in the past. Just like
you, when we think of these misdeeds and their tragic consequences, our
hearts break and our grief is as pure and complete as yours. We
desperately wish that we could change this history, but of course we
cannot. On behalf of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, I extend this formal
apology to Indian people for the historical conduct of this agency.
And while the BIA employees of
today did not commit these wrongs, we acknowledge that the institution
we serve did. We accept this inheritance, this legacy of racism and
inhumanity. And by accepting this legacy, we accept also the moral
responsibility of putting things right.
We therefore begin this
important work anew, and make a new commitment to the people and
communities that we serve, a commitment born of the dedication we share
with you to the cause of renewed hope and prosperity for Indian
country. Never again will this agency stand silent when hate and
violence are committed against Indians. Never again will we allow
policy to proceed from the assumption that Indians possess less human
genius than the other races. Never again will we be complicit in the
theft of Indian property. Never again will we appoint false leaders who
serve purposes other than those of the tribes. Never again will we
allow unflattering and stereotypical images of Indian people to deface
the halls of government or lead the American people to shallow and
ignorant beliefs about Indians. Never again will we attack your
religions, your languages, your rituals, or any of your tribal ways.
Never again will we seize your children, nor teach them to be ashamed
of who they are. Never again.
We cannot yet ask your
forgiveness, not while the burdens of this agency’s history weigh so
heavily on tribal communities. What we do ask is that, together, we
allow the healing to begin: As you return to your homes, and as you
talk with your people, please tell them that time of dying is at its
end. Tell your children that the time of shame and fear is over. Tell
your young men and women to replace their anger with hope and love for
their people. Together, we must wipe the tears of seven generations.
Together, we must allow our broken hearts to mend. Together, we will
face a challenging world with confidence and trust. Together, let us
resolve that when our future leaders gather to discuss the history of
this institution, it will be time to celebrate the rebirth of joy,
freedom, and progress for the Indian Nations. The Bureau of Indian
Affairs was born in 1824 in a time of war on Indian people. May it live
in the year 2000 and beyond as an instrument of their prosperity.