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tv   Cherokee Nation After The Trail of Tears  CSPAN  April 12, 2021 5:40pm-6:42pm EDT

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america's story. funding for american history tv comes from these companies who support c-span3 as a public service. next on american history tv, a session from a conference title john marshall, the supreme court and the trail of tears. chuck hoskins, jr., talks about the tribe's history following their removal from the southeast to present day oklahoma. he describes how the cherokee rebuilt and strengthened their culture, despite much adversity. the conference was co-hosted by the virginia museum of history and culture and preservation virginia. >> it's now my great pleasure to introduce kenneth adams. as was mentioned earlier today, chief adams serves on preservation board of trustees. it was at his urging that this
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symposium came to be. he served as a strong advocate for the federal recognition, and in the leadup of 2007, chief adams participated in the jamestown 2007 steering committee and activities associated with the commemoration. and i can say that we spent a lot of time together. he brought the lack of a permanent memorial on the virginia capitol grounding, as did other tribal leaders, to the attention of governor kaine, resulting in the formation of the virginia indian
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commemorative commission in 2018. chief adams has generously dedicated himself to numerous causes and organizations across the commonwealth, and it's an honor to introduce chief adams. [ applause ] >> thank you, elizabeth, for those kind words. good afternoon. it's an honor to be here today to be part of this event. we started this 15 months, 18 months ago, when we just briefed each other on what the possibilities were for us to have such an event as this. and we're fortunate to be able to have it in this special
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location today. i'm going give you a brief history of this tribe in virginia. as indians know, and know very well, the doctrine of discovery still very well, still very well alive in the united states. and in some cases, it's very well alive here in virginia. and the indigenous people continue to suffer from the effects of the doctrine of discovery, which came about in 1452 or 1453, from the catholic church through the pope's edict to claim that all peoples across the planet were available to be taken, were available to be killed, were available to be annihilated. and so it happened. and when the first british ships
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came to virginia in 1607, they knew full well by planting the flag of great britain that they were claiming this land for the united kingdom, england as it was known then. and today, we still, some of us, still suffer from the effects of the planting of the english flag in 1607 at jamestown. when the british first came, they were hungry. they didn't have any food. so what did they do? they started going out and locating the indian towns, the small indian towns and stealing their corn. stealing their fields of corn, and the ones they didn't steal, the corn that they didn't steal, they destroyed so that the indian people that were living there, they became hungry themselves. as steve mentioned shortly after
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the british came, on one of those trips, they went to the town on the james river, just below jamestown, looking for food. and the goal was to take the corn from those people, which is what they did, and burn what was left. and as they were going back to jamestown, the kids that they captured, the children they had captured were thrown into the water. as their heads were blown out, their brains were blown out from the men on the ship. they were taking the wife of the king, as they referred, back to jamestown with them. they took her ashore and according to the article, ran her through with the swoshd because they had had enough fighting for one day. they didn't want to take her back, because they alluded to the fact that she would be
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burned at the stake. so instead of doing that, they ran her through with the sword. but they basically annihilated the tribe. in 1610. that process of annihilation, and that process of stealing from the indians that started in 1607 through 1610, that process continued from virginia all the way to the west coast. in other words, in 100 years after landing, 9 090% of the indigenous population of the people in virginia were gone. 300 years after landing, 90% of the indigenous population of this country was gone. imagine that. imagine what would happen today
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if 90% of a population of a nation was destroyed, was annihilated. we would be shouting from the roof tops. wasn't much shouting then, except for the shouting that came from the indians. but this that place where the british came, they eventually ended up at a place that is a place for leaders, for chiefs on the york river. not far from jamestown. but that was the place where pocahontas and john smith, the governor of the colony, and chief powatan came together and you know the fable, the fable being that pocahontas saved john smith's life, and therefore, the colony was saved. is that true? not very many people believe it.
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she was only about 10, 11, 12 years old at that time. so it's very doubtful that she had the authority as a young indian woman to save the life of the governor of the colony. but that story has been perpetuated through film and other stories from time immemorial. from my tribe, we're up the liver from where that town was at the time on the york river. if you follow the york river north and west, it divides into two rivers. the river on the left and the river on the right. the same river, bears the same names today. the bemunky people still reside on a reservation, established in the 1600s. the other reservation was affirmed by the have general
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assembly in 1658, one of the oldest in the country. and in 1670, the largest concentration of indians in the entire commonwealth of virginia was in a little town called alit, and that's where my people live today. we still live in the same vicinity that's designated on the map in 1670. but we got there in some ways because of removal, because in 1640s after the second indian uprising in virginia against the british, all of the local tidewater indians were moved west and north to a place called king william county. and king william county was where the two reservations are today. at one time, there was another reservation there around 1670s to 1690s and they eventually
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moved back to their original place where they reside today in charles city county. that reservation land that the chickahomeny and, and a large concentration of other indians in 16 70, on the map for you historians. show the largest concentration of indians in the commonwealth of virginia. i myself years later, years later, lived to witness a separation of my family as they were forced out of the commonwealth of virginia in order to get a high school education. three of my family members want to oklahoma. right there next to cherokee land in crematoria in oklahoma. i served on the board for
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years. my family members actually had to leave the commonwealth of virginia in order to get a high school education back in the forties and 19 fifties. at the college. several of my family members were forced to go to michigan, to live with families and michigan to complete high school. another piece of the whole puzzle is this thing called the racial integrity act. the racial integrity act also caused a serious disruption in virginia among indian communities because the general assembly approved a law that indicated that there were no indians living in virginia. they were either colored or white. so what did it do? it just tore, ripped the hearts out of people, and said basically, you cannot even document on your records. not even your records.
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birth certificates, marriage licenses, you cannot document that you are a native american in this state. that started in 1923. and because of that, my uncles and grandparents, great uncles, they documented on their draft certificate. the draft certificate. they were documented as indians. yet, when they want to join the service disservice said no. you cannot do that. so they actually left the state in order to register as indians when they were drafted. that is just a brief piece of the history of the upper mattaponi. the history is the same for the other indians in virginia. but my time is up. and it is my pleasure, chief, you need to step this way
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please. it's my pleasure. i'm just bringing him up onstage because i have some other work to do. and i'm going to introduce the chief that's a really special speaker this afternoon. -- was elected to service the principal chief of the cherokee nation. the country's largest traveled government with more than 380 trouble citizens. in 2019. prior to being elected, the chief served as the turkey nation secretary of state. as chief he increased minimum wage in cherokee nation and turkey nation businesses and secured the largest language investment in the trump's history to expand the cherokee history preservation. chiefs can also pointed the tribes first delegate to the u.s. congress.
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doubled turkeys funding for tech, education, and established the housing, jobs and sustainable communities act to repair hundreds of homes for cherokee,'s cherokee elders, as well as public minutely buildings across the tribes. 14 counties and jurisdictions. additionally, as cherokee, estate they work to secure funding from the federal government to create a joint venture investment in federal -- better health for all charities. he also served as cherokee nations strongest advocate on sovereignty protections. i like that very much. you formerly served as the council for the turkey nation representing district 11 for six years and served his two final years as deputy speaker. on the council he worked with fellow council members to start building homes for cherokee
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nations and sponsored legislation to expand health care service through casino dollars. he has testified at the united nations on behalf of the cherokee nation and serves on multiple boards and commissions including the united states health and human services secretary's trouble advisory committee. she paw skin is from the night, i hope i said that correctly, a community where he lives with his family. he and his first lady, in january, parents of two children. tristan and jasmine. he graduated from the university of oklahoma and the university of oklahoma college of law as a member of the cherokee nation and bar associations. chief ha skin we welcome you to this stage and this community. >> i have one little
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controversial word i have to say. as i was researching the world of virginia many, many years ago there was one little corner we down and west virginia, it appeared, i will not disagree with anybody but it appeared that there were turkey people that lived in that little small area of virginia. very small. but chief ha skin. since the cherokee did live in virginia according to my little recognition, welcome home. [applause] we have a gift for chief hostin of the virginia indians, the preservation of virginia.
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[applause] i virginia. wouldn't wonderful opportunity this to be before you. i am honored that the cherokee nation has been asked to be a part of this. i think it speaks highly of the history association, and virginia preservation that you would include the indigenous aspects of the history of this great state and the screen country. >> sorry. >> no problem.
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>> i do thank you all for being here. she was mentioned but i do want to recognize in the audience the lady that i would not be here without here and this is the first lady of the cherokee nation in the front row. it is quite something to be talking about history, cherokee history and law, in front of scholars and noted historians including my friend, jack, baker and my former law professor, lindsay robertson. so next month, the symposium will be on everything that chief hoskin got wrong about history and law. it should take most of the day. being in the audience and in front of professor robert said it feels like old times except there will be no test. now he is saying there will be a test. we will get through it.
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so i'm going to pick up where jack baker left off and i will attempt to go to the right slide. here's the great seal of the chair condition. some of them are, six 1830, nine will talk about that in a moment. of course cherokee nation we say that we have been existing since time immemorial. there's a date on that. there's a reason for. that when we talked about removal one thing that is worth touching on is that before the trail of tears there was in earlier migration of cherokee's. and when we got to what was our new home there was quite a bit of controversy. you hear about people being at each other's throats in a figurative sense, turkeys were -- that's part of the reason i'm here today. quite honestly, john marshall and his decision might be the
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reason i even exist because who knows what would have happened to the checking people in my ancestors but i certainly would not be here as the chief of the cherokee nation i believe had not been for that decision, which is a bedrock of federal indian law which stays with us today. so honored to be here with you for reason that reason. that reason. so the dark chapter of american history leading up to and including the trail of tears is something that this country ought to remember, and i think that jack baker did a great job in talking in very personal terms in how it affected his family and affected other cherokee's. we ought to remember that, and alter member that there was a time in this country or the government of the united states thought it was a good idea to round people up in cages. it was not a good idea then and it is not a good idea today. but we ought to always take those lessons from or. history when you think about what happened and when you think about the great
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destruction that took place against the cherokee nation. you think in human terms, we lost a quarter of our population, 4000 women, children, grand babies, wiped off the face of the earth. and when you think further that it necessarily ripped our economy apart. before removal, remember what was happening. it was touched on before. we had adapted and strengthened ourselves as a nation to deal what was happening in terms of the encroachment of settlers, to deal with the government of the united states in a fairly rapid period of time, being a written constitution booth sequoia he gave us a great shield and soar that we could've wielded. there was a great resistance
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before removal of the cherokee nation. we were not simply removed because of the president and the united states said so, are because a majority of factions of charities signed a treaty. we stood our ground, john roth stood his ground, went to washington d.c. to plead his case, and it was ultimately defeated and i think that took a great deal of effort. i think that that period of time and the period the follows which i will get to, did something, shaped something, built something in our national character that stays with us today. people of tremendous grit and determination to have resisted, to have overcome and as we got to our new home and what is today northeast oklahoma, we had a lot of work to do. so we had to rebuild. keep in mind what we were rebuilding. we were rebuilding the great cherokee democracy that existed before removal. we had again how the system of
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laws, had a system of jaws justice based on the rule of law and constitution. i think it says something about the cherokee people that we were removed and we rebuilt. and you saw in 1839, and that is when we got back together the act of union of the charities that have been moved out before and the treaty party and the ross parties all at odds with each other. but we found it within ourselves to rise above that some lives were lost, but we still rose above it and got our government back together. it strikes me that even though justice in this country let us down, we still believed in it, and we still thought that is what we ought to do, and that would be best to rebuild a great society. we still believed in democracy and so we invested in that, and look what else we did. this is the cherokee female seminary. now that building, that institution is the first
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institution of higher learning for any woman of any race west of the message to be in the history of this country. and it happened because the cherokee people believed in education. we did not just believe in that form of higher education, a free system of public education in what is now oklahoma long before there was nicola houma. 1841, we passed an act establishing free public education. why did we do? it for the same reason i think most of the rest of society does it, because you want to invest in the future, but i also think that our people and our possessions, we have lost so much blood and treasure that we knew this was going to be our home forever. it was promised to us, it was going to be our last, and we ought to make the most of it. how do you do that? you look beyond what is happening right in front of you and you look toward the horizon. investing in education is a good way to do that.
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you will admit that a people who were forcibly removed across the country, rounded up in stockades at the hands of an unjust article, treaty of new shota, and at the hands of a federal government that ignored its own supreme court, and had its economy to cherokee economy, our way of life to ripped apart. lost so many people. you would think it would take years and years perhaps generations before we could rebuild if we ever did. in fact you might predict that that people might not sustain them selves. i suspect that there were people in this country that figured the cherokee problem for who can.
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. ,,. . ,,. . -- . .
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within the cherokee nations. it wasn't that just that we were removed. i think it that we were removed and split apart. john ross, the elected leader of the cherokee nation, his government overrun because the united states believed that it ought to execute a treaty with minority. can imagine if that happened today? the president of the united states doesn't like the way negotiations are going with france over some trade deal and he says forget it. forget the president of france, were gonna deal with these other french, and we're gonna strike a deal, everybody thinks that's okay. that's what happened in this country 180 some years ago. the cherokee said we are governing ourselves out here we have our own government. how they came together is remarkable i think, and every time i read about, i am still struck by the level of compromise. i think it is another lesson
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for charities today. from time to time you know, tribal elections can get pretty raucous. they can get pretty rough. i've been involved in politics for a long time and quite honestly, mainstream politics to not have anything on tribal politics in this guy's opinion. putin [laughs] i think there's a lesson to be learned. and with something i try to take me off with me when i took office is chief which is there are plenty things it divide cherokee, just like everyone, there are things that divide us but we focus on those things that unify us, and if we look at the horizon like the cherokee's after removal, did then we can put enough aside that is bigger for our own individual sides and is bigger for our future and we ought to do that for this country i. think [applause] so we really unified ooze you saw on our seal in
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1839 a remarkable time for the cherokee nation. here's two amazing individuals in the history of the cherokee nation. you see john ross. jack will know this better than i do. probably closer to the 18 sixties jack. then you have stan wade. that's probably when he was on in years these represent two factions of cherokee political life that will continue on through the 19th century. john ross quite an amazing person. stand weighed i will mention this in a minute, one of the most stubborn cherokee's that have ever been more. this man was a confederate general and he kept fighting the war effort after it was over. he didn't surrender. there is a streak of stubbornness among some cherokee's but not you jack, not you or i, we are quite reasonable gentlemen. but there is, and so these represent two factions that would carry through, and to get to the civil war, which is being mentioned. now the cherokee people were
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split concerning the civil war and some of those reasons probably had something to do with what split the united states. there was slavery in the cherokee nation before and after removal. i want to talk to you a little bit more about the institution of slavery in a bit, but that surely was a difference. but there were other things that split charities apart on the civil war. john ross wanted to stay neutral, and he urged his people and his counsel states a neutral. why did he do? it because he believed that not just the respect of the united states but look we are a recognized sovereign. who are we recognized? by the united states. who are we party to a treaty with and multiple treaties? with the united states of america. what happens to the cherokee nation if we side with the confederacy that has split from the united states? what are the consequences? the confederacy did a great deal of courting the cherokee's,
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they offered essentially a better deal. it didn't help anything that united states was not really keeping a lot of its promises during this time period. i don't know if you can imagine that? that the united states in the indian tribes but it happened. the government of the cherokee nation wanted to remain neutral was feeling a great deal of pressure from people who said, look the united states does not really living up to its word, and it looks like these southerners might have an edge, and the southerners are offering us so much in terms of treasure and land and control, maybe we have a better deal with that. so the folks who lived largely sided with the confederacy, sort of lined up withstand weighed, weighty lines up with the treaty party and ross lines up with the treaty party. ultimately john ross signs an agreement with the confederacy. that's a remarkable shift in what is happening in cherokee
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government. in 1861, i'm always looking at jack to make sure i have this date right, but 1861 i think he signed it. there is a great deal of resistance, the civil war is building up before 1861. he signs it, and even then he is not fully body, and he thinks it's the best way to keep the cherokee nation hole and intact because of the tremendous amount of pressure, but ultimately that pressure is too much it starts to rip us apart again. now, we lost a lot of blood and treasure and life in the removal, we all of us we have to remember that, and we lost a lot of life in the civil war, probably lost more in terms of property destruction in the civil war. certainly the political divides reopened during the civil war and it was sort of repeating itself. so this nation that had gone through so much, that had built up so much and it started to invest in a future, so it could keep its home forever, and keep in mind that treaty said we
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would have it forever. there's a land packed in the cherokee heritage center, signed by martin van buren, it says that land is ours forever. you can see the symbol by the way so we are starting to get ripped apart and the future is not looking so bright, even though we had invested in the things that i think a great society should have invested in for a sustainable future. so the civil war is ripping us apart again. lot of destruction, a lot of the communities that we built. those communities, if you're from oklahoma or if you go back there, you look at this map, and you see communities that still stand today, but much of its suffered a great deal of destruction. i'm getting ahead of myself. i have jumped all the way to the 2020's from the 18 sixties. laughter >> let me focus for a
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minute on -- law, here we go. so we get through the civil war with all its destruction. somehow we get back together, but, and this has been mentioned, the united states says if you are going to rejoin the family of governments and the united states, if you are gonna get a recognition back with the united states, you are going to sign a new treaty, and that is where we have the treaty of 1866, the last treaty that we had with the united states, still in full force and in effect. this treaty did some things as has been mentioned, we had to give up some things. one of the things that route we had to give up the really hastened our demise was our ability to keep the real world out. i am from a little town called the needy. nobody knows where that is, somebody knows. by the way this is a washington, d.c. charity organization. they have come right here if you look laughter -- if you look at the nina, and i grew up there, the rail will
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just the way it is, there are two railroad trucks across there. if you need it was built in 1871, 1871 after the civil war of course, railroad start coming in, settlers start coming in. what happens to cherokee's when settlers start going in? i seem to remember something earlier about that in the state of georgia. now it is the same story . .
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. . . . . . . . . . .
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it-y awe he our all en rené. . are it didn't quite get to turkey learned quite yet. it was more than just the turkey nation. in other words the cherokee nation many of the men held their lands. this is antithetical infinite states in terms of property ownership, and the general allotment was to individualize the landholdings instead of communal landholdings. 1898 the united states passes the curtis act and it really suppresses our government. i will never say that they extinguished our government but they established it. abolishing or quartz and
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council. the writing was on the wall at that point. and so, after those acts passed, and the turkey people actually had to vote on them. but that point all of the pressures coming to bear. even elected chiefs of the turkey nation are telling people it looks like we are going to have to accept statehood. it looks like our government is never going to be the same. that's essentially the message troubleshoot the turn of the century are telling their people. with a dark time in turkey nation. think of people that went through so much. the folks that are dealing with this in the late 19th century have grandmas and grandpas and great grandma and great grandpa's that can tell about how they rebuilt. how they were going to stay in their ground and live there forever. and they are looking at these federal statutes that are going to result in the almost
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extinction of the hurricane nation. almost. we'll get to them. so a small thing happens next in 1907. the state of oklahoma is created. imposed over so many tribal leans. the allotment issue is interesting because the allotment held in this restrictive status. as you get into the 20th century that becomes a problem for the new state of oklahoma, and companies that want to land and land owners that with the land. the oil industry and others. if it is held in restrictive status you cannot leave unless the government of the knitted state says so. but if you can get its restriction out of there, it is fair game. it loses its special status, so this is the next thing that happens that i think it's of great significance. in 1947 eight law called the stickler act was passed and it said that if you are restricted
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land, if you fall below a half blood quantum that it loses its restrictive status forever, so that law and other pressures meant that from 1907 to now we have lost more than 90% of our restricted land. so the construction of the trickery land based continues into the 20th century and to add insult industry the united states had suppressed and dismantlement of cherokee government but they have to have 18th to deal with its for much of the 20th century chiefs of the turkey nation were not elected by their people. they were appointed by the president of the united states. now my grandfather, he was born in 19 oh, six full blood cherokee, as full blood cherokee i have ever, known most of his life he never even got to think about voting for chief little lone imagine that his grandson maybe chief one day. so during that time period, the
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greek cherokee democracy is effectively dormant. why does the president of the united states appointed turkey chief? usually it is to sign a document. jack, i think if we looked at the documents we might not have gotten the best of the bargain on that. with these appointed chiefs. but i do think that it is significant that the government of the united states continues to recognize the cherokee nation in some form or fashion even the so called chiefs for a day. that i think is important even today because look. that is what john ross was trying to preserve when he was facing the civil war. we had this government government relationship with the united states. that is what john marshals talking about in his decision. the relationship between the government of the united states, and the indian nations, and cherokee nation. and so that i think is still important as offensive as it is to think about our great democracy dismantled and our chief appointed, this continual relationship of the government
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of the united states is absolutely critical, critical to cherokee nation. and that is why throughout history it has ebbed and flowed but we have kept. it if we had not kept it i would not be up here as chief today. so what are we doing today? that is a picture of our 200 million dollar health center. it's the largest health center in the mid states for native americans. but that was just opened last year. so how did we really get here? from appointed chiefs in the 20th century to now you are looking at an elected chief. and i have the pleasure of working with a council this unelected council and we have a functioning judiciary, the supreme court and district courts. how did we get there? in the 1960s there is more of a push, for a lot of folks in this country who have had their rights suppressed, indigenous rights in 1971 i think the
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principal chiefs act is passed. it recognizes the rights of the five tribes that were mentioned earlier, including the cherokee nation to elect their own chiefs. elect their own chiefs. for the first time in decades and decades, the cherokee people could once again left their own chief. i was looking at some cherokee struggle society archives yesterday and in the archives there is a, book a council book, the very day that the appointed counsel of the turkey nation, we start to appoint our own council, left their seats, this is in the minutes. into took their seats? an elected member of the council. elected chief us back in the 1970s. i will tell you what has happened since. then since then we've been on a trajectory of progress and prosperity, and the lesson also for me is this. and the lesson for the country is this, when the government of
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the united states takes its them off the cherokee nation. when it lets us exercise our sovereignty. when it lets us exercise our god given right to self identify and govern ourselves we do incredible things. and it is not just the cherokee people, all of our friends and neighbors benefit. so there's the health care facility, the crown jewel of the largest health care facility in the country but it also generates thousands of jobs in northeast oklahoma. and if you take that out further you can look at all of our government programs and businesses and you can see that we employ about 11,000 people. making us one of the largest employers in northeast oklahoma. we support about 20,000 other jobs. now a lot of our jobs directly are in casino gaming. it was mentioned that in 1988, the national indian gaming regulatory act was passed. we've got to do something about this. so they basically said, some gaming is okay.
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you get to be doing los vegas tell gaming. you better be having an agreement with the state in which are operating, that's the federal statutory scheme right now but it has been very good to the turkish and all of our friends and neighbors. because this building, so many of the programs that we talked about. the ability of a chief of the cherokee nation in thousand 19 with the council as i did last year to boost our minimum which to 11 dollars an hour. i don't know what it is back. here in oklahoma it's 11 dollars an hour, unless you work for the turkish than it's an 11 dollars an hour plus benefits. to save the cherokee nation language. keep it from going extinct. that's in large measure because we've been allowed to engage in business activities, most notably casino gaming. how we can invest in elders homes. we are putting about 30 million dollars into that and community buildings. again it's those revenues that we generate. those revenues that we generate. and this is into begrudge any
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tribe that has the ability to give out checks to their citizens. some tribes. to turkey nation we have 380,000 citizens. if we were to check that would be 780 apiece, a coupon at our casino. but we do not do per capita payments. would we do is we invest in our people and the communities in which they. live i mentioned several of those investments. right now 5000 turkeys are going on to college on a scholarship funded again by those business activities. we're putting people through career training. we're going to, there was a map earlier the shuttle the little towns the turkeys created in some of them were still small, and some of the arts till struggling. some of the chance that you saw on that map are tan for the rest of the world forgot about. and you have them here as. well they're all over the country. they're little tales. the turkey nation never forgot about them because they found them. they are going into those towns and helping with
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infrastructure. helping with attracting companies to come in and do business there. we are doing this not just to send money to our people are to have programs that help our people directly. we are doing it because we have the same philosophy today, that we had after removal, which is that, oklahoma what is now oklahoma is our home forever. it's our home forever and worker to make the best of. it we will invest in our communities. we are doing in such a remarkable way. that is why i think the cherokee story is such a story of grit and determination. and it is something that i think kids in this country ought to know, not just because they ought to know the history of indian troops in this country. they ought to know stories of people that overcame think that understand the bark ports of american history and they ought to celebrate those dark things. if you come here and you see this building, and you see what's going, on and you see people learning their language, again and you see elders
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getting their home repaired. and you see young people who are going to be doctors in that building tomorrow because we have the first bed school in history of indian country right next to that building you say that is something to celebrate. the turkishness other decelerate and i think that we've got to celebrate all over the country and you all are helping to celebrate here. now let's go back to that treaty that was imposed on the cherokee people and remove this. notwithstanding with john marshall said. will that treaty is a dark spot in american history. it is a source of pain for the turkey people when i think about it. when i hear jack baker talk about what happened to cheer keys, the death and the suffering. that is i think both east symbol of a injustice and a injustice. but it is the law of the. land if you go to the next, treaty the treaty of 1860, six the last treaty that we
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incorporated all the treaties to the extent that it is not consistent with the treaty of 1966. it's the law of the land. i look at my final point but the treaty of 1866 said that those sleeves and their descendants were free, and they should have the same rights as neat of turkeys. now it took about 150 years for the freedom and descendants to achieve their equality and their citizenship in the chair kitty nation but i'm proud that in 2017, the cherokee freedom descendants are not part of the turkey nation. equal with all turkeys. and folks, we are a stronger india nation because of it and i am proud to be chief wallet is happening. >> back to the treaty of -- , source of paying for the cherokee people. down in that treaty is something is something we are seizing upon today and i will
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read you the language, it is stipulated that the treaty will be entitled to a delegate in the house of the united states of representatives when congress should be the same. i don't know anything about that until i was a delegation -- and it was brought up during then and we enshrined it in our constitution. but it is been over 180 years since that language was put in a treaty and the cherokee nation has not acted upon it. the government of the united states is never knocked on order saying send your delegate up here. in 2019, i appointed someone to be the first delegate to the house of representatives. and our council unanimously approved it. he was would else i did. back home, if you want to get something done if you need real wisdom if you need real hard work, then you ask a cherokee woman to do it and she will do,
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and then you get out of her way, unless she asks you for help. so i appointed not on the first cherokee, but i appointed cherokee woman to the be the delicate. and they will not know what hit them when she gets. there [applause] all but her name is kim tea and, she's completely suited for this position. she has worked in the congress his work for the president of the united states. this is what i think about that and think we have to got to fulfill the we have got to get the congress to see kim tea. if we do not do that, we will not have been successful, but i feel a little successful so far. think back to john ross going to washington, d.c. after the treaty, the same treaty i'm talking about, is imposed on the cherokee people. i picture him setting sitting across from these federal officials, pleading his case. this treaty is unjust, you can't do this to the great cherokee nation. and i imagine them looking
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across, notwithstanding john marshals decision, looking him and saying chief ross, the treaty as the law of the land and you will abide by it. now i got to go to washington, d.c. last fall and sit across from federals officials and say, the treaty of new china is the law of the land and you will abide by. it (laughter) [applause]. so i said it nicer than. that so there is some measure of justice in asserting these treaty rights and asserting but this particular treaty was unjust is a measure of justice for us. i can't impress upon you enough not me being up here, me being able to speak for the cherokee nation, me being able to represent a nation that has a government to government relationship with the united states, is old in such a large measure through the choice that john marshall made. he could've gone down a different path. he could've gone down the path of the dissenters, and those
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that said that manifest destiny and european discovery on override everything, and the indian people were not worthy of recognition. but he didn't do that, and there's a lot of reasons he didn't do it and i'm glad he didn't do it, and i'm glad i'm here. i'm glad i was invited. it has been such a pleasure. thank you all very much. [applause] >> any questions? >> >> this is an earth shattering issue, but what is the current thinking among the cherokee's and other tribes concerning the issue of indian
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heritage and history in our sports teams. again not an earth shattering issue. >> i think it is inappropriate, it shouldn't happen. i think depictions of native americans as mascots are abhorrent, i think we ought to be on a path in this country where we are not doing it. this country will not fall apart if the washington red skins are no longer called the washington residents. but we will be a better country for. it [applause] >> thank you so much, i appreciate all that you are doing in leading your cherokee nation. i wanted to know if you had any thoughts on reparations for african americans whose ancestors were enslaved here in america? >> i think that is a great question. it is the question of the day,
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and i don't have an answer to the question as chief of the cherokee nation, but i will tell you this. as chief, i do feel a particular obligation that the descendants of slaves who were equal cherokee citizens today, not only are equal on paper, but that we embrace their story and that we embrace them to make sure they have opportunities to share and all that prosperity that we have today. and that includes opportunities for education and health care and housing, jobs. all of that sort of thing. so that is where we are a cherokee nation. a quality of opportunity and also legal equality which we have achieved and i want to make sure we have illegal equality. it's a good question. i don't know the answer to the question in terms of how cherokee nations should focus on, but i think the right way for us to do it is to make sure today, keep in mind we are only 40 some odd years into the prosperity we have today, we are to make sure we are sharing it equally with citizens.
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karen >> hi, i just wanted to know how you see law enforcement changing? especially with the epidemic of missing indigenous women and how complicated it is for what indians can do on reservations versus off reservations. do you see that changing for the better? >> it may change in a major way in oklahoma. there is a case that some know about and you may have all heard of, it's called the murphy case. the issue there deals with a creek citizen who committed a crime and was tried in state court, put in the state prison, and his lawyer said, wait a minute or, the reservation never went anywhere in 1907 when the state of oklahoma was created, and if he is right, then that probably means the
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cherokee nation reservation never went anywhere. there is another case working its way up as well. that will be decided soon. the lay of the land is possibly going to shift in a huge way. in other words, the cherokee nation, i don't know if i can get back to the map, but it is just part of the cherokee nation. if you looked at it today, you see tulsa over there on the left, and then you see cree territory there. if you look at that today and you look at what is actually trust land or restricted land or the current law would say who has jurisdiction, it is a patchwork. i told you 90% of some of the land has been gone since then. if the murphy case any other case say the reservations never went away, suddenly the whole thing is back conceivably as a reservation. insofar as today is concerned in this modern era, one way we handle it back home is to cross
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deputize asian agreements, and a great relationship with local law enforcement. that is not the case all over the country. there are some areas of the country were tribes and local law enforcement, not only is not a good relationship sometimes it is hostile. but the issue of missing emergent and indigenous woman is still an issue in oklahoma. i think we are still in the top ten states where if coal cases of indigenous women going missing and other people. we pushed legislation in the state legislatures to have better coordination with the state bureau of investigation. oftentimes, what happens if there are questions over jurisdiction. and a lot of folks are living in the shadows. when they go missing there is some barriers perhaps to quick action, where they may live in a row mid remote area or local law enforcement says look, this is trust land over here, it's a matter for the cherokee nation law enforcement or the fbi. so we're making some efforts.
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it's a complicated. issue i would say compared to other parts of the country, in oklahoma we have a pretty good working relationship in a way to handle that, and when the supreme court cases come, all that may be completely changed. okay. thank you all. [applause] >> i just want to end by thanking all of our speakers. i've lost a microphone, there it comes back. i want to thank all of our speakers today. this is been a tremendously inspiring day i think i. i also want to thank our sponsors once again and all of you for taking your time out on a saturday to come and be part of this experience. i think we all have a lot more to learn, many more perspectives to look at. and i'm reminded that john marshall in his richmond home was famous for hosting lawyer dinners at his house.
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he would gather not people that always agreed with him, or that he necessarily knew the subject matter that they might bring up, but he would surround himself with people that made him think, and i think that is exactly what we've done today, and jean marshall would be proud. thank you. [applause]
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