There exists, to this very day, an "Ancient War" which the Cherokee have been fighting amongst themselves for hundreds of years… A COLD WAR CONDONED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!
After the Civil War, the US Gov’t signed a Treaty of Amity and Friendship between all the Indians in what is now Oklahoma. All tribes became signatories BUT the Cherokees reserved the right to continue their ancient internecine (between brothers) war. The US Gov’t, eager to limit as much as possible the names on Indian rolls, (and financial responsibility for them) was eager to allow this.
In 1865-6, thousands of Cherokees from Texas and elsewhere were driven away at gunpoint by US Troops. Many fled to Mexico and South America. The 1839 Cherokee Nation petitioned the War Department for permission to return to Mexico, but was denied. The Cherokee Nation enjoyed a Golden Age during the 1880s, but during the 1890s — under The Dawes Act — the Cherokee nation was enrolled, it lands held in common were allotted in severalty, and the tribe was terminated. Figurehead "Chiefs" were APPOINTED up through the 1950s by the US President to sign off on land claims. In the 1940s, The United Keetoowah Band was recognized in a government-to-government relationship by The United States Congress, before the current BIA recognition schema.
After termination in 1906, underground Cherokee religious movements thrived all over the midwest, assisted by Redbird Smith, their religious rites having been outlawed by both state and federal governments. After passage of the Native American Religious Freedom Act, these groups came out from under cover, and many filed for federal and state recognition… many were successful.
The CNO fought the federal recognition of the North Carolina state-recognized Eastern Band of Cherokees, but after the EBCI began receiving "services from the Secretary" the so-called "federally acknowledged" bands "went to war" against all other Cherokee groups in 1998. Only one individual was singled out at that time: David Michael Wolfe.
Since the Native American Religious Freedom Act (NARFA) was passed, dozens of groups of Cherokees who had secretly continued their governments began to assert their sovereignty.
It is a CORNERSTONE of Indian Law that all Indian tribes are assumed to be SOVEREIGNTIES unless proven otherwise, but under the current Roman-type system of law, the burden of proof is on the tribe making application, and the BIA uses its power to suppress information that may assist, even though is stated mission is to assist rather than to suppress.
Thankfully, President Obama has recently seen to it that new rules were established within the B.I.A. for so-called "Federal Recognition," or more properly "Services from the Secretary of the Interior" and the attendent "civil" (man made) rights and federal legal "protections."
Friends, I have been asked to travel 250 miles to near Ashville, NC in order to attend a nationwide plenary gathering of Cherokee religionists, to participate in discussions as to what avenues may be opening up to us… and what measures might be taken.
I MUST attend this meeting. I would be representing the interests of the (Republic of Mexico) federally recognized Cherokee Nation of Mexico and other Cherokee religious interests. I am an Alabama "state recognized" Cherokee Indian.
I NEED TO LEAVE MY RESIDENCE IN EAST TENNESSEE AT NOON TOMORROW, AUGUST 14TH.
So, IF you feel the prompting of Spirit to offer assistance, (EVEN A DOLLAR OR TWO!) please make a tax-free offering at http://NativeAmericanChurch.us/index.html
This is your chance to help save an indigenous spirituality that has existed for well over 13,000 years!
Cheeya Sagonigei a/k/a Will Blueotter
International Communications Director
Cherokee Nation of Mexico