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ARE You a Undocumented, Disenfranchised Cherokee?

 It has long be prophesied by our ancestors ("The Return of the Buffalo"), see the Woodland Buffalo that were present when the first white men arrived in the new world, that the new century would bring forth many people of Cherokee blood that want to rejoin the heritage that had been hidden from them. Hidden from them because of the fear left from the 1800's when our people were persecuted by the white man. These people coming forth now, maybe with just a drop of Cherokee blood, have been given the spark by the Creator to return to the white path, to learn of their ancestors, of our old ways, and some may want to help in bringing back our history, customs, ceremonies, stories and languages or even to recognize and practice those old ways.

However, heart warming and proud as we may feel about those of you who are on this path, there are still others who reject you. People who have appointed themselves above everyone one else and say they are the Cherokee "Experts," and say that they are the real recognized Indians and that you are not. You are considered and called a "Wannbe," or a "Twinkie." These people who claim they have the knowledge concerning our past are the ones who are quick to point the finger at others and accuse them as being fraud. If our old traditions were the knowledge they really hold, then they would know that to judge and call down another, or even having bad thoughts against another is against our old way of teachings. It is wrongful and is also known as bad witchcraft to talk against another and to put them below yourself. When it comes to your being a Cherokee or not, It does not matter how much Cherokee blood you have, it is that you DO have even a single drop and that you wish to live your life as Cherokee. This is the old way!

Why then do these "Experts" degrade those of less blood or those who cannot prove their heritage. It simply comes down to selfish greed and desire for money. Money from the same government that tried to exterminate and genocide our people hundreds of years ago. Some of our cousins think that you are trying to steal their money or government benefits away from them. So, in unwarranted defense, they strike back and call you a fraud. This is a mid-set that has been instilled in our people over hundreds of years by this same government who tried to destroy us. They wanted to eliminate us altogether, and to assimilate us into another race. That did not work, but they did create a mixed race which has caused a separation between us that may never allow us to come back, or at least cause it hard to re-unite. But these Cherokee people coming back to the way are strong, and they won't give up. All they want is to be accepted, recognized by their own and not by a government. They want to assist in gaining the benefits for our cousins, not to steal those benefits. Most could care less if they are recognized by the U.S. Government, or by a State organized unit, or to be a member of one of the recognized tribes, no...they just want to be accepted for who they are.

All Cherokee, despite how much blood we have, know that we are all related, and to gain anything for our people we must unify, not continue to divide. Call the Cherokee people wanting to return to the white path, "Returning Cherokee," "Disenfranchised Cherokee," or "Un-recognized Cherokees," but do not call them "Wannabes'" or "frauds." Do not look down on them or talk about them behind their backs. Don't sneer, giggle or laugh at them. Do not refuse to talk to them if they speak to you. Give these Cherokee people the same respect they are offering to you.

These Cherokee People coming back to the ways of their heritage will not let anyone deny them from being who they are, they should not apologize to anyone on the quantum of their blood, or the color of their skin, hair or eyes and let no one deny them that pride and privilege of being a Cherokee. "The Creator gave no man the power to say who any other man can or cannot be". It should also be recognized that these undocumented Cherokee may also be the descendants of the Cherokee people who fought against the white man, the Cherokee people who refused to be placed in reservations. The Cherokee people who hid out in the hills from the white man and kept themselves "free." These Cherokee felt that they had held to their belief of freedom and did not give in or sell out to the white mans government. These were the Cherokee who felt that they were the true Cherokee, the true warriors for our freedom. These people went through a lot to keep hidden from the white man and to be safe from removal. They had to change their names and take on the names of non Indians. They kept no records so that they could not be traced. All family history was by word of mouth. Soon, not even verbal history was spoken under fear of imprisonment. So our ancestors had to hide their pride. It became so bad that soon no one spoke of their heritage and unfortunately, some younger family members were not told of their heritage just so they would be kept safe. Our ancestors gave up a lot just to be free.

During and after the removal of the people, times became very hard. So the government devised yet another way to assist in the extermination of the Indians. The government offered those Indian people their own plots of land and also gave them up to $5,000.00 in cash so that they could live and farm their own lands. They even offered them slaves. But this was not without a catch. To do this the government required these families to denounce their Indian heritage and to never speak of it again. The government wanted these Indians to live as whites and because times were so hard for these people, many accepted.

In any of the cases mentioned, they would have never thought that one day we would return to our heritage and find that we couldn't trace our families because of the secrets. Today, because of that, some of their descendants cannot find a history of their family. Cannot prove, by the white man's government standards, that they are Cherokee. Our ancestors never thought that we'd have to prove to anyone who we were. Does anyone have the right to put these people down because their ancestors were the warriors who fought against being a prisoner of the white man? No! Actually it should be quite the opposite.

We are our own worst enemies. As long as we continue to separate ourselves, and not acknowledge our other Cherokee people, we will never be united. Until we are united we have not become ONE people and we will continue to lose the strength that we should have as one people. Until this can happen, we will never fulfill what the Creator has taught us. Standup, be proud of who you are. Tell everyone that you are a Cherokee Indian and damn proud to be. Make sure you fill out job applications stating who you are a Native American. Join a disenfranchised Cherokee band or organization in your state. Make a promise to learn the Cherokee traditions, stories and the language and each day, choose a time to practice telling these stories or speaking our language. It is up to us to keep our heritage alive, as one or as a whole, a family, a people. The Cherokees have a very rich part of Americas history which continues today, show your pride in that history. Make your ancestors proud to know you are proud to be their relations. Do not allow anyone to take away your birthright. Stand up and be proud of who you are...you will not stand alone!

From

The Lone Wolf Band of Cherokee Indians 
Indiana's Cherokee people

NvyaYona NvyaYona 51-55 22 Responses Oct 5, 2008

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I am 1/8 Cherokee and proud of my indian blood, but as you said all it has ever got me is rejection.

My Grandma was a full blooded Cherokee from Oklahoma she had pictures I remember seeing when I was a child of some of our ancestors wearing ceremonial head dresses and she told us my great grandfather was a chief of some sort. Unfortunately my grandma passed away some years back and I was too young to remember much of what she had told us kids. I would love to learn more about my heritage but don't know how to start or where too look. My Grandmas kids don't know much either, my Mom is been stricken with Parkinson's disease and her memory isn't very good and most of my uncles have past away so I can't obtain much information from my existing family. My Grandma's maiden name was Lorene Reed but I don't know the names of her parents, I know she was born in Oklahoma in 1918. Do you know how I could research any further? Any help you could suggest would be much appreciated. I do feel very honored to have Cherokee blood flowing through my veins makes me very proud. I know I'm not full blooded and probably only have maybe a 1/4 or less Cherokee in me but my Grandma was very proud of her heritage and so am I. I'd like to learn more about where I come from. Thank you very much.

I am part Cherokee on both sides but the blood line stronger on my fathers side...growing up our community did not teach on our Native heritage my Grandmother taught us, I dont have a card but I know where I came from, my ancestors worked hard on farm land and I am PROUD of the strong blood line of hard wrking ,good hearted,.and yet bold family I share......

My name is Miriam Rickman and I'm part Cherokee, I was told at the time because I didn't know my biological farther & my biological mother is passed that I had to take a blood test, I'm trying to learn more about my heritage, my dad who adored me did the best he can, I'm 40 now I found my biological farther but he doesn't open up like that about my heritage and it's not with me just being Cherokee I'm biracial to
Thank you for listening

My grandfather's Mom (Lahoma) was part Cherokee. Her father (Oscar) was placed on the Dawes roll at age nine. Oscar's father was Daniel , full blooded, and his father was Crying Snake. My Dad will not talk about his Cherokee history. My Grandpa died of a heart attack at age 40. My Dad and I have always had a rocky relationship and anytime I want to know about this heritage he changes the subject, so I hardly ever mention it. I got this information from an aunt and my own research. Crying snake was born on the trail of tears. His great granddaughter Lahoma was born on a reservation. She wasn't able to provide my grandfather a lot. All people see when they look at me is a white girl with blue eyes. I'm 32 and I didn't even know any of this until 5 years ago. Although since I was 7 I always knew it. I know in my heart I have the spirit of my ancestors, although I may never be able to be practice or be accepted into the culture. I wish I could find a way to connect.

I am Cherokee. My fathers Mother was full blooded Cherokee. I visited the town of Cherokee in N. Carolina. I went to a Cherokee Museum there. I was informed by the person at the desk that I was not recognized as Cherokee because the bloodline must be passed down maternally.I have Cherokee blood in my viens and my heart has always related to their way of living. It was a very depressing visit.

My mother's ancestors are undocumented Cherokee. I have every little I would guess or none at all and I am wanting to learn the language and the history. Even though I am not Cherokee, I am glad and proud of my Families Ancestry.

I am a Cherokee and a member of this tribe above. I am very proud of my heritage and it shows in my home. You do not need to participate in anything to be in the tribe. My uncle lived and died on the reservation. You just need to be of blood. So I guess their schools didnt teach as much as they thought!

ᎣᏏᏲ ᏂᎦᏓ! ... I am of Cherokee heritage on both sides of my family. My father's first language was Tsalagi. I can read, write and speak Tsalagi (though I am not fluent by any means). I grew up knowing every day of my life that I was Cherokee, but I am still an "undocumented" or "disenfranchised" Cherokee, and often get called names, like "Wannabe," "Fake," or "Pretindian." I have never claimed to be a citizen of the CNO, the EBC, or the UKB. I am a citizen of the USA, but I do claim my Cherokee and Irish heritage, and I do so with pride.

ᏙᏓᏓᎪᎲᎢ,
Ꮅ ᎷᏱ

My sister sent in her DNA and received a picture of a Native American woman who is our ancester. I couldn't match the tribe spelling exactly, but she was from Kentucky. The closet tribe name that came close after googling it was the Pottawatomie Indians. But that's not Kentucky. Some are hostel, but we don't know their story or experience. I am wanting to learn more about the history of these people. I heard this tribe can be found in Wisconsin, though my family left Virgina/Kentucky to move to Ohio during the American Indian war.

Beautifully written. Wado!

I guess the point here is even if you have some Cherokee blood if you don't participate in a Cherokee tribe then you are not Cherokee. I can understand that rational. It's a cultural thing. I admit that I don't know anything about the culture, and we don't learn American Indian history in school. My mother says her Great Grandmother was Indian, but it wasn't really taught maybe because of what we were taught in public school. <br />
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My mother is old and the only one living of my Ancestors. My Grandparents, Aunt and Uncles are all deceased. So maybe wanting to know now before all is lost for all generations is natural. <br />
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How far back do these rolls go?

My father used to tell me as a child that we are part Cherokee, as near as i can understand it was possibly through my grandmother who came from England., Can this be possible. He used to tell me very proudly that Cherokees were the first Native American people to have a written alphabet. By the way I am not in the least interested in making some claim to the government to gain any money from this. I have always felt a closeness to nature to the land and the sea and the animals, i don't know if that means anything or not? Peace to all

Actually, the Mic Mac Indians have always had a writing system. The Cree, as well.

I have read all your comments with great interest. I am proud to say that I am part Cherokee. I have 2 Cherokee ancestors in my lineage. However, it is hard to find them on the rolls because they took white names. They eventually settled in eastern Tennessee. My father looked extremely native american. I was picked on when I was little becase I didn't look like everyone else. My son looks just like his grandfather. We have all the physical traits associated with being Indian. I have had others from different Indian tribes take one look at me or my feet or how I walk and say that I was Indian. My children are being taught to be proud of their heritage just as my father taught me. I don't need a number or a piece of paper to tell me I m Cherokee. My father taught me to repect nature and that the woods could speak volumes if one just listened.<br />
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It seems like the ones that have lived on the reservations are lumping all whites together whether they are part Indian or not. The Eastern Band of Cherokees had their own suffering and poverty and racism to deal with also. What is sad to see now is to see some Cherokees practicing racism on other Cherokees simply because they are of mixed race. Those of you that can trace your family back on the rolls - be thankful, but not rude - for our family trees only go so far and then they stop. Everyone old enough to help me is dead and I have names in Bibles and letters. Please don't be so rude to us because some of us are just trying to find out the family history that we were always told so that we may leave a legacy for our children, because one was not left for us.

yona you may remember this comment as i posted it awhile ago, but thought it may be appropriate to post again<br />
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i have followed this group with great interest and as an outsider i may be able to shed some light here<br />
i was quite ignorant at first myself and said some pretty stupid things....i am aboriginal and we do welcome our children home...so i did have a few arguments<br />
but thanks to nativehoney..yona and dragging canoe...i have a greater understanding of how they feel when they hear such things and how hard they fight to keep the integrity of the cherokee nation<br />
it is ok to say you have cherokee blood and where that came from...<br />
but you must not profess to be cherokee or assume that you know anything about them if you have not lived as they have...you will only alienate yourself further...some of your comments are offensive and show your ignorance to a proud people <br />
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their are too many fake hearts...they make up their own tribes...own tribal names and dances...its quite fashionable to be native american...now all of a sudden everone wants to be an indian.....and there is money to be had<br />
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the cherokee people (those that have always lived as a tribesperson and within the tribe) are the only true cherokee....they know the clans/language/communities and social intricacies...they have had to struggle and suffer the idignities that whitemen have thrust upon them ... they have experienced life as a cherokee and have dealt with the issues of racism and the breakdowns of their societies...and the suffering of their families...loss of their lands..only they know what its like to BE cherokee<br />
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there are those in this group that do have a strong spirit that calls to them...and it is sad for you that you may never be accepted or acknowledged by the tribe...as you have been brought up in white society and their you must remain<br />
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but geez some of you are so stupid as to say things like ..."oh i have high cheekbones so that proves im cherokee" and those that make up their own tribes/names and dances ...wow this is bad ....even a true tribesman would not take a name that has not been bestowed on him by the elders and they would not dance without permission<br />
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and to those who are genuinely possesed by their heritage...if you really care about being cherokee...go to your nearest cherokee community and offer your assistance/skills or time... give to them of yourself.... and ask nothing in return...especially their acknowledgment and acceptance that you are cherokee.. don't expect them to give to you....cos that aint gonna happen...they are done giving and its time they recieved<br />
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listen to what the great chiefs are saying......it is not about our rights...its about our responsibilities to protect our land/air/water for future generations....<br />
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this is where our energies need to be focused...not with self-gratification...or recieving an identity....learn from these wise people...that white society is killing the earth and poisioning our water....if you are of native american blood as you say you are ...prove it and fight to stop this destruction, speak out for those still living in poverty and pain, the ones whose voices are silenced and ignored

Chill... wow at the hostilities. There are some of us that are proud members of the Cherokee Nation, carry registration cards, BIA Voters Cards and are members of the First Family of the Cherokee Nation. Have a Great Day

Geez, dude, Chill out for a minute. It's not the "damned rolls" that concern me.. it's the fact that people think they can just make up a tribe where none exists. <br />
Everybody knows the Dawes rolls aren't perfect, but we gotta work with what we have. Everybody also knows there are LOTS of people with Cherokee blood who aren't enrolled. <br />
However.. this does not mean these "disenfrancised" cherokees can just make up a freakin' tribe!<br />
Not only do you look like a total wannabe douche nozzle, but you hurt the credibility of a people who have been through enough already.<br />
Because of stuff like this, the Cherokee people, enrolled or not, have had to struggle and sacrifice to keep the real traditions alive. <br />
So pardon me if I call BULLSH!T on your fake tribe!!<br />
Try actually LEARNING the REAL culture and making yourself useful to the tribe instead of being concerned only with things that benefit you.<br />
Sure, we all want validation, so learn the right way and you won't need to put up all these fronts and get all defensive towards those who are merely trying to protect the culture and ways which have sustained us through it all.. enrolled or not, we must pay attention to the way we carry ourselves and how we represent our tribe. <br />
and sorry to tell ya, DNA tests only look for certain genetic markers, they DO NOT and CAN NOT determine tribal affiliation. <br />
And as far as the "a-holes" on this thread.... They're not a-holes.,. they are simply trying to protect the traditions of a people who have suffered the greatest loss of culture of any tribe in this country. They HAVE to speak out or risk extinction. I tend to think you're the a-hole here. It is clear you didn't grow up with Cherokee values or culture. You're exhibiting the ego and sense of entitlement that mainstream American culture fosters in their people.

we don't need your damned rolls, we don't need your damned id #'s, we don't need your damned reservations... there are those that ran, remained hidden, and blended in with the white's and many of these intermarried... these are the ones that were to proud to sign but resilent enough to survive without the comforts of the herd<br />
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if anyone wishes to know if they are truly indian or not they don't need to talk to a'holes with attitudes on this thread of comment nor do they need to hunt down some bs given last name on a roll or talk to some appointed chief on a reservation... simply get you blood checked out, do the dna test... then mention those results to a'holes like these on this thread<br />
gabriel blackpaw mceskew

well said draggincanoe. donald said something though that i have never heard a fake indian say and that was he goes to water at sunrise. i remember the old people in my family say that when they was little(like in the 1910s-1920s) their grandparents would make them pray in the creek a sunrise. but that tradition died out i guess cus it seems like the ones that are 80+ years old are the only ones that did this. my grandmother didn't even do this and she was born in 1933. as for everything else that donald said(cedar burning, offering tobacco, etc,) is just a load of new age hippie crap. and i don't get where people think that indians are the most peaceful and spiritual people alive. people that say that have obviously never met any REAL indians. not sayin we're all bloodthirsty heathens(some of us are haha) but yea we had a blood for blood way of life back in the day. and we're not all medicine men that can talk to trees and flowers and squirrels and ****. nor can we talk to our great great grannys in the spirit world. we're just regular people with worse than regular problems. quit trying to make us into some type of fantastical creature. i assure you that if them fake wannabe hobbyist cherokees lived a REAL indians life for awhile then they probably wouldn't want to be indian anymore. or they would find out that its not much different than anybody elses life. anyways. dang its been awhile since i been on here. still bunch of weird hippie fake indians though.

Hey since you dont have the time to school the other people do you have time to help me find my grand father his name was Robert Melton this is my e-mail addres shoeba@swbell.net

Good stuff, but so much anger? I am 1/8 by blood, and I don't want any of the government's dirty money.

Mr. Dragging Canoe:<br />
I am happy that you responded to my grandfathers article. When I ran across this site I told him your comments, He said he was sorry that you don't have time to school his butt.But if you would meet him in the bathroom you could start there. I suppose this is the way you have been raised to respect your elders.<br />
Now to tell you. The Cherokee Nation has a 1/16th blood quantium. You must prove your heritage through birth records and if you find your ancestors on any of the "rolls."<br />
There are many people here who do not have the required blood requirement or the heritage proof. But they are who they are. I hate to tell you this and sure it will disappoint you greatly but I do not have a blue card...but my grand father is listed, his father is listed on the Creek Rolls, his mother is on the Dawls Roll along with her brothers and sisters and my great great-great grandfather is on the Keetowah Rolls. I would give you the roll numbers if you wanted to go to the library to look them up. I'll tell you which books and where to find them...no...not in the childrens section. You will need to think outside the box...so to speak.<br />
True, Cherokee original ceremonies was one of the stomp dances, booger dance, green corn dance and so forth. Each to go along with the celebrations of the months or seasons.I am sure you know each by heart. I bet you even have shell shakers. But there are some of many nations people who do like to attend pow wows. Please advise your friend bear. I am 61 years old, believe me young one, I know about the old ways and history. <br />
If you wanted to know more about other parts of our traditions, you should have read the whole site. You missed some of what you say we don't know.<br />
As far as daily prayers, I offer tobacco in the morning and evening as I was taught. I go to water every sunrise, in a natural creek, summer and winter. And I'm sorry but I do burn cedar. Look it up.<br />
We do not walk around in buckskin either and we are just like everyone else in looks. Even employment. I spent 42 years as a police officer and retired after being a police chief for the last eight years on the force.<br />
My grandfather and his father left the Tennessee hills in the 40's to come north to find work.<br />
My great great grandfather worked on building buildings in Chicago. My grandfather got work at the Studebaker plant.<br />
But many of us are traditional and follow the old ways, even in the white world.<br />
Now if you were up on the true traditions you would understand that it is considered a bad thing to cut down others. Especially if you know nothing about them. <br />
I am glad your grandfather was listed in one of the rolls. You should show him respect and find out which roll he was in. If he is the same age as my grandfather and grandmother then it would have been the Guion or Dawles Rolls.<br />
You speak of Chief Red Hawk...I hate to ask but who the hell is he? You lost me on that one.<br />
Looking for names, try Corn Stalk, Corn Tassel, Little Turttle, Turttle, Tuttler Sadler, Mims,Huges, Hunter, Vanns, the list goes on and on.<br />
Those in the hills...hate to disappoint you but many are not with the Qualla Boundry, and they were not organized anyway as far back as my grandfather.<br />
I am hope that you may have gained some information here. Unless you knew any of the old ones, you do not really know what happened to those in the hills or elsewhere. Try Twin Forks, Last Chance, Southern Ridge, other names of places you may have never heard of. That's where our people were.<br />
Anyway, I am bored with this so I have nothing more to say.<br />
Donald Edgar Turtle