Wampum: Chad Smith’s October Surprise…

From Wampum: A rumor started gaining steam yesterday over on John and David Cornsilk’s Cherokee board. Apparently, Chad Smith approached the lawyers for the Freedmen with a deal: Ask Congresswoman Watson to hold off on introducing her anti-Cherokee bill, and he would work to get the Freedmen separate “federal recognition” and gaming operations. Well, the Freedmen bit, and Watson put the bill back in her pocket for seven days.

An interesting article on the Wampum blog. It pretty much represents my opinion of the Chad Smith crowd, and what’s happening with the Cherokee Nation elections:

A rumor started gaining steam yesterday over on John and David Cornsilk’s Cherokee board. Apparently, Chad Smith approached the lawyers for the Freedmen with a deal: Ask Congresswoman Watson to hold off on introducing her anti-Cherokee bill, and he would work to get the Freedmen separate “federal recognition” and gaming operations. Well, the Freedmen bit, and Watson put the bill back in her pocket for seven days.

Of course, those seven days aren’t up until tomorrow, two days before the election, when it will be too late to have an impact on the outcome of the Cherokee election.

Read the rest: Wampum: Chad Smith’s October Surprise…

Cherokee Freedmen restored to membership

This is good news. Now let’s hope the courts make it stick. The Cherokee nation has a moral, ethical, and legal responsibility to the descendants of Cherokee Slaves.

This is good news. Now let’s hope the courts make it stick. The Cherokee nation has a moral, ethical, and legal responsibility to the descendants of Cherokee Slaves.

Indianz.Com > News > Cherokee Freedmen restored to membership for now

An excerpt:

The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma has agreed to restore the citizenship rights of 2,700 African descendants pending appeals in the tribal court system.

The temporary injunction will allow the Freedmen to receive tribal services and to vote in a June 23 election. It only applies to a tribal court lawsuit and not to a federal lawsuit.

Also, a more recent article: Indianz.Com > News > Another vote on Cherokee constitution proposed

The council of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma will meet June 6 to consider another vote to amend the tribal constitution.

The tribe’s 1976 constitution requires federal approval for any changes. In 2003, voters approved an amendment to remove the federal review provision.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs on Monday rejected the 2003 amendment. Assistant secretary Carl Artman said he was concerned that the Cherokee Freemen, the descendants of African slaves who were made citizens by an 1866 treaty, weren’t allow to vote in that election.

The opponents of the Freedmen’s citizenship are painting this as a sovereignty issue: The Big Bad BIA vs. The Indians. BS. The motivation is racism. My tribe had African slaves, and we owe them. End of story.

Let’s fight the sovereignty battle on some other ground. This is not the one!

Tribe makes a shameful choice

Due to a confusing registration and voting system for outlander citizens like me, I wasn’t able to register in time for the Cherokee Nation special election today. Even if I had, it wouldn’t have made a difference.

Seventy-six percent of the tribe voted today to expel the descendants of the freedmen, the ex-slaves of wealthy Cherokee plantation owners. This is an expulsion of over 2,000 citizens, because they are not Cherokee by blood. Promised by treaty in 1866, the freedmen are entitled to citizenship, and todays decision is a shameful travesty.

The blood argument does not wash. The Delaware and Shawnee of Oklahoma are citizens of the Cherokee Nation, yet they are not Cherokee by blood.

This is racism, pure and simple. I am ashamed of my tribe today.

Review of 1491 by Charles Mann

This is the first comprehensive look at the people of the pre-Columbian Americas. I found the style to be very accessible and entertaining, and the book full of new information for this reader. Mann’s work here is considered to be “revisionist” in that he challenges many of the orthodoxies of anthropology and history in regard to Indigenous people. As an outsider to these disciplines –he is a journalist– he is able to filter both the new findings and the old prejudices with a more objective eye than most inside observers.

Title: 1491
Author: Charles Mann,
ISBN:1400032059
Vintage

product

A book review of 1491

This is the first comprehensive look at the people of the pre-Columbian Americas. I found the style to be very accessible and entertaining, and the book full of new information for this reader. Mann’s work here is considered to be “revisionist” in that he challenges many of the orthodoxies of anthropology and history in regard to Indigenous people. As an outsider to these disciplines –he is a journalist– he is able to filter both the new findings and the old prejudices with a more objective eye than most inside observers.

Many of his assertions are startling, and draw on the very latest findings in archeology and dna research. He paints a picture of an early hemisphere teaming with cities and villages and civilizations that compete with the so-called “cradles of civilization” in their advancements and knowledge. He also draws horrifying conclusions about the rapidity with which old world diseases wiped out the indigenous populations.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in exploring American Indian people before contact with Europeans.

My rating: 4.0 stars
****

Support the people of Oaxaca

Portland, Oregon

At least six people have been killed in the last few days in Oaxaca, including U.S. independent journalist Brad Will. For months now, the mostly poor, indigenous people of Oaxaca have been resisting police oppression and demanding the resignation of Oaxaca Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz. Despite over 6000 soldiers and police amassed in and around Oaxaca City, the non-violent resistance continues, with the real possibility of a bloodbath in the next days.

You can help prevent violence by calling the Mexican Consulate in Portland, or by attending demonstration there:

Tuesday, October 31st from 4-6pm
Mexican Consulate (1234 SW Morrison St, Portland)

Call the consulate all week at (503) 274-1442. Demand:

* An end to the Federal Police invasion of Oaxaca. Portland supports the Popular Assembly of the People of Oaxaca (APPO).

* A full and complete investigation by Mexican authorities into Oaxaca State Governor Ulises Ruiz Ortiz’s continued use of plain-clothed municipal police as a political paramilitary force.

***More actions may be announced***
Portland Central America Solidarity Committee (PCASC)
and Cross Border Labor Organizing Council (CBLOC)
311 N. Ivy St., Portland, Oregon 97227
Tel: 503-236-7916 Cell: 971-227-3527
E-mail: info@pcasc.net
PCASC website

i dreamed cousin Evo came down

I dreamed cousin Evo
came down from the mountains
carrying a single red rose
clasped firmly in his fist
and beside him walked the ghost of Che
and the ghost of El Libertador
   and the ghosts
of the children
   of the mothers
      of the disappeared
and behind those
came the spirits
of the vanquished gods
Inti and Mama-Quilla
Pia and Makunaima
Kulimina and Kururumany
Ixchel and Votan
Yurakon and Jaluka
Selu, the corn mother
and Kanati, the hunter
Child Born of Water
and Monster Slayer
and after this phalange
there came the immense
river of the people
the lost millions
bearing the deep crimson
flowers of our tears
held high into the air
millions of red flowers
   flowing north
like a great river of blood
       washing away
a half-millenium of history
written in the language of guns
and whips and disease
by the cowboys and the conquistadors
sweeping before it
all of the borders and all of the walls
which seperate us from them
   from all our relations
and they came dancing
into our waiting arms
and the soldiers of the empire
stood mouths agape
dropping their guns
   for they knew
there was no holding back
   the flood
      now

©2006, Duane Poncy