Thursday, March 10, 2011

I'm an Indian, Finally

Sequoyah who invented the Cherokee Alphabet
I blogged before about my efforts to be added to the rolls of the Cherokee Nation, and my efforts have finally paid off, I am, officially, a Cherokee Indian.  But then I always was, I just didn't have the card to prove it, now I do.  It's an important card, not just because it makes my heritage formal, but it has benefits that come from the tribe.
The Cherokees are mainly in Eastern Oklahoma where they were moved, forceably in the 1800's.  They were given the whole state of what was to become Oklahoma, but like every other promise ever given an Indian tribe this was taken too, but they do own the northeastern corner of Oklahoma.  In the early 1900's the U.S. government decided that they wanted to do away with reservations and instead provide land for the Indians so the government wanted a list of all the Cherokees so that land could be apportioned for  them (my grandmother ended up with a 160 acre piece of land) so all the tribal members had their names put on what was to become known as the Dawe's Roll.  My grandmother Pearl and my Great Grandmother Lizzie are both on that list, I had chills the first time I saw the list with their names on it.  My Mother and sisters have had their tribal cards for years but I never got around to applying for mine until a couple of years ago, and it has taken the better part of 2 1/2 years to get it, but it came today, and I'm official.  Now I need to start work on having my daughter added to the rolls.

1 comment:

  1. I want to congratulate you, not only for your tribal card but for overcoming whatever it was that stalled you applying for it. I was moved by your story and know how important it is to be comfortable and proud of ones roots.

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