tv Cherokee Nation After The Trail of Tears CSPAN April 9, 2021 9:47pm-10:50pm EDT
will do is enlarge that understanding of it that it really was an epic chapter. that was about national borders global economies and setting forward policies about indians that had effect long after the actual removal. this billboard behind me a trail of tears. now what you think not even close we chose that because we wanted to sort of suggest something provocative that has visitors kind of question what they may already think they know about it and again to say that this was a moment of huge national significance that affected the entire country and not simply unfortunate policy carried out by a single president. you can watch this and other
american artifacts programs by visiting our website c-span.org/history. american history tv on c-span 3 exploring the people and events that tell the american story every weekend saturday at 2 pm easter on oral histories. leon ellis talks about his time serving in the vietnam war and as a prisoner of war for five years. saturday at 6pm eastern on the civil war a look at confederate boat burners on the mississippi during the last years of the civil war and saturday at 8pm eastern on lectures in history. american university professor. joseph campbell on the cronkite moment and its effect on public opinion toward the vietnam war on sunday at 2pm eastern on oral histories us army veteran david vassar taylor reflects on his time serving as a clerk during the vietnam war and sunday at 8pm eastern on the presidency a look at newly elected
president's first addresses to a joint session of congress with president george w bush in 1 and president barack obama in 2009 exploring the american story watch american history tv this weekend on c-span 3 american history tv on c-span 3 every weekend documenting america's story funding for american history tv comes from these companies who support c-span 3 as a public service. next on american history tv a session from a conference titled john marshall the supreme court and the trail of tears chuck hoskin jr. the principal chief of the cherokee nation talks about the tribe's history following their removal from the southeast to present day, oklahoma. he describes how the cherokee rebuild and strengthen 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 chief emeritus kenneth adams. as was mentioned earlier today chief adam serves on preservation virginia's board of trustees, and it was at his urging that the symposium came to be. chief adams served as a strong advocate for the wrecking of the federal recognition of the upper mattapani. and in the lead up to 2007 chief adams actively participated in the jamestown 2007 steering committee and the activities associated with the commemoration and i can say that we spend a lot of time together at various events around the state his leadership and persistence ensured that the commemorative events reflected the perspective of the indigenous people their culture and their governance long before
the ships arrived at jamestown as steve pointed out. he brought the lack of a permanent memorial on the virginia capital grounds as did other tribal leaders to the attention of governor cain and delegate peace resulting in the formation of the virginia indian commemorative commission and the dedication of the mantle in 2018. chief adam says generously dedicated himself to numerous causes and organizations across the commonwealth and it's an honor to introduce to that. thank you elizabeth for those kind words. good afternoon. it's an honor to be here today
to be part of this event. we we started this but 15 months ago 18 months ago when we just briefed each other on what the possibility 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 location today. i'm gonna give you a brief history of the upper madison. i tribe king, william county, virginia. as ninians know know very well the doctrine of discovery is 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 popes edict to claim that all people's cross the planet. were available. to be taken were available to be killed. were available availability available to be annihilated? and so it happened. and when the first british ships came to virginia in 1607, they knew full well. by planning the flag of great britain that they were claiming this land. for the the united kingdom england as it was known then. and yet and today we still some of us still suffer from the effects of the planning 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. and as steve mentioned in shortly after the british came on one of those trips. they went to the town of past behave. on the james river just below jamestown looking for food and their goal was to take the corn from those people which is what they did and burned what was left and as they were going back to jamestown. the kids that they had captured the children that did captured were thrown into the water and as the articles read. 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 sword because they'd had enough fighting for one day. they didn't want to take her back because they alluded to the fact that she would be burned at the stake. so instead of doing that they ran it through with a sword, but they but they basically annihilated the past behave tribe. in 1610 that process of annihilation and that process. of stealing from the indians that started at past bahay and at jamestown in 1610 1607 through 1610. that process continued from virginia all the way to the west coast.
in other words in 100 years after landing 90% of the population of the indigenous people in virginia was gone. 90% 300 years after landing 90% of the entire indigenous population of this country was gone 90% imagine that imagine what would happen today? if 90% of a population of a nation was destroyed. was annihilated would be shouting from the rooftops. was much shouting then except for the shouting that came from the indians. but at that place when the british came they eventually ended up at a place called where will come a go? where will come a co is a is a as a place name a place for leaders place for chiefs the york river? not far from jamestown, but that
was the place where pocahontas. and john smith the governor of the colony. chief powhatan came together and you know the fable the fable being that pocahontas pocahontas saved john smith's life. and therefore the colony was saved. is that true? not very many people believe it. 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. for my tribe we're we're up the river from where we're coming. was at that time we're oklahoma's on new york river if you follow the new york river north and west it divides into two rivers. the river on the left is the
pomonkey people. river on the rights the matter for night people but monkey. madison i the same rivers bear the same rain same names today. the monkey people still reside on a reservation which was established in early 1600s possibly the oldest reservation in the country. the manipani reservation was affirmed by the virginia general assembly in 1658 one of the oldest reservations in the country. and in 1670 the largest concentration of indians in the entire commonwealth of virginia. was that a little town called aylett? and that little town called ellet is where my people lived today. we still live in the same vicinity that's designated on the map in 1670, but we've got there. in some ways because of removal because in 1640s after the second indian uprising in
would it did, and just ripped the hearts out of people and said basically you cannot even document on the records, not even your records. birth certificates. you cannot document that you're a native american in this state. that started in 1923. because of that my uncles and grandparents and great uncles, they documented draft
certificate. the drought certificate were documented as indians but when they went to join the service service said no they love the state in order to register is onions when they were dressed in that's a brief piece of history and this history is the same for the other onions from virginia. my time is up. it is my pleasure. chief atkinson [applause] i'm just bringing you up on stage, because they have some other work to do. i'm going to introduce chief hostin as our really special speaker this afternoon. from oklahoma.
president chief junior was elected to service as president chief of the cherokee nation. the country's largest tribal government more than -- tribal citizens in 2019. prior to being elected principal chief, the serves that the cherokee nation secretary of state. as principal chief he increased minimum wage at cherokee nation and shirking nation businesses and secure the largest language investment in the tribes history to expand the cherokee language, education and preservation. chief has skin was also pointed the tribes first delegate to the u.s. congress. double cherokee nations funding for career tech education and established the housing jobs and sustainable communities act to repair hundreds of homes -- cherokee elders as well as public community buildings across the tribes 14 county tourist diction. additionally as cherokee of state, ha skin worked to secure
funding from the government funding a billion dollar joint venture investment in better health for all juror keys. he served as the cherokee nation's largest advocate on sovereignty protection. i like that very much. he formally served as a member of the council of the cherokee nation, representing district 11 for six years and served his to finally ours as deputy speaker. on the council he worked with fellow council members to start building homes with cherokee nations, increase education funding and sponsored legislation to expand health care service through casino dollars. chiefs can's 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. tribal advisory committee. chief has skin is from --
i'm not sure how to pronounce it. the community where he lives with his family. he and the first lady, in january, parents to children. tristan and jasmine. he graduated from the university of oklahoma and the university of oklahoma college of law. he's a member of the cherokee nation. and oklahoma bar associations. chief ha skin, we welcome you to this stage and community. [applause] i have one little controversial word i have to say. as i was researching the history of virginia many years ago there was one brief little corner way down in southwest virginia that it appeared, i'm not going to disagree with anyone, but it appeared that
there were cherokee people that lived in that one little small area of virginia. very small. chief has skin, since the cherokee did live in virginia according to my little recognition, welcome home. [applause] >> we have a gift for chief hostin from the virginia indians for the preservation of virginia they're on their way. it is the only galaxy, against the houston dynamo. once it's rather simple, the team knowing the only a win will do for houston. a win by any score will send them true to the knockout round. for the l.a. galaxy meanwhile, they need to win by 3 goals tonight. if they are going to be advancing. the galaxy win by 2 goals, or.
one goal there out. [applause] if it is a draw, both teams are out. >> by the way it is new york city right now they're sitting in orlando practicing trying to stay owed to the sharp. chief and oco they are the ones to virginia. i'm waiting to find so honored out if they that the cherokee might be going on the nation has been asked to be a part of knockout round. if this. i think it speaks highly or if they will of the be on their way home tomorrow history association and virginia preservation that you would include the indigenous aspects of the history of this great state and this great country. i do thank you all for being here. she was mentioned, but i do want to recognize her in the audience, the lady that i would not be here without her. it's the first lady of the cherokee nation. january. it is quite something to be talking about history.
cherokee in history and law in front of scholars and noted historians, including my friend jack and my former law professor lindsay robertson. next month the symposium will be on everything that chief ha skin got wrong about history and law. that should take most of the day. but i'm here -- and being in the audience and then being in front of professor robertson, it kind of feels like old times, except there will be no test. he is saying no, there will be a test. we will get through it, so i'm going to pick up where jack baker left off. i'm going to attempt to hit the right slide. there is a great seal of the cherokee nation. september 6th 19 or -- 1839. you see it on the cherokee nation. we say we've existed from time immemorial, but there is a date on it. and there is a reason for that. that is when we got back together because we talked about removal.
one thing is worth touching on is before the trail of tears, there was an earlier migration cherokee's and when we got to what was our new home it was quite a bit of fighting and controversy here about people being at each other's throats and just means in a figurative sense, cherokee's were literally at each other's throat and jack baker mentioned, that we had to get back together and the fact that we did as part of the reason i'm here today and quite honestly, jon marshall and his decision might be the reason i even exist, because who knows what would have happened to the cherokee people and 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 federal indian law that stays with us today. i'm so honored to be here with you for that reason. so the chapter of american
history leading up and including the trail of tears of something that this country ought to remember. jack baker did a great job talking about very personal terms and how it affected his family and how did fact it other cherokee's. we have to remember that in this country. we have to remember there was a time in this country where the government of the united states thought it was a good idea to round people up into cages. that was not a good idea then and it's not a good idea today, but we always have to take those lessons from our history, but if you think about what happened and you think about the great destruction that failed a cherokee nation. if you think about the fact, in human terms, we lost a quarter of our population, 4000 men and women and children, grandmas, grandpas, grand babies. wiped off the face of the earth. anything further about the fact 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 with 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, needing a written constitution, so quiet was mentioned. so quiet, the great genius. he gave something to the cherokee something that was more powerful than any shield or soar that we could ever wield and now is the ability to be able to communicate with each other and then translating that to each with -- translating it into english. there was a great resistance by the cherokee people before removal, we were not simply remove because the president of the united states said so or because a minority faction of cherokee signed a treaty. we stood our ground and john stood his ground. he went to washington, d.c., to plead his case. resist removal and if, not ultimately defeat it to make it as good as it could be for his people and that took effort a great deal of effort. i think that that period of time and the period that
follows, which i will get to did something and shaped something and build something in our national character and that stays with us today. people of tremendous grit and determination to have resisted, overcome and as we got to our new home in what is today northeast oklahoma, we had a lot of work to do. we had to rebuild. keep in mind what we were rebuilding. we were rebuilding the great cherokee democracy that existed before removal. we had a system of laws and a system of justice based on a rule of law and constitution. i think it says something about the cherokee people of rebuilding. you saw that date. 1839. that's when we got back together. the active union of the cherokee's that had moved out before. the treaty party. the rotash party were all at odds with each other and we found it in ourselves to rise
above that after 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 thought that that is what we ought to do and that would be what would be best to rebuild a great society and we still believe the democracy. we invested in that in addition to investing in a system of law and justice. look at what else we did. this is the cherokee's female seminary. that building, that institution is the first institution of higher learning for any woman of any race west of the mississippi in the history of this country and it happened because the cherokee people believed in education and we did not just believe in that form of higher education, a free system of public education and what is now oklahoma long before there was an oklahoma. 1841, we passed an act
establishing free public education. why did we do it? well, for the same reason i think most of the rest of society does it, because you want to invest and future but i also think that our people and our possessions, we had lost so much blood and treasure, that we knew this was going to be our home forever. it was promised to us. he was going to be our last in, and we ought to make the most of it. how do we do that? you look beyond what is happening right in front of you. you look towards the horizon. investing in education is a way to do that. you would predict that eight people who were forcibly removed across the country, rounded up in stockades at the hands of an unjust article, the treaty of -- the hands of a federal government that ignored its own supreme court and had its economy, the cherokee economy ripped apart, a way of life 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 would not sustain themselves. i suspect there were people in this country that figured the cherokee problem would be solved, not just by moving them but by moving them to their demise. i think people probably thought that, some people did. and what is remarkable to me, and this is why i think that the chapter that happens after removal is something that people in this country ought to know really as much as they ought to know about removal. it's amazing i think people ought to know about it. we did all this within about a decade. within a decade we are saying there's a free system of public education. there ought to be a system of higher education for men and women. we are saying that we have to rebuild a system of commerce that we can build up our economy again. we are saying these things, we were saying that we ought to invest in a system of
government that was a democracy and based on the rule of law, and we ought to have a constitution and we did all this within a short period of time. i think it is remarkable. again it is what i think fuels leaders of the cherokee nation today. thinking back to what our ancestors did. and as today of chief as chief of turkey nation, it was nothing compared to what john ross went through. i have to remind myself of that from time to time. so i mentioned reunification. i cannot stress enough the division within the cherokee nation. it was not just that we were removed and we have to pick ourselves back up, it was that we were removed and we were split apart. john ross the elected leader of the turkey nation had been overrun, as overrun because the united states believed that the executed treaty, with a minority faction, and can you imagine if that happened today. the president of the united states does not like the way negotiations are going with france, over some trade deal
and he says forget the president of france, we will deal with these other french and we will strike a deal, and everyone will think that's okay. well that is what happened in this country. 100 some years ago. and you had the turkeys who had moved up before, and said we are governing ourselves out here. we have our own government. how they came together, honestly i think it is remarkable. every time i read about it i am still struck by the level of compromise. i think it's another lesson for turkeys today. you know from time to time travel elections tribal elections can get pretty rough. i have been involved in politics a long time, and mainstream politics do not have anything on tribal politics and this guy's opinion in this guy's opinion. and i think there is a lesson to be learned. something that i tried to take with me when i took office as chief which is there are plenty of things that divide cherokee is just like everyone else i'm saying, but if we focus on
those things that unify us, if we look to the horizon like cherokee's after removal then we can put enough of that aside to do something that is bigger than our individual selves. it is good for a future. we have to do that in this country i think. so we reunified this you saw it on our seal, in 1839. remarkable time for the turkey nation. here are two amazing individuals in the history of the turkey nation. you see john ross, in a later photo. let's probably closer to the 18 sixties. then you have stan weighty. that's when he was on in years. and these represent the two factions of cherokee political life that would continue on through the 19th century. john ross, quite an amazing person. and stan waiapi i will mention
this in a moment he was one of the most stubborn turkeys that were born. he was a confederate general and kept fighting the war after it was over. he did not surrender. there is a streak of stubbornness among some cherokee's. you know you and i are reasonable gentlemen but there is a streak of stubbornness. so these represent two actions that would carry through. and you will get to the civil war, which has been mentioned. now the turkey people were split concerning the civil war. some of those reasons they had something to do with what's with the united states. and there was slavery in the cherokee nation before and after. and i want to talk a bit more of the institution of slavery and the cherokee nation in a bit. but that was a difference. but there were other things that split cherokee apart on the civil war. john ross wanted to stay neutral, and he urges people and his counsel to stay neutral. why did he do it, because he
believed not only for respect for the united states, but then look we are a recognized sovereign. who are we recognized by, the united states. and who are we party to a treaty with, and multiple treaties with, then that estates of america. what happens that united to the cherokee nation, if we sign with the confederacy. which has put from the united states. what are the consequences? the confederacy did a great deal of courting the cherokee's, they offered a better deal. it didn't help anything that united states was not really keeping a lot of his promises during this time period. i don't know if you can imagine that. the united states an indian tribes but it did happen. so, the government of the cherokee nation, wanting to remain neutral was feeling a great deal of pressure from people who said, look the united states is not really living up to its word. and it looks like the southerners may have an edge, and they are offering us so
much. they are offering us in terms of treasure, land, control that maybe we have a better deal with them. so the folks who largely sided with the confederacy, sort of wind up with stan white tea. and that signed up with the ross party. ultimately john ross signed an agreement rather with the confederacy and it is a remarkable shift in terms of what's happening with jerky government. and so this is about 1861, i think it's when he signed, it but there was a great deal of resistance and the civil war is building up even before 1861. so he signs this and even then he is not know he thinks it's the best way to keep the cherokee nation hole and in stack intact because of the tremendous amount of pressure and that search you rip apart again. we lost a lot of blood and
treasure and life and removal and we always remember that we lost more life in the civil war, we lost more in terms of property destruction in civil war. but the political divides were reopened during the civil war. it was repeating itself so this nation that had gone through so much had started to invest in a future so it could keep its home forever and keep in mind the treaty said we could have it forever there is a land patent that's in the land center in washington d.c. that is signed by martin van buren. who says this land is ours forever. he signed it. so we are starting to get ripped apart and the future is not looking so bright, even though we invested in the sea in the things a great society should invest in for a sustainable future. so the civil war again, is ripping us apart. a lot of destruction, a lot of
the communities that we built. those communities if you are from oklahoma, or you go back there there are communities that still stand today. but much of it suffered a great deal of destruction. i'm getting ahead of myself. i've jumped all the way to 2020 from the 18 sixties. so, let me focus for a moment on okay there we go. what we get through the civil war, with all of its destruction, and somehow we get back together. and this is been mentioned, but the united states says if you are going to rejoin the family and if you're going to get your recognition with the united states, you are going to sign a new treaty. and that's when we have the treaty of 1866, the last treaty that we had with united states. still in full force and
effects. so we have to give up some things in this treaty, one of the things that hastened our demise, was the ability to keep the railroads out. i'm from a little town, called the nita. and this is the washington d.c. organization they've come right here it's a great thing. so if you look at the map, if you look at vanita, there are railroad tracks that crossed right there, and it was found in 1871. that was after the civil war of course, the railroads start coming in, and settlers start going in. so what happens to cherokee's when settler start going in? i seem to remember something about that in the state of georgia? it's the same old story over again. it's a story of indigenous people all over the continent. you may say all over the world. outsiders in this case, more
white settlers wanting what we had. that western migration. that philosophy, notwithstanding what jon marshall might say, that the whole country, the continent most of the continent belongs to united states. and it's white settlers. so that pressure started to come to bear on the white on the cherokee nation. we still have a great ability. if you go we have actually a capital building, it became our supreme court building. and you will see a prison, and those buildings and others were built after the civil war. we start to rebuild even after this treaty. even after the destruction of the civil war, we start to reinvest again in what it means to have a great society. we reinvest in education. even though the seminaries were burned we rebuilt it. we start to develop commerce again. we start to improve infrastructure around the
cherokee nation. we are more connected, and we try to once again keep our foothold in an area that the united states said it would always be ours. they said it would always be ours. and all that pressure, came to a tipping point. there is a quote up there earlier, where they were talking about the point of a bayonet. so cherokee's were rounded up at the point of a bayonet. and we lost a great deal at the point of a bayonet before removal. well it wasn't the point of the bayonet, it was federal law at this point that would probably do in some ways more destruction to the cherokee nation than the removal ever could in terms of our institutions. so when you have the general allotment act after that. and it didn't quite get to cherokee lands right away just yet, but it was more than just
a cherokee nation. in other words, the turkey nation held their lands in common. and this was hypothetical to what they think about the united states in terms of ownership property ownership. and it was to individualize the landholdings, instead of communal landholdings. 1898, the united states passes the curtis act. and suppresses our government. i won't say they extinguished our government, but they had the courts and counsel and the writing was on the wall at that point. so after those acts passed, and then the jericka people actually have to vote on it. by that time all this pressure is being brought to bear, even elected chiefs of the cherokee nation are telling their 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 that the troubled chiefs at the turn of the 20th century are
telling your people. what a dark time in cherokee nation. think about a people that went through so much. folks that are dealing with this in the late 19th century. they have grandmas and grandpas and great grandparents, that can tell about how they rebuilt. how they were going to stand their ground and live there forever. and they are looking at these federal statutes that are going to result in the almost extinction of the turkey nation. almost. i will get to that. so the land gets allotted a small thing happens next in 1907, the state of a coma is created. where there are so many tribal lands. the state of oklahoma is created. i think the line was still held in this restricted status, and as you get to the 20th century that becomes a problem for the
new state of oklahoma and companies that want the land, and land owners that want the land. the oil industries. because it if it is held in restricted status you cannot lease it unless the government of united states is so. but you can get its restriction out of there, it is fair game and it's loses its special status. so here's the next thing happens that i think is a great significance in 1947 a law was passed. it's that if you were indian lonnie where restricted land. if you fell below have it loses its restricted status forever. that law another pressures meant that from 1907 to now we lost more than 90% of our restricted land. so the destruction of the cherokee's leash unknown land base will continue into the 20th century. to add insult to injury, the government of the united states had suppressed and really dismantled so much of the cherokee government, but they
had to have achieved to deal with so through much of the 20th century chiefs of the cherokee nation were not elected by their people they were appointed by the president of the united states. my grandfather, and most of his lifetime he was born in 1906 and died in 1996 he was a full of blood cherokee and as proud as i've ever known in most of his life he never got to even build for chief, let alone imagine that his grandson might be chief sunday. so during that time period the great cherokee democracy is effectively dormant. why does the president of united states appoint hr he chief? usually it is to sign a document. jack, i think if we looked at these documents we might not have gotten the best and of the bargain on that with these appointed chiefs. but i do think it is significant that the government of the united states continues to recognize the cherokee nation and some form or fashion, even the so-called chiefs for a day. that is important even today.
look, that is what john ross was trying to preserve when he was facing the civil wars. we have this government to government relationship with the united states. that is what sean marshall was talking about in his decision. the relationship between the government of the united states and the indian nation and cherokee nation. that, i think, it's still important, as offensive as it is, to think about our great democracy dismantle -- dismantled and our chief appointed. this continued relationship with the government of the united states is absolutely critical, critical to the cherokee nation, and that is why throughout history it is ebbed and flowed, but we kept it. if we had not kept it i would not be appear as chief today. i do -- what are we doing here today? that is a picture of our 200 million dollar health center. it's the largest health center in the united states for native americans. that was just opened last year.
how did we really get here? from a point of -- from the 20th century to now, you are looking at unelected chief. i had the pleasure of working with the council that is an elected council. we have a functioning judiciary, supreme court, and district courts. how did we get there? in the 19 sixties there is more of a push for rights for a lot of folks in this country that ought to have had rights and had the rights suppressed. indigenous rights in the 1971's, i think the principal chiefs act is passed. it recognizes the rights of the five tribes. they were mentioned earlier, including the cherokee nation, to elect their own chiefs. elect their own chief. for the first time in decades and decades. the cherokee people could once again elect their own chiefs. i was looking at some cherokee historical society archives the other day. in the cherokee national historical society, there is a book, a council will, the very
day that the appointed counsel of the cherokee nation, we started to appoint our own counsel, left their seats, this is in the minutes, and who took their seats? the elected members of the council, and elected chief. the great cherokee democracy is back in the 19 seventies. and i will tell you what has happened since then. we have been on a trajectory of progress and prosperity. the lesson also for me is this, and the lesson for the country is this. it's that when the government of the united states takes its thumb 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. it is not just the cherokee people who benefit all of our friends and neighbors benefits. there is the health care facilities. it is the crown jewel of the largest tribal health system 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 all of our 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. a lot of tribes were involved in casino gambling, and congress said we have to do something about this. and they basically said in the end, some gaming is okay. you get to be doing las vegas style game in, you better have an agreement with the state, in which your operating. that is the federal statutory scheme right now. but it has been very good to the cherokee nation and all of our friends and neighbors, because this building, so many of the programs that we have talked about, the building of the cherokee nation in 2019 with the council, when i did last years to boost higher minimum wage up to 11 dollars an hour. i don't know how it's here, but back in oklahoma it's seven dollars and 50 cents an hour.
the fact that we can take 60 million to save the cherokee language, keep it from going extinct, that is in large measure because we have been allowed to engage in business activities, most notably casino gaming. how we can invest in elders homes. it was mentioned we passed a law that fixed up elders homes. we were putting about 30 million dollars into that. community buildings. again, it's those revenues that we generate. this isn't to begrudge any tribe that has the ability to get out checks to their citizens. some tribes do. cherokee nation, we have 380,000 citizens. if we cut a check it would be 75 cents a piece. we don't do per capita payments. we do is we invest in our people and the communities in which they live. i mentioned several of those investments. right now 5000 charities are going to college on a
scholarship, funded, again, by those business activities. we are putting people through career training. we are going into -- there was a map earlier that showed all those little towns that cherokee's created. some of them are still small. some of them are struggling. some of those challenges -- that you saw on the map is towns that the rest of the world forgot about. they are little towns and -- the cherokee nation never forgot about them, because we founded them. we are going into those towns, helping with infrastructure, helping attracting companies to come in and do business there. we are doing this not just to send money to our people or to have programs that help our people directly, even though that is important. we are doing it because we have the same philosophy today that we had after removal, which is that oklahoma, which is not oklahoma, is our home forever. we are going to make the most of it. we are going to invest in our communities. we're going to invest in a
remarkable way. that is why i think the cherokee stories such a story of grit and determination, and it is something that i think the kits in this country ought to know, not just because they ought to know the history of indian tribes of this country, but they ought to know stories of people who overcame things, that understand the dark parts of american history, and then they ought to celebrate those great things. folks, if you come here and see this building and see what's going on. you see people earning their language again. you see elders getting their homes repaired. you see young people who are going to be doctors in that building tomorrow, because we have the first mid school in the history of indian country right next to that building. you say that is something to celebrate. the cherokee nation is something to celebrate. i think we have to celebrate it all over this country, and you are all helping celebrating it here. let's go back to the treaty that was imposed on the cherokee people and removed us. notwithstanding which on marshall said. well, that treaty is a dark
spot in american history. it is a source of pain for the cherokee people and when i think about it and when i think about with jack baker talked about what happened to cherokee's and the death and the suffering. that is i think both a symbol of injustice and it was an injustice. but it is the law of the land and if you go to the next treaty, the treaty of 1866, the last treaty we had that incorporated all of that treaty except to the extent that it was inconsistent of the treaty of 1866, it is still the law of the land. by the way, i'm going to get to my final point, but the treaty of 1866 said that those slaves and their descendants were free and they should have the same rights as native cherokee's. now, it took about 150 years for the freemen descendants to achieve their equality and their citizenship in their cherokee nation. but i'm proud. in 2017, the cherokee friedman
descendants are now part of the cherokee nation, equal with all cherokee's, and folks, we are a stronger indian nation because of it. and i am proud to be chief while it is happening. [applause] back to the treaty of new -- it was mentioned just a moment ago. it says it is stipulated that the cherokee should be entitled to a delicate in the house the representatives of the united states whenever congress shall make provision for the same and i did not know anything about that until i was a delegate to our constitution delicate and -- it was brought up during the. we enshrined in our constitution, but it's been over 180 years since that language was put in a treaty in
the cherokee nation. it has not acted upon it. the government of the united states is not come knocking on our door sing send your delegate out here. in 2019 i appointed someone to be the first delegate to the house of representatives. our council unanimously approved it. here's what 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 women to do it. she will do it. then you get out of her way unless she asks you for help. i appointed not only the first cherokee, but i appointed a cherokee woman to do the delegate. they won't know what hit them when she gets there. her name is -- she's completely suited for this position ensured for the president of the united states and his work for congress but this is when i think -- we have got to fulfill that and
get the congress to seek -- if we don't do it we will not have been successful. i feel successful so far, and here is why. think back to john ross going to washington d.c. after this treaty. the treaty i'm talking about is imposed on the cherokee people and i picture him sitting across from these federal officials, pleading his case. this treaty is unjust. you cannot do this to the great cherokee nation. and i imagine them looking across. notwithstanding john marshals decision, looking across sensing chief, the treaty of new echota is the law of the land and you will abide by it. now i got to go to washington, d.c., last fall and set across some federal officials and say, the treaty of new echota is a lot of the land and you will abide by it. i said it nicer than that. [applause] >> here is some measure of justice in asserting peace treaty rights. asserting this particular treaty right out of a treaty
that was unjust is a measure of justice for us. now, i cannot impress upon you enough that 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 you united states is owed in such large measure to the choice that john marshall made. he could've gone down a different path. you could have gone down the path of the dissenters and those that said that manifest destiny and european discovery, that ought to override everything and the indian people were not worthy of recognition. but he did not do that. there is a lot of reasons he did not do it. i am glad he did not. because i am glad i am here. i am glad i was invited. it has been such a pleasure. thank you all very much. [applause] >> any questions?
>> this is an earth shattering issue, the wettest thinking among the cherokee's and other tribes concerning the use of indian heritage we and history in our sports teams? >> i think it is inappropriate and should not have been. i think depictions of native americans as mascots are a burnt. it should not happen. i think we ought to be on a path where we are not doing this in this country. this country will not fall apart of the washington red skins will no longer be called washington read since. we are moving forward for that.
[applause] >> thank you so much. i appreciate that you are doing, leading your cherokee nation. i want to know if you had any thoughts on reparations for african americans whose ancestors when enslaved here in america? >> i think that is a great question and it is the question of the day. i do not have an answer to the questions -- but i will tell you this. as chief i do feel a particular obligation that the descendants of slaves that are equal cherokee citizens today are not only equal on paper but that we embrace their story and embrace them to make sure they have opportunities to share and all that prosperity that we have today. that includes opportunities for education and health care and
housing. jobs, all of that sort of thing, so that is where we are as a cherokee nation. it's equality of opportunity and also legal equality which we have achieved. we want to make sure we have legal equality, so it's a good question. i don't know the answer to the question in terms of how cherokee nations should focus on it, but i think the right way for us to do it is to make sure that today, keep in mind, we are only about 40 some odd years into the prosperity we have today. we have to make sure we are sharing it'll equally as citizens. hi i just wanted to know, how do you see law enforcement changing especially with the epidemic, and you know how complicated it is for what indians can do on reservations versus off reservations? and do you see that changing
for the better? >> the main change in the major way in oklahoma, there's a case that some know about and maybe some of you've heard of, called the murphy case. the issue is there, there was a creek citizen who committed a crime, and it was tried in state court, and put in a state prison. and his lawyer said wait the cree reservation never went anywhere in 1907, when this was created. so if he is right, that means that the cherokee nation reservation never went anywhere. and there's another case it's working its way up to. so that will be decided soon. the lay of the land is it will possibly shift in a huge way. other words in other words that shirking nation if we, get back to the map here you know if you look at the cherokee nation today, you see tulsa over in the left, and then you see cree territory there. if you look at that today, you
look at what is a restricted land, were the current law would say who has jurisdiction. it is a patchwork. if the murphy case and the mcgurk case in the other that's the other case, it's conceivably as a reservation, as as first today is concerned in this modern era, the way we handle it back home is through cross -- relationships and relationships with law enforcement. that's not the case, in some areas the tribes and local law enforcement not only have a good not a good relationship with a hostile relationship. the case of indigenous women is still an issue back in oklahoma, i think it's the top ten places where we have coal cases of native women going missing. so i think we have to have better coordination with this
state and investigations, because oftentimes would happen there are obvious questions of jurisdiction. a lot of people who are victims of these crimes are living in shadows, and when they go missing there is not necessarily you know there are some barriers perhaps to take action. they may live in a remote area, where the 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 are making some efforts. it's a complicated issue, but compared to other parts of the country, in oklahoma we have a pretty good working relationship with the way we handle that. and when the supreme court cases come well all that may change to. >> okay thank you. >> i just would like to and by thanking all of our speakers. i lost microphone k here comes
back. i want to thank all of our speakers today and this has been a tremendously inspiring day i think. 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. a lock you know many more perspective to look at. and we'll be reminded that john marshall, was famous for host hosting lawyer dinners at his house. he would gather not people that always agreed with him, or that he necessarily knew the subject they might bring up. but he would surround himself with people that made him think. i think that's exactly what we have done today, and jean marshall would be proud. thank you.