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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Re: Obama's Cherokee Heritage
In Response To: Re: Obama's Cherokee Heritage ()

Tee, I am glad to read your post. You get it.

The Dawes Roll, for all of its faults, has everything to do with who we of the Five Civilized Tribes are. Our ancestors are listed on it. Our ancestors suffered to be listed on it. Our ancestors were forced to be listed on it.

We who are descendants of those listed on it, who were the citizens of the Five Civilized Tribes, share a legacy of pain and deprivation, pride and patriotism that someone whose ancestor either abandoned the tribe centuries ago (if that person ever really was a Cherokee in the first place) cannot begin to understand.

Why the Dawes Roll? Because first and foremost, it is a list of the citizens of the tribes. Citizenship cannot be passed from non-citizens, even if they do have blood of the tribe. Blood does not equal citizenship. We are a Nation, not a club.

Some claim that our Nation would be strengthened by allowing any Tom, Dick and Harry with a tenuous claim of Cherokee ancestry into the our tribe. Illegal immigration weakens the fabric of the United States. Equally so, allowing non-citizens into our National fold would weaken the fabric of the Cherokee Nation. You have nothing to offer that we cannot do for ourselves and to believe otherwise is insulting to us and arrogant of those beating on our doors.

It is not the fault of the Cherokee people that outsiders, whether they have blood or cannot prove anything, are stranger to us, aliens to our Nation.

As I have said many times, my Italian acestry means nothing to the Nation of Italy. I am a stranger to them, an alien to their Nation. I do not mourn that, for I have lost nothing. My ancestor, Frederico Alberty, was an Italian, who became an American. His son, Jacob Alberty, was an American, who became a Cherokee by intermarriage. All of his descendants, including some Freedmen, are citizens of the Cherokee Nation who were granted U.S. citizenship in 1902. We have dual citizenship in two nations.

Nothing about who we are as nations and citizens prevents anyone from proving ancestry formerly connected to the tribe. But that proof is no key to our door unless it fits in the way in which we have fashioned the keyhole. That is OUR right and none other.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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