- The Washington Times - Monday, September 6, 2004

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — Cherokees should not forget the Trail of Tears and should be watchful of U.S. government policies that erode their nation’s sovereignty, the Cherokees’ tribal chief said.

In his State of the Nation address Saturday, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith said members must become involved in the U.S. political process to protect the sovereignty of the federally recognized tribe.

Mr. Smith, wearing traditional attire, addressed more than 1,000 people at the Cherokee Nation Courthouse during the 52nd Cherokee National Holiday.

“History does have a way of repeating itself, and we are once again at a point in history where impending doom lurks on the horizon,” he said.

Deputy Principal Chief Joe Grayson Jr. said Cherokees need to elect American Indians to state and federal office to protect their rights. “Right now, we don’t have any [representative] power at all,” he said.

About 4,000 Cherokees perished during their 800-mile forced march to Oklahoma in 1838 and 1839.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide