Want to learn more about Cherokee Native American Indians? Read on to get a comprehensive overview of the Cherokee Native American Indian tribe…
The Cherokees are a tribe native to the American southeast region. They inhabited what are now the states of Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, North and South Carolina. However during the Trail of Tears in the 1800s the bulk of the Cherokee people were forced to migrate to Oklahoma.
One can find the descendants of the Cherokees still living in Oklahoma. These are people who survived the Death March. Certain Cherokee people managed to hide in the Appalachian hills during the Trail of Tears and thus never moved to Oklahoma. Their descendants are still living in the original homeland of the Cherokee Native American Indians.
Cherokee Trail of Tears
Once America gained its independence from Britain it began a movement known as the Indian Removal. Trail of Tears is the name the Cherokee people gave to this very movement. The American government wished to drive all Native American Indians to the Oklahoma region which was going to be converted into an Indian Territory. All Native Americans from the eastern region were to be sent there.
Whereas some tribes willfully succumbed to the government’s Indian Removal plan others put up a resistance. However they were confronted by the American Army which forced them to migrate eventually.
The Cherokee tribe is regarded as being one of the largest tribes of the eastern regions and was adamant on not leaving their home lands. However they were not at war with the government. On the contrary they were peace loving people who were in alliance with the government.
They put forward a petition asking the Supreme Court for help and the Supreme Court voted in favor of the Cherokees. However under the command of President Andrew Jackson they were forced to migrate to Oklahoma. Thousands of people from the tribe died during the journey as they were unprepared to make the journey at the peak of the winter season. This is regarded as one of the darkest periods of the history of the Cherokees.
Today the Cherokees are recognized as three tribes. The first of these is the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Then you have the United Keetoowah Band in Oklahoma and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians that belong to North Carolina.
Smaller Cherokee communities can also be found in Georgia and Alabama but these have not attained official recognition. The Eastern Cherokees live on reservation lands which have been given under the control of the Native Americans. However the Oklahoma Cherokee people dwell on trust land. Keetowah Cherokees on the other hand do not possess any sort of land base.
Each of these recognized tribes maintain their own form of government and has its own laws, public services and police in place. Basically these communities are like smaller countries within the United States. However as American Citizens they are also bound to obey the American Law.