Saturday, October 17, 2009

Poverty in the Cherokee Nation

"I'm trying to figure out who my Cherokee ancestor on the roll was so I can get my benefits." Go read any Cherokee genealogy message board and you will find it spattered with such comments. It seems people have the wrong impression about the lives of Cherokees today. I guess they are under the impression that Cherokees are all living high on the hog due to casino revenues. Well, this is not true. Many of the Cherokee people who live in the 14 county area of the historical Cherokee Nation live far below the poverty level. They live without basic necessities, such as dialysis and eye glasses. Many of our elders live in conditions similar to those found in third world countries. I could go on and on, but the following video says it better than I could ever explain in words.

So, in closing, I would just like to say, to everyone who thinks there are "benefits" for having your "Indian card", the benefit is being able to register with a federally recognized tribe and in being able to call yourself Cherokee. There is no greater benefit than that in my mind.

And, to those Cherokees who are only registered because they "want benefits", I hope you understand when I borrow some words from the late United States president, John F. Kennedy,
"ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country." "United, there is little we cannot do in a host of cooperative ventures. Divided, there is little we can do—for we dare not meet a powerful challenge at odds and split asunder."

It is time we stand together against the tyranny that leaves our most vulnerable Cherokees in desperate need. We, together, can make a difference. Your card gives you the responsibility to stand up against what is wrong and fight for what is right. And, isn't having a voice and a vote some of the finest benefits we could ever hope to have?

Those are my thoughts for the day.
Thank you for reading.

The Granddaughter
copyright 2009, Polly's Granddaughter - TCB


  1. I was very moved by that video. I am a member of the cherokee nation in Tahlequah. I have been in the Navy for 18 years and have 2 more years till i retire. I will be moving back to Duncan OK. till i tie. After seeing that video, i will start engaging more into what is going on with the tribe. THIS IS OUTRAGEOS!!!! Its amazing what money and greed do to people no matter what color your skin is. Thank you for all the great info.

  2. Thank you for your comment. It is nice to get feedback from my readers. That video brought me to tears, so I had to post it on my blog. I will be re-posting it on Oct. 16 for the Bloggers Unite for the Eradication of Poverty event.


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