A 200-year-old treaty could give the Cherokee Nation a representative in the U.S. House
By Kyle Dunphey Nov 4, 2022, 8:05pm PST’]
In 1835, the Cherokee Nation was forced to sign the Treaty of New Echota, which removed its people at gunpoint from their lands in the deep south and marched them along the “Trail of Tears,” where over a quarter of the tribe perished.
Almost 200 years later, that same treaty could give the nation new representation in Washington, D.C.
In addition to promising $5 million and tribal land in Oklahoma, the treaty guarantees the Cherokee Nation a delegate in the House, who despite not being able to vote, can still introduce legislation and serve on committees.Report ad
Now, the tribe is petitioning Congress to make good on its promise — according to The New York Times, the House Rules Committee is set to hold a hearing on the matter in mid-November.
“For two centuries, Congress has failed to honor that promise. However, the treaty of New Echota has no expiration date. The obligation to seat a Cherokee Nation delegate is as binding today as it was in 1835,” Chuck Hoskin Jr., Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, said in a video last month.
In 2019, Hoskin Jr. nominated Kimberly Teehee, a senior Native American affairs adviser for the Obama administration, to be the delegate.
“To have Congress take action to finally seat the delegate would be a tremendous honor but also would show that the U.S. keeps its word,” Teehee said last month.
“We often get asked, ‘Why now? Why 200 years?’ Well it’s because forced removal means all that we had developed in the east, all that wealth, the housing, all of that, we had nothing when we came here. Look at the time that it took for the Cherokee Nation post removal to rebuild itself,” she said.
If the Cherokee Nation sends a delegate to Washington, D.C. it