EXECUTIVE BRANCH SOUTHERN CHEROKEE NATION A TREATY TRIBE (14 Stats. 799)
In the 2011 election of the officers of the Southern Cherokee Nation , Andrew D. Light was elected to the position of Principal Chief of the Southern Cherokee Nation. In his position as Principal Chief, he continues to work with numerous federal agencies as he has for the last four years in an attempt to put an end to the scams and cons being forwarded in the name of the Southern Cherokee Nation. He also continues to work for the rights of all Native Americans and to assist other tribes whenever he is called upon to do so.
If you need to contact the Principal Chief, you may mail any questions, comments or issues that need to be addressed c/o Principal Chief to:
SOUTHERN CHEROKEE NATION
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STATEMENT OF PRINCIPAL CHIEF ANDREW D. LIGHT
At this time, I wish to express my appreciation and thanks to all tribal members who have worked so diligently during the processes of the ratification of the new Constitution and the election following. The involvement and commitment exhibited by our tribal members in these processes and within the government itself is not only beneficial to forwarding the interests of the Southern Cherokee Nation and its people but will also assist in putting an end to the actions of those who are seeking only to work for their own personal gain and prestige. All duly elected members of the government of the Southern Cherokee Nation are here for the people and will move forward in an honorable fashion to serve the people.
We are the elected government of the Southern Cherokee, so chosen in a special election. Prior to this election, the tribe executed the adoption of the 1827 Constitution with amendments, ratified by the affirmative vote of three-quarters of the adult population of the tribe. The special election was called for in order to be in line with the newly-ratified Constitution. This government is also located within the jurisdiction of the Southern Cherokee as outlined in the Treaty of 1866 unlike the self-proclaimed chiefs and criminal activities being committed all over the United States in the name of the Southern Cherokee. We are not the only Southern Cherokee Indians but we are the only legal government of the Southern Cherokee Nation. I started this investigation in 2004 as a Deputy Marshal despite objections from then-Marshal Johnny Gray, Steve Matthews and many others. Johnny Gray, his daughter Delilah, his niece Gilda Tyler, his nephew William Tyler and Steve Matthews, a cousin, from the taped minutes from the council meeting of June 2006, knew they were all appointed to council only until the election in 2007. All resigned from the tribe before the election following their banishment from the tribe. Their resignation was sent by registered mail to tribal headquarters at P.O. Box 581 Webbers Falls OK 74470, located in the Canadian District. After their resignations, they have proclaimed themselves to be the Council of the Southern Cherokee, operating out of a so-called� Branch Office� of the Southern Cherokee they set up in Newburg, Missouri. The major discrepancy involved here is that they claim to be a �branch office� of the tribe they resigned from. The Southern Cherokee became such by the 1866 Cherokee Treaty and the Civil War, specifically their service for the confederacy during the war. There were no parties recognized as Southern Cherokee before this time. The treaty provided for the government to be located within the old Canadian District as outlined in that treaty, now in present-day Oklahoma. There have been complaints filed against this group in Missouri to the Missouri Attorney General and numerous prosecutors in Missouri for the cons they have run in that state but Missouri refuses to take any action to protect Missouri citizens from this con. During the federal civil case against Ridge and associates, Gray and Matthews were plaintiffs/witnesses against Ridge but were running their own con and then were performing bogus Cherokee funerals with power of attorney and donations for the Southern Cherokee Nation branch office in Missouri along with Charles Wilcox. Wilcox is from the Ridge con and is not a Southern Cherokee. Gray and Matthews are even enrolling persons through their "branch office" who they specifically turned down in the past because they were not Southern Cherokee. There is one group of 80+ enrollment files, submitted to our office here in Oklahoma, which were returned due to the fact that they were not Southern Cherokee. These parties, related to John Gray, are now enrolled with the Missouri bunch even though John Gray himself had stated that they may be his relatives but they�re not Southern Cherokee. None of the so-called Council or Committee members now listed for this group have ever even been to a meeting here in Oklahoma other than the five afore-mentioned persons that set this con up. We have a registered letter from Gray and Matthews stating that their so-called Council had a trial behind locked doors in Rolla, Missouri. If they would have studied Indian law or tribal law, they would have known a council can�t have a trial, let alone one held with hand-picked relatives and non-Southern Cherokee in the state of Missouri, outside the jurisdiction of the Southern Cherokee. Gray and Matthews have sent emails and told people that I can�t say where the Southern Cherokee government is located. I don�t need to say where the government is located as the 1866 treaty and federal documents have established it as being in the Canadian District of the old Indian Territory, now present-day Oklahoma. Nowhere does it mention Missouri, North Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky or any other state where these cons are being committed. Gray and Matthews even went so far as to attempt to withdraw our opposition (an opposition they supported prior to their resignations) to the trademark filed by Michael Buley of Kentucky for the name Southern Cherokee Nation in return for their partial use of the name if he was successful. They undertook this action even after having been told by Shirley Taylor that Buley was not a Southern Cherokee and had only been enrolled in the Ridge con based on collateral evidence and under the constant urging to do so by Ridge and Will and Judy Gunier. If you check the websites of Ridge and Buley through the internet archive found at http://www.archive.org/index.php, you will find that parties previously associated in the Ridge con have now also moved into the Buley con. Gray has stated that he has Missouri Highway Patrol officers, prosecutors and judges in his pocket. After seeing the influence a small-town ex-mayor here in Oklahoma can exert over county and state officials, he very well may have. The state of Oklahoma doesn�t recognize the Southern Cherokee, yet Gary Ridge is allowed to continue to sell hunting/fishing licenses, thousands of dollars worth of car tags and registrations and has incorporations from here in Oklahoma to North Carolina along with setting up these cons for bonds and grants with kickbacks on them. We have contacted newspapers all over the country with evidence to these wrongdoings with no response as the truth is not interesting enough.
I have worked with Paul Boyd, Postal Inspector in the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, for over 3 years, thus far resulting in federal confiscations both here in Oklahoma and Louisiana. His investigation has been turned over to Linda Epperley, Assistant U.S. District Attorney in Muskogee, Oklahoma. In addition, I have worked with many U.S. District Attorneys and Assistant U.S. District Attorneys in other states, agents with the IRS and Treasury Departments and the BIA, just to name a few, as well as city, county and state officials all over the country. Numerous persons have provided evidence in this investigation to the criminal acts being committed nationwide in the name of the Southern Cherokee and other tribal names. The only involvement of Gray and Matthews in these investigations was to interfere and run their own cons, to lie, cheat and steal and to present evidence they had nothing to do with obtaining. These conspiracies operate against the governments of cities, counties, states and the United States and the American public and Native Americans at large.
If you are not a so-called federally recognized Indian tribe or government-made Indian and part of the con, you have very little chance as an Indian. With the evidence the federal government has on these cons all over the United States dating back to the 1980s, they are not limited to white or Indian, rather it involves greed, selfishness and stupidity without knowledge of the facts, and the ones that do have the facts haven�t got the heart to stand up for what is right no matter who it applies to.
The United States Constitution, Article VI, declares that:
�This constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made or which shall be made under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.�
Now we have an Oklahoma State District Judge abrogating federal treaty rights and, in the words of Judge Carl Robinson, he and a group of lawyers in a civil case might have to decide who the real Southern Cherokee are. This was his statement on April 8, 2008 in state court in the case of Dynamic Gaming v. Southern Cherokee Nation, after denying the Southern Cherokee the right to represent themselves in state court yet Mr. Lewis can represent the Ridge con as Southern Cherokee at the same time. This also came after the Judge granted a Motion to Intervene to non-tribal members who are not residents of Oklahoma, let alone of the Canadian District. This is also the same judge that in 2005 refused to hear an eviction case against Gary Ridge and associates, claiming lack of jurisdiction, a jurisdiction he now claims and even extends to deciding treaty rights. Dynamic Gaming, Gary Ridge and C.J. Perme have been involved with several gambling boats and a $7,000,000 land deal in Santee Cooper, S.C. and were working together before they came to Oklahoma.
According to newspapers and Ridge himself, Dynamic Gaming was to give the town of Webbers Falls $300,000, a statement also found in ex-mayor Jewell Horne�s deposition for the federal civil case, and Ridge has also said on his website that he was giving the town $300,000 with the first $100,000 already made. To one party from North Carolina, Horne and Ridge also represented the town of Webbers Falls as the devastated Southern Cherokee reservation, a claim which resulted in the delivery to Webbers Falls of a tractor-trailer load of furniture, medicine and clothing along with cash donations for the poor Southern Cherokee flood and tornado victims. Jewell Horne and city of Webbers Falls have supported Ridge and been involved and drawn into many of the cons, one being that of Rodger Dale Griggs, the alleged Prince of Ethiopia and a bond scam. Griggs received 19 years 7 months in his federal criminal conviction in South Bend, Indiana in April 2006, one more alleged Southern Cherokee chief brought into these cons by Ridge. Ridge supplied Griggs the tax number for �United Deitist, Native American church of the Southern Cherokee� for use in his fraud. In spite of his past claims, Ridge testified in federal civil court he was not a Southern Cherokee or a member of the tribe. And don�t forget Michael Buley of Kentucky, a non-Indian and just another self-proclaimed Southern Cherokee chief. With all the frauds being committed across state lines, what does it take for the filing of RICO or other charges?
The 1866 Treaty with the Cherokee following the Civil War is the centerpiece of the SCN case for nationhood. During the Civil War, the SCN fought with the South and the other Cherokee Nation faction initially allied itself with the Confederacy before switching over to the Union. This treaty applies to the Freedman as it should but why not to the Southern Cherokee?
Numerous provisions of the 1866 Treaty provide support for the SCN case for separate nationhood. These include the following: (i) right of return of Southern Cherokee to the Canadian District, Article 4; (ii) self-government of Southern Cherokee and others in the Canadian District, Article 5; (iii) protection from the Cherokee majority, means to secure the impartial administration of justice, and a fair and equitable application and expenditure of the national funds of the Cherokee Nation, Article 6 (authorizing the President of United States to secure and protect such rights); (iv) right to regulate trade and commerce independent of the Cherokee nation council, Article 8; (v) separate representation in the General Council of tribes in Indian Territory, Article 12; (vi) right to a separate census; (vii) right to self-governance, Article 15; and (viii) United States guaranteed to the people of the Cherokee Nation the quiet and peaceable possession of their country and protection against domestic feuds and insurrections, and against hostilities of other tribe, Article 26. Note: do you see anything in the 1866 treaty about Ridge faction/treaty party/Southern Cherokee? These treaties and government documents have been altered to add these references and presented in federal courts.
The historical record documenting the 1866 Treaty negotiations definitively establishes that the U.S. recognized the SCN delegation as representatives of a separate Indian tribe. In 1867, Congress again explicitly recognized the SCN as a separate tribe by appropriating $18,825 for the expenses of the Southern Cherokee delegation to the 1866 Treaty negotiations.
For this amount, being the balance due on the award of the Secretary of the Interior to the Delegates of the Southern Cherokees for costs and expenses incurred by them in negotiating the recent treaty with the United States and the Cherokee Indians, to be reimbursed to the government of the United States out of the proceeds of the sale of the Cherokee lands, eighteen thousand eight hundred and twenty five dollars.
Therefore it is beyond dispute that the federal government recognized the SCN as a separate and distinct Indian tribe in the nineteenth century. However, the federal government failed to honor its treaty obligations to protect the SCN and assure the safe return of SCN members to the Canadian District. SCN can therefore maintain a breach of trust claim asserting that the U.S. government failed to honor its obligations to protect the SCN�s rights to self-government and autonomy in the Canadian District under the 1866 Treaty. The main elements of such a claim are the United State�s undeniable trust duty to SCN, the breach of that duty and continuing damages resulting from the breach.
After the 1866 Treaty, ample historical documentation establishes that the continuing feud between the SCN and the old Cherokee Nation government based in Tahlequah made it nearly impossible for SCN members to return to the Canadian District. The post-Civil War government of the old Cherokee Nation was recognized as �Wholly corrupt, irresponsible, and unworthy to be longer trusted with the care and control of the money and other property of Indian citizens, much less their lives, which they scarcely pretend to protect.� Stephens v. Cherokee Nation, 174 U.S. 445, 453 (1899). Under the circumstances, SCN members risked their property and lives if they attempted to return to the Canadian District absent federal protection, which was not forthcoming. There is ample historical documentation that the federal government was well aware of the state of affairs in Cherokee country but took no action to protect the SCN in the exercise of their rights under the 1866 Treaty.
In many cases, judges will bring up today�s Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma (CNO) which has nothing to do with the Southern Cherokee. According to Nelson Hermilla, a civil rights lawyer out of Washington, D.C. who has been with Ridge and W. Brent Gill, another attorney, since 1999, the old Cherokee Nation was taken over by 1100 non-Indians around 1914 and voted their tribe out of existence. Today�s CNO was not recognized until 1976 and were allowed to go back to the Dawes rolls as their enrollment criteria. Recognized to be a flawed census, the Dawes Act was repealed in 1934 and a great number of the people listed on the Dawes rolls were not Indians but this is still what is used to give a card to many federally recognized Indians.
Lawyers are supposed to be representatives of the court, not sell out to the highest bidder. And then there are the judges that make up the law as they go. During the federal civil case in February 2006, the judge referred to the Southern Cherokee as a bunch of fakes and wannabee Indians and then the case was heard and ruled on by a jury. This is the same judge who refused to allow us to have a bench trial as requested. Among the members of the jury were at least four Dawes allottee Indians who, after the trial was over, told our lawyer for this case that they were Indians and the Southern Cherokee were not. What is organized crime when this country is run by lawyers, law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges that sell out to the highest bidder or base their decisions on how much taxes you pay or personal opinions? Can I prove it - who would you prove it to? The Southern Cherokee Nation can�t afford a lawyer but every crook and thief in on these scams has paid for lawyers with bonds and grants and money from the people they can con or the ones that are in on the cons. Indian or indigenous people�s rights? You can bet illegal aliens have more rights than Indians and most people in this country.
The failure of the U.S. to honor its treaty obligations to the SCN breached its trust obligation and other applicable federal law, including the federal law imposing a statutory obligation on the President of the United States to protect the interests of tribes removed to Indian Territory:
The President is authorized to exercise general superintendence and care over any tribe or nation which was removed upon an exchange of territory under authority of the Act of May 282, 1830, �to provide for an exchange of lands with the Indians residing in any of the States or Territories, and for their removal west of the Mississippi�; and to cause such tribe or nation to be protected, at their new residence, against all interruption or disturbance from any other tribe or nation of Indians, or from any other person or persons whatever.
The above-referenced authorities also offer grounds under which SCN can bring suit against the United States or other landowners in the Canadian District alleging one or more of the following causes of action: (i) breach of trust; (ii) takings of tribal land, minerals or other resources without just compensation; (iii) quiet title; (iv) recognition of treaty rights to self-governance and autonomy.
Because the U.S. breached its trust duty by failing to protect SCN members and governmental interests, SCN has a cause of action for a taking of its lands without just compensation. Cherokee Nation v. Southern Kansas Railway Co., 135 U.S. 641, 656 (1890). By prevailing in litigation or negotiating a favorable settlement to its claims, SCN can re-establish formal federal recognition and proceed to exercise its rights as a sovereign Indian nation on tribal lands.
Federal Indian law is unique in that many traditional defenses to federal law claims do not apply, including laches, statute of limitations, equity, etc. Thus, examples abound of tribes successfully asserting land and treaty claims after the passage of hundreds of years from the wrongs committed against the tribe. County of Oneida v. Oneida Indian Nation, 470 U.S. 225 (1985) (neither laches nor statute of limitations barred tribe�s land claim dating to the eighteenth century); Narragansett Tribe of Indians v. Southern Rhode Island Land Development Corp., 418 F.Supp. 798 (D.R.I. 1976) (affirmative defenses based on estoppel, laches and statute of limitations were invalid in suit by non-federally recognized tribe to assert land rights). These decisions provide solid precedent for SCN to assert its treaty and land rights as a sovereign Indian nation.
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