Southern Cherokee Nation Official Government Website - Judicial



The Peacemaker system is a system of common law and common sense. The Peacemaker system is a recognized method used for the resolution of tribal disputes and for maintaining peace and cohesion within the tribe. This system has been used by the Navajo tribe with great success. The Southern Cherokee Nation operates under all federal Indian law and federal treaties.

Jerry G. Light has been elected to the position of Peacemaker of the Southern Cherokee Nation. Mr. Light has been studying Indian law and its applications for our tribe for some time now and has the best interests of this tribe and its people at heart.

If you need to contact the Peacemaker, you may mail any questions, comments or issues that need to be addressed c/o Peacemaker to:

16178 E 243RD ST S

If you prefer, you may email to:


     Our Southern Cherokee Nation Great Peacemaker tribal law is the tribal law of the Southern Cherokee Nation, and is an evolving indigenous creation to govern tribal operations in our modern era and changing homeland.

     Peacemaker tribal law, like the Southern Cherokee Nation Constitution and by-laws, were set forth by the Southern Cherokee Nation Council and adopted for the critical purpose of tribal direction and legal protection, longevity and the advancement of the Southern Cherokee Nation in the world today.

     It is to the advantage of the Southern Cherokee Nation for the direction to be set in which Southern Cherokee Nation will move, with a new awareness of the need for full participation of every member in a unified plan for the protection of every member’s indigenous rights, civil rights and treaty rights under the Southern Cherokee Nation system of tribal Peacemaker law.  Any action for the preservation of special native rights will only be as good as our Peacemaker system is good.

     That is, adherence to the principles considered right under the Great Law of the Ancients affords a keen sense of right and wrong and moves our efforts closer to the nobility, honesty and dignity of our aboriginal forebears, whom lived closer to nature than any foreign nation while being noble, honest, gregarious and sociable.

     That is, during our attempt to re-establish our government-to-government relationship with the United States, the Southern Cherokee Nation was invaded by some phony non-Indians claiming to be of Southern Cherokee Nation descent, and that has proven to be a costly egregious action against the Nation; for reason, the lack of integrity, dignity and honesty among them, can find nothing vindicatory or exculpatory for their actions for self-gain and self-aggrandizement within our Southern Cherokee Nation sovereign rights or sovereignty.

     For instance, the Federal Trust paradigm evolved in the Bureau of Indian Affairs Administration has always been remiss in administering federal Indian laws and treaties.  The Southern Cherokee Nation was relegated to a legal no-man’s land, under the Department of the Interior’s cold war policy of termination of federal obligations, and to existence as a “non-federally recognized tribe”.  The Southern Cherokee Nation, however, is a sovereign entity so recognized in the treaty negotiated with the United States in Fort Smith, Arkansas and later ratified at Washington City as the Cherokee Treaty of 1866.





     The Peacemaker, generally, is a walking encyclopedia of the rules and law of the tribe.  He carries the power of pardons and the Peacemaker hears the appeals brought by any member recognized by the Constitution and laws of the Southern Cherokee Nation.

     Peacemakers have the power to rule on the constitutionality of any rule, edict, ruling or tribal law, but cannot rule upon the constitutionality of the Constitution itself, but may rule upon any aspect of the tribal law that is developed under the auspice of the Constitution and laws of the tribe and rule upon their constitutionality in any controversy.


     The Southern Cherokee Nation has one elected chief and shall not recognize any alleged chieftainship or “hereditary” chief.


     “Chief Justice” is a position that does not exist in the Southern Cherokee Nation for reason they do not have a Supreme Court now or ever had one.  The Southern Cherokee Nation now has a tribal Peacemaker system.

     The Constitution and laws of the Southern Cherokee Nation under their Peacemaker system have been put in place to protect all tribal members who have qualified under Southern Cherokee Nation Constitutional requirements for membership in the Nation.  The ancestors of our tribal members did not take the Dawes Act.  Their first treaty with the United States was in 1785 and we now have a total of 22 ratified treaties with the United States.  We are a band of the old Cherokee Nation and some of our ancestors go back to the old “Treaty Party” although being “Treaty Party” does not in itself make a person a Southern Cherokee.  Descendants of the “Ross Band”, for the most part, took the Dawes Act as did many other bands of the old Cherokee Nation.  Today’s Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma was also a band before they voted themselves out of existence to accept the Dawes Act and then became an executive order tribe in 1975. 

          The Council is the governing body of the Southern Cherokee Nation.  The Council is composed of seven members under the Southern Cherokee Nation Constitution and Peacemaker law whom have been elected by popular vote of all voting age enrolled members of the Southern Cherokee Nation.  The Council is the legislators and the Peacemaker is the protector of the only body which can amend the Constitution in and by a referendum vote of all enrolled members duly called for such purpose.  This requires proper education of the Council as to the proposed purpose and the extent of the proposal for any amendment.  Proposed Constitutional amendments are first proposed for study on the motion of a Council member in a regular Council session, and if the motion and presentation is found to have a second in support, the Council may vote to accept the proposal for study.   The proposal shall be studied by the Council who shall prepare a report of their findings to be presented to the full voting membership at their next tribal meeting.   

     The Council shall determine whether or not the measure be put to referendum vote of the voting tribal members to be called for such purpose.  The Peacemakers may appear before the Council at any time and offer an opinion on the matter being considered, but as to its adoption by the tribe, shall only have the power to cast his/her own vote in the matter before the voting tribal members.

     If the proposed amendment is approved to be put to a referendum vote, the proposed amendment shall be returned to the Council which shall be responsible for conducting said referendum vote in ballot form at least six weeks after receiving proposed amendment for action. Said referendum vote shall result in a three-fourths affirmative vote of all eligible enrolled members of voting age for said amendment to be accepted.


     Therefore, it will be a crime against the Nation for any person, member of the tribe or not, to claim to be a principal chief of the Southern Cherokee Nation who has not been elected as such in the Canadian district. Our tribe is prepared to move into the future with the tools necessary to do so, without forgetting our past.  That being said, titles other than those outlined in the tribal Constitution shall not be recognized by the Southern Cherokee Nation.


     All identification cards issued by the Southern Cherokee Nation can only be issued to persons whom have satisfied the Southern Cherokee Nation qualifications for membership.  These membership cards must be issued in the person’s own true name, shall bear no other titles than Southern Cherokee Nation, membership card and the person’s name which shall be evidenced by a number to identify files and genealogy data in records of the Southern Cherokee Nation.  From time to time, the membership data will be supplied to the United States government and at all times, such Southern Cherokee Nation files will be accorded protection in satisfaction of the privacy laws of the United States.  The privacy laws of the Peacemaker are that the privacy of all members shall be protected.  The files of the tribe shall belong to the tribe and as such are private.

     Any member, upon application at any reasonable hours of the work days, Monday through Friday, provided the tribal clerk is available, shall have access to viewing the contents of their own file and that of their immediate family, but are not to remove any application or documents other than a photo copy which may be provided by the clerk.  Such transactions shall be in accord with privacy laws of the land and are not public record or to be released to any person without the permission of the individual member affected, except in case of applicable law enforcement agencies inquiries that involve tribal government and individual rights as members of the tribe.


     Individual members, including Business Committee members and their subcommittees, including any election committee, shall have no access to the tribal clerk’s records.  The records are not viewable by any person except for their own records and that of their children if minors (sons, daughter, etc.), and this shall be done under the strict supervision of the tribal clerk.


     The tribal clerk shall not regard a mere complete list of the names of duly enrolled persons in the Southern Cherokee Nation membership to be private, but the clerk is not privileged to release any additional information to any person who may be another tribal member, or not, such as the member’s address and phone number.  No solicitations for any kind of funding shall be made by any person alleging contributions needed for tribal purposes or for any other purpose.  All other information, such as social security number (if known), religious affiliation or any other kind of known information about a member shall not be disseminated to any person or organization without first having obtained the member’s written permission on requested information except by written request of the member involved.  In the case of law enforcement request, the clerk shall refer the matter to the Peacemaker office.


     No ultra vires tribal organization or alleged corporations or LLC’s shall be instituted under the name of this treaty tribe known by the treaty of 1866 as the “so called southern Cherokee”.  No creation by any member or members of any alleged “Elders’ Council”, any tribal society of any type or entity shall be alleged to exist as any part of, or sponsored by, the Southern Cherokee Nation without the prior approval or license which must be issued and approved under the tribal Peacemaker Court and then by the Council, after investigation and debate.

     While the Southern Cherokee Nation Business Committee members handle some of the day to day tribal business, the powers of the Council cannot be delegated to such Business Committee, which is not a legislative body, unless such is specifically allowed by exact provisions in the Southern Cherokee Nation Constitution and laws approved by the Peacemaker and Council and signed by the Chief.  The Council is the governing head of the Southern Cherokee Nation.  It cannot be diminished.  It is where the retained tribal sovereignty exists.  Anything that can be done by a Council can be undone by a Council, all else being regular and with approval of the principal Chief, and by proper action taken while in session.  The power to amend, however, is not the power to destroy.  The Peacemaker is the guardian of the Southern Cherokee Nation Constitution and operates under what the Constitution says.  The Peacemaker will adhere to the law and what it says for direction of his/her actions as will all members of the Southern Cherokee Nation.

     The rights of each member of the Southern Cherokee Nation shall include freedom of religion, of speech, of assembly, of travel, and the right to petition the tribal government for redress of grievances, and are entitled to due process of law under the Peacemaker system.

     By the law of the Peacemaker in and for the Southern Cherokee Nation, it is similar to the law of the land which is most clearly intended-the general law which hears before it condemns, proceeds upon inquiry and renders judgment only after trial.  The meaning is that the Peacemaker requires that every citizen, including tribal members, shall hold his/her life liberty, property and immunities under the protection of general rules which govern society (Peacemaker); and that all tribal members are citizens of the United States [8 U.S.C. 1401(b); Act of June 2, 1924 (43 Stat. 253)].

     That in addition thereto, the members of the Southern Cherokee Nation are like other American Indians of other tribes, having certain rights under contracts called treaties (which when enacted, are tribal and federal laws) as well as federal Indian laws which do not pertain to other citizens whom cannot have such rights.  The forebears of other Americans have received benefits and considerations under those treaties and laws, however, and thus, obligations of a federal nature, have evolved upon the United States which are legal, moral and otherwise, to carry those laws and obligations to the eligible Indians, under those contracts called treaties and other treaty implementing law obligations under which the United States received lands, water and other natural resources belonging to Indians.

     The special rights of Indians “to share in all tribal and other property”, a clause in the Indian Citizenship and Naturalization Act of June 2, 1924 (43 Stat. 253) codified at 8 U.S.C. 1401(b), does not entitle non-Indians to such reserved rights.

     While being an “Indian” person of Indian blood or descent and “successor in interest” with said interest being under the federal Cherokee treaty negotiated at Fort Smith, Arkansas and ratified in Washington City as the Treaty of 1866 and 21 other treaties, may seem to some to be unreasonable as it applies to them, be it remembered that the Southern Cherokee Nation cannot make a Southern Cherokee Nation member out of a non-Indian person, either by intermarriage, citizenship or adoption.

     Moreover, any information given to the United States that is false is a federal crime under such laws as 18 U.S. Code 1001.  The issuing of false membership cards, manufactured by conmen and non-Indians, has been used as a con scam to collect membership dues disguised as “administrative” or “court” fees.  Administration of this sort of con racket is a violation of RICO laws of the United States and this often involves selling such worthless cards to non-Indians by mail or wire communications which is a federal felony.  The Peacemaker will not allow false claims or breaking the laws for anyone and it is a fact of life that a non-Indian person cannot be made into an Indian by any tribe.  This is not about “race politics” but about the law on the subject as that law pertains to the Southern Cherokee Nation.  Therefore, no cards issued by any party, group or entity other than the tribal office of the Southern Cherokee Nation located solely in the Canadian district shall be recognized by the Southern Cherokee Nation.

     The Southern Cherokee Nation Peacemaker laws are the laws of the tribe and called tribal law.  As such, it cannot be used by lawyers or con artists to allege any protection under Southern Cherokee Nation sovereignty for any scheme under the allegations that it is licensed by the Southern Cherokee Nation to do so.  Any allegations of affiliation with the Southern Cherokee Nation, to operate any con scheme, are responded to by simply stating that they are not in any way authorized by the Southern Cherokee Nation.  Such inference of being a legitimate operation of the Southern Cherokee Nation is a crime against the Southern Cherokee Nation.

     More particularly, when it is found that any person whom may be attempting to conceal, cover up or are otherwise conspiring one with the other, while alleging sovereignty of the Southern Cherokee Nation as a defense for breaking any law, be it tribal, federal or state, by illegal acts or while operating under the color of sovereignty of the Southern Cherokee Nation, such person shall be considered as having committed a crime against the Southern Cherokee Nation.

     The Southern Cherokee Nation will not tolerate any person doing so under any pretext and will not allow any known incident of same to go without prosecution, and where proven an offense against the United States, the prohibition of such acts may be prosecuted in the Courts of the United States, in the Peacemaker system or both, but can never be a bar to federal prosecution.

Maintenance/Hosting by Arvixe. Graphic Design by Jessica Greenwalt.