In 1970, Congress passed the Principal Chiefs Act, which provided in just a few words, that the Cherokee people shall have the authority to popularly select their principal chief. This act further provided that the Principal Chief shall "promulgate rules" to carry into effect the election. Nowhere in federal law does it provide for the rehabilitation of the Cherokee Nation by removing the disabilities imposed by the Curtis Act and the 1906 Five Tribes Act, except for holding elections for chief.
In 1975, Principal Chief Ross O. Swimmer brings forth what he describes as a "new constitution" to replace the constitution of 1839. He claims that the "inherent sovereignty" of the Cherokee Nation gave him that right. This contention was false and continues to be false. The inherent sovereignty of the Cherokee Nation was already delegated and could not be diverted for his own use. The Cherokee people had delegated their inherent sovereignty to the Cherokee government by and through the 1839 Constitution. The only way for inherent sovereignty to be used differently would be for the Cherokee people to withdraw their support of the 1839 constitution by and through its provisions for amendment or by a constitutional convention under the terms set by Cherokee law. None of this happened.
The inherent sovereignty remained and remains "occupied and in use" by the 1839 Constitution. The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, a pretender and usurper of the Cherokee people's inherent authority, is a corporation created by the Principal Chief to aid him in governing. There have been no actions taken by the Cherokee people, or the U.S. Congress, which could provide for the reorganization of the Cherokee Nation under a new constitution. Such an action would require federal legislation superseding the 1906 Five Tribes Act. The OIWA could provide the authority for reorganizing the Cherokee Nation, but the Cherokee people have chosen not to take advantage of the rehabilitating provisions of that piece of legislation.
The Cherokee Nation remains disabled and unable to function fully as the government of the Cherokee people, while the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma pretends to be that government. The passage of time and the CNO acting in the stead of the Cherokee Nation have convinced most Cherokees that it is the Cherokee Nation. However, the passage of time and illegal actions cannot legitimize the CNO. That which was illegitimate from its beginning cannot be made legitimate by the passage of time.
Can the Cherokee people defy the U.S. Congress and reorganize and rehabilitate their government without organizing under the OIWA? The answer is yes. We, the Cherokee people do not need the permission of Congress to reorganize our government. Will Congress recognize such reorganization? Who knows? It’s risky, but definitely worth the effort because our inherent sovereignty is at stake. Did the Cherokee people reorganize and rehabilitate their government by adopting the 1975 and the 1999 Constitutions? No. Those documents were conceived in deceit and did not originate from the original inherent sovereignty of the Cherokee people as delegated to the government by and through the 1839 Constitution.