What the 1970 Chiefs Act Is and Means:
The leadership of the CNO have depended upon the passage of time, the lack of information and the draw of the dominant culture upon our lives to give them free reign to control the
affairs of the Cherokee people from an illegal perch.
1. The United States Congress passed the Dawes Act in the 1890s to dissolve the governments of the Five Civilized Tribes.
Some tribes resisted, particularly the Cherokee Nation. The Dawes Act stated specifically that its purpose was to divide up the
tribal assets and terminate the existence of the governments of the Five Civilized Tribes.
2. The United States Congress passed the Curtis Act in 1898 to force the resistant tribes to agree to the allotment of their lands
and dissolution of their governments. The Cherokee Nation agreed in 1901 and the end result was the allotment of tribal lands
and assets through the creation of the Dawes Roll.
Analysis: In the latter part of the 19th Century, it was the intention of Congress to destroy the governments of the Five Civilized Tribes. All lands and moneys of the Nations were to be divided among the numerous citizens and the tribes would be no more. Everyone thought the Final Roll and the division of the assets was the end. It wasn't.
3. In 1906, Congress was informed by the Dawes Commission that despite their best efforts, parcels of land remained to be allotted or sold and they could not finish their work if the governments of the Five Civilized Tribes terminated in 1906.
4. The United States Congress passed the Five Civilized Tribes Act of 1906 which provided for the continuation of the governments of the Five Tribes in accordance with law and providing that the President of the United States or his designee could appoint a "chief" to carry out the unfinished business of their respective nations.
Analysis: The lands of the tribe yet to sold or allotted were valuable assets that could not just be "taken" from the Indian people. The 1906 Five Tribes Act provided for only three things:
a. The continued existence of the governments of the Five Tribes until Congress deemed otherwise.
b. Those governments would be controlled in their actions in accordance with existing law. Since Oklahoma was not a state yet
and state law doesn't apply anyway, the only laws existing at that time were federal laws, ie the Dawes Act and the Curtis Act
and Cherokee law, ie the 1839 Constitution.
c. The U.S. President would have the authority to appoint the principal officer of the Five Tribes. The governments of the Five
Civilized Tribes were saved from oblivion by the 1906 FTA. Without it, there would be no Cherokee Nation today. Yes, there
is a Cherokee Nation today, more on that later.