Almost 200 Years Late, House Hears Cherokee Case For Representation

by | Nov 16, 2022 | Politics

Seeking to enforce a 187-year-old treaty between his Indigenous tribe and the U.S. government, the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation said he expected Congress to live up to its promise to allow a Native delegate in the House of Representatives.Chuck Hoskin Jr., the principal chief of the 440,000-member Cherokee Nation, made the remarks Wednesday at a House committee hearing on Capitol Hill to examine the tribe’s claim. The top Democrat and the top Republican on the House Rules Committee reacted positively to the idea, but it remains unclear if the tribe’s request will be granted.AdvertisementIn a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats will “continue to explore a path toward welcoming a delegate from the Cherokee Nation into the People’s House” but gave no details.In his appearance, Hoskin said he expected the delegate to be seated before the year’s end.“Mr. Chairman, I am a proud American, and I am a proud citizen of the Cherokee Nation. I have great respect for the United States House of Representatives. Because of all of this, it is my firm belief and expectation that the House of Representatives will take swift action to seat our delegate to Congress, honor our treaty rights, and therefore make the United States good on its promise to our Cherokee ancestors,” Hoskin said.In 1835, the United States and the Cherokees signed the Treaty of New Echota, in which the Cherokees, under pressure from white settlers and the Indian Removal Act signed by President Andrew Jackson, agreed to be paid $5 million in exchange for giving up their territory in the Southeastern U. …

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