The Washington Redskins have been an NFL franchise since 1932 and are based in Washington, D.C. Their nickname, the Redskins, has been at the center of controversy for quite some time now. Many find the name Redskins offensive, especially the Cherokee Indian people, and there have been multiple lawsuits filed in United States district courts across the years against the Washington Redskins. The lawsuits have been filed for the purpose of having Washington change their nickname from the Redskins to something less offensive.
Many high schools and colleges across the country have changed their nicknames if they had anything to do with Indians because of lawsuits or petitions to have them changed. The Redskins have yet to acknowledge any of the lawsuits against them and are not planning on changing their team’s nickname anytime soon. The Cherokee Indians are also requesting that the logo for the Redskins be changed from the Indian head on their helmet to something less offensive.
If the courts rule in favor of the Cherokee and other Indian nations that have filed suit against the Redskins then what would the Redskins change their name to? Some names already in use in high school, college, and professional sports include the Red Demons, Red Devils, Red Storm, Red Birds, Capitals, Wizards, Senators, Nationals and the Federals. All of these names are in use or have been in use in professional, college, and high school sporting leagues across the country. Some of these names, especially the ones with the word ‘red’ in them, can be used the Redskins without having to change their uniform colors.
What do Bob Barker and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians have in common? Barker, along with PETA, are protesting the treatment of bears by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Barker and PETA claim that the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians are treating bears on their reservation inhumanely and are requesting the actions be stopped immediately. Reportedly, bears are being held in three zoos on the reservation in cages and concrete pits.
Barker and PETA have spoken with the chief of the tribe, Michell Hicks, and have threatened that if the inhumane treatment of the bears doesn’t stop then tourists will stop visiting the popular Cherokee area in North Carolina. The reservation has a Harrah’s casino and beautiful mountain vistas that attract visitors from all over the country.
“Things are going to change on the Cherokee reservation, I promise,” Barker said. “This is going to be a blight on tourism,” he predicted. “Americans love animals, and all they have to know is that animals are being abused.”
Hicks, the tribe’s chief, let Barker say what he had to say during a press conference held in Asheville but then addressed the media himself. When Hicks addressed the media he pretty much told Barker to mind his own business and worry about what was going on in California. He also told Barker that the Cherokee will take care of what they know how to do in their jurisdiction. Hicks also claimed that he will try to help the zoos expand so that the bears have more freedom.
All across the country thousands of Cherokee Indians can be found but one of the most popular groups is the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. This group is a federally recognized band of Cherokee Indians in the United States. They are located on the Qualla Boundary and receive their money from federal grants and state funds as well as tourism and the Harrah’s Cherokee Casino, which came about in the 1990’s.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is not affiliated in any way with the Cherokee Nation or the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians from Oklahoma. Some of the most famous members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians include the following people:
- Amanda Crowe: 1928-2004
- Charles George: 1932-1952
- Junaluska: 1775-1868
- William Holland Thomas: 1805-1893
- Nimrod Jarrett Smith: 1837-1893
- Yonaguska: 1759-1839
William Holland Thomas was the adopted caucasian son of Chief Yonaguska, who did not want the Cherokee Indians to participate in the march on the Trail of Tears to Oklahoma Territory.
Some of the related ethnic groups of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians include Iroquois (Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora), Nottoway, Meherrin, Coree, Wyandot and Mingo.
The religion practiced by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is Christianity (Southern Baptist), Traditional. The members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians speak English and Cherokee.
There are three main regions of Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and they are the ones located in North Carolina, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, and the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. There are approximately 13,000 members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
The Cherokee Indians are originally from the Southeastern United States; specifically Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Cherokee Indians are the largest of 563 Federally recognized Native American Tribes as of the 2000 census. The Cherokee Indians were considered to be one of the most assimilated groups of Native Americans during the 19th Century. The reason for this was that they had adopted quite a bit of technological and cultural practices of their European-American neighbors.
The Cherokee Indians, like all other civilizations across the world, established their own government and laws. Throughout their history they have been involved in various treaties and other government agreements. A minor timeline of the history of the Cherokee Indians is below:
- 1794: The Cherokee National Council is established and polices the entire nation.
- 1808: The national police force, the Cherokee Lighthorse Guard, is established.
- 1809: The National Committee is established.
- 1810: The abolition of blood vengeance.
- 1820: Civil disputes are handled by the establishment of courts in eight districts.
- 1822: The Cherokee Supreme Court is established.
- 1823: The National Committee is granted the power to review the rulings of the National Council.
- 1827: The Constitution of the Cherokee Nation East is established.
- 1828: The Constitution of the Cherokee Nation West is established.
- 1832: Elections are suspended in Cherokee Nation East.
- 1839: The reunited Cherokee Nation establishes a Constitution.
- 1868: The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians establishes their Constitution.
- 1888: The State of North Carolina issues the Charter of Incorporation for the Eastern Band.
- 1950: The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians establishes a Constitution and federal charter.
- 1975: The Constitution of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma is established.
- 1999: The Cherokee Nation drafts its Constitution.