The Southern Cherokee Nation of Kentucky, whose Tribal Lands and Headquarters are in Henderson, Kentucky, will be making history this coming Friday, July 18th, 2008.
This week is when the Southern Cherokee celebrate "Green Corn" which is the ceremony giving thanks to the Creator for bountiful harvests. What better time than this for the Southern Cherokee Nation to sign a Treaty of peace and cooperation with the Shawnee Indians?
For the first time in hundreds of years these two historically entwined Native groups are sitting down together and entering into a Treaty that encourages cooperation in advancing the cultures of both of these powerful Indian groups. The one time enemies (they both vied for and claimed rights to most of the State of Kentucky) have now agreed to join forces and recognize each other as the sovereign nations they have always been.
Though the idea of "sovereign" nations within the nation of the United States has never set well with the government, it is that very government which tried to deal with the Indians with dozens of treaties; all of which the United States broke in order to drive the Indians from their homes. Now those that remain have not only grown in numbers of membership, but have also grown in their importance to the region for a good many reasons.
Kentucky has several thousand Native Americans throughout the state, but there is no formally "recognized" tribe. The treaty between the Shwanee and the Southern Cherokee Nation helps fulfill the criteria that is being proposed in legislation submitted by Representative Reginald Meeks, Louisville. Mr. Meeks introduced his bill in the last session and it passed by a huge margin in the House but has yet to get to the Senate floor. He has vowed to reintroduc ehis bill next session and it appears more favorable results will come out of the next effort.