How much Cherokee is he?

BY Phoenix Archives
06/01/2011 10:28 AM
The older Cherokee lady named as Tribal Councilor Bill John Baker’s great-grandmother on his (campaign) brochure is my great-grandmother, too.

Ebben, my grandfather; Nancy Osage; Phillip Osage; and Mary Osage are all listed on the Dawes Rolls. Nancy was less than a full blood. She was married approximately five times. One gentleman was a Frenchman by the name of Dubois. Out of that union came Audey Baker, who was less than half Cherokee.

Audey married a white man, out of which came Tim Baker, who was then less than a fourth Cherokee. Tim married a white woman and had children, so John must be less than an eighth Cherokee.

My mother is Mary Osage Helton. She’s 96 and still living. She still talks about how difficult her life was with Audey Baker and John Carey as an aunt and uncle. How little they helped her and her family when they went through difficult times. Nancy Walker was married to men with the following last names: Osage, Dubois, Carey, Leathers and Tiner.

I may have misspelled a name; something might be slightly incorrect, but if it is, it’s not out of trying to tell something that’s not true. I am telling my story from things that I learned from my mother.

I am writing out of concern for the Cherokee people’s having the best person to lead them into an unsure future. Rather than being from a family known for self-promotion, I feel that I want someone who has demonstrated a real concern for the Cherokee people to lead the tribe.

This information was unsolicited. I want the Cherokee people to have the opportunity to know how little Cherokee Mr. Baker really is. In my opinion John Baker needs to make his Certificate Degree of Indian Blood card information public.

Linda Helton
Mannford, Okla.

Editor’s Note: Tribal Councilor Bill John Baker is listed in the Cherokee Nation Registration as having one-thirty second degree of Cherokee blood. Former Principal Chief John Ross was listed at one-eighth Cherokee, while Principal Chief W.W. Keeler was also one-thirty second. Former Principal Chief Ross Swimmer is listed as one-quarter, while Wilma Mankiller was half Cherokee. Current Principal Chief Chad Smith is listed at half Cherokee, too. The Cherokee Nation does not have a blood quantum for citizenship or for holding office. Citizens only need to have a Cherokee blood ancestor listed on the Final Dawes Rolls.

Opinion

BY KEITH HARPER
Cherokee Nation Citizen
05/24/2019 02:30 PM
Late last week, the Election Commission of the Cherokee Nation in a unanimous decision disqualified David Walkingstick for the upcoming principal chief election because of several seemingly blatant violations of the Cherokee Nation’s election laws. Of greatest concern, the commission’s decision cites over...

BY BILL JOHN BAKER
Principal Chief
03/15/2019 08:48 AM
Native children are removed from their homes at a higher rate than most of their peers. Nonetheless, in the recent Texas v. Bernhardt case, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled that the Indian Child Welfare Act is unconstitutional because it is race based. The ...

BY BILL JOHN BAKER
Principal Chief
03/02/2019 11:53 AM
Every time a tribal citizen registers a vehicle with the Cherokee Nation, they make an investment in public education and our young people. You see, our vehicle tags are more than just a pretty tag. By Cherokee Nation law, 38 percent of th...

BY BILL JOHN BAKER
Principal Chief
02/22/2019 03:24 PM
Telling the Cherokee story – our history, our heritage – is a skill that our people have passed down from one generation to the next. Storytelling is a cornerstone of our culture. That’s why I am so proud we have launched ...

BY MARK DREADFULWATER
Multimedia Editor – @cp_mdreadfulwat
02/22/2019 03:22 PM
It had been 14 years and 81 days since I turned 18 years old. It had been that long since I became eligible to vote. I didn’t believe it mattered. I kept telling people one opinion would not make a differ...

BY CHUCK HOSKIN JR
Cherokee Nation Secretary of State
01/31/2019 10:00 AM
Recent political events from Senator Elizabeth Warren’s DNA results have raised important questions nationally of what it means to be a citizen of a federally recognized tribe. These events—and disparaging statements made by elected leaders and political pundits in resp...