How much Cherokee is he?

BY Phoenix Archives
07/01/2011 07:35 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.

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