Free Essay. The Cherokee Tribe of Native Americans

Published: 2023-04-19
Free Essay. The Cherokee Tribe of Native Americans
Type of paper:  Literature review
Categories:  Multiculturalism Literature review Community American history
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1462 words
13 min read

Native Americans are individuals and their descendants who pioneered Americans before the arrival of Europeans. It contains many tribes with different languages (King 214). Native Americans ancestors came from Asia. In North America, the tribes that belong to native Americans are the Navajo, Sioux, Cherokee, and Iroquois, with Yucatec and Mayans belonging to Central American and in the South occupied by tribes like Tupi, Guarani, and Aymara (King 216). In both South and North America, the population of Native Americans is once again on the rise. Currently, their leaders are achieving political success in the process of fighting for the rights of their people. The Cherokee tribe is the largest and most known tribe of the Native Americans who, through their Sovereignty, they have formed the Cherokee Nation.

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The paper presents empirical literature of the Cherokee Nation and as a tribe of the Native Americans, and it tries to collect various researches that illustrate the ways the Cherokee tribe became Sovereign. The Cherokee tribe is the largest and most known tribe of the Native Americans who, through their Sovereignty, they have formed the Cherokee Nation. The tribe fought to become a nation that shows their quest and strength of maintaining their sovereignty status. It only through this research that the survival history of Cherokee will be well understood. Currently, this research is in the part of collecting information from different scholars, which are put together in the form of a different conversation between the scholars concerning the Cherokee tribe of Native Americans. Researches that were done in the past and that focuses the Cherokee tribes in 1765 to 1814 are gathered, and each source is reflected by connecting the arguments presented by each scholar in contributing to the topic of how the tribe gained its Sovereignty.

Empirical Literature Review

Rodning (425), illustrated that the Cherokee tribe during the eighteenth-century practiced calumet ceremonialism in Eastern North America. The tribe, together with some European colonial groups, practiced these cultural practices at the time when the spread of colonialism and colonists was at a high base. The ceremonies served the needs of the Cherokee tribe and other groups to have means of developing a balance and setting the base for peaceful exchange, and interaction at the time when there was rampant dramatic and instability in cultural change. The ceremonies show the impact of European colonists on the Cherokee tribe as it introduced such a new culture to them. Inniss (100) studied the color of belonging in the Cherokee tribe of Native Americans by examining the historical conflict of the tribe and its nation as a whole. The national belonging of Cherokee is based on their color, and their past practice of black slavery and the use of color to identify themselves undermines the coherence of their Sovereignty, belonging, and identity. The color-coded identity among the tribe also problematizes their nation of explicitly aboriginal way of life through the bridge of white and red cultural differences over a point of ethical and legal attention leading to black inequality.

Kelton (56), showed that in 1785, Cherokee tribe and the government of the United States via the Confederation Congress signed a treaty to end hostilities between them and establish a territory that is exclusive for the Cherokee tribe and the government in the treaty sought to protect the nation of Cherokee tribe. Here the Commissioners Plenipotentiary assembled and delivered peace to Cherokee and offer to receive and protect them under some conditions that the tribe accepted to adhere. Before 1800, that is after 1765, the Cherokee tribe made several treaties with some colonies, relevant treaties being the Treaty of DeWitt's corner of 1777, which forced the tribe to surrender some of its territory in South and North Carolina, and at the same year the treaty of Long Island of Holston (Read 680). After 1800, Cherokee was remarkably outstanding for their accommodation of the American settler culture. The tribe made an effort to gain Sovereignty, was able to form a government that was modelled on that of the U.S (Read 680).

According to Games (56), the Cherokee tribe of Native Americans placed poorly in terms of geographical setting during the 1770s to exploit the European rivalries. The tribe then identified an advantage to tie together with the British. Still, differences of justice and conflicts over land and killings hindered the relationships, and also, it caused divisions among Cherokee leaders. The Cherokee tribe at that time was forced to sue the British due to the campaign of destruction by the British and military force. They sued for peace, and after that, the tribe hesitated to retake the British. Yarbrough (24), the Cherokee Tribe during the period between 1765 to 1814, established strong relationships with people of African descent and the White Americans through living near them. The studies show that some white and black Americans have claimed ancestry of the Cherokee because of the relationships that occurred in the nineteenth Century. According to Ray (387), the Cherokee was faced with a challenge of determining the criteria of the tribe's citizenship as they pertain to Cherokee Freedmen descendants. The Cherokee descendants were former slaves of Cherokee citizens, and they were adopted by the nation and given full rights after the Civil War, consistent with the terms of a Reconstruction treaty. Ray (388) argues that the determination of citizenship in the Cherokee tribe is through heteronymous authorities, and critical hermeneutic of indigenous cultural resources are to be utilized in the determination of such tribal citizenship. The use of Cherokee sovereignty requires a dialogue by blood between the Cherokee and Freedmen descendants.

The definition of the Cherokee tribe of Native Americans is characterized by Facets, such as self-identity, society, genes, law, and culture. The dynamic definition of the tribe is based on how they adjusted and adapted to the dominant society. At the turn of the 19th Century, the Cherokee tribe of Native Americans were identifiable. Still, currently, it is contested because race is now a disputed term as it is said to be more social rather than biological. Native Americans' identity has been linked to the theory of identity, which is constructed in nature as it is made with discourses of culture and history of the Native Americans (King 217). Tripathy (315), through an exploration of Native Americans identity, talked about constructivism and essentialism that surrounds the experiences of Native Americans, contending that they have their origins on tribal and land lifestyles. Also, Tripathy (317) showed that cultural forces shape the Native aspect, and being a Native involves participation in the rituals and traditions of the Natives.

Forward Section

After the literature review of the Cherokee tribe, the next move that will ensure the research is moving forward after this literature review will be to emphasize more on how the tribe progressed from the mid of 19th Century onwards until how they are living today as a sovereign nation; that will enable me to gather information on the lives of the Cherokee tribe of Native Americans then analyze the data before presenting my final discussion and conclusion about the Native Americans in general. The research is in the form of transition, and the whole of the current work will be connected with the other research on the same, which follows the literature review. The forward movement of the research process is essential, as it will determine the flow of the whole project from the start to the end. So, I must keep focusing specifically on the topic without deviating to make sure the research becomes authentic and successful.


Games, Alison. "Colonial Challenges: Britons, Native Americans, and Caribs, 1759-1775." Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History 3.3 (2002).

Inniss, Lolita Buckner. "Cherokee Freedmen and the Color of Belonging." Colum. J. Race & L. 5 (2014): 100.

Kelton, Paul. Cherokee Medicine, Colonial Germs: An Indigenous Nation's Fight against Smallpox, 1518-1824. Vol. 11. the University of Oklahoma Press, 2015

King, C. Richard. "Alter/native Heroes: Native Americans, Comic Books, and the Struggle for Self-Definition." Cultural Studies? Critical Methodologies 9.2 (2009): 214-223.

Ray, S. Alan. "A Race or a Nation-Cherokee National Identity and the Status of Freedmen's Descendants." Mich. J. Race & L. 12 (2006): 387.

Read, David. "Historical writing in colonial and revolutionary America." The Oxford History of Historical Writing (2012): 680.

Rodning, Christopher B. "Cherokee Towns and Calumet Ceremonialism in Eastern North America." American Antiquity 79.3 (2014): 425-443.

Russell, Steve. "The racial paradox of tribal citizenship." American Studies 46.3/4 (2005): 163-185.

Tripathy, Jyotirmaya. "Towards an Essential Native American Identity: A Theoretical Overview." The Canadian Journal of Native Studies vol. XXVI, no. 2, pp. 313-329 (2006),

Yarbrough, Fay A. Race, and the Cherokee Nation: Sovereignty in the nineteenth Century. The University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013.

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