Bradley Letts will have to keep his day job, but the Superior Court Judge will soon begin serving as a temporary judge for the Cherokee Supreme Court.
William Holland Thomas, a self-made, prominent businessman, a revered chief in the Cherokee tribe, a politician and a colonel in the Confederate Army, spent the final 20 years of his life fighting mental illness. He passed those years, as he put it, “in a mad man’s cell.” No diagnosis of his condition exists, though biographers E. Stanley Godbold and Mattie U. Russell contend that Thomas was possibly suffering the tertiary state of syphilis, which causes erratic behavior and bouts of insanity.
Not all the Eastern Cherokee supported the Confederacy. Several served with the Union army during the Civil War and were ostracized by the Confederate Cherokees after hostilities ceased. Some evidence exists that one of these Union soldiers brought smallpox back to the small band of Cherokees who survived the war, with devastating results.
It’s election season in Cherokee, and with the long-time chief Michell Hicks opting not to seek re-election, five candidates are vying for the tribe’s top office.
When the Cherokee Tribal Council voted to give itself a hefty pay raise last fall — $10,000 extra a year plus tens of thousands in backpay for the years when it supposedly should have already been receiving those extra dollars — the decision aroused the ire of a staunch contingent of tribal members who deemed it illegal.
Breweries could be built and alcohol served at special events in Cherokee, if a House bill currently awaiting hearing in a Senate committee becomes state law.
Cherokee will have a new chief when Election Day concludes this September.
Principal Chief Michell Hicks, who is serving his third four-year term, will not seek re-election, but five candidates have filed in hopes of taking his place.
Proponents of domestic violence prevention are cheering following the launch of a federal law that will allow tribal courts to prosecute non-Indians who commit domestic violence on tribal land.
“It’s going to be a really good thing for the tribe,” said Bill Boyum, Chief Justice of the Cherokee Supreme Court.
Blood quantum. Even on their own, the words have a ceremonial, reverent ring to them.
For Cherokee tribal members, reality bears out the ring. Blood quantum — the fraction of one’s ancestry that is purely Cherokee — decides everything from a person’s ability to own land in the Qualla Boundary to availability of scholarships for college to eligibility to receive a share in casino profits each year.
Scanty wireless networks, outdated computer equipment, slow servers — technological woes have been a centerpiece of discussion at Cherokee Tribal Council meetings for quite some time. After months of introducing resolutions only to table them and hours-long meetings with finance, technology and broadband leaders, Council this month took action on a slate of legislation designed to give some direction to the technology overhaul and designate funds with which to do it.