are a confederation of families who are of
Cherokee descent and who choose to honor, and
practice as best we can, the traditions of
those who walked before us.
of our citizens own their own homes, the
others rent. It is our contention that neither
Tribe nor State may own The Earth, nor any
part of her. We are simply stewards and that
is how we look at our scattered land base.
We have family units living in Tennessee,
Georgia, Alabama, Oregon, Virginia, New York,
Illinois, Texas, Arizona, California, Florida.
The population of the Tennessee River Band of
Chickamaugan Cherokees (TRBCC) is
confidential! (For you argumentative types
this is because of the Privacy Act)
Chickamaugans separated from the Cherokee
Nation when the older chiefs were coerced
to pursue a path of appeasement with the
aggressive colonists. Dragging Canoe
(Tsi-yu-gv-si-ni) vehemently disagreed
with the assembly of chiefs who signed theTransylvania
treaty at Sycamore Shoals.
the Spring of 1777, Dragging Canoe, realizing
that the invasion had to be stopped but not
wanting innocent peace faction blood spilt,
withdrew completely from the Cherokee Nation and
taking his warriors withdrew from the Overhill
settlements to Chickamauga Creek, east of
Chatanuga (Lookout) Mountain near the present
day Brainerd Village where the British Agent,
John McDonald, had earlier established his
trading post. On foot, by pack horse, canoe, and
travois they made their dramatic exodus as a
splinter tribe, the Chickamaugas.
Between 1777 and 1794, a band of
Creek Peoples from Alabama joined forces with
Dragging Canoe's Chickamaugas in their war
against White encroachment of Indian lands.
There were even numerous white, Irish, Scotts,
Africans and Englishmen who were sympathetic to
the Indian cause and joined the Chickamaugas.
The chances are good that some of those who
joined forces with Dragging Canoe's people
eventually intermarried with them, thus being
accepted and adopted into this splinter-tribe of
Cherokee People, and become Cherokee by
adoption. At that time, the Cherokee People
would welcome outsiders who showed they had a
good heart, and a sincere desire to learn the
Cherokee Way of Life. Since the "Great White
Father" and his agents refused to move settlers
from Cherokee lands, Dragging Canoe with
assistant chiefs, took it upon themselves to do
so. They waged a successful guerrilla war of
resistance from 1775 to 1794. After the death of
Dragging Canoe, the war of resistance continued
until the ammunition from the Crown of the
United Kingdom and then Spain ran out. With the
armed resistance to the invasion of Cherokee
lands crushed, It was a simple matter for the US
to find an excuse to expel the Cherokee and take
what remained of their land base.There are many
who, just prior to the forced march to Oklahoma,
remembered the prophesy of Dragging Canoe and
headed for the hills (mountain coves, caves, and
anywhere else they could hide out). Some were
helped by local whites who were sympathetic
toward their cause. Some married into white
families and eventually lost their Cherokee
identities by way of gradual assimilation. Some,
who saw the persecution of the Indian brothers
and sisters, decided to cover up their Cherokee
identities by claiming to be something other
than what they were; i.e. Black Dutch (black
deutsche), Black Irish, or a mix of Black and
White, or just White to avoid removal to
Oklahoma and/or the persecution that would have
been experienced. Over the years, many of these
people descendents of Dragging Canoe's
Chickamaugans, over numerous generations, lost
touch with their cultural Traditions, clan
lineage, and the Sacred Ceremonies. Only a few
families carried on traditions, often secretly,
or in spite of persecution, and passed on the
old Medicine Way, from generation to generation.
These few never really forgot who they were.
Today there are numerous Chickamaugan
descendents spread out over the United States.
There are many that still live in the original
Chickamaugan homeland. Though some still call us
"Red Indians", the Chickamaugans in this area
have been like the "colors on a Chameleon's
back, altering the larger pattern, surviving
genocide because we have to."
In 1838, in fulfillment of
Dragging Canoe's dark prophesy, a large
number of the Cherokee were force-marched to
the Oklahoma Territory. Many men, women and
children died along the way. Some escaped
and went into hiding in the hills of
Arkansas and Missouri. Some who escaped
early on in the forced march went into
hiding in the foothills and the Smokey
Mountains. Many of these continued to resist
the pressures of the government to
assimilate into white society. They became
known as the Snowbird Cherokees.
A group of us reorganized on the third of
October 1990. We retain, as Chickamaugans,
our native Cherokee (Jalagi) tongue. Those
of us who home-school teach the language to
our children, as well as the traditional
values. We make our own crafts. Our
Ceremonies are private, so we will not speak
of them. We dance at local pow-wows and all
others which are open to non-registered
Natives in our area.
There are those of us
who can only prove their heritage
through Bible Records, family legends of
Cherokee Blood, personal records. These
are acceptable for our purposes. When a
treaty is broken, by one side, the other
is no longer obliged to uphold it. We
WILL HAVE our lands, one household, one
acre at a time.
THERE WILL BE NO MORE
NO "FEDERAL RECOGNITION"
will glide through the
darkness like the Nighthawk
until the time is
right to strike!
Visit the GADUGI page.