Cherokee Role Model?

Some discussion of Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford, an enrolled but evidently thoroughly assimilated Cherokee.  And more at John Cornsilk’s Place.  I have to say, Chief Smith’s clumsy transparent efforts to exploit this young man for PR purposes make me cringe.

Published in: on January 9, 2009 at 10:27 pm  Comments (2)  
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  1. Nice. Sorry, but aren’t there any better Cherokee role models around?

    I understand the guys plight. I’m half Cherokee, and a registered member of the tribe thanks to the fact that somebody put one of my ancestors down on a piece of paper, but I also grew up in the suburbs of North Texas, don’t speak Cherokee, and really didn’t learn much about being a Cherokee until I decided to learn more about my tribe in college. Nobody I meet would know I was Cherokee by either my looks or my actions, if I weren’t to tell them I was (and show them my card as proof.) So despite the fact that I’m Cherokee by law, and consider myself Cherokee, I’m not going to hype that fact (or let anyone else hype it) no matter how successful I am later in life because that would just feel…well, wrong.

    What I don’t understand are Cherokees who want to hype or celebrate this guy for a heritage he apparently doesn’t care much for; why claim him when he’s not that eager to claim you?

  2. I’m in a similar situation to you. The last full-blood in our family died in 1899 and my branch of the family has been in Texas since 1877. My language and cultural knowledge is largely self-taught. I think it’s pretty clear that Chief Smith is trying to latch onto this kid’s coattails as a publicity grab. David Cornsilk pointed out that he completely ignored a Cherokee athlete who was VERY involved in tribal life, all because he was a Freedmen descendent.

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