A Word From Our Chief

Most recent update on 2/14/2011

Osiyo Members, Council and Friends,

      I would like to talk with you for a short time about things that are being said about us, the Mixed Blood Tribes. Did you ever stop to think about where the people that run the B.I.A. come from? The United Stat’s Government appoints them from the Federal Recognized Tribes. Then the United States Government passes rules that say you must show a working relationship with the United States from before this country was formed in 1776 when they know that the tribes have no written records to show this. The American Indian Policy is set up to make sure that you cannot ever qualify to meet the rules.

     A few weeks ago the President of the United States went to the B.I.A. to meet with all the Federal Recognized Tribes and at the end of their meeting he came out and told all the News Reporters that he supports the Federal Recognized Tribe Bill of Rights. This is full of Discrimination against the Mixed Blood Native Americans. Here we have a President that has openly stated he supports Discrimination against other Mixed Native American’s of which many are Black also. We need to ask the NAACP how they can support a man in the White House who has openly said he supports Discrimination not only against the Black Native American’s but against all Mixed Breed Native Americans!  

Also, have you read the Constitution of the United States that says that land cannot be taken from anyone without payment for the lands, except for Native Americans? Well that is Discrimination! The United States Congress passed a BILL that said it is going to pay to the Federal Recognized Tribes billions of dollars for lands taken from them. How about the lands taken from the Mixed Blood Native Americans? Perhaps now many will understand why Chad Smith and the other Federal Recognized Tribes fight against Mixed Bloods becoming Federally Recognized? They are trying to rip hundreds of thousands of Mixed Bloods,  off for the money that should go to all Native Peoples which includes you and me and everyone else that is Native American including the Cherokee Freedmen.

Chief Chad ‘Corntassel’ Smith had his family history printed in a book that he has online for sale at around $45.00 telling all of his family members from the Goins, Garner, Green, Hicks and Smith families which goes on and on right down to Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina. Then he had made the statement that his Family was not from Georgia or Alabama on the news, well the book said otherwise.

They made a video about many of the Mixed Blood Tribes. What they did not tell you is that the Chickamauga Cherokee was, at one time, made up of many tribes which were the Creek, Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Shawnee and under the Shawnee were many Northern Tribes. They are very good at trying to send people off down the wrong path and take them away from the real reason that they are doing this, which is their greed for the White Man’s money. The fact is that in 1838 when they walked the Trail of Tears they lost more than just some of the people lives, they lost who they were. They died as Cherokee on the Trail of Tears; they forgot what made them Cherokee! Like Dragging Canoe said, “If you have one drop of Native American Blood then you are Chickamauga Cherokee.”

    We stayed in the East and carried on the fight for the homelands, we lost more warriors fighting the United States than they did on the Trail of Tears. In 1790, under Chief Little Turtle, the Chickamauga took on General Harmon in the North, killing over half of his 1800 soldiers, Less than a year later under Chief Little Turtle we took on General Clair’s 1400 soldiers, killing over half of them. It is true that we lost the fight against General Mad Wayne’s soldiers because Chief Little Turtle took his warriors out of the fight. But we moved South again, still fighting and then moved to the Chickamauga upper town in North Alabama where in time we sent warriors to aid Chief Red Eagle at Fort Mims where there were 498 soldiers killed by 2000 warriors. Part of the warriors went to Horseshoe Bend and the others went all over Alabama and southern Georgia. After the fall of Horseshoe Bend, many of our people moved into north Florida at what is today called Lake City which a long time ago was called ‘Alligator Town’ after our Chief Billy Bowleggs, Halpatter Micco, who changed his name to Chief Alligator when he got to Florida because of another Chief Billy Bowleggs of Florida whose actual name was Holato Micco (he was Seminole and our Chief Billy Bowleggs was Creek).

    We stayed and carried on the fight for the homelands, we earned the right to be who we are, our people gave their lives to be who they are, these were our family, we did not leave with our tail between our legs, our people stayed at all cost and many died. We earned the right as Chickamauga Cherokee to be who we are and I for one will not let anyone take that from me and my Family and Children. Today, Indian Creek, Alabama has been built up into a white man town, very little of what was once the lands of the Indian Creek Tribe remains there, the white man has changed it, no one would ever know it was the same place where I was born and my Father was Born and his Fathers. Always walk with Yowa.



Principal Chief James Billy Chance


Osiyo Members, Council and Friends,

      I have been asked many times, who I think has more power in the tribe, the Mothers of the Roundhouse or the Men of the Sun Lodge. Well, in history when you look back you see that Benjamin Franklin saw how the tribal Government was setup, and they tailored the United States Government after it. He liked the way the Mothers of the Roundhouse were and the Men of the Sun Lodge, and then you had the Principal Chief and Vice Chief.

      Which brings us back to who has the real power, well stop and think about it, a long time ago the Mothers were the wives of the Chiefs and Vice Chiefs with all the women in the towns and village were part of the Roundhouse, they cooked the food, cared for the children and gave birth to them, and did many other things, should I have to say more?

      Well, it is true that all the men in the towns and village also belonged to the Sun Lodge, but much of the time they were away hunting or at war, off fishing on the river bank or some place and working at being the best warriors they could be.

      Also when you stop to think about it, when someone came to the towns or village, who did they see most of the time, the women. If a runner came to the town or village they would find the Headmother of the Roundhouse because all the Warriors and Headmen were gone fishing, hunting or to war, or just training to be the best they could be at being a warrior to protect the town from harm’s way.

     So who do you think got their way and had the power in the towns and villages, any one of the men who is married or have been married, no, if a woman wishes her way chances are she will get it in the end. Which was fine, we never had a problem with it, because we place our women very high on the list of being very important to us as native people. It was the way we lived when the men needed to be gone for days and weeks at a time. We found over time that this worked very well for our people. Getting meat was not like going to the corner store because the animals would move many miles at times from the Towns and Village. A Woods Buffalo would be 1500 to 2000 poundsafter it was cut up, it then had to be carried many miles back to the towns and Village. Also there was no way to keep it cold so  in most cases it would have to be dried on the spot, and that in itself would take days at a time. This is why they were gone for many weeks hunting and fishing.

  A town or village was 20 to 30 miles apart, a walking warrior could travel 20 miles in a day, and to go 30 mileswould take a day and a half. So do not believe the movies, there was not that many horses in the old days in the East for Indians to use, most every place we went was by foot, but walking is good for you.

      But this gives you and idea of why the women were there in the towns and Village for long times by themselves. Never think an Indian Woman could not take care of herself, only a fool would ever think she could not for they carried two knives, and knew how to use them very well.

    There are stories in the Storyfire’s books of how women lived and were able to take care of themselves, it’s part of our history.




Principal Chief James Billy Chance


Osiyo Members and Council,

      All our people should at all times be Ambassadors of Good Will, if they wish to talk with people of another Tribe, then they should speak only in good way. Never say or do anything to put someone in another Tribe down, and if you are talking to a Principal Chief, Vice Chief, Headmother or Headman of a Nation or even the United States Government you should never say anything to put them or their Nation down or their policy.

      Treaty and policy is set by the Principal Chief; once they reach an agreement then they bring it before the full council to be talked about and agreed upon.  At that time is when you can voice your idea for or against a treaty or policy, but you always show another Nation full honor and respect at all times.

      Under the Wampum Laws we have always conducted ourselves in an honorable way toward all other Tribes and Nations, and we ask all our Chiefs, Vice Chiefs, Mothers of the Roundhouse and Headman to follow the Wampum Laws. Anyone that will not follow the Wampum Laws and word to be a great Ambassador of Good Will can face being removed from his/her seat on this council.


 Always walk with Yowa.

Principal Chief James Billy Chance

This is a picture of my mother, Susie Adell Joyner Chance, at the Federally Recognized Cherokee Indian Reservation in Cherokee, North Carolina with one of the Chief’s; as you can see he is wearing an Indian Headdress. I asked why they make such a big deal out of me wearing an Indian Headdress in our Public School Programs here in Florida, showing how that many different American Indians lived around the United States. Look whose calling the kettle black, the Cherokee Nation Council needs to cleanup around its own door, before it decides to jump on other people.


The Chief’s in Cherokee, North Carolina wear the full headdress to symbolize what the Plain’s Indian Tribes wore because when a tourist comes to the reservation they are expecting this type of regalia and it is done to only draw a crowd of people. Cherokees typically did not wear the full headdress but it is worn by many for teaching purposes only or to catch the eyes of the tourist.




Principal Chief James Billy Chance


This picture of the Federal Cherokee Indian of North Carolina Wearing a plain Indian Head Dress


Click here to view a video taken of a Cherokee wearing a Plains Indian Head dress.


This is from the Cherokee Resavation in North Carolina, Notice the welcome sign has a Indian with a full Plains Indian Headdress on it. And the other is from the Cherokee Trading Post at the Resavation in North Carolina.



                                                       THE PRINCIPAL CHIEF

                                                     WE PAY HONOR TO HIM


            The History of the Native Americans or any tribal people goes back for thousands of years into the history of Mother Earth; the Principal Chief was appointed to his seat as head of the nation by all by all the people that tribal Nation..                        


            In addition to his good name and  his outward respect the Principal Chief is a  person of superior rank and position.  He has earned the respect and integrity of his people and he is regarded with honor and respect by all.


            He may not do what everyone thinks he should, but he follows the traditional wampums  for the betterment of the tribe and its people.  There have  been times that some Principal Chief’s go against what all the people request, because it is the best and the right thing to do.  No matter what the reason, tribal people over our history have placed him where he is seated, to be the leader of this nation and its people, and has been given the right to speak for and act for his tribal nation.


            We made our Constitution to live by in the early 1800's, we later revised it in the year 2000.   Following history, we still place the Principal Chief with the respect and honor as the head of our tribal nation.   We made our By-laws to aid us,  to live and work by.   From the early 1600's we have lived, worked by and showed honor by the Wampum Laws that tell us how to respect each other and our Chiefs, Mothers, Headmen,  Elders,  and all others in our nation.


             This is what makes a Native American, a history of showing honor and respect, following a way of life that has been set down for hundreds and thousands of years; first we show honor and respect to the Creator (Yowa ), then Honor and Respect to the Principal Chief, the Clan Chiefs, Clan Mothers, and respect to all the people that make up our nations and Mother Earth.


            Honor and Respect this is what the Creator placed into all the Native People, and this is what sets us  aside from all others on Mother Earth.   It is not the color of our skin, eyes, hair, or what part of Mother Earth we came from, but what he placed in our hearts, in our souls, and our love for Mother Earth.  The honor and respect that he placed into us is what a Native American’s  honor and respect of all things on Mother Earth is about.  Always walk with Yowa.






Principal Chief James Billy Chance