Cher-O-Creek Intra Tribal Indians
The Cher-O-Creek, Intra Tribal Indians bloodlines are composed of more than
one Native Blood of the Five Civilized Tribes indigenous to the State of
Alabama, primarily Creek and Cherokee. Many of Cher-O-Creek members
have both Creek and Cherokee bloodlines.
In the 1820's and 1830's, the United States pressured the Southeast Indian
nations to cede their homelands and move westward. The tribes that
didn't go voluntarily were forced to go by the Indian Removal Act.
But, there were fragments and remnants of the Five Civilized Tribes who
avoided the Removal by escaping into the woodlands and mountains, marriage
to white settlers and trappers/hunters. And, some escaped by living
among the Freedom people as "Black Dutch" or "Black Irish". All the
while, they were denying their American Indian bloodlines. Many
stopped speaking their native language to avoid their young ones being heard
speaking their native language. All the children were cautioned to
avoid answering questions when asked about their families.
The Creek and Cherokee were excellent farmers and hunters. They
planted their crops in the fertile bottom land along the rivers, creeks,
streams and lakes. Their crops flourished and became their financial
resources. They were farmers first and hunters second.
Prior to the Removal, the Creek and Cherokee families enjoyed a lifestyle of
living in nice homes, dressing in fine clothes and wearing elegant jewelry.
Their children were educated by tutors and the missionaries. Children
were taught to respect their elders, good behavior, and to care for Mother
Earth and the animals by their Elders and "extended" families. The
tribe took care of their widows, elderly, orphan children and the disabled.
As time passed, the general society became more acceptable and tolerant of
the Indians living in their communities. The missionaries and Catholic
people encouraged our people to affiliate with their churches.
The society's acceptance and tolerance was the beginning for the Indians to
feel less afraid of the "white" man. By word of mouth, the local
Indians began to meet together to "share" what they could remember of their
heritage. From group meetings, Gatherings began. Usually, Elders
were the ones who could recall the stories, dances, drum, the Cultural and
Traditional Ways. Slowly, as the years have passed, Cher-O-Creek
citizen's Indian Pride has returned. Today, they live in peace
with their neighbors.