After the Donald Trump administration’s decision to recognize the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv, the national aspirations of the Palestinian people to live in their own state have been severely dashed by Washington’s move. Ever since the formation of the United States, it has been American policy to destroy aspirant nations like the internationally recognized State of Palestine.
The first nation destroyed by the United States was the Cherokee Nation, or Tsalagihi Ayeli, which, beginning in 1794, was slowly decimated by forced removals from territory in Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. If Tsalagihi Ayeli was given its rightful independence and sovereignty, it would be seated in the United Nations General Assembly between the delegations of Trinidad and Tobago and Tunisia.
In what was known as the 1830s “Trail of Tears,” the forced relocation of the Cherokee Nation and its dependencies of Lenape-Delaware, Natchez, Swan Creek and Black River Chippewa, Shawnee, and Cherokee Freedmen (freed African-American slaves of the Cherokee) sub-nations to “Indian Territory” in modern-day Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation was all-but-destroyed through disease, famine, and outright genocidal extermination. The Cherokee Nation was led by a chief, or “uku,” and maintained a functioning capital city in New Echota, a few miles north of what is present-day Calhoun, Georgia. The Cherokee Nation maintained a legislature called the Council House, a Supreme Court, and a Cherokee language newspaper. The Cherokee Nation maintained low-level relations with the United States, Great Britain, Spain, and France until the US government took over Cherokee foreign relations. After European-Americans—mostly ancestors of the present-day white racists who dominate Georgia and the Carolinas and wholeheartedly support Trump—began forcing to the west the Cherokee and protectorate tribes out of the southeastern United States, New Echota became a ghost town.
Re-established as an exiled government in Tahlequah, in the Oklahoma Indian Territory, the Cherokee Nation was disbanded by Washington in 1907. In 1938, the Cherokee Nation was reconstituted; however, its sovereignty was limited by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. The bureau, influenced by corporate mining, oil drilling/pipeline, and casino interests, continues to suppress the sovereign tribal rights of hundreds of recognized Native American tribes. A successor state to the Cherokee Nation boasts of recognition by the State of Palestine, which is fitting given the similarities of American involvement in the genocide of the Cherokee and Palestinian peoples. The Cherokee and Choctaw Nations are legally entitled to non-voting delegates in the US House of Representatives. However, unlike the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guahan (Guam), American Samoa, and the Northern Marianas, the US Congress has taken no action to seat Native delegates.
The destruction of the Cherokee Nation was the first of many such actions taken by US imperialists, actions that continue to this very day in Palestine, Puerto Rico, Guahan (Guam), and other nations and territories around the world.
While not as distinct a nation-state as the Cherokee Nation, the Choctaw Nation, which mainly existed in what is now Mississippi, revolved around not a capital city, but a 600 BC religious mound, Nanih Waiya, or “Mother Mound,” built by the Choctaws’ ancestors in what is now Winston County, Mississippi. Like the Cherokee, the Choctaw were forcibly removed from Mississippi to Oklahoma Indian Territory by the US government, acting at the behest of European-American settlers who invaded and occupied their lands. Today, the descendants of these white occupiers constitute the pro-Trump Republican governing authorities in Mississippi. The Choctaw Nation maintained relations with Great Britain, France, and Spain. The first American president and arch-imperialist George Washington decided that the Choctaw and other Native American peoples should be “culturally transformed” to American citizens because their societies were “inferior” to European-Americans. President Thomas Jefferson continued Mr. Washington’s policies.
The Creek Confederacy was also systematically destroyed by the United States. Known as Este Mvskokvlke, the Creek or Muscogee Nation was forcibly removed from Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and the Florida panhandle to Oklahoma Indian Territory. There was not a single capital city of the Creek Confederacy but there were four major towns: Abihka, Coosa (Kusa), Tuckabutche, and Coweta. The Creek Confederacy consisted of a multitude of tribes banding together in a commonwealth of sub-nations. The Creek Confederacy consisted of the Yuchi, Koasati, Alabama, Coosa, Tuskeegee, Coweta, Cusseta, Chehaw (Chiaha), Hitchiti, Tuckabatchee, Oakfuskee, and several other tribes. In 1799, William Bowles, a native of Maryland who supported the British during the American Revolution, proclaimed the State of Muskogee, with its capital at Miccosuki, near present-day Tallahassee in Florida. Muskogee maintained relations with Great Britain, Spain, and First French Republic. Bowles, an agent for British King George III, was recognized by London as the Ambassador for the “Creek and Cherokee Nation.” Bowles later denounced Native treaties with the United States and Spain. Eventually, he was captured by the Spanish and died in a Havana prison in 1805.
The next major Native American nation to be destroyed by the United States was the Seminole Nation and its Miccosukee and Black Seminole dependencies in Florida. In 1821, the US Army began the forced removal of the Seminole people from Florida to the Oklahoma Indian Territory. Prior to its destruction by the United States, the Seminole Nation maintained relations with Great Britain and Spain. The Seminole Nation never signed a peace treaty with the United States, making it the only Native American nation to refuse a treaty with the federal government, one which would have eventually been violated by Washington, in any event.
Today, a US government-co-opted Seminole Nation, many of its leaders being Republican supporters of Trump, exists in Oklahoma, with a capital in Wewoka. The Miccosukee Nation, however, continues to exist on a reservation bordering Everglades National Park in southern Florida. The unofficial capital is the Tamiami Trail Reservation. One thing that makes the Miccosukee Nation stand out from other tribal nations is the rightful absence of the US flag anywhere on the reservation. The Miccosukee flag of horizontal bands of white, black, red, and yellow is ubiquitous. The US flag is obviously treated as not only a foreign flag but also the flag of an illegal occupier.
The Sac Nation (Thakiwaki) existed on and near the shores of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. Constantly relocated by the federal government, they joined the Black Hawk War against the European-Americans in 1832. The Sac and Fox Nation was eventually forcibly removed from the Upper Middle West to Oklahoma Indian Territory.
The Black Hawk or Sauk Nation, which dominated northern Illinois and Iowa along the Mississippi River, maintained a capital at Saukenuk, near present day Rock Island, Illinois. The Sauk put up a spirited defense of their lands, fighting against the forces of the American genocidal president Andrew Jackson. US troops conducted their own scalping campaigns against Sauk refugees, killing those Native peoples attempting to escape the American Army during the Black Hawk Wars of the early 1830s.
The genocide of the Native American peoples would be repeated with wars against the Navajo, Lakota Sioux, Dakota, Ute, Hopi, Cayuse, Yakima, Klikitat, Mohave, Spokane, Apache, Comanche, Kiowa, Goshute, Nez Perce, and the Cheyenne Nation (Tsêhéstáno) and the Kingdom of Hawaii. European-American racism against Native Americans continues under Trump, who recently grabbed 85 percent of the Bears Ears and 50 percent of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments in Utah, both sacred to Native American peoples, to hand over to uranium mining companies and natural gas fracking firms. Trump and his supporters are no different than the genocidal Americans of the past who systematically destroyed peaceful Native American cultures and emergent nation-states. Americans should forever live in shame over their Holocaust of the Native American peoples and nations.
This article originally appeared in Strategic Culture Foundation on-line journal.
Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).