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Missouri Proclamtion, 1983
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Northern Cherokee Nation of the Old Louisiana Territory

History of Our Nation in Missouri

The Northern Cherokee Nation is the only Tribe of Indians officially recognized by the Missouri government.

In 1721 our forebears started moving west of the Mississippi as English encroachers began taking away our eastern homelands along with our freedoms. Many of us settled in the areas of New Madrid during French and Spanish occupation of the Louisiana Territory. By 1899, portions of what are now St. Louis and St. Charles Counties were deeded to Northern Cherokees by Spanish land grants.

After the Louisiana purchase of 1803, Northern Cherokees were forced from their properties in the St. Louis and St. Charles areas. Some of the Northern Cherokee refugees migrated to the sparsely populated areas of what are now Boon, Howard, Franklin, Randolph, and Macon Counties of Missouri.

After statehood, legislation was passed in Missouri wich in effect outlawed Native Americans from living in the state. Rather than be forced to an Oklahoma reservation, many Cherokees in Missouri chose to dress and behave like the whites in order to conceal their identity. We had to maintain our cultural heritage in secret. Today, much of the population of Missouri and the western watershed of the Mississippi are of Northern Cherokee descent.

We are proud to be Cherokee. From ancient times we have called ourselves, “Ani Yunwiya,” which means, “The Principal People.” The American principles of social and political equality are only of our ancient Cherokee way. Without original Americans like the Cherokee, the world may never have learned the principles of modern participatory democracy.

Those who desire further information about our people may read, The History of the Northern Cherokee Nation of the Old Louisiana Territory:, by Chief Beverly Baker Northup. Part One of the History can be obtained by sending $10.00 to the Northern Cherokee Nation Office.

Northern Cherokee Nation of the Old Louisiana Territory
1012 Old Highway 63 North, Columbia , Missouri 65201

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SEMO District, NCOLT * 811 Broadway  * Cape Girardeau, MO * US * 63701