Cherokee Nation removes confederate monuments in Oklahoma
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — The Cherokee Nation has removed two confederate monuments from its Capitol Square that were erected nearly a century ago by the Daughters of the Confederacy.
A crane removed the monuments from the nation’s tribal headquarters in Tahlequah on Saturday as Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin, Jr., watched.
“It’s difficult to tell our story when we have non-Indian-driven monuments talking about the Confederacy, when they greet people as they come into our Cherokee Nation museum,” Hoskin said in a statement. “It was time for a change.”
The monuments included a fountain memorializing confederate soldiers and Gen. Stand Watie that was dedicated in 1913 and a granite monument honoring Watie dedicated in 1921.
The tribe notes on its website that the Civil War created division among it’s citizens with about one-third of the men joining the confederacy and then Principal Chief John Ross later agreeing to support the Confederacy after Union troops left a nearby fort.
The capitol square houses the original Cherokee Nation courthouse, which has been converted into a Cherokee history museum.
Watie’s name was removed from an Oklahoma City elementary school in 2017 in the wake of violent white supremacist protests over the removal of a Confederate statue in Charlottesville, Virginia.