BOISE STATE UNIVERSITY – 1910 UNIVERSITY DRIVE – BOISE, IDAHO 83725
April 3, 1979
To Who It May Concern:
The Delawares Indians of Idaho, Inc. have successfully traced their heritage to the Cherokee Delaware. The group of nearly two hundred Delawares in Idaho have a common ancestry as descendants of Esaw Creech Killer and Lucinda Marshall. From the evidence gathered in support of their claim it appears that these Delaware were displaced from their Cherokee lands at the time of the Cherokee Allotment. It also appears that these Indians were denied both money and land in that allotment process. Such treatment at the hands of the Cherokees further deprived the Lucinda Marshall descendants of their right to land in Indian Territory.
The recent history of the Delaware people records one hundred and fifty years of retreat and still no homeland or recognition. According to the tradition of among the Delaware Indians of Idaho, their ancestors left Oklahoma and proceeded to Billings, Montana and then to Basin Wyoming. The small group emigrated to the Boise Valley in 1921. Over the many years this little band of Indian people have lived frugal lives on the verge of poverty. This year, 1979, marks the first year in which they will have a high school graduate. Several of the members are currently enrolled in an Adult Education program that will lead to the G. E. D. It is hoped that as fully recognized American Indians the Delaware youth in Idaho would qualify in the future for assistance in higher education.
The vast amount and years of careful research done by Mrs. Charlotte Simmons and the group attests to the sincerity of their petition. The Pratt Registry information and the Cherokee claim papers lend substance to the request. The genealogical charts give evidence of the common ancestry. This group of Indian people has roots deep in America’s past. If as a nation we are concerned for human rights and dignity, and if we are determined to right the wrongs of the past, then, it is imperative that federal recognition as Delaware Indians be accorded this band of Delaware Indians in Idaho.
I have read the prepared materials and I attest to their validity. I endorse the petition that federal recognition be granted tot he Delaware Indians of Idaho.
Dr. Patricia K. Ourada
Professor of History
Author of The Menominee Indians. Norman:
University of Oklahoma Press, 1979.