Cherokee Nation Chief Provides Comment on Baby Veronica Case - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Cherokee Nation Chief Provides Comment on Baby Veronica Case

Posted: Updated:

Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker says the nation "did everything possible" to stop a 4-year-old Cherokee girl from being transferred to her adoptive parents in South Carolina.

Baker released a statement Wednesday about the custody transfer of 4-year-old Veronica. The Cherokee Nation and Veronica's biological father, tribal member Dusten Brown, had been fighting with the toddler's adoptive parents to keep Veronica in Oklahoma.

And on Wednesday, a spokesperson with Governor Mary Fallin stated that the Oklahoma governor is trying to persuade South Carolina to drop an extradition order against Dusten Brown.

Earlier this week the Oklahoma Supreme Court lifted a stay keeping the girl in Oklahoma and she was handed to the South Carolina couple shortly afterward.

Baker says the Nation used every legal avenue available to keep Veronica with her biological father. The chief says the girl is always welcome in the Cherokee Nation.

Full Statement from Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker:

There is no word for goodbye in the Cherokee language. We say dodadagohv’I - we will see each other again. It was with a heavy heart that we watched Veronica Brown leave her home, her family and the Cherokee Nation Monday night. History is repeating itself, as a Native American child is being forcibly relocated to South Carolina against the will of her father and her tribe.

Once again, a Native American is being told where to live. Once again, a Native family is being torn apart. And once again, a young Indian girl will not awaken in the home of her elders.

Our prayers go out to Dusten and Robin Brown, Tommy and Alice Brown, Veronica’s sister Kelsey, and their extended family which includes 320,000 Cherokees. This brave man who served our country simply wanted to raise his child—a child who shares his genes and his heritage. A child who looks like him—and by all family accounts—acts like him too. Veronica may have left the Cherokee Nation, but she will always be a Cherokee citizen. Perhaps one day she too will have her own children, and they will share her and Dusten’s DNA, and those children will be Cherokee as well.

Our Nation did everything possible to stop this family from being torn apart. We used every legal avenue at our disposal to keep this family together. But the Cherokee Nation is also a nation with a longstanding history of obeying the rule of law, so that is what we did on Monday. We also have a long standing tradition of adoption within our culture and know that adoption is a good thing when it is ethical and moral. We will continue to advocate for a greater understanding of and adherence to laws by the courts and adoption agencies to ensure that this tragedy is not repeated.

Dusten Brown packed his daughter’s suitcase, and told her he loved her before sending Veronica off to live with those who wish to adopt her. This is something a father should never have to do, but for the sake of his daughter, Dusten handled himself with courage and dignity and grace, and we could not be more proud of the way he conducted himself.

And to Veronica— one day you will read about this tumultuous time in your life, and understand why we fought so hard alongside your father to keep your family whole. We hope at that time you understand how special and significant it is to be a Cherokee citizen. You will always be welcome in Tahlequah and in homes across the Cherokee Nation. Whether we see you sooner or later, we know we will see you again. In the meantime, we will carry you in our hearts.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • Top Videos

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • TechBits: portable power (04.23.14)

    TechBits: portable power (04.23.14)

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:41 PM EDT2014-04-24 02:41:00 GMT
    There are many options for getting extra power to your portable devices- and they go beyond just batteries..The EnerPlex Surfr series phone cases have solar panels built in. They generate power from the sun, and store it in an internal battery you use to power up your phone. They make the phone a little big and bulky- but they can be invaluable to hikers or campers.Dane-Elec provides power and data with the Mobile Junkie Media Streamer. The unit has a built-in battery beefy enough to complete...More >>
    There are many options for getting extra power to your portable devices- and they go beyond just batteries..The EnerPlex Surfr series phone cases have solar panels built in. They generate power from the sun, and store it in an internal battery you use to power up your phone. They make the phone a little big and bulky- but they can be invaluable to hikers or campers.Dane-Elec provides power and data with the Mobile Junkie Media Streamer. The unit has a built-in battery beefy enough to complete...More >>
  • Birmingham Mayor issues takeover agreement amid lawsuit over precinct construction

    Birmingham Mayor issues takeover agreement amid lawsuit over precinct construction

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:32 PM EDT2014-04-24 02:32:26 GMT
    Birmingham Mayor William Bell addressed police officers Wednesday at the city's West Precinct following years of delay to construction of a new site.ABC 33/40 has learned some people say parts of the building is in dire need of upgrades. A few years ago, the city approved a plan for new construction. Since then, it has been delayed. A contractor for the project, Chris Woods, has also filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming city leaders stalled progress.Bell did not speak directly to that l...More >>
    Birmingham Mayor William Bell addressed police officers Wednesday at the city's West Precinct following years of delay to construction of a new site.ABC 33/40 has learned some people say parts of the building is in dire need of upgrades. A few years ago, the city approved a plan for new construction. Since then, it has been delayed. A contractor for the project, Chris Woods, has also filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming city leaders stalled progress.Bell did not speak directly to that l...More >>
  • Burned body found in Fairfield identified as 22-year-old Pinson woman

    Burned body found in Fairfield identified as 22-year-old Pinson woman

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:52 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:52:02 GMT
     The body of 22-year-old Megan Elizabeth Monroe, of Pinson, was found outside this home in Fairfield, Saturday, April 19, 2014. (abc3340.com) The body of 22-year-old Megan Elizabeth Monroe, of Pinson, was found outside this home in Fairfield, Saturday, April 19, 2014. (abc3340.com)
    Police have identified the burned body found last weekend behind a vacant home in Fairfield as a 22-year-old Pinson woman.More >>
    Police have identified the burned body found last weekend behind a vacant home in Fairfield as a 22-year-old Pinson woman.More >>
  • U.S. Space and Rocket Center: Make donation, take aerial tour of Huntsville with NASA Astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson

    U.S. Space and Rocket Center: Make donation, take aerial tour of Huntsville with NASA Astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:52 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:52:00 GMT
    The U.S. Space & Rocket Center Foundation in Huntsville, Alabama is asking for your help to raise $70,000 to begin installation of a Gulfstream II Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) in the U.S. Space & Rocket Center's Shuttle Park.The U.S. Space & Rocket Center Foundation in Huntsville, Alabama is asking for your help to raise $70,000 to begin installation of a Gulfstream II Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) in the U.S. Space & Rocket Center's Shuttle Park.
    For a generous donation, one can take flight with a veteran NASA astronaut in a shuttle training aircraft and get a birds-eye view of Huntsville, including a rare view of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center campus, organizers announced Wednesday.More >>
    For a generous donation, one can take flight with a veteran NASA astronaut in a shuttle training aircraft and get a birds-eye view of Huntsville, including a rare view of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center campus, organizers announced Wednesday.More >>
  • NWS Birmingham to replace tower by May 3

    NWS Birmingham to replace tower by May 3

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:45 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:45:18 GMT
    The National Weather Service Birmingham office is offering weather-related alternatives after a recent transmitter outage. The service's tower, which sits atop Red Mountain, failed over the weekend. NWSMore >>
    UpdateMore >>
  • Amber Alert issued for 2-year-old girl from Mississippi

    Amber Alert issued for 2-year-old girl from Mississippi

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:16 PM EDT2014-04-24 00:16:07 GMT
    THE MISSISSIPPI HIGHWAY PATROL HAS ISSUED AN AMBER ALERT FOR 2-YEAR-OLD MALIAH HARRIS, WHO WAS ABDUCTED THIS MORNING FROM CALEDONIA, MISSISSIPPI.More >>
    The Mississippi Highway Patrol has issued an amber alert for 2-year-old Maliah Harris, who was allegedly abducted Wednesday morning from Caledonia, Mississippi. More >>
  • Man charged with murder in nursing home deaths

    Man charged with murder in nursing home deaths

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 7:24 PM EDT2014-04-23 23:24:31 GMT
    A Houston nursing home resident accused of using the armrest of his wheelchair to beat two of his roommates to death is facing a capital murder charge, police said Wednesday.More >>
    A Houston nursing home resident accused of using the armrest of his wheelchair to beat two of his roommates to death is facing a capital murder charge, police said Wednesday.More >>
  • Alabama schools Superintendent Tommy Bice discusses meeting with Hoover school leaders over bus fees

    Alabama schools Superintendent Tommy Bice discusses meeting with Hoover school leaders over bus fees

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:35 PM EDT2014-04-23 21:35:04 GMT
    Alabama schools Superintendent Dr. Tommy BIce said he had a "productive meeting" with Hoover City School Superintendent Andy Craig (pictured) on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (abc3340.com)Alabama schools Superintendent Dr. Tommy BIce said he had a "productive meeting" with Hoover City School Superintendent Andy Craig (pictured) on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. (abc3340.com)
    Alabama schools Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice met with Hoover City School leaders Wednesday, and he released a statement afterwards clarifying his position on the school system following its recent approval of school bus fees.More >>
    Alabama schools Superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice met with Hoover City School leaders Wednesday, and he released a statement afterwards clarifying his position on the school system following its recent approval of school bus fees.More >>