The Cherokee Nation (Cherokee: ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ or Tsalagihi Ayeli) is the largest of three Cherokee federally recognized tribes in the United States. It was established in the 20th century, and includes people descended from members of the old Cherokee Nation who relocated from the Southeast due to increasing pressure to Indian Territory and Cherokees who were forced to relocate on the Trail of Tears. The tribe also includes descendants of Cherokee Freedmen and Natchez Nation. Over 299,862 people are enrolled in the Cherokee Nation, with 189,228 living within the state of Oklahoma. According to Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) head Larry EchoHawk, the Cherokee Nation is not the historical Cherokee tribe but instead a "successor in interest."
Headquartered in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the Cherokee Nation has a tribal jurisdictional area spanning 14 counties in the northeastern corner of Oklahoma. These are Adair, Cherokee, Craig, Delaware, Mayes, McIntosh, Muskogee, Nowata, Ottawa, Rogers, Sequoyah, Tulsa, Wagoner, and Washington Counties.
A tenant farmer is one who resides on land owned by a landlord. Tenant farming is an agricultural production system in which landowners contribute their land and often a measure of operating capital and management; while tenant farmers contribute their labor along with at times varying amounts of capital and management. Depending on the contract, tenants can make payments to the owner either of a fixed portion of the product, in cash or in a combination. The rights the tenant has over the land, the form, and measure of the payment varies across systems (geographically and chronologically). In some systems, the tenant could be evicted at whim (tenancy at will); in others, the landowner and tenant sign a contract for a fixed number of years (tenancy for years or indenture). In most developed countries today, at least some restrictions are placed on the rights of landlords to evict tenants under normal circumstances.
Historically, rural society utilised a three tier structure of landowners (nobility, gentry, yeomanry), tenant farmers, and farmworkers. Originally, tenant farmers were known as peasants. If they were bonded to the land, they were also villeins, but otherwise they were free tenants. Many tenant farmers were affluent and socially well connected, and employed a substantial number of labourers and managing more than one farm, land which could either be owned in perpetuity or rotated by the owners. Cottiers (cottagers) held much less land.