There are many such stories in families but. Speaking a particular language is no proof of anything. If I speak French it doesn't make me French. You speak of a "sibling" joining the Cherokee Nation in the 50's? There was no Cherokee Nation that could be joined between 1907 & 1976 (I think it was 76) when the Nation was reconstituted & new constitution made. In the 50s it was a "paper" Nation & the Chief was a presidential appointee. I remember how happy & excited my Great Aunt was when she actually got to vote for the Principal Chief. She was a Dawes enrolled Cherokee but her younger sister (my Grandmother) was born after 1907 when they closed the rolls. When they call the Dawes Rolls the "final" rolls, that's what they mean. Even today a persone is not "enrolled" they "register" for membership. There never has been a "reservation". The stories of "hiding out" for generations just doesn't wash. Were they in a vaccume? or cave? That they didn't know what was going on in the country? There was no further "round-up" of Cherokee people after the Trail of Tears. There was no "deporting" to Indian Territory, you just became an American like any one else. By the time of the "trail" the majority of Cherokee had "Anglo" names. They may have had family Cherokee language names but publicly (on doccuments)used the english version. So needing to know their "Indian name" is another one of the myths perpetuated. Just look on the rolls, there are very few "Indian Names". There are so many of these myths of people "escaping" from the "trail" that if there were that many. There would have been no one left to arrive in the Indian Territory. If you add up all the family stories of escapings, those who died on the "Trail" (I've read estamates from 1/3-1/2) & those who formed what is today the Eastern Band (aprox. 1,000) it would be way more than there were at the time. There are rolls prior to the "Trail" that had to do with Treaty annuity dispersments (money, goods etc). The 1835 roll was taken years before the "Trail" or any "round up" or "running to the hills" etc. so there was no fear attached to it. If your ancestors are not on it. Then there is a very good chance they were not Cherokee to begin with. Most of the Rolls were for dispersement of treaty goods & taken by the Cherokee themselves. That's why there are so many "boggus" claims against them by people who just wanted the money or lands etc. Good luck in your search, but there is an abundance of paper doccumentation on the Cherokee Nation & a whole lot of Myth. Stick to the doccumentation or else it's just "family story" or myth or pure speculation.
The "insult" that Nan spoke of. Is to those ancestors that built the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma (Indian Territory). That endured the Trail of Tears & shed their blood, sweat & tears to keep the Cherokee way of life alive & well. Those who's ancestors did not. Do not understand the pride we hold for those who sacrificed so much to BE Cherokee. Not abandon the "Principal People" Ani-Yun-Weya. You can justify it any way you wish. But those who "escaped", also abandoned the Cherokee people by conscious choice. The right to be called "Cherokee" was earned by generation on generation of continued work & survival TOGETHER. Through their blood, sweat tears & giving their lives to BE Cherokee. Otherwise the Cherokee would be just a foot note in history. Like many other Indian nations that are now "extinct". That is a leggacy to us their descendants that is very near & dear to us. That continuity of OUR People. I just buried my Mom a couple of weeks ago. It was a source of pride to me, that I was burying her in Delaware County, Ok. In the same ground with many generations of our family since the Trail of Tears. It being our "home" county (district).