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Cherokee Nation sues DOI over United Keetoowah Band casino

The Cherokee Nation is suing the Obama administration for putting land into trust for the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians.

The Cherokee Nation claims sole jurisdiction over a "treaty territory" that includes the site of the Keetoowah Cherokee Casino. The lawsuit cites an 1866 treaty which states that other tribes can be settled in the territory "on such terms as may be agreed upon by any such tribe and the Cherokees."

"The improvident action and decision of the [Interior] Department threatens a devastating impact on the Nation's long-established sovereignty, jurisdiction and governance throughout the Nation's Treaty Territory," the complaint states.

The Cherokee Nation has long held that it retains veto approval over any land-into-trust applications within the territory. The Bureau of Indian Affairs, however, determined that the United Keetoowah Band shares jurisdiction over the territory claimed by the Cherokees.

The UKBs are not named in the lawsuit.

Get the Story:
Hembree appeals UKB trust land approval (The Cherokee Phoenix 8/30)
Cherokee Nation files against DOI to rescind UKB trust approval (The Native American Times 8/30)
Cherokee Nation lawsuit targets Department of Interior (The Tulsa World 8/31)

Federal Register Notice:
Land Acquisitions; United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians of Oklahoma (August 7, 2012)

Related Stories:
Cherokee Nation to file lawsuit for UKB gaming land decision (08/23)