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Law
Ex-Cherokee councilors fined for Freedmen support


Three former Cherokee Nation council members have been fined $10,000 for using tribal funds to challenge an election in which the Cherokee Freedmen weren't allowed to vote.

In May 2003, Stephanie Wickliffe Shepherd, Mary Flute Cooksey and Don Crittenden challenged the results of the election. They alleged numerous irregularities, including the refusal to allow the Freedmen, who are descendants of African slaves, to participate.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs was prepared to reject the results of the election based on the exclusion of the Freedmen. But Bush administration officials intervened after Cherokee Nation leaders threatened a protest.

Get the Story:
Tribe granted judgement against former councilors (The Tahlequah Daily Press 8/22)

Related Stories:
Column: Civilized Tribes owe reparations to slaves (03/11)
Cherokee Nation seeks role in Freedmen lawsuit (02/21)
Cherokee Freedmen caught in high-level dispute (8/20)
Tribes not always following treaties on Freedmen (2/18)
Cherokee Freedmen sue BIA for disenfranchisement (8/12)
Seminole Freedmen rebuffed by Supreme Court (06/29)