Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law - University of Tulsa College of Law
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Federal Recognition
Former Delaware leaders question Cherokee deal

Two former leaders of the Delaware Tribe of Oklahoma say they are worried about a deal with the much larger Cherokee Nation.

Former chief Curtis Zunigha and former Dee Ketchum say the deal won't restore the tribe's sovereignty. They object to a proposed bill that would bar the Delawares from exercising authority within the Cherokee Nation's 14-county jurisdictional area.

“Right now this bill, as it stands, verifies the Cherokees dominance over the Delaware,” Ketchum told The Bartlesville Examiner Enterprise.

The Cherokee Nation sued the Bureau of Indian Affairs after the Delaware Tribe was recognized as a separate entity. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that the BIA acted in contravention to treaty and federal law.

Get the Story:
Some Delaware members concerned over proposed agreement with Cherokee (The Bartlesville Examiner Enterprise 8/29)

10th Circuit Decision:
Cherokee Nation v. Norton (November 16, 2004)

Lower Court Decision:
Cherokee Nation v. DOI (7/23)

Relevant Documents:
Federal Register Notice/Ada Deer Announcement (September 1996)

Relevant Links:
Delaware Tribe of Indians -
Cherokee Nation -

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Delaware Tribe hopes for recognition in a year (08/16)
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New Delaware chief seeks deal with Cherokee Nation (02/03)
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