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Law
Cherokee court hears dispute over Freedmen vote


The Cherokee Nation's top court heard arguments on Friday in a lawsuit that will determine whether tribal citizens can vote to oust the Freedmen, the descendants of African slaves.

Vicki Baker, a Freedmen descendant, filed the lawsuit. She says an initiative petition that called for the vote was flawed.

The Cherokee Nation Supreme Court heard evidence that some signatures were collected improperly. More than 3,000 people signed the petition, although 800 have already been disqualified. About 2,100 signatures are necessary to call the initiative.

The court previously ruled that the Freedmen are entitled to citizenship. The initiative would kick them out of the tribe unless they can prove they have Indian blood.

Get the Story:
Cherokee judges hear vote protest (The Oklahoman 11/25)
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Testimony cut short over tribal citizenship (The Tulsa World 11/25)

Cason Letter:
Cherokee Nation Constitution (August 30, 2006)

Cherokee Nation Judicial Appeals Tribunal Decision in Freedmen Case:
Allen v. Cherokee Nation (March 7, 2006)

Relevant Links:
Freedmen Of The Five Civilized Tribes - http://www.freedmen5tribes.com
Freedmen Conference - http://www.freedmenconference.com

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