Black lawmakers press Senate on Freedmen issue
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus say they will oppose the Senate's version of the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act if it doesn't include provisions addressing the Cherokee Freedmen.

The House's version of the bill blocks the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma from receiving NAHASDA funds if the Freedmen, who are descendants of former African slaves, are denied tribal citizenship. CBC leaders want Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) to do the same as the bill is debated in the Senate.

“We must send the unequivocal message to the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma that failure to provide full citizenship rights to the Cherokee Freedmen will have severe consequences,” Rep. Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-Michigan), the chair of the CBC, and Rep. Mel Watt (D-North Carolina), the chair of CBC's Cherokee Indian Taskforce told Reid in a March 13, letter.

The NASADA cut in the House version won't take effect if a tribal court upholds the Freedmen's citizenship status.

Get the Story:
CBC warns Reid on Cherokee funds (The Hill 4/4)
Black lawmakers take aim at Cherokee nation funding (AP 4/4)

Cherokee-Related Legislation:
H.R.2786 | H.R.2895 | H.R.2824 | H.R.3002

BIA Letters:
August 9, 2007 | July 11, 2007 | June 22, 2007 | May 21, 2007 | March 28, 2007 | August 30, 2006

Sovereign Immunity Court Decision:
Vann v. Kempthorne (December 19, 2006)

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

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