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Law
Cherokee Nation council debates blood quantum


The Cherokee Nation council will consider proposals to add an "Indian" blood requirement to the tribal constitution.

Citizenship is currently open to anyone whose ancestor appeared on the Dawes Roll. This standard includes Cherokees, Delawares, Shawnees and Freedmen, the descendants of African slaves who were made members of the tribe after the Civil War.

The Cherokee Nation's highest court ruled that the tribe cannot keep Freedmen out of the tribe unless the constitution is changed. So Principal Chief Chad Smith and some tribal leaders are proposing to do just that.

The Seminole Nation previously tried to kick out its Freedmen but it plunged the tribe into a leadership crisis. The Bureau of Indian Affairs ended up suspending the tribe's federal funds.

Get the Story:
Tribe to deliberate a blood requisite (The Tulsa World 6/12)

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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