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Politics
Cherokee chief calls vote on removing Freedmen


Members of the Cherokee Nation will go to the polls next February to decide whether to deny citizenship to the Freedmen, the descendants of African slaves.

Last March, the tribe's top court ruled that the Freedmen are part of the tribe. But some, including Principal Chief Chad Smith, say only those with Indian blood should be entitled to citizenship.

Not all Freedmen can document Indian blood. They only need to show their ancestor appeared on the Dawes Roll in order to qualify for citizenship.

The tribe has enrolled about 1,000 Freedmen since the court decision. About 20,000 could be denied citizenship if voters change the constitution.

Get the Story:
Chief seeks vote on 'freedmen' (The Oklahoman 10/7)
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Cherokee chief approves special vote on membership (The Tulsa World 10/7)

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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