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Federal Recognition
Opinion: Oppose Delaware-Cherokee 'recognition'

"Let me start by saying, I absolutely support the Delaware Tribe having our federal recognition restored; we should be actively pursuing all options that will not harm our people and/or our tribe. However, I am concerned with the avenue our current chief and council have chosen. Other options are available and after this legislation is marked up by Congress there is no guarantee the Cherokee Nation will continue to support it; which in my opinion is a good thing. I do not want this legislation to pass.

In 1867, an agreement was made by the Delaware and the Cherokee, this agreement has been of much heated debate since its signing. The 1867 agreement specifically violates the Delaware Treaty of 1866; this treaty has never been abrogated, meaning it is still the supreme law of the land under the U.S. Constitution. In a letter Chief Chad Smith sent to the Delaware several months back, he specifically stated our two tribes could not enter into an agreement violating federal law. He is correct on that point

Today, our Delaware chief and council are making yet another agreement with the Cherokee Nation and attempting to have Congress pass legislation restoring our federal recognition. As I mentioned, I am absolutely for the restoration of our federal recognition. We were the first Indian nation to sign a treaty with the newly formed U.S. government. We have fought many wars on the side of the U.S. government. We have retained our culture and our heritage through at least six major removals. We are a tribe; we are a nation."

Get the Story:
Rusty Creed Brown: Recognition, but at what cost? (The Native American Times 10/10)

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 -

Related Stories:
Delaware candidates debate recognition legislation (10/5)
Delaware members oppose deal with Cherokee Nation (09/14)
Delaware elders to discuss federal recognition bill (9/12)
Former Delaware leaders question Cherokee deal (08/29)
Delaware Tribe hopes for recognition in a year (08/16)
Delaware Tribe agrees to Cherokee Nation authority (7/28)
Delaware Tribe to auction historic headquarters (06/27)
New Delaware chief seeks deal with Cherokee Nation (02/03)
New Delaware chairman makes recognition a priority (1/26)
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Delaware Tribe closes up after losing recognition (12/12)
Loss of Delaware recognition prompts recall of chief (11/09)
Supreme Court refuses Delaware Tribe's case (10/04)
Delaware Tribe kicked off federally recognized list (03/22)
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Delaware Tribe wants out-of-state land for casino (10/19)
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