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Opinion
Column: Cherokee Nation loses moral ground with vote


"A victim of one the worst chapters in American history, the Cherokee Nation has lost its moral high ground.

On Saturday, Cherokee voters revoked the tribal citizenship of descendents of black slaves — people whose lineage and history have been interwoven with the American Indian tribe since the earliest days of the United States.

By a vote of more than 3 to 1, members of the Cherokee Nation — headquartered in Tahlequah, Okla. — adopted an amendment to their constitution that excludes “Freedmen” (referring to those descended from slaves once owned by the Cherokee, as well as blacks who were married to Cherokees and children of mixed-race families) from the tribe’s rolls.

In a dangerous and grotesque turn of events, it seems the Freedmen’s blood isn’t pure enough for the Cherokee.

Why, after so many years, does it matter? The answer is one part greed, one part racism."

Get the Story:
Tommy Felts: Cherokee voters say ‘yes’ to self-righteous racism (The Coffeyville Journal 3/7)

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

Jim 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:
Cherokee Nation - http://www.cherokee.org
Freedmen Of The Five Civilized Tribes - http://www.freedmen5tribes.com
Freedmen Conference - http://www.freedmenconference.com

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