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Opinion
Opinion: Cherokees have a right to oust Freedmen


"What has transpired at Cherokee is extremely disappointing. The majority of Freedmen are not wannabes (interlopers obsessed with Indian culture). Nor are they casino-greedy. Cherokee members do not receive gaming revenue checks each month. And though there may be a few bigoted Cherokees roaming the countryside, this is nothing even close to being called racial-cleansing. In fact, there has been a history of more harmony than division between tribal members and Freedmen.

As unfortunate as the vote was, asking the U.S. government to intervene is not the solution. To do so would undermine the pillar of a tribal nation's sovereignty. Anyone who understands the cornerstone of federal-Indian policy should know that the Bureau of Indian Affairs has a notorious history of bullying tribal nations.

Tribes signed treaties for one reason and one reason alone: to simply ensure the survival of their people.

The vote at Cherokee to determine who can rightfully claim citizenship is an example of Indian Country exercising its basic sovereign rights. To allow the tribes to be bullied again by the federal government would be to take back every step they have taken toward reclaiming nationhood. "

Get the Story:
Mark Anthony Rolo: Indians, not government, decide tribal citizenship (The Salt Lake Tribune 3/18)

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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