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Law
Cherokee Nation to vote on constitution again


Members of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma will go to the polls on June 23 to elect a new leader and vote on a proposed constitutional amendment.

The amendment would remove a provision that requires federal approval of the constitution. It's the same one that voters approved back in 2003.

But the Bureau of Indian Affairs rejected the change, citing the disenfranchisement of the Cherokee Freedmen, the descendants of former slaves. Tribal members subsequently voted to strip the Freedmen of citizenship.

Chief Chad Smith is running for a third term. His main opponent is Stacy Leeds, a former tribal supreme court justice who wrote the decision that said the Freedmen were entitled to membership.

The Cherokee Phoenix, the tribe's official newspaper, will hold a principal and deputy chief debate on June 15.

Get the Story:
Cherokees to vote on federal approval (The Oklahoman 6/7)
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Tribe may boot feds from constitution loop (The Tahlequah Daily Press 6/7)
Cherokees add amendment to cut Fed oversight to June 23 election (The Muskogee Phoenix 6/6)
Cherokee Phoenix to host debate (The Sequoyah County Times 6/6)

BIA Letters:
May 21, 2007 | March 28, 2007 | August 30, 2006

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