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Opinion
Letter: Cherokee citizenship not about blood


"I am a proud member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and am responding to a June 8 New York Times editorial “The shame of the Cherokee Nation.”

It is accurate to state that the citizens of the Cherokee Nation voted to reject the freedmen as members of the tribe and that is a “shame.”

The current principal chief, Chad Smith, and the councilors loyal to him have presented the problem to the tribal citizens as one of maintaining the purity of Cherokee blood. This is a natural source of pride, and he played it well to accomplish “his” agenda of creating his own oligarchy.

Unfortunately, being Cherokee is not simply determined by blood alone. Cherokee is one of citizenship, and the fact remains the descendants of former slaves of the Cherokee Nation were made members of the nation by legislation and by treaty."

Get the Story:
Gary D. Davidson: Nation should honor treaty, keep freedmen (The Muskogee Phoenix 6/19)

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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