Law
Cherokee Nation court hears Freedmen dispute
A Cherokee Nation judge heard arguments in a dispute over the citizenship of the Cherokee Freemen.

The Freedmen are the descendants of former African slaves. They say they were made citizens of the tribe through an 1866 treaty.

The Cherokee Nation says it retains the power to determine its membership. Tribal members voted to deny citizenship to the Freedmen in 2007.

The issue has attracted national attention. Some members of Congress want to cut federal funds to the tribe unless the Freedmen are protected.

"The world is watching this case. They’re watching the Cherokee judiciary and watching us as a whole. If the answer is no, it will further diminish the tribe’s relationship with the federal government. If yes, it enhances Cherokee Nation sovereignty," Ralph Keen II, an attorney for the Freemen, told the court, The Cherokee Phoenix reported.

Get the Story:
Cherokee court holds Freedmen citizenship case hearing (The Cherokee Phoenix 7/27)

Related Stories:
Cole opposes latest Cherokee Freedmen bill (6/16)
Cherokee Freedmen bill introduced in House (6/15)
Opinion: Treaties and the Five Civilized Tribes
Freedmen protest honoring of Cherokee Nation chief (6/5)
Editorial: 'Shameful' posturing on Freedmen issue (5/7)
Boren and Cole oppose Freedmen investigation (5/6)
African-American lawmakers seek Freedmen probe (5/5)
Cherokee Nation seeks to end Freedmen dispute (2/4)

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