Letter: United Keetoowah Band is pushed aside
"The old “Cherokee Nation” of pre-statehood days is presently inhabited by two tribes of Indians. Both tribes claim to be “the” Cherokees, but the two tribes are very different and totally at odds. I will try to explain this escalating standoff as I see it.

The first tribe is the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma. It is the smaller of the two. The Keetoowahs have one main membership requirement that the Cherokee Nation (formerly Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma) does not have. The Keetoowahs have a minimum blood quantum requirement of one-fourth to be a tribal member. This sounds like a reasonable enough rule for an Indian tribe. But the CN will not hear of such a rule. Some of its members are now less than 1/4,000th Cherokee Indian.

Many members of the CN tribe have laughable amounts of Indian blood. The average CN blood quantum is less than 1/16th, and the predominant CN ancestry is Scots-Irish, followed by German, English, and then Cherokee ancestry, in distant fourth place. Less than 1 percent of CN members speak the language. You would not suspect a lot of them of being Indian even if they were standing in the Cherokee Casino, wearing turbans."

Get the Story:
Murv Jacob: UKB deserves apology (The Tahlequah Daily Press 9/4)

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