United Keetoowah Band hopeful for BIA land-into-trust approval

The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians of Oklahoma believes it will gain approval of its land-into-trust application thanks to Assistant Secretary Larry Echo Hawk.

The tribe plans to amend a pending application for 76 acres in Tahlequah. The land is currently used for a ceremonial ground, elder center, wellness center and child development center.

"This result clears the pathway for putting land in trust on behalf of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma 60 years after their federal recognition. We look at this as a complete victory," Chief George Wickliffe said in a statement, The Cherokee Phoenix reported.

The tribe did not organize until 1950, putting its application in doubt under the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar. But Echo Hawk said the tribe and its members can still follow the land-into-trust process without running afoul of the ruling.

Get the Story:
BIA decision says United Keetoowah Band can seek trust land (The Cherokee Phoenix 9/23)

Relevant Documents:
Larry Echo Hawk Decision on UKB Land-Into-Trust (September 10, 2010)

Related Stories:
Echo Hawk affirms UKB's right to follow land-into-trust process (09/13)
BIA holds off on Keetoowah Band land-into-trust (6/26)