Stacy Leeds, an attorney and professor, discusses the Cherokee Nation citizenship controversy. Photo: jsvanstar
Law | National

Cherokee Nation awaits decision in Freedmen citizenship dispute





The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma is hopeful for resolution on the citizenship status of the Freedmen, Chief Bill John Baker said.

Tribal members voted in 2007 to deny citizenship to the Freedmen, who are the descendants of former slaves. But the Interior Department, in court papers filed Monday, is seeking a ruling that keeps the Freedmen within the tribe.

"Now we can move forward on this issue,” Baker said in a press release. “We will have everyone at the table and all issues will be presented so we can get a definitive ruling.”

At issue is a post-Civil War treaty that extended Cherokee citizenship to the Freedmen.

Get the Story:
Department of Interior makes counterclaim in lawsuit over Cherokee Nation freedmen descendants (The Tulsa World 7/3)

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