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September 20, 2011 / Mir Plemmons

Cherokee freedmen controversy in the news

Cherokees told to take back slaves’ descendants By Justin Juozapavicius, AP

Tulsa, Oklahoma (AP) September 2011

“A federal order for one of the nation’s largest American Indian tribes to restore voting rights and benefits to about 2,800 descendants of members’ former slaves threw plans for a special election for a new chief into turmoil.

The federal government sent the sternly-worded letter to the Cherokee Nation after it sent letters last week kicking the descendants out of the tribe and stripping them of benefits including medical care, food stipends and assistance for low-income homeowners.

The tribe also barred the descendants from voting in a Sept. 24 special election for principal chief. The Cherokee Supreme Court ordered the special election after it said it could not determine with certainty the outcome of a close and hotly contested June election between incumbent Chad Smith and longtime tribal councilman Bill John Baker. The results had flip-flopped between the two during weeks of counts and recounts. Baker had twice been declared winner, but so had Smith.”



If it takes outside courts to make the right action happen… well, it’s better than the shame I’ve felt for my nation’s betrayal of its valid, valuable, loyal members. Yes, some of us owned slaves. Others hid them out, and some married them. We can’t split that up and we can’t revert just because there’s now some money!!! That is abhorrent to everything that tribe and clan mean! I’m glad to be Eastern Band, while Western has covered itself in ignominy! Just because the Seminole were wrongheaded and did it is NO reason for us to! I remain appalled!


Stand with the Cherokee Freedmen! Our brothers, our sisters, our tribe!


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