Rep. Watson holds forums on Cherokee Freedmen
Rep. Diane Watson (D-California) was in Oklahoma on Monday to hear about the Cherokee Freedmen dispute.

Watson is sponsoring a bill that would cut funds to the Cherokee Nation until it restores citizenship to its Freedmen, the descendants of former slaves. She said the tribe has to abide by an 1866 treaty that included the Freedmen.

People on both sides of the issue turned out to the meetings in Tulsa and Muskogee. The Freedmen called their removal from the tribe illegal while a Cherokee Nation spokesperson said Watson's bill threatens the tribe's sovereignty and more than $300 million in federal funds.

The Freedmen have been restored to citizenship pending resolution of a tribal court case. A federal lawsuit against the Bureau of Indian Affairs is pending.

Get the Story:
How the Cherokee Nation case may affect civil rights (The Oklahoman 8/21)
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U.S. Rep: Disenfranchising freedmen threatens federal funding (The Muskogee Phoenix 8/21)
Congresswoman rips citizenship revocation (The Tulsa World 8/21)
California Congresswoman In Oklahoma To Help Freedmen In Their Fight (KOTV 8/20)
Cherokee Citizens React To Proposed Funding Cut (KOTV 8/20)

Cherokee-Related Legislation:
H.R.2895 | H.R.2824 | H.R.3002

BIA Letters:
August 9, 2007 | July 11, 2007 | June 22, 2007 | May 21, 2007 | March 28, 2007 | August 30, 2006

Sovereign Immunity Court Decision:
Vann v. Kempthorne (December 19, 2006)

Cherokee Nation Judicial Appeals Tribunal Decision in Freedmen Case:
Allen v. Cherokee Nation (March 7, 2006)

Relevant Links:
Cherokee Nation - http://www.cherokee.org
Freedmen Of The Five Civilized Tribes - http://www.freedmen5tribes.com
Freedmen Conference - http://www.freedmenconference.com

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