Chief Wickliffe: UKB legitimacy beyond question
The following represents the opinion of George G. Wickliffe, the chief of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians..

As a Cherokee leader, and on behalf of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, and all Cherokee people, I am exceedingly disappointed by the undignified personal attacks contained in a recent communication by the Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. Even more egregious than personal attacks against me are the baseless criticisms that the author levels at the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians, untrue statements that are equally unbecoming of a Cherokee leader.

While I will not rise to “take the bait” and engage in an unhealthy discourse regarding the relationship between the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians and the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, I will take the opportunity to note what is well known to most Cherokee people, that the legitimacy of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians as a sovereign nation is beyond question.

Indeed, I am proud to say that this federally recognized and sovereign Indian tribe has approximately 13,000 enrolled members living within the borders of the Former Cherokee Reservation, which spans a 14-county area in Oklahoma. Despite sharing ancestors, history, and land, unfortunately the contemporary leadership of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma has preferred a combative and litigious relationship with the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians and has made several attempts, through the years, to terminate attributes of our sovereignty, including objecting to our ability to receive federal funding.

Further, while the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians is comprised of quiet and proud people of modest means, we strive daily to provide needed services to our tribal members. However, we are not complacent and work daily to improve the services we offer to our membership, including education, health and human welfare, housing, eldercare, and childcare.

I invite any of those who have questions about the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians to visit our website at http://www.unitedkeetoowahband.org or call us at 918-456-6533.

Cherokee-Related Legislation:
H.R.2786 | 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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