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NPR: Cherokee Nation facing scrutiny for removing the Freedmen





"The Cherokee Nation recently decided to limit its membership to people who can prove they have Indian blood. This strips of their citizenship rights about 2,800 African-Americans who are descendants of slaves once owned by wealthy Cherokees. Those rights include access to health care clinics, food distribution for the poor, and assistance for low-income homeowners.

The move prompted protests among these African-Americans, who are known as Freedmen, because for long periods in the past, they enjoyed equal rights in the Cherokee tribe. But in more recent history, their citizenship rights have been repeatedly challenged.

The decision has also put the Cherokees at odds with the federal government.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has already suspended more than $37 million in funding to the Cherokee Nation. The Justice Department said last week that a key election for tribal chief later this month will not be recognized by the Department of the Interior, which has oversight over Indian affairs."

Get the Story:
Cherokee Nation Faces Scrutiny For Expelling Blacks (NPR 9/19)

Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Decision:
Cherokee Nation Registrar v. Nash (August 22, 2011)

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