Letter: Cherokee chief stands up for sovereignty
"We thank the Creator that we have a principal chief who is fighting to preserve the historical sovereign rights of Cherokee people to determine their own citizenship criteria.

Like our ancestors who fought and sacrificed for the sovereignty of the Cherokee Nation, our chief has continued the struggle today. Chief Chad Smith’s efforts have benefited the Cherokee Nation and all Native American nations in this country.

He honored his sworn oath and our ancestors when he fought for the Cherokee citizens all the way to the U.S. court of appeals last month. The court dismissed the freedmen’s lawsuit against the Cherokee Nation that sought to compel the tribe to give non-Indians the right to citizenship.

Cherokee Nation paperwork is color blind when it comes to citizenship requirements. It does not matter what the color of one’s skin happens to be because citizenship requires only that you have at least one Cherokee ancestor on the tribe’s base roll."

Get the Story:
C. Russo: Chief fights to preserve sovereignty and rights (The Muskogee Phoenix 9/25)

Recent D.C. Circuit Decision:
Vann v. Kempthorne (July 29, 2008)

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