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The chief of the Cherokees is advocating the tribal council reverse the highest tribal court’s ruling that freedmen were illegally denied tribal citizenship.
Freedmen, descendants of freed slaves who joined the Cherokees in the 1800s, are to be recognized as citizens with privileges, under the tribal constitution, the Judicial Appeals Tribunal ruled last week.
n 2007, Cherokee Nation citizens voted to kick out descendants of Freedmen and other non-Indians. The dispute has been in and out of the courts ever since.
The Cherokee Nation and descendants of black slaves once owned by its citizens, now known as Freedmen, are asking a federal court to sort out their longstanding dispute over tribal citizenship rights.
Cherokee Freedman retain tribal citizenship under the tribe’s 1975 constitution and are legally entitled to vote, the tribe’s highest court ruled 2-1 Tuesday.