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original Tulsa Talk Radio KFAQ
Mar 3, 2007, 10:05 am
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) Cherokee Nation voters are heading to the polls today to decide whether to amend the tribal constitution to require Indian blood for tribal membership.
If the amendment is approved it would remove thousands of descendants of freed slaves or ``freedmen'' from membership in the tribe.
A petition calling for a vote on the proposed amendment began after the tribe's high court ruled last March that an 1866 treaty guarantees freedmen descendants of tribal citizenship.
TAHLEQUAH, Okla.— When Lucy Allen sets out to tell her family's story, she first finds an empty room with plenty of open table space.
Others, she knows, illustrate their ancestral tales by passing around a single prized photograph or diagram of the family tree. But Allen arrives wheeling two big black suitcases, each stuffed with enough supporting evidence to do a television lawyer proud.
"This is my father," she begins, and directs long, thin fingers to a vintage oval-framed photograph swaddled in a towel.
A long time ago, the man in the picture told his little girl she was born of Indians. They were Cherokees, he said, proud people, descended from a regal line.
Original Cherokee Nation
Cherokee Nation Special Election Results
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – A Cherokee Nation Constitutional amendment restricting membership to descendants of Indians listed by blood on the Dawes Rolls has passed.
Cherokee voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the Cherokee Nation Constitution in a special election Saturday, March 3, by a decisive vote of 6,693 (77%) for the measure to 2,040 (23%) against. The amendment limits citizenship in the Cherokee Nation to descendants of people who are listed on the Final Rolls of the Cherokee Nation as Cherokee, Delaware or Shawnee and excludes descendants of those listed on Intermarried White and Freedmen rolls taken at the same time.