DC Judge Says Freedmen Have Cherokee Citizenship Right

By Andrew Westney (August 31, 2017, 6:05 PM EDT) -- A D.C. federal judge ruled Wednesday that the descendants of slaves who had been owned by members of the Cherokee Nation have the same right as native Cherokees to citizenship in the tribe under an 1866 treaty, despite the Nation's efforts to exclude them from its rolls.

The Cherokee Nation filed suit in 2009 against a group of non-Indian freedmen — descendants of the original freed slaves — and the U.S. Department of the Interior seeking a declaration that the freedmen no longer had a right to citizenship in the tribe under its 1866 treaty with the federal government after the...

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