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Freedmen Challenging Tribal Decision

Filed by Michael Cross in Feature, Local News, News.
August 25, 2011

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The African American group known as the Freedmen who were recently ousted from the Cherokee tribal roles is moving forward with lawsuits against the move.

The President of the Descendants of Freedmen calls the removal of the group from the tribe 21st century apartheid and politically motivated racism.

Marilynn Vann says the freedmen belong to the Tribe just as the southern slaves were made citizens of the United States when they were freed.

“The tribal governments feel that because they have casino dollars that they can throw out money to people in congress and do what they want to do.”

Freedman officials are hoping the federal judiciary blocks the decision of the Cherokee Supreme Court to uphold a 2007 constitutional chance removing them from the tribal roles.

If not, about 3,000 Freedmen will have their membership revoked, losing benefits like free health care and an upcoming vote for tribal chief.

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