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Old 01-31-2011, 02:30 PM   #1
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Oklahoma tribe appeals freedmen ruling to high court

By Rochelle Hines
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (AP)

The Cherokee Nation recently asked the tribe’s highest court to restore a constitutional amendment approved by voters that would deny citizenship to non-Native American descendants of tribal members’ former black slaves.

Besides asking Cherokee Nation Supreme Court to overturn a district court ruling that voided the amendment, the tribe also asked for more time to process some citizenship applications.

The Jan. 14 ruling by Judge John Cripps nullified the 2007 voter-approved amendment requiring tribal citizens to have a Native American ancestor listed on the Dawes Roll on grounds it violated an 1866 treaty between the tribe and the federal government that granted citizenship to the freedmen and their descendants.

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