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Freedmen Vote Still Being Studied

The federal government has not signed off on the vote to eliminate decendents of the Freedmen from Cherokee Nation membership. In a letter to Cherokee Chief Chad Smith the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs says the March 3 vote is still being studied because of ongoing concerns about the fights of the Freedmen, but Smith says an amendment to the Cherokee constitution in 2003 eliminated the need for federal approval.

Still, the vote has been challenged by more than two dozen members of the Congressional Black Caucus and the National Congress of Black Women.

If the Cherokee Nation loses the federal court battle, the tribe could lose federal funding.
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