Russell Hulstine, NewsOn6.com
TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma -- Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker said Friday morning Housing and Urban Development is releasing $39 million that was withheld from the tribe in late August 2011.
HUD announced they had frozen HUD funding to the Cherokee Nation over the Freedmen issue.
"We are pleased that in the second week of our term we've managed to work with the Federal Government to have this money released. It's important we have that money so we can better take care of our people," Chief Bill John Baker said.
A letter from HUD Assistant Secretary Sandra Henriquez stated the money was released due to filings by the Nation's Attorney General Diane Hammons that complied with the requirements of a Federal District Court Order relative to the citizenship of Freedmen.
"HUD reserves the right to reassess its decision to release the Tribe's fund in the future if the Tribe is deemed to be in violation of the term of any Federal court order. Failure to adhere to a Federal court order could lead to sanctions, up to and including termination of the Tribe's IHBG funds," said Assistant Secretary Sandra Henriquez in her letter.
Baker says the Cherokee Nation Attorney General is handling the litigation of the Freedmen citizenship.