Federal appeals court rejects recognition of Delaware Tribe

Wednesday, November 17th 2004, 6:31 am
By: News On 6

DENVER (AP) -- A federal appeals court has reversed the government's 1996 decision to recognize Oklahoma's Delaware Tribe as a separate and independent group.

The recognition had been challenged by the Cherokee Nation, which entered into a treaty in 1866 giving it the right to govern the Delaware.

The ruling was handed down today by a panel of the 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals. It says a former Interior Department assistant secretary's decision reached too far in overturning an earlier ruling. That ruling said members of the Delaware were considered part of the Cherokee because of the treaty.

The ruling invalidates any actions taken by the Delaware since the 1996 recognition.

The tribe is based in Bartlesville and has about 10,500 members.