Delawares vote to recall chief

Thursday, November 10th 2005, 5:44 am
By: News On 6

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. (AP) -- The Delaware Tribe of Indians vote to recall their chief.

Joe Brooks was ousted from the position this past weekend by a 70-percent margin.

An election to determine Brooks' successor hasn't been set because tribal officials say they're waiting for a decision by a tribal court to set the date.

Brooks says that although he'll honor the election's results, he believes that the tribal court ruled against its constitution to allow a recall election.

He says he wishes the tribe well, but that members are divided. Brooks also said the tribe doesn't stand a chance of getting its federal recognition back if members aren't united.

The Tenth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in November 2004 that the tribe had signed away its sovereignty rights to the Cherokee Nation for protection during the late 1800s.

The Cherokee Nation has offered a deal that would allow the Delaware tribe to retain its tribal identity, although its members would be considered Cherokee citizens.

The Delawares appealed for sovereignty support last week at a National Congress of American Indians convention in Tulsa, but their request was denied.