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Freedmen Putting Faith in New Cherokee Chief (Oct 12, 2011)

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Descendants of slaves once owned by members of the Cherokee Nation say they hope to reopen a dialogue on citizenship rights with the Oklahoma tribe's new chief.

Hundreds of the descendants, known as freedmen, are figured to have supported longtime tribal councilman Bill John Baker in his victory over incumbent Chad Smith, who governed the tribe for more than a decade.

In 2007, more than three-fourths of Cherokee citizens voted to kick about 2,800 freedmen and other non-Indians out of the tribe, and the matter has been argued in tribal and federal courts since.


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