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Copyright 2006 -- Collinsville, Oklahoma
Collinsville, Oklahoma
June 13, 2006
Victory Cherokee Organization
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Freedman Issue
Still Pending
Storyteller & Dancers

Previous Coverage
I ran across this story last week while searching for a 1912 obit. Odd how several issues in 1912 were still hot topics in 2006:
a) Cherokee tribal benefits to freedman
b) 1912 concerns with the price of a barrel of oil approaching $1 per barrel
c) The City of Collinsville was restructuring the contract with the gas company in 1912 (as they are with ONG in 2006)

District 8 Cherokee Councilmen Buel Anglen and Bill Johnson attended Collinsville's Victory Cherokee Organization meeting Tuesday and reported on the Tribal Council vote of 13-2 the previous night (June 12th) which will allow Cherokee citizens to vote on changing citizenship requirements. The proposed amendment to the 1999 Cherokee Nation Constitution would require Indian blood for citizenship and potentially remove tribal benefits from "Cherokee Freedman" who became eligible based on a recent court ruling.

The next Cherokee general election will be in June 2007. A vote by the tribal council (7-8) Monday failed to approve an earlier special election. An initiative petion is in circulation to call for that same special election could still put the issue to a vote by the end 2006 (at the earliest) if approximately 2081 qualified Cherokee voter request it.

Councilman Anglen also reported that now that the 1999 constitution had replaced the 1975 constitution there would be plenty of adjustments to be made in representation and district alignments. There will be 2 new at-large councilman and the 15 districts will be realigned for equal population in each. Another change will be a Cherokee Nation delegate to the U.S. Congress. This is considered a treaty right and the reaction in the congress is eagerly anticipated. Buel joked "we will elect this delegate and send them to Congress and then see if they can find a seat."

Buel Anglen addressing the Victory Cherokee Organization.
Storyteller Alice Whitecloud (right) discussed her Ponca & Cheyenne heritage and her nearly 50 years in the "Inner Circle". She has been training youth for 20 years.
These youth performed a Round Dance at the Collinsville VCO meeting June 13th.
Bill Johnson brought a copy of the new Cherokee Constitution.