TULSA, Okla. — One of the nation’s largest American Indian tribes has sent letters to about 2,800 descendants of slaves once owned by its members, revoking their citizenship and cutting their medical care, food stipends, low-income homeowners’ assistance and other services.
The Cherokee Nation acted this week after its Supreme Court upheld the results of a 2007 special vote to amend the Cherokee constitution and remove the slaves’ descendants and other non-Indians from tribal rolls. The 300,000-member tribe is the biggest in Oklahoma, although many of its members live elsewhere.
Certainly, I understand that they have economic issues the same as anyone else but revoking the citizenship of people who have held it for generations? Since the end of the Civil War? Surely, there are better ways to balance a budget.