Freedmen Kicked Out
The constitutional amendment to disenroll the Freedmen has apparently passed overwhelmingly, despite strong editorials against it. With the federal courts now involved, the Cherokee Nation faces the very real threat that the June Tribal elections will either be thrown out or not recognized by the BIA, leading to a cut off of vital funding. Principal Chief Chad Smith, one of the strongest backers of the amendment, began trying even before the vote to put a positive spin on what is clearly a race-based disenfranchisement of thousands of people with strong historical, cultural and in some cases blood ties to the Nation. I have a great fear that the end result of all this will be yet another blow to tribal sovereignty.
UPDATE: More reactions to the vote from around the Blogosphere. And here. And here. And here. And here. And here. And here.