By S.E. RUCKMAN World Staff Writer
Last Modified: 3/11/2008 9:02 AM
Boren issued a statement Friday stating that he is supportive of the descendants and would welcome a chance to meet with them.
Verdie Triplett of Fort Coffee said Boren has not done enough to help his group.
“I haven’t seen any indications that Mr. Boren has the freedmen’s interests in mind,” he said. “So far, he has not been a friend to the freedmen.”
House Bill 2824 would cut federal funding to the Cherokee Nation unless freedmen descendants’ citizenship is restored permanently. The bill is in committee.
Boren said he has lobbied for the tribe to retain more than $300 million that the bill would cut, which would benefit the freedmen descendants.
Cherokee Nation spokesman Mike Miller said the descendants have no claim to Cherokee Nation citizenship based on the law or history.
The tribe removed about 2,700 freedmen descendants from its rolls after 10,000 tribal members voted last year to amend their constitution to allow only people with Indian blood to be citizens.
A tribal judge temporarily reinstated the descendants’ citizenship in May while they appeal the election.