“In 2006 the Cherokee Tribal Council voted to amend the Cherokee constitution and revoke citizenship from those who could not demonstrate any Cherokee descent.  The next year, the Cherokee nation approved the amendment in a national referendum by a vote of 6,693 – 2,040.  Freedmen who cannot demonstrate Cherokee descent have been stripped of their citizenship, while over a thousand freedmen descendants have maintained it.

This may sound harsh to many readers.  But the issue comes down the rights of a sovereign nation to decide its own citizenship qualification…”

Read the rest of this fascinating essay here:


And a follow-up piece here:


The author of this online essay is Akim D. Reinhardt, associate professor of history at Towson University (Baltimore).  Reinhardt is the author of the award-winning book, Ruling Pine Ridge: Oglala Lakota Politics from the Indian Reorganization Act to Wounded Knee.  Online, Reinhardt is known as The Public Professor.