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Cherokee Nation: Rep. Watson will introduce bill to cut off funding and gambling

AP reports: Legislation proposing to sever U.S. relations with the Cherokee Nation and cut off the tribe's ability to conduct gaming operations could be introduced in Congress soon.

U.S. Rep. Diane Watson, D-Calif., has circulated a draft of the measure, which was spurred on by a March election that temporarily stripped Cherokee membership from descendants of people the tribe owned as slaves. The legislation would cut off tribal funding from several federal agencies, suspend the Cherokees' gaming authority and allow any descendant of the so-called freedmen to sue the tribe in federal court.

In a March 3 special election, Cherokee voters approved a constitutional amendment to remove about 2,800 freedmen descendants from the tribe's rolls - and therefore eliminate their eligibility for medical and other services provided by the tribe. That vote has been challenged in the federal and tribal court systems. -- Legislation would cut funding for Cherokees : ICT [2007/06/25]

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