Freedmen: Funding With Held

Tahlequah, OK – Federal agency suspends funding to Okla. tribe

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) The Cherokee Nation's acting principal chief says the Department of Housing and Urban Development has temporarily suspended disbursements to the tribe until a funding statute can be reviewed in the wake of a court decision terminating citizenship for about 2,800 descendants of tribal members' former slaves.

Joe Crittenden said in a statement released Wednesday that the tribe has enough funding to last a few months without affecting HUD-related services or employment positions.

The Tulsa World reported that Deputy Assistant Secretary Jereon Brown said the funding freeze was related to an "unclear statute" involving the freedmen, as they are called.

The tribe's Supreme Court reinstated a constitutional amendment requiring members to have a Cherokee ancestor listed on the Dawes Rolls.

HUD officials didn't immediately return a call after hours seeking comment.