Her Ancestor Was a Slave to Cherokee Indians. Now She’s Applying to Be a Citizen of the Tribe

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Four days after a historic court ruling for the Cherokee Nation, a 65-year-old black woman arrived at the Martin Luther King Community Center in the town of Muskogee, Oklahoma, with questions about how to become a tribal citizen. Walking on shiny linoleum beneath bright florescent lights, she stopped at a table draped in a thin sheet of purple plastic. Neatly stacked on top were rows of application forms—one for Cherokee citizenship and another for voter registration cards.


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