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Native Brief: TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA - Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker announced today that US Housing and Urban Development is releasing $37.1 million that was withheld from the Nation and the previous administration.
"We are pleased that in the second week of our term we've managed to work with the Federal Government to have this money released. It's important we have that money so we can better take care of our people," Chief Baker said. Baker was sworn in on October 19.
A letter from HUD Assistant Secretary Sandra Henriquez stated the money was released due to filings by the Nation's Attorney General Diane Hammons that complied with the requirements of a Federal District Court Order relative to the citizenship of Freedmen.
"HUD reserves the right to reassess its decision to release the Tribe's funds in the future if the Tribe is deemed to be in violation of the terms of any Federal court order," Henriquez stated.
The Freedmen issue is currently in federal court in the Northern District of Oklahoma. The Cherokee Nation Attorney General is handling the litigation of the Freedmen citizenship.
posted October 31, 2011 6:00 am edt
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