Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Cherokees don't have a problem

Ruling could mean transformation for region
Experts debate impact of trust decision

Posted May 21, 2008 @ 09:17 AM
Last update May 21, 2008 @ 09:39 AM

But Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said the loss of tax revenues and the jurisdictional checkerboarding of Indian and non-Indian parcels would harm local communities.“It could literally hinder the ability of governance,” he said.

The case is likely headed back to the courts that spawned it. The land-into-trust effort stemmed from a suggestion in the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2005 over Sherrill's efforts to tax Oneida Nation businesses. . . .

The Cherokee Nation has more than 45,000 acres of trust land in Oklahoma, some for more than 100 years. It is thriving, a tribal leader says.

Linda Donelson, the tribe's director of real estate services, said the Cherokee didn't have any problem getting along with local and state government officials.

“Cherokee is one of the largest employers in northeastern Oklahoma,” she said. “Most of the people in the political organizations work with us (because) we put so much money into the local economy.”

Donelson said having trust lands made it easier for the tribe to deal with its own issues.

“We have our own court system, our own marshals,” she said. “If we have juvenile delinquents, we can deal with them ourselves, or if there are children who are deprived or in need.

”The law center's Anderson said in Washington state, it was difficult for local governments to adjust when land was put into trust. But once leaders became used to the situation, relations became easier.

“I've seen a lot of this initial opposition followed by recognition that these tribes are doing a lot,” he said. “It helps the whole area.” . . .

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