Cherokees to Get Control of U.S. Funds

From Associated Press

Cherokee Nation Chief Wilma Mankiller has signed an unprecedented agreement in which the Bureau of Indian Affairs will give the tribe direct control over millions of dollars in federal funding.

“Through self-governance, we can better determine the services needed by tribal members and fulfill those needs without the bureaucratic delays of the past,” Mankiller said in a statement from Boston, where she is recuperating from a kidney transplant.

Three-year agreements announced Tuesday cover four smaller Indian tribes also: the Quinalt Indian Nation, of Taholah, Wash.; the Lummi Indian Nation, of Bellingham, Wash.; the Jamestown Klallam Indian Tribe, of Sequim, Wash., and the Hoopa Valley Indian Tribe, of Hoopa, Calif.


“This is a major step toward giving tribal governments full authority and responsibility for governing their reservations,” Eddie F. Brown, assistant Interior secretary, said in Washington, D.C. “These agreements are historic for these tribes and for the (Bureau of Indian Affairs).”

The agreements and Brown’s comments were reported Wednesday by the Daily Oklahoman and the Tulsa World.

The agreements take effect on Oct. 1, the beginning of the next fiscal year. Of the five tribes, the Cherokee Nation has the largest amount of funds.