United Keetoowah Band will challenge decision over land

published in Muskogee Phoenix | April 19, 2006

Jim McMillin, an attorney for the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees, was quoted as saying the tribe will appeal a Bureau of Indian Affairs’ decision that keeps the tribe from putting 76 acres of land they own in Cherokee County in trust.

The UKB intends to utilize the property for the operation of an Aid to Tribal Government Program, Education Program, Elder Nutrition Program, Human Services Program, Environmental Program, Elder Dental Program, Tribal Roads Department and Tribal Council Chambers.

In denying the UKB’s request, the BIA reasoned that conflicts would exist between the UKB and the Cherokee Nation should the UKB seek to exercise jurisdiction over the property and place it in trust.

McMillin said the Cherokee Nation’s opposition against the UKB proposal "appears to be a naked power grab."