TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation Attorney General Sara Hill announced today that the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians dismissed its appeal in a case it filed, UKB v Barteaux, putting the legal challenge to rest.
That case involved the adoption of a child enrolled in both Cherokee Nation and UKB citizenship. The Federal District Court in the Northern District of Oklahoma dismissed the UKB’s case.
The UKB then appealed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, but recently withdrew its appeal.
“The Court held that Cherokee Nation had properly exercised jurisdiction over child custody matters arising on the reservation involving Indian children,” Hill said. “The UKB dismissing its appeal closes the door on this challenge altogether, and I’m pleased that this child’s adoption will now be final.”
In foster care cases involving a child eligible as a Cherokee Nation citizen and UKB citizen but not yet enrolled in either tribe, UKB will be notified, which Cherokee Nation law has long required and has been the standard operating procedure in the Nation’s court.
The Cherokee Nation Attorney General has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the UKB that acknowledges the responsibility of the Cherokee Nation Attorney General’s Office, under Cherokee Nation law, to notify UKB when a child who is eligible for both Cherokee Nation and UKB citizenship (but enrolled in neither tribe), is taken into custody by the Cherokee Nation District Court.