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Frequently Asked Questions

Common Questions

Common Questions

Where is the Cherokee Nation?

The Cherokee Nation is located in a 9,000 square mile area of northeastern Oklahoma that encompasses all or parts of 14 counties.

Is Cherokee Nation a reservation?

Cherokee Nation has a legal jurisdiction that is checker-boarded with state and tribal land. It is not the same type of reservation that is occupied by some tribes in other states where the entire parcel of land is in trust for the tribe.

What is the Cherokee Nation? Is it a real government?

The Cherokee Nation is a real government, representing and serving the citizens of the tribe.

Who can become a Cherokee Nation citizen?

Cherokee Nation citizenship requires having at least one direct ancestor listed on the Dawes Rolls of the Cherokee Nation, a federal census compiled in the years 1898-1906.

How does someone become a chief?

Principal Chief is an elected position, voted on by the registered voters of the Cherokee Nation every four years.

Are Cherokee Nation Marshals real police?

Yes. The Cherokee Nation Marshal Service is a full-fledged, certified law enforcement agency with jurisdiction throughout the Cherokee Nation.  The Marshal Service is cross-deputized with 50 municipal, county, state and federal agencies. With more than 30 deputy marshals, the agency focuses on prevention and justice in matters concerning criminal activities in Cherokee communities.

Is there more than one Cherokee tribe?

There are three federally recognized Cherokee tribes, with Cherokee Nation being the largest. The other tribes include the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina.