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An Impoverished Indian Tribe's Contribution

DNC offers to return $107,000 donation to Cheyenne-Arapaho tribe

By Timothy McCaughan/CNN

WASHINGTON (March 12) -- The Democratic National Committee is offering to return $107,000 in contributions from the Cheyenne-Arapaho Indian tribe of Oklahoma, following news reports that the impoverished tribe dipped into a welfare fund for the donation in hopes of influencing Clinton Administration policy.

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The DNC made the announcement via fax on Tuesday evening. According to the DNC's release, the chairman of the tribe, Charles Surveyor, needs to address his Tribal Council as to whether they will ask for the return of the money. Surveyor told the DNC he would give them an answer today, according to the release.

DNC Co-chairmen Roy Romer and Steve Grossman said in the statement that if the tribe chooses not to take the money back, the DNC would "specifically designate the money to Native American voter registration and voter participation activities at the DNC."

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The story of the Indian tribe's donation was first published in The Washington Post on Monday.

The Post reported that the tribe was looking for administration help in getting some of their tribal land returned.

The story also reported that following their agreement to contribute, the tribal leaders were able to meet with the president and express their concerns at a White House luncheon. The tribe did not receive any beneficial policy changes as a result of these meetings.


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