Cherokee Nation holdS Tahlequah rally for Dusten Brown, biological father of 'Baby Veronica'
1:46 PM, Aug 26, 2013
10:13 PM, Aug 26, 2013
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. - The Cherokee Nation held a rally Monday in support of the father of "Baby Veronica."
Hundreds of people attended, in a field located west of the Cherokee Nation headquarters. Several speakers took to the podium, to offer support. Many also took part in several tribal rituals.
Dusten Brown thanked the crowd for its support and addressed the media, after the rally. "This means a great deal for the Cherokee Nation," he said. "That's pretty much all the comment I'm going to give."
Dusten Brown, a Cherokee citizen, is fighting for custody of his nearly 4-year-old biological daughter. A South Carolina court awarded custody of Veronica July 31 to Matt and Melanie Capobianco after the U.S. Supreme Court deemed the Indian Child Welfare Act was not applicable to the case.
Court records show a mediation agreement was entered into Aug. 16 between the Capobiancos and Brown, though the records are sealed and a gag order was issued, ordering all parties to refrain from commenting about the case.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker attended the rally and spoke about the Browns' legal battles. "It has been heart-wrenching enough for me, just knowing the family and knowing the child," he said. "I can not imagine being the father, fighting to raise his baby."
Veronica, who has been staying with her grandparents, did not attend the rally.