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Freedmen descendants shut out of Cherokee Nation


Descendants of the Cherokee Freedmen, former African slaves who were made members of the Cherokee Nation after the Civil War, are being shut out of the tribe.

Evelyn Ross, 77, always believed she was Cherokee. But when she showed up to vote recently, she was told she didn't have any Cherokee ancestry.

Marilyn Vann, another Freedman descendant, says the tribe is discriminating. She has filed a lawsuit seeking to reinstate her rights and benefits as a Cherokee citizen.

The tribe says membership has nothing to do with ancestry or ethnicity -- as long as a person can prove he or she is descended from someone on the Dawes Roll. The list, compiled after the treaty was signed, doesn't include all the Freedmen who were subject to the Civil War treaty.

Get the Story:
No feather in their caps (The Washington Times 11/22)

Relevant Links:
Freedmen Of The Five Civilized Tribes - http://www.freedmen5tribes.com
Freedmen Conference - http://www.freedmenconference.com

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