Law | National

College won't let plaintiff in Freedmen lawsuit speak at forum

Marilyn Vann, the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit over the status of the Freedmen within the Cherokee Nation, wasn't allowed to speak at a forum on Freedmen issues at Bacone College in Oklahoma.

Vann was going to talk about the Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes at the school’s annual spring symposium on March 31. But when Bacone officials found out she was a party to the litigation, they told her she couldn't appear.

"What happened was that we came to the knowledge that she was a plaintiff in a lawsuit of a Freedmen issue, and that’s not really appropriate," Eugene Blankenship, Bacone’s director of government relations, told The Cherokee Phoenix.

But Vann said she wasn't told about the litigation issue. She was only told the forum was being canceled.

Blankenship said the school wants to host a forum on the issue at a later date.

Get the Story:
Bacone postpones Freedmen session at Native symposium (The Cherokee Phoenix 4/12)

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