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Cherokee Freedmen eager for court hearing in citizenship case

The Freedmen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma are preparing for a hearing in a lawsuit that could finally resolve their citizenship rights.

The Freedmen are the descendants of former slaves held within Cherokee territory. They say they are entitled to citizenship under an 1866 treaty but the tribe contends it can exclude them unless they can trace descent from an Indian ancestor.

"The commitments that were made to the Freedmen people is a responsibility that the tribe has, because the tribe made decisions to keep slaves, to have discriminatory laws against people of African descent in the tribe," Marilyn Vann, the president of the Descendants Of Freedmen Of The Five Civilized Tribes, said at an update on the lawsuit, KOTV reported.

The Obama administration is backing the Freedmen. The issue will be heard on April 28 at 10am in Courtroom 25A of the federal court in Washington, D.C.

Get the Story:
Cherokee Freedmen Continue Fight For Citizenship (KOTK 3/8)

Related Stories:
Obama supports Freedmen in dispute with Cherokee Nation (02/03)
Judge sets oral arguments in Cherokee Nation Freedmen suit (9/18)

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