Tribes not always following treaties on Freedmen
Monday, August 18, 2003

The Five Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma signed post-Civil War treaties with the United States that recognize descendants of African slaves as tribal members.

But today's Freedmen, as the descendants are generally known, are finding that the treaties aren't amounting to much. The Cherokee Nation doesn't allow Freedmen membership unless they can document Indian blood. The Seminole Nation tried to oust their Freedmen but were stopped by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the courts.

According to The Daily Oklahoman, the Freedmen aren't accepted as members of the Creek, Chickasaw and Choctaw nations either.

The BIA is refusing to get involved in the Cherokee Freedmen dispute. A group of Freedmen have filed a lawsuit after the BIA recognized an election in which they were denied the right to vote.

Get the Story:
Blacks with Indian blood seek tribes' recognition (The Daily Oklahoman 8/17)
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