FROM THE ARCHIVE

Seminole vote may affect Freedmen

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JULY 7, 2000

The status of the Freedmen of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma may be affected by the recent changes approved by voters, reports Black Oklahoma Today.

The Freedmen are voting members of the nation. After the Civil War, the United States negotiated new treaties with the Choctaw, Creek, Cherokee, and Seminole Nations, requiring them to make their African slaves full members of their respective nations.

In 1866, the Seminole Nation signed a treaty ending slavery and granting citizenship to all former slaves.

Seminole Freedmen are currently plaintiffs in litigation against the United States over what is known as the Judgment Fund. The Fund was awarded to the Seminole Nation for land ceded in Florida over 160 years ago.

The Freedmen aren't allowed access to that money, which prompted the lawsuit.

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Vote may cloud Seminole Freedmen issue (Black Oklahoma Today 7/7)