FROM THE ARCHIVE

A fight over funds race

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THURSDAY, APRIL 4, 2002

The controversy over the status of the Seminole Freedmen is discussed in The Chicago Tribune today.

The Seminole Freedmen are descendants of African slaves who were made members of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma after the Civil War. A treaty was signed to include the black members within the tribe.

But a dispute has arisen over the role of the Freedmen and whether they have access to a $52 million judgment fund. The Freedmen contend they are full fledged members of the tribe but the tribe, supported by the Department of Interior, said they weren't entitled to the money.

Now, the Interior is refusing to recognize the tribe's leadership because of a vote held in 2000 which stripped the Freedmen without proof of Indian blood of tribal enrollment.

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Bloodlines drawn over money (The Chicago Tribune 4/3)
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