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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Re: Cherokee Freedmen Win Their Case in Federal Co

Erma, I had thought the victory for the 1866 Treaty would also include the Creek and Choctaw tribes, since Marilyn Vann was representing the Descendants of the five tribes, but not so.

It seems that all contributions that were made only went for one purpose and that was for the Cherokee descendants to obtain citizenship.

It would have been great if all the tribes had been represented by Marilyn's lawyer.

What are your thoughts?

I've already posted my thoughts, and while I agree that optimally we wish it were for all five tribes, that would have been an even bigger uphill battle. Here's why.

All 5 tribes would have had to be named as defendants in the Vann case. That would mean that each person on the PLAINTIFF's side (meaning, Vann) would have to show how her life was impacted by the changing of all 5 treaties of 1866. As Marilyn is Cherokee, she could prove that with the Cherokee, but not of the others (Creek, Seminole, Chickasaw, Choctaw). If she had gone through with that, the cases against the other 4 tribes would be dismissed, while the Cherokee would still be enjoined on the case.

The other problem is that each tribe has its own Treaty of 1866. Actually, I take that back. Technically, there are FOUR Treaties of 1866: One with the Cherokee, one with the Chickasaw and Choctaw combined (that is one treaty), one with the Seminole, and one with the Creek. Because of that, each treaty would have to be challenged in court. Now that the Vann case has been decided, that does make the challenges to the other treaties easier, because the Vann case would set precedence for the other challenges. Those challenges just need to be made.

If all five tribes were under the same treaty, then this ruling would cover all of them. But since they are separate nations, they would have separate treaties, requiring separate challenges for each treaty.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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