African-Native American Genealogy Forum
Re: Press Release Transcription
In Response To: Press Release from Freedman Assn ()
FOR RELEASE: March 11, 2019
State Tribal Compact Concerns
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Descendants of the Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes Association proudly acknowledge that the Cherokee Nation began taking deliberate action in August 2017 to re-enroll their dis-enrolled freedmen citizens and have therein discontinued it’s race-based denial of citizenship practice which the association deemed to be in disregard of the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article 1 of the Oklahoma Constitution.
As of March 2019 three of the remaining four Civilized tribes (Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Creek) in disregard of the same, continue to practice varying levels of race-based citizenship denial to descendants of their former slaves who otherwise should be citizens of their tribal nation. The last of the remaining four Civilized tribes (Seminole) refuse to provide “full” citizenship benefits to their descendants of former slaves.
This legislative session the Governor of the State of Oklahoma can either renegotiate terms of the next 15-yr compacts with these four tribes with a provision that will recapture the cost associated with these unconstitutional practices which taxpayers have been absorbing, or extend the existing discriminatory terms wherein State Tribal Gaming Compacts with the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole nations further perpetuates unconstitutional denial of citizenship to Dawes roll classified non-Indian persons on the basis of race, color or ancestor’s previous condition of servitude in disregard of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article 1 of the Oklahoma Constitution.
Our association asserts that race-based stipulations inculcated in the 1866 treaties with the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole tribes should have otherwise been deemed “unenforceable” by the 2004 Oklahoma legislature for the purposes of compact negotiations with the State of Oklahoma, and “unchanged” passes the cost of providing government support for their freedmen onto Oklahoma taxpayers without repayment. Since these compacts with the State of Oklahoma grant an exclusive casino gaming operation right to the above named four tribes which generate significant revenues for the expressed intent of providing for the cost of providing government services to their citizens pursuant to Part 5 Section D of their respective compacts... we further assert that these four compacts should otherwise include the costs associated with excluding an estimated 21,818 Chickasaw, 31,866 Creek, 4,661 Seminole, and 28,216 Choctaw freedmen.
Going forward we ask the Honorable Governor Kevin Stitt to adopt our amendment and reclaim the injust costs that are being passed onto Oklahoma taxpayers.
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