African-Native American Research Forum Archive
Re: Seminole Freedman Vote
In Response To: Seminole Freedman Vote ()
I've looked at the articles passed by the Seminole Nation and in my humble opinion the wording is deceptive enough to NOT stir much controversy. For those descendants currently enrolled and those who may be of BOTH "Afrcan " and "Seminole" "blood" one should read and understand the statements (as given in newspaper accounts~Daily Oklahoman).Passages 7 and 8 the two that presumably would affect the so called Freedmen Bands are as follows:
Question No. 7: Requiring a one-eighth quantum of Seminole Indian blood to be a member; passed 423 (59.2 percent) to 292 (40.8 percent). Question No. 8: Changing membership status to read "Seminole Indian citizens by blood"; passed 448 (62.9 percent) to 264 (37.1 percent).
For me there are two problems with these statements. If anyone has a different slant please enlighten me. Neither measure addresses who was historically a "Seminole citizen by blood" unless you begin your determination on the present day union of someone seeking Seminole citizenship. If I'm correct the policy has been you would have to have an ancestor that is already enrolled as a citizen to be included on the rolls and/or your MOTHER has to be considered Seminole "by blood". For those "Black Seminoles" on the rolls by historical practice would be contrary to established custom.
My other question is how does any of this remove someone already on the list based on ancestry. If blood quantum is to be the litmus test does that not include the blood of the father or male ancestor? It would seem many of the present day members of the Seminole nation would have to prove their blood quantum as well as anyone else considered to be of the nation. Then why is it assumed the only persons unable to prove their lineage is the so called Black Seminole? Apparantly this another example of not necessarily proving one being a Seminole but one proving one is NOT of African Descent.
Now we should not be naive to think these measures where not meant to exclude the members with "a little" African blood. One should conclude as Bob stated. This move is to control the finances of the Seminole Nation. It was the goal when all the Nations of the so called Five Civilized Tribes failed to adopt their Freedmen and failed to accept and provide for their children by the Freedmen women! None of these groups have gained recognition as citizens though many today would have more "Indian blood" than many members presently on the rolls. It was about land and money when the Nations where allegedly dissolved and it is definitely the motivation today. If you care to see a text book example of money and influence. Read the July 5 edition of the Wall Street Journal. FRONT PAGE ABOVE THE FOLD.Mississippi Band of Choctaws using Congress to influence legislation on their Casino revenues and construction of future Casino recreational developments.
I was curious about a part in the article in the Daily Oklahoman that caught my attention and could be of use for those desirous of some political action regarding the decision. Again we have one of those situations that seem paradoxical. The Seminole Nation must have the Bureau of Indian Affairs okay their decisions and vote. Yet they claim to be a Sovereign Nation. Seems to me if they need permission to to this the BIA should be sensitive to an opposing opinion on the vote and it's consequences on those who would be affected by the tyranny of the majority. Now where did I here that before??????
[8 jul 2000]
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