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African-Native American Research Forum Archive

Re: Cherokee Freedmen Citizenship Issues

It is conceivable that the moment the idea of setting up CDIB cards for Freedman descendants the issue of the validity of the cards will emerge. Which, when one thinks of it, is not a bad thing to explore---the validity of persons having to have a "card" to "prove" their identity. Sounds like the pass books used in South Africa, not very long ago.

The cards themselves are based on a non-scientific method of "qualifying" individuals for "benefits". When the concept of blood quantum was put on the Dawes Rolls in 1898--there was no DNA method of tracing anyone's identity. Blood plasma had not even been discovered,(by Dr. Charles Drew--an African American) and yet, there were persons determining who was "full blood" "half blood" "one quarter" "one thirty second", etc. How ludicruous indeed!!!

What is the issue at hand? Benefits? Would there be CDIB cards if there were no "benefits"?
Would it matter as much?

One's heritage is one's heritage with or without cards. Citizenship in a nation should not be based on cards.

Does one adopt a child, then when it is realized that the neighbors don't like the child, throw the child out of the house? That is was happened to the Freedmen, when they were adopted by the Treaty of 1866. But by OK statehood in 1907, Jim Crow was alive, popular and well in the new state, and the nations, began to embrace the same Jim Crow policies, like their neighbors who now ran the new emerging state. The disliked Freedmen----who had been a part of the nation for decades--- were suddenly discarded, for it was fashionable to do so.

The Seminole nation did not practice this until recently which is ironice considering their unique history.

However, Freedmen history is still there to be explored. The documents pertaining to the more than 20,000 Freedmen of the Five "Civilized" Tribes exist for researchers to explore and to document their family history.

The Dawes records can be found at the National Archives. THe locator numbers can be found under this designation:

M1186
M1301
T525

-Angela Walton-Raji-


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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