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African-Native American Genealogy Forum

Re: Choctaw Chief Considering Freedmen Citizenship

This indeed is BIG.

However, I did find it rather hilarious (read: ludicrous) when Batton initially stated in his response to Rep. Waters that it was the US Government that was at fault for forcing the issue of slavery onto the Choctaw.. that that issue is "between the Freedmen and the US Government", as if the United States forced the Choctaw and the rest of the FCT to adopt the custom of slavery. That, I believe is already known to not be true, for all five tribes adopted those customs, making it either an issue with all 5 sets of Freedmen and the US Government, or an issue with the tribes and their customs themselves; and seeing that the Cherokee already handled their issues regarding it, it's more likely to be the latter than the former.

There are some unanswered questions in his letter that I wonder if they should be asked.

The Dawes Roll. If they (both the Choctaw and the US) knew that some non-natives applied for the rolls to get land, and used bribes to federal agents to be selected, they then knew that these rolls were flawed... yet they went on to use those same rolls as the basis of their tribal membership??

Am I the only one to see flawed logic in that?

CDIB. According to Batton, the BIA is who issues the CDIB to approved applicants. Those degrees are based on the Dawes rolls, and a person must trace their blood ancestry to the Dawes Rolls. Batton explicitly states:

At this time, the US government also does not recognize Freedmen in its CDIB enrollment process.

Yet for the Cherokee, their registration packet requirements state:

To be eligible for a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB)/Tribal Citizenship with the Cherokee Nation, you must be able to provide documents that connect you to an enrolled lineal ancestor, who is listed on the “DAWES ROLL” FINAL ROLLS OF CITIZENS AND FREEDMEN OF THE FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES, Cherokee Nation with a blood degree.

If the US Government doesn't recognize Freedmen in its CDIB enrollment process, then how are the Cherokee using that same process and getting the Cherokee Freedmen recognized for a CDIB?

That makes no sense here, as if Batton is out of touch with the workings of his fellow tribes of the FCT.

Additionally, the ability to enroll the Freedmen would require an amendment to the tribe's constitution. If such an amendment is required, and an amendment to disenfranchise the Freedmen occurred in 1983, that means that from the time the Dawes Rolls (and even the Treaty of 1866) up until 1983, the BIA (the US Government) didn't have a problem with such recognition, which is contrary to what Batton is stating.

Again, these are just unanswered questions in which history (true, confirmed history) seem to completely contradict Batton's letter.

Nevertheless, you can tell that this is coming from a place of pressure. I think we all can agree that this would be a lot better if it came to them organically, but you can tell that the factors mentioned in the blog post that a hand is being forced. I'm not complaining; any chance to engage in this is truly welcome. Has an avenue for engaging in dialogue been created yet? I would certainly love to participate.

Messages In This Thread

Choctaw Chief Considering Freedmen Citizenship
Re: Choctaw Chief Considering Freedmen Citizenship

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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