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African-Native American Research Forum Archive

Re: Free-Colored v. Slaves in Indian Territory

Don't take our responses personally. No offense intended. My question would be for you Norma, or any Creek Freedmen who was of voting age in 1979 when the Creeks reorganized and their Freedmen were booted out: Did you vote? Did you even care then? Did you even notice? As far as I can tell there was not even a whimper out of the Creek Freedmen in 1979. If I'm wrong I beg your pardon and ask to see the proof.

The Cherokee Freedmen have a long long history of fighting for their rights. You can find their efforts to defend themselves immediately following their adoption in 1866 with memorials to Congress (Rogers). They filed suit to recover denied funds in 1884 (Whitemire v. Cherokee Nation). They filed suit in 1983 (Nero v. Cherokee Nation). They filed suit in 1994 (Riggs v. Ummerteskee) and they filed suit in 2004 (Allen v. Council) wherein they were restored to their rightful citizenship. And when that citizenship was stripped away by the March 3, 2007 vote they filed suit again. And let's not forget the efforts of the Decendants of Freedmen of the FCT Association's lawsuit in DC (Vann v. Kempthorne).

My point here Norma is not to chide you, but to help you and others realize that the old saying, "As go the Cherokees, so go the other tribes." When the Cherokee goliath falls, the rest will fall too. Already the legislation introduced by Rep. Watson includes language impacting the Freedmen of the other slave holding tribes. The proper questions are being asked regarding the 1983 Choctaw and 1979 Creek votes.

I know its frustrating, it is for all of us. But right will win out with concerted effort and patience. There is one thing I would like to know, since you have stated it twice. Just who was left off the roll that should have been on there? In all of my 30 years of research I found only five (5) Cherokees who got left off the Dawes Roll accidentally. That's not bad considering. And interestingly enough, those five all married other Cherokees and their descendants are eligible through their other ancestors. So who are these proverbial "left outs" everyone keeps talking about?

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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