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Oklahoma Is Not OK!
Deprivation of Nationality

It is, in every sense of the word, the worst of times at the end of the Trail of Tears here in the remnant of ancient Tatil Coya (in Oklahoma), an absolutely horrid time in U.S. socio-economic history to be forcefully exiled from one’s Nation, stripped of Citizenship, Nationality, purposefully cut from medical care (services, insurance coverage, eligibility), to be the victim of reneged-upon food stipends, low-income homeowner’s assistance and “other services”. However, that is precisely what happened to Cherokee Freedmen when a 76%± share of cold blooded Cherokee Indians stood behind a Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Decision to uphold the results of their 2007 Special Election to amend the Cherokee Nation Constitution to remove descendants of Freedmen from eligibility to inhabit the legal jurisdictional geographical boundaries and sphere of influence of that nation as Citizens…(with extreme prejudice).

This despite the “indefeasible 1866 Treaty Rights of the Cherokee Freedmen (ceded the Canadian District and overflow domain comprising portions of the Cherokee Outlet).

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Cherokee Freedmen (which also includes the descendants of historical Black Cherokees that were never Slaves, but mixed-blood Free Persons of Color with Indian Blood inhabiting that Nation), regardless of Caste, all were Freed En Masse in 1861 and Adopted En Masse in 1863 by their Principal Chief and Spring Frog, a descendant of the Great Chiefs of Chota (who also had Black Cherokee Family Members as far back as the 1700s, one of whom was the wife of Attakullakulla whose reigned ended in the 1790s.
Still other Black French Speaking Cherokees (like French John and Capee Capee) functioned as Ambassadors and trusted Counsel to the Chief.
The Old Great Chiefs of Chota also had Black Cherokee Adoptees (even a settlement of Black Biloxis--in the 1700s!). Their descendants today would naturally have no other legal identity except Cherokee. In fact, this was the group that Attakullakulla‘s Black Indian wife hailed from, and they lived in the Old Nation in North Carolina.
The descendants of these and other Ethnic Cherokees have a right to maintain their own history and as much right as any other Indian to benefit from the largess of their victorious Union Loyalist Ancestors that fought so hard and thought so much of them that they preserved the rights of Cherokee Freedmen within an 1866 Treaty Document so powerful that we find ourselves still fighting about it today; including the rights that the ancestors so passionately tried to protect into perpetuity, until now, the supposed enlightened age of 2011.
What are we really allowing to happen to these unique people? It is illegal (according to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, which was signed and announced by President Barack Obama on December 16, 2010).
The U.S. is now a legal signatory bound by the laws of this International Convention.
We can’t be certain about Mr. Obama’s intent, but Oklahoma’s Freedmen understand fully that America had no idea that the President signed an International Convention that protected the Rights of descendants of Aboriginal Africans, Australian Aborigines and America’s Black Indians.
Now that is something to be celebrated in the U.N. implemented 2011 International Year for the People of African Descent, now marred by an American Indian Action against persons of both Cherokee and African Descent.
In my lay opinion, the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court action looks back, acts, behaves and feels like an Ex Post Facto Law that specifically deprives Cherokee Freedmen of original Rights to Citizenship and Nationality (gained by much more than a Tribal Constitutional Amendment). Their Citizenship and Nationality was gained by birthright, inhabitance, residency, Adoption, Legislative Action, then Constitutional Ratification of that Action, resulting in the Tribal Constitutional Amendment in question, in the lead up to their final enfranchisement by the language of the 1866 Treaty (same as the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole Freedmen protected by their 1866 Treaties between the aforementioned Tribal Nations and the U.S. Government).
Therefore, the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Decision against Freedmen must surely constitute Ex Post Facto Law imposed to deprive and/or remove the rights of a particular entitled group (in this case Freedmen), a highly specialized Class of Indian Citizen and historic Cherokee National, deriving such right by the 1866 Treaty with the Cherokees, as descendants by;
Article 3. “heirs or assigns.” (under repealed confiscation laws, allowing them to re-inhabit their homes confiscated by Confederates in the Civil War in Indian Territory).
Article 4. “all the Cherokees and freed persons who were formerly slaves to any Cherokee, and all free negroes not having been such slaves, who resided in the Cherokee Nation prior to June first, eighteen hundred and sixty one.”
How then could something so legally solid as Freedmen Nationality and Citizenship be unraveled by manmade racism?
The newly imposed Cherokee Supreme Court Law, vigorously pursued by Principal Chief Chad Smith imposed a Hail Mary Play that makes an end-run around the 1866 Treaty and allows that Nation to hide behind a public campaign implemented to get the public to believe that the Cherokee Freedmen move to assert their right to Nationality and Citizenship, was an affront to Indian Sovereignty, predicated by that nation’s right to choose it’s own citizens
I would also say that the Freedmen were stripped of their Nationality, Citizenship and Exiled without having committed either Treason, Sedition, and without threatening to overthrow the Cherokee Nation Government, except that the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma wants you and I to believe that it does not have to adhere to the same Human and Civil Rights Law that it’s host Government must itself adhere to, because of their Sovereign Immunity and Right To Choose their Own Citizens, notwithstanding the rights of Ethnic Cherokee Freedmen to be free from persecution and exile based upon their Ethnic origins.
Being an Ex Post Facto Law instituted to deprive rights, makes this a very controversial issue, in that the Cherokee Nation chose to deny persons having definable rights by Treaty.
OK! Let’s begin again, how best do we resolve the situation diplomatically, without ending up in an armed siege like the one carried out in the Seminole Nation Capitol after that Nation’s Freedmen faced a similar referendum?
Answer: It matters not that the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma doesn’t want Black Cherokees in their Tribe…it still does not relieve or excuse the U.S. Government (as a Plenary Authority serving as Stewards, Guardians, and Hosts Legally Responsible for the Character of the Tribes) from upholding the guaranteed Rights of their Ethnic Citizen Class, Ethnic Protectorate and Special Treaty Entitlement Group, including Elders, Women, and children who are legal descendants of original Cherokee Citizens and Nationals with rights enshrined by an 1866 Treaty, to which their forebears were an indispensable original part, as facilitators, interpreters, signatories, beneficiaries and Citizens. They are to be treated like any other Tribal Band arising from the parent Nation in an Autonomous Action, under a Declaration of Independence as Successors in Interest (for instance Shawnees and Delawares who gained the same rights under the same Treaty as the Cherokee Freedmen). Both were enhanced by Provisions of Separation. The Shawnees had their Provisions of Separation introduced by none other than Senator Coburn, who also extracted language from the 1866 Cherokee Treaty for use in the office document, cementing the legitimacy of the 1866 Treaty in the year 2000.
The 1866 Treaty also provides the U.S. President with the right to abolish any Tribal Nation law weighing oppressively upon the Cherokee Nation Inhabitants of the Canadian District [translation: the President may render void any law that discriminates specifically against Cherokee Freedmen ceded their own autonomous Canadian District and portions of the Cherokee Outlet by the 1866 Treaty].
The Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act and Indian Reorganization Acts of 1934 and 1936, grants the rights of Tribes to restructure and become individually Chartered, providing the U.S. Government yet another avenue by which to aid the various Tribes to attain parity in Nation to Nation relationship with self-administrated Freedmen Tribes, as Successors-In-Interest, Citizens and Nationals reorganizing for the benefit of its Citizens and Preservation of their Indefeasible Treaty Rights. Cherokee Freedmen (as well as Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole Freedmen) met all the criteria of time and were still legally attached (or eligible for modern Citizenship) in each of their ancestral Tribes at the time each sought Charters of Federal Recognition. Due to the dire situation of Freedmen, all waiting periods and untoward actions levied against them and their rights by parent Governments must be immediately waived and/or rendered null and void.

Let this become the definable historic Teachable Moment asked for by Dr. Ogletree in Oklahoma. The Rule of Law Must Rule!




Culled from CHECK IT!!!...#69
by Jem Shep









Views: 290

Replies to This Discussion

Professor Ogletree, I always love the way you take my otherwise emotional response and boil it down to facts and law.  As one of the aforementioned descendants of Black and Cherokee and Creek bloodlines, originating from Oklahoma (born and raised), I consider this an extreme act of racism, an affront to all people of African, African American and AfricanIndian heritage, brought on by an individual who was made "principle chief" because he was a "half-breed" the name accorded to those Indians who had white parentage.  Apparently, what he was taught at his mother's knee was invective enough for him to have made an end run that has resulted in this disgraceful act.

Basically, my response to my fellow Black Indians is to go on the warpath - however, since we are part of the "five civilized tribes" I seriously doubt whether any of us ever lifted our hands to a bow or arrow, let along a scalping implement.  So I guess our only recourse is via the legal channels, elections, legislations, and sitting on President Obama's front porch until he does for us what he did in Arizona when they tried to deal with who they were and were not going to allow into the state. 

If the US government is sovereign, the the Cherokees cannot make or enforce any discriminatory laws that serve to disenfranchise, deprive, or denigrate those of other races or nationalities within their borders.

As a kid who rocked back and forth between Anadarko, Oklahoma and the American Indian Exposition, my Grandparents (Black grandad, Cherokee Grandmom) on the Texas, Oklahoma border, I am well aware of the fact that there is an overarching racist attitude against Blacks and Indians by the larger white infrastructure.  I have lived through it first hand, as have most of my relatives.  So don't for one minute (any of you who are reading this) think that we are trying to escape being Black by claiming an Indian Heritage.  It' been a double whammy across the board, because, truth be told, neither one of use actually came out on top - in this fixed fight.  Bows and arrows, shackles and chains, vs. guns, and whips, and alcohol.

As an Okie from OKC, you are right, it's not OK - not OK with my 89 year old mom; my sister, my brothers, my cousins, my uncle and his children my grand children - not okay with Ms. Vann, who has been fighting this fight for quite some time, not OK with my teachers, many of whom are BlackIndians.  It's not OK.

And since it is a violation of our civil rights, not to mention our human rights, I strongly support the immediate cutting off of and freezing of all assets currently held by the Cherokee nation until this situation is rectified and the Black Indians are made whole.

By the way, as we have always said, white folks can't count - there are far more BlackIndians in Oklahoma than they've indicated in their news reports.  I happen to have a can of warpaint, and have no qualms about sharing.  Oklahoma had 67 all Black towns once upon a time - it could very well happen again.


Again, brother Ogletree,


Stay Blessed &


Gloria Dulan-Wilson


This just came out via Yahoo News: 

Cherokees told to take back slaves' descendants

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A federal order for one of the nation's largest American Indian tribes to restore voting rights and benefits to about 2,800 descendants of members' former slaves threw plans for a special election for a new chief into turmoil Tuesday.

The federal government sent the sternly-worded letter to the Cherokee Nation after it sent letters last week kicking the descendants out of the tribe and stripping them of benefits including medical care, food stipends and assistance for low-income homeowners.

The tribe also barred the descendants from voting in a Sept. 24 special election for principal chief. The Cherokee Supreme Court ordered the special election after it said it could not determine with certainty the outcome of a close and hotly contested June election between incumbent Chad Smith and longtime tribal councilman Bill John Baker. The results had flip-flopped between the two during weeks of counts and recounts. Baker had twice been declared winner, but so had Smith.

The federal government said that unless the descendants, known as freedmen, were allowed to vote, the upcoming election wouldn't be valid.

"I urge you to consider carefully the nation's next steps in proceeding with an election that does not comply with federal law," Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk wrote in letter Friday to acting Chief S. Joe Crittenden. "The department will not recognize any action taken by the nation that is inconsistent with these principles and does not accord its freedmen members full rights of citizenship."

Crittenden said the special election would take place as scheduled.

"The Cherokee Nation will not be governed by the (Bureau of Indian Affairs)," he said. "We will hold our election and continue our long legacy of responsible self-governance."

The election has drawn national interest because while the tribe is based in Tahlequah, many of its 300,000 members live outside Oklahoma.

The freedmen have asked a federal judge to restore their voting rights before the special election, and a hearing is planned next week in federal court in Washington.

The tribe never owned black slaves, but some individual members did. They were freed after the Civil War, in which the tribe allied with the Confederacy. An 1866 treaty between the tribe and the federal government gave the freedmen and their descendants "all the rights of native Cherokees."

More than 76 percent of Cherokee voters approved a 2007 amendment removing the freedmen and other non-Indians from the tribal rolls, but no action was taken until the tribe's Supreme Court upheld the results of that special election last month. Cherokee leaders who backed the amendment, including Smith, said the vote was about the fundamental right of every government to determine its citizens, not about racial exclusion.

But the Department of the Interior said Tuesday that it still believes the expulsion is unconstitutional because it violates the 1866 treaty.

Marilyn Vann, president of the Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes, said she hopes the federal order will result in the election being delayed.

"The freedmen people still have rights in the tribe such as voting," Vann said Tuesday. "We'll have our day in court."

As I have already stated: It's time to go on the Warpath - and it appears the Cherokee nation wants to pull on "superman's cape". Not a good idea.  Don't think they've really grasped the seriousness of the consequences - but I'm sure it will be made abundantly clear in the not-too-distant future.  - Still got that warpaint  - Gloria Dulan-Wilson - Oklahoma BlackIndian

The Cherokees have a magazine called INDIAN COUNTRY.  It's a weekly publication.  I suggest that we both go on line as well as to the hard copy and publish our comments about how we feel about their racist activities.  BlackIndians should send in photos and comments and let them know that we mean business.  No more Mr. or Ms. nice guy.  WE have to do this nationally and internationally or should I say IntraAfrican move guaranteed to let them know that we Black people do know about "tribes" and "nations" too, and our diaspora trumps theirs.


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