Letter: Freedmen were residents, not citizens
"First of all, the government benefits you speak of aren’t benefits to us, they are a government-to-government trust responsibility to the Native people in general, bought and paid for with our blood and land.

The Freedmen were made “residents,” (Article 9 of July 19, 1866 treaty) not citizens, of the Cherokee Nation, because nobody could live within Indian Territory at the time, without paying “rent,” for lack of a better term. It was done because the slaves were already living within Indian Territory, so why not allow them to stay and make them residents of said tribes?

It would have been redundant to allow people to live within restricted boundaries, at the time, without the same rights as said people."

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Anthony D. Gritts: Check facts on tribes (The Tahlequah Daily Press 7/14)

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