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."

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

Related Stories:
Cherokee professor to develop Freedmen history (7/11)
Cherokee Freedmen to host meeting in Oklahoma (7/1)
Obama meets Congressional Black Caucus (6/20)
Artman wrote Freedmen letter before resigning (6/13)
Letter: Rep. Watson wrong on Cherokee Freedmen (6/13)
Rep. Watson: Speech at Freedmen conference (6/11)
Cherokee Nation starts two more Freedmen websites (6/5)
Letter: Cherokee Nation chief's 'grandstanding' (6/5)
Letter: Stop 'bullying' of Cherokee Nation (6/4)
Senate approves NAHASDA reauthorization (05/23)
Opinion: Freedmen were never Cherokee citizens (5/21)
Mike Graham: The Cherokee Nation's Wounded Knee (5/20)
Opinion: Unethical removal of Cherokee Freedmen (5/16)
Rep. Watson: Obama wrong on Cherokee Freedmen (5/14)
Cherokee chief praises Obama as 'good president' (5/12)
Opinion: Freedmen victimized by Cherokee Nation (5/12)
Obama wants courts to resolve Freedmen dispute (5/9)
Letter: A solution to Cherokee Freedmen issue (5/8)
Appeals court hears Cherokee Freedmen dispute (5/7)
Appeals court to hear Cherokee Freedmen case (5/6)
Campbell: Congress destroying the Cherokee Nation (5/2)
Artman's tenure marked by Freedmen dispute (4/30)
Artman resigns after a year as head of BIA (4/29)
Opinion: Cherokee Nation's boat of federal funds (4/25)
Cherokee Freedmen dispute a threat to NAHASDA (4/24)
Opinion: The history of the Cherokee Freedmen (4/23)
Rep. Frank backs Freedmen in Cherokee funding fight (4/22)
Freedmen issue weighs heavy on Capitol Hill (4/14)
Tim Giago: CBC goes after Cherokee Nation (4/14)
Cherokee tribes denounce Freedmen legislation (4/10)
Cherokee chief to address Freedmen at conference (4/7)
Black lawmakers press Senate on Freedmen (4/4)
Cherokee Freedmen dispute up for hearing (3/27)
Opinion: Being Cherokee more than the blood (3/26)
Lawmakers press Artman on Freedmen issues (3/19)
Freedmen protest outside of Rep. Boren's office (3/3)
Black lawmakers to meet with Artman over Freedmen (1/23)