Opinion: Tribes in Oklahoma struggle to deal with Freedmen

"There has been an ongoing controversy carried in various of the media outlets - it seems most particularly in the daily newspaper - about the quest of the tribal “freedmen,” that is, the descendants of the former slaves of tribal members, seeking to be carried on the tribal rolls.

On the other hand, the tribal officials and, it seems, most of the current listed members, appear to be adamant that the rolls can only carry names of those with true tribal descent. Most of the news reports of past years have featured activities of the Cherokee freedmen, probably because they may have been the most aggressive and vocal, and perhaps because they are the most numerous.

So far, the tribes have been successful in keeping the tribal rolls “pure” with only names of actual descendants of those originally entered into the rolls of the Dawes Commission in the late 1800s."

Get the Story:
Robert McDowell: Tribes struggle with how to handle the Freedmen (The Tulsa Beacon 3/8)

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