Documentary about Freedmen struggle premieres in Oklahoma

Trailer: By Blood

By Blood, a documentary about the Freedmen dispute within the Cherokee Nation premiered last weekend in Oklahoma.

The Freedmen are the descendants of former slaves held within the tribe. They say an 1866 treaty requires them to be treated like any other Cherokee citizen.

“We’re still being treated the way they treated us back then," Freedmen descendant Sylvia Davis says in the film, Hyperallergic reported.

Freedmen descendants protest outside a Bureau of Indian Affairs office in Muskogee, Oklahoma. File photo from Marilyn Vann, the president of the Descendants Of Freedmen Of The Five Civilized Tribes

The Freedmen won a major ruling before the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court in March 2006 that affirmed their right to citizenship. Tribal members a year later voted to change their constitution to oust the Freedmen.

The Obama administration is supporting the Freedmen in a lawsuit pending in federal court. Oral arguments were heard more than a year ago but a decision hasn't been issued.

Get the Story:
The Freedmen Fight for Tribal Citizenship in a New Documentary (Hyperallergic 6/18)

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