The 1866 Treaty with the Creeks, like the treaties with the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws and Seminoles, was negotiated following the end of the Civil War. It requires the Muscogee Nation to recognize the Creek Freedmen, who at the time were enslaved within tribal territory, as full citizens. Despite the provision in Article 2, the Muscogee Nation does not recognize the Freedmen descendants as citizens. Only the Cherokee Nation abides by its treaty, an obligation that was fulfilled following decades of controversy and litigation. And while the Seminole Nation was prevented from disenrolling its Freedmen in the early 2000s, the tribe continues to restrict their participation in certain programs.
We can’t just choose to learn what we want to know — and not what we should know.— President Biden (@POTUS) June 1, 2021
We memorialize what happened in Tulsa 100 years ago so it can’t be erased.
Shortly before Biden’s visit, the Choctaw Nation announced an initiative to restore the Choctaw Freedmen to citizenship. The Chickasaw Nation, which never fully implemented the Freedmen provisions of the Choctaw and Chickasaw treaty, has not made any public statements about the issue. The leaders of the Muscogee, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole tribes greeted Biden during his arrival in Tulsa and took part in the commemoration of the Greenwood massacre earlier this month Secretary Deb Haaland, who leads the Department of the Interior, has encouraged these tribes to “meet their moral and legal obligations to the Freedmen.” A conviction of violating 18 U.S.C. § 871 is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and by a fine of up to $250,000. “Making online threats to murder public officials and their families has consequences,” said acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “The arrest and filing of criminal charges is the first step in holding individuals accountable for their alleged actions.”
“The Cherokee Nation’s actions have brought this longstanding issue to a close and have importantly fulfilled their obligations to the Cherokee Freedmen,” @SecDebHaaland said in approving @CherokeeNation constitution to protect Freedmen citizenship rights. https://t.co/NWB7p7K6hI— indianz.com (@indianz) May 12, 2021
Cherokee Nation constitution approved with protections for Freedmen citizens (May 12, 2021)
Underscore.news: Choctaw Nation resists treaty promise to Freedmen (March 9, 2021)
Chuck Hoskin: The Cherokee Nation must honor its word (February 24, 2021)
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