This podcast explores the lost stories and untold histories of the Freedmen of Oklahoma. The goal is to unravel the tapestry of the past, sharing the voices and tales that come from the Freedmen from Indian Territory. Theirs is a history of resilience, strength and triumph. Stories of both the people and the places where Freedmen from the Five Nations lived and negotiated lives on the western frontier.
Quote from NONDOC article By Joe Tomlinson -Thursday, September 28, 2023
"While members of the Muscogee Nation Citizenship Board argued that they followed the constitution while reviewing Grayson’s and Kennedy’s applications for tribal citizenship, Muscogee Nation District Court Judge Danette Mouser ruled Wednesday that the board’s decision on both applications conflicted with the Treaty of 1866.
“The court finds that the actions of the board in denying plaintiffs’ citizenship applications and appeals were contrary to law, specifically the Treaty of 1866 and its required inclusion of the Creek Freedmen and their lineal descendants within the citizenship of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation,” Mouser wrote in her order."
TAHLEQUAH – Candidates who won their races this election cycle were officially certified July 17 in the July 8 run-off.
PRINCIPAL CHIEF - Chuck Hoskin Jr. (10,756 votes 62.76%)
DEPUTY CHIEF - Bryan Warner (10,500 votes 61.43%)
DISTRICT 1 - Sasha Blackfox-Qualls (753 votes 56.15%)
DISTRICT 6 - Daryl Legg (884 vote 76.14%)
DISTRICT 8 - Codey Poindexter (413 votes 61.64%)
DISTRICT 12 - Dora Patzkowski (587 votes 81.08%)
DISTRICT 13 - Joe Deere (533 votes 78.61%)
DISTRICT 14 - Kevin Easley Jr. (847 votes 74.89%)
AT-LARGE - Julia Coates (2,640 votes 72.47%)
This panel discusses the significance of the court’s ruling in relation to Freedmen activists and community members seeking restoration of their tribal citizenship. Craig Womack, Emory University Professor of English, moderates a panel that includes:
Click the link below to watch the interview on YouTube.
The Honorable Maxine Waters
Congresswoman, California 43rd District
The Honorable Bryan Newland
Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs
Department of the Interior, Washington, DC
The Honorable Chuck Hoskin, Jr.
The Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah, OK
The Honorable Lewis J. Johnson
The Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, Wewoka, OK
(Accompanied by the Hon. Brian Thomas Palmer, Assistant Chief, The Seminole Nation of Oklahoma)
The Honorable Michael Burrage
The Choctaw Nation, Durant, OK
The Honorable Jonodev Chaudhuri
The Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Okmulgee, OK
Mr. Stephen Greethman
The Chickasaw Nation, Oklahoma City, OK
Ms. Marilyn Vann
The Descendants of Freedmen of the Fives Tribes Association, Oklahoma City, OK
" On October 5, 2021, the Indian Health Service (IHS) issued a Dear Tribal Leader and Urban Indian Organization Leader Letter to provide an update on the agency’s position on Seminole Freedmen of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma’s eligibility to receive health services from IHS, Tribal health programs, or urban Indian organizations (I/T/U). IHS determined that Seminole Freedman are eligible for health services from the I/T/U system according to IHS’ eligibility requirements. "
Article by Joseph Lee, BuzzFeed Contributor
Posted on March 16, 2021 at 11:43 am
"By the time the Seminole Nation in Oklahoma began distributing vaccines to tribal members, LeEtta Osborne-Sampson had already witnessed nearly two dozen members of her extended family die of COVID-19. She was relieved vaccine doses had finally arrived to protect those who remained.
But when she showed up at the Indian Health Service clinic in Wewoka, the capital of the Seminole Nation, staffers refused to give her a shot. They told her that she wasn’t eligible because her tribal ID card identifies her as a Freedman, a Seminole citizen who is a descendant of enslaved Black people. When she demanded answers, staffers called over a tribal police officer. "
BY CHAD HUNTER Reporter, Sep 17, 2021
TAHLEQUAH – In a first for the Cherokee Nation, a citizen of Freedmen descent was confirmed to a government commission, marking a “history making” move for the tribe, said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.
Marilyn Vann, of Oklahoma City, was appointed by the chief, then confirmed Sept. 13 by the Tribal Council as a member of the CN Environmental Protection Commission.
BY JENNA KUNZE AUGUST 22, 2021
"OKLAHOMA CITY—LeEtta Osborne-Sampson, 59, can trace her Seminole ancestry back to the Civil War era, when her great-great-great-grandparents were counted in the federal Indian census that tribes still use today to determine Native American citizenship in Oklahoma. Her family has been considered members of the Seminole Tribe of Oklahoma ever since. "
But because of her mixed African ancestry, Osborne-Sampson is marked as something else on her tribal ID: ‘FREEDMAN CITIZEN.’
‘0/0 INDIAN BLOOD’ the front of her Seminole Nation of Oklahoma card reads. On the back: ‘VOTING BENEFITS ONLY.’
Event by Winter-Nightwolf Productions
With guests: Marilyn Vann, President of DF5CTA (Descendants of Freedman of the 5 Civilized Tribes Assoc.) and Steven Heape, VP of Rich-Heape Films Inc.
Great interview about Black Freedman and Native American children that were at boarding schools.
This hardback non-fiction book is filled with historical information and astounding visuals. It includes over 240 pages of events and biographies about people within the great state of Oklahoma. It follows in chronological order, events from before the Trail of Tears, The Land Runs, Tulsa Race Massacre, Blacks within the 5 Civilized Tribes of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Sit-Ins and much more. Information about historical icons such as Clara Luper, Ada Sipuel Fisher, Roscoe Dunjee, Walter J. Edwards, Ralph Ellison and John Hope Franklin are included. Many stories, biographies, and information from personal interviews of individuals who contributed towards civil rights in Oklahoma state history can be found in this one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
Wed, March 17, 2021 – Momentum for Choctaw Freedmen?
MARCH 17, 2021 BY ART HUGHES
Marilyn Vann (Cherokee Nation) – president of the Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes Association
Shelby Ward (Choctaw Freedman) – co-founder of the Oklahoma Freedmen Collective and Tennessee Representative for the Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes Association
Get an update on the status of the ongoing Choctaw Freedmen issue.
Is Congress coercing the Choctaw Nation into doing away with discriminatory policies?
Brian Oaster March 3, 2021 in High Country NewsThis story was originally published by Underscore.news and is republished here by permission." The chief of one of the largest Native American tribes in the United States is fighting a behind-the-scenes battle with Congress that pits racial justice against tribal sovereignty." Another quote from the article..."The Choctaw Nation’s “continued disenfranchisement of Freedmen descendants is a carefully disguised system of hidden anti-Black racism,” wrote Angela Walton-Raji, a Freedmen researcher and genealogist, in her own letter to Pelosi. Walton-Raji, like many Freedmen, is the descendant of Choctaw citizens and enslaved Africans, and considers herself Choctaw. But Walton-Raji says she’s being denied citizenship because she’s Black. "
February 25, 2021
Mary Louise Kelly interviews Graham Lee Brewer, citizen of the Cherokee Nation. "The Cherokee Nation's Supreme Court ruled this week to remove the words "by blood" from its constitution and other legal doctrines. "
Feb 20, 2021 Article in McAlester News-Capital by Derrick James
What are the freedmen? How were the slaves treated by the tribes? When were the slaves freed? Did the tribes grant citizenship to the freedmen? How many freedmen were recorded in Oklahoma? Read the article to learn the answers to those questions.
Marilyn Vann talks about the Freedman of the Five Civilized Tribes in depth.
"The five civilized tribes practiced slavery long before the establishment of the United States of America." Not all blacks were enslaved prior to the Civil War. "The Cherokee, Creek and Seminole Nations had some persons of African Descent acknowledged by these tribes as citizens prior to 1861."
Click the button below to hear the complete interview.
Graham thinks his case for MCN citizens will be a win federal courts
by Lani Hansen, January 5, 2021, in Mvskoke Media
By Angel Ellis, Reporter
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — A civil case deciding the citizenship status of Ron Graham (photo on right) could end up appealing beyond tribal judicial systems according to Graham who has sought tribal citizenship status over 18 years.
On November 27, 2020, Marilyn Vann, President of both the Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes Association and African Indians of the 5 Civilized Tribes Foundation; joined Johnnie Jae, journalist and co-host of Decolonized News Hour; and Antonio Cosme, Indigenous activist, economist, and beekeeper from Detroit.
On September 17, 2020, the Muscogee Creek Nation Supreme Court dismissed the citizenship case of Ron Graham, descendant of Creek freedmen tribal members. The case was dismissed on technical issues, not on the merits of whether or not the 1866 treaty granting rights to Creek freedmen descendants was required to be enforced by the Creek Nation. Click on link to read materials in Graham v. Muscogee (Creek) Nation Citizenship Committee in Turtle Talk: https://turtletalk.blog/2020/09/18/muscogee-creek-nation-sct-decides-graham-v-mcn-citizenship-committee-creek-freedmen/
September 14, 2020 — On this special edition of Vantage Point, host Dr. Ron Daniels aka The Professor talks with guests Ronald Graham and Marilyn Vann.
Topic: Black Native American Freedmen Demand Justice
On August 17, 2017, Hon. Judge Hogan ruled in favor of Cherokee freedmen tribal member treaty rights to citizenship. He held the tribal constitutional amendment which removed freedmen from tribal membership to be unenforceable due to the 1866 treaty. The tribe didn't challenge the ruling & sent the court order to tribal court.