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(6,942 posts)
Fri Dec 18, 2020, 11:57 PM Dec 2020

Deb Haaland may have some explaining to do ...

Me and my siblings all have our Roll cards, because our father was a full-blooded Creek Indian, but I'm very concerned about her position as it relates to several of my friends who are Freedmen descendants who have been working for a long while to restore their Muskogee (Creek) Nation citizenship, who tell me that Pres. Elect Biden was told about this potential problem of Haaland's, but he went on ahead with her appointment, but she has NOTchanged her stance as of now.

Freedmen Seek Their Fair Share of Billions of Dollars in Federal Aid and Why We Should Care/Rise UP and Support Them
By Eli Grayson

Eagle Guest Writer

Eli Grayson is a Creek Citizen and unabashed supporter of the Freedmen descendants of the 5 Civilized Tribes and the 1866 Reconstruction Treaties.

This past week, we celebrated our Nation’s 244th year of Independence with family and friends over BBQ and fireworks, we should all stop to reflect on its significance, particularly in light of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

The protests that have swept the country by those outraged over the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and far too many others, most of whose names have not garnered national attention, has sparked a long-overdue National dialogue about the treatment of Black Americans in the United States, a reckoning with this country’s past, the many vestiges of slavery that continue today, and what we as a country can and must do to address racism. [It also reminds ALL of us that we have a long way to go.]

Not only have the egregious deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery led to a growing chorus of voices calling for criminal justice reform, it has prompted many to reflect upon racism in both its subtle and overt forms today. It has prompted many to learn about events long celebrated by Black Americans such as Juneteenth (even the NFL recently recognized Juneteenth as an official holiday). And it has prompted many to consider what steps we as individuals, and as a society, can take to affirmatively address it. Here in Oklahoma, attention has focused on Black Wall Street and the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre.

While the focus of public discussion rightly has been on police brutality, another type of discrimination has quietly remained under the radar in our community. Many readers may not be familiar with the story of the Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes.

Eli Grayson, Freedmen Descendants, Muscogee, Oklahoma, The Oklahoma Eagle
Freedmen camped at Fort Gibson to enroll. (15805, Aylesworth Album Collection, OHS).
Well known is the U.S. Government’s abhorrent treatment of Native Americans, which included abrogation of countless treaties, appropriation of land, and forced removal to Western territories, including what is today Oklahoma.

Less well known, however, is the fact that the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole Nations – collectively known today as the Five Civilized Tribes – enslaved Africans. Like Southern plantation owners, they bought and sold slaves and treated them as chattel property. Indeed, slaveholding was such an integral part of the daily life of these tribal nations that each entered treaties with the Confederate States of America in 1861 to ensure its continuance.

Many Americans recently learned for the first time about the meaning and significance of Juneteenth, when nearly all remaining slaves in the United States and its territories were freed – a full 71 days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox on April 9, 1865 to Union forces led by General Ulysses S. Grant.

Enslaved Africans of Indian Territory

This was not the case for the enslaved Africans of Indian Territory. Even after Lee’s surrender, and even after General Granger read his Orders, the enslaved Africans of Indian Territory were kept in bondage. Sadly, it was not until the Five Tribes of Indian Territory entered Treaties with the U.S. Government on March 21, with the Seminole Nation, on April 28, with the Chickasaw and Choctaw Nations, on June 14, with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and on July 19, with the Cherokee Nation in 1866 – more than a year after Lee’s surrender – were these slaves granted freedom, tribal citizenship, and equal interest in the soil and national funds. Each of these treaties (collectively known as the Treaties of 1866) contained provisions freeing the slaves and an express acknowledgement that the U.S. Constitution was, and shall remain, the Supreme Law of the land. Notably, there was no mention of tribal law or sovereignty insulating these slave holding tribes from full compliance with the U.S. Constitution, which includes all the Civil War reconstruction amendments.

Congressional legislation

How can such self-reflection be carried out today? To begin, it means that the Five Civilized Tribes must stand with, not against, the Freedmen in connection with ongoing, critical discussions taking place behind closed doors in the Halls of Congress over the distributions of billions of dollars in federal taxpayer housing dollars to tribal members and the descendants of Freedmen. Although not widely known, Congress is considering three major pieces of legislation that collectively would provide billions to Native American tribes. And these much-needed resources are in addition to the Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars that were authorized under the CARES Act adopted in late March.

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Deb Haaland may have some explaining to do ... (Original Post) LenaBaby61 Dec 2020 OP
Thanks for posting. I was unaware of this situation and it's attendant issues. alwaysinasnit Dec 2020 #1
Please be sure to read the entire article through to the end. nt DURHAM D Dec 2020 #3
If you read the whole story that tweet doesn't really match DURHAM D Dec 2020 #2
Thank you. sheshe2 Dec 2020 #4
Back in the 70s I was touring the Five Civilized Tribes Museum in Muskogee. DURHAM D Dec 2020 #9
Divide and rule is live and well n/t malaise Dec 2020 #11
This seems to be much more complicated than the tweet suggests. StarfishSaver Dec 2020 #5
she co-sponsored a Native American Housing Bill bigtree Dec 2020 #6
It appears we don't have the whole story Crazyleftie Dec 2020 #7
A slam from whom? LenaBaby61 Dec 2020 #8
to get attention for the issue discussed Crazyleftie Dec 2020 #12
Interesting, kick! burrowowl Dec 2020 #10


(32,549 posts)
2. If you read the whole story that tweet doesn't really match
Sat Dec 19, 2020, 12:17 AM
Dec 2020

this important legislation. Maxine will make sure the Freedmen are protected.

This issue is complicated and given that Congresswoman Haaland is not a member of one of the 5 so-called Civilized Tribes give her a break. I am certain she is not racist. eos


(82,796 posts)
4. Thank you.
Sat Dec 19, 2020, 12:23 AM
Dec 2020

I followed the links to find out what was going on. It is late and to tired to follow it all. I appreciate your post and trust your opinion, Durham.


(32,549 posts)
9. Back in the 70s I was touring the Five Civilized Tribes Museum in Muskogee.
Sat Dec 19, 2020, 12:47 AM
Dec 2020

I asked the guide why the five tribes were called "The Five Civilized Tribes".

She responded: Because they owned slaves.

I gasped. Everyone in the area reacted the same and suddenly everyone was asking questions of the tour guide. It was crazy. I had heard about the Five Civilized all my life but had never thought to ask why and apparently no one else had asked why.

So, none of us knew that when they were removed from the south they were allowed to bring their slaves with them.

btw - Part of what makes the issues and tracking so complicated is that sometimes the Native Americans said someone was their slave, other times they said he/she was married to a tribal member but some were escaped slaves who just traveled with them to Oklahoma territory. Apparently the Natives had fun confusing the military. So, today it remains confusing.

can't believe this happened almost 50 years ago... clearly I never forgot it.


(85,590 posts)
6. she co-sponsored a Native American Housing Bill
Sat Dec 19, 2020, 12:24 AM
Dec 2020

...there's no indication she had any control over the tribes getting less of a share of the money.

I suppose that's why they're asking her to clarify her position. But you must know recognition will be President Biden's decision to make.


(458 posts)
7. It appears we don't have the whole story
Sat Dec 19, 2020, 12:34 AM
Dec 2020

no indication of the why of the proposal/vote, so this is just a slam to get attention....


(458 posts)
12. to get attention for the issue discussed
Sat Dec 19, 2020, 06:58 AM
Dec 2020

In a historic moment that should be a cause for celebration, a first for a native american to be in a cabinet position, and finally having some influential input and direction in policy affecting the lives of native americans, why else would this unrelated issue be brought up?
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