Just to be clear—we shouldn’t even have to be called Freedmen anymore. Our ancestors were freed from slavery over 150 years ago, but our tribes still label us that way 🤔 Even the Cherokee Nation, which accepts Freedmen as citizens, requires them to apply through a separate
“Freedmen” process. Why are we still being identified by the enslavement of our ancestors or by our African ancestry? We are Choctaws, Chickasaws, Creeks, Seminoles, and Cherokees and should be treated as such. People with 1/1024 blood quanta in the tribes are not separated into
different categories or called “white Cherokees” or “white Choctaws”. Even people who have evidence of their ancestors getting onto the By Blood Rolls by fraud are not separated from other tribal members but we are, based solely on our ancestors’ racial designations
and enslavement statuses. We are obviously using these terms for legal reasons, as that’s how we are legally set aside by both our tribes and the federal government but we shouldn’t have to continue having to have a clause with our tribal identification. It’s 2020.
We aren’t freed slaves, so why are we still being treated like we are? And even if we were freed slaves, the Freedmen label was one that was truly enforced on the tribes by the federal government. Before the Dawes Commission began enrolling tribal members, we had a variety of
labels and in some tribes, freed slaves mixed with “Native Blood” were considered to be “Half Bloods” or other “Mixed Bloods,” similar to people mixed with white.

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More from @ChoctawFreedmen

21 Nov
Just to be clear, removing protections for a group that is actively being denied citizenship rights or who is being treated as a second class citizen because of their race is not a “mistake.” @RepDebHaaland co-sponsored a bill that removed protections for Freedmen of the
Five Tribes who are currently being either denied citizenship rights altogether due to their ancestors’ African ancestry and enslaved status or who are being denied services in their tribes due to that ancestry (Jim Crow and 3/5ths Compromise policies).
That isn’t a small mistake. That could literally mean the continuation of Jim Crow, segregation, and racism in Indian Country IF Ded Haaland does not change her position and do so publicly. In order to best service all Native people in this country, she needs to publicly
Read 4 tweets
19 Nov
The first Native American VP, Charles Curtis, was also the person who authored the Curtis Act, which dispossessed the Five Tribes (Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, and Creek Nations) of their collective land. He supported “transitions” into dominate white society.
Is this the representation we want from @RepDebHaaland? As Freedmen, we do not want our descendants to look back and know that we stood idle while natives were pushed into positions of power that ultimately undermined Black Natives.
Read 4 tweets
19 Nov
There is modern-day Jim Crow in Indian Territory against Black descendants of slaves owned by Native masters. @RepDebHaaland has supported policies that will allow these policies to continue.

“We are being discriminated against by our own Nation because we are Black.”
“Not because we’re Indians, but because we are Black, we have Black blood. We are counted every year for the money that they get for ALL the government programs and they vote us out every year of those programs.”
“Investigate our nation for the problem that they’re having right now with the Blackness of our skin and the crook in our hair. We ARE Seminoles and we will always be Seminoles. We were born Seminoles. We will die Seminoles and we stand with Seminole Nation.”
Read 5 tweets
18 Nov
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but defending tribal systemic anti-Blackness as some assertion of “sovereignty” is not the serve you think it is. All you’re communicating to Black Natives is that you think we have no right to be a part of the decision-making process.
By equating anti-Blackness with tribal sovereignty, you communicate to us that we are not a part of the “sovereign Nation.” That somehow Black Natives are not really members of Native nations and that we should be relegated to compliance with what the non-Black majority wants.
When you kick us out of our tribes or preclude us from voting on so-called “sovereign” decisions, you’re really undermining your own sovereignty by removing entire populations from our nations. You’re slowly shrinking our nations and excluding some of the people most connected
Read 4 tweets
18 Nov
Our ancestors were forced into Oklahoma by the federal government’s anti-Indigenous removal policies that forced the Five Tribes to walk the Trail of Tears. Our ancestors also would have never had to walk the Trail of Tears had their Indigenous masters not enslaved them.
As Afro-Indigenous descendants of enslaved people owned by Native masters, our relationships to the federal government and to our tribes are complex. Had it not been for the federal government’s intervention, our ancestors would’ve continued to be enslaved past 1866.
They were only freed from bondage in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations because the federal government strongly urged for the abolishment of slavery in Indian Territory following the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations’ loss with the rest of the Confederacy in 1866.
Read 5 tweets
18 Nov
These Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Creek Nations enslaved our ancestors and brought them on the Trail of Tears IN CHAINS and are now denying us citizenship, the right to vote, access to tribal funding programs, access to tribal cultural programs, access to tribal schools, etc.
The Seminole Nation enslaved the ancestors of Seminole Freedmen and tried to kick them out of their tribe. When that failed, they reluctantly relegated Seminole Freedmen to partial and unequal citizenship—counting them when requesting federal funds but then not allowing them to
access any tribal programs. Hmmm where have we seen this type of behavior before? Well, the Jim Crow South and the 3/5 Compromise. We cannot stand by and allow this behavior to continue to be funded by our federal tax dollars.
Read 4 tweets

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