Freedmen Descendants’ Tribal Citizenship News Coverage

NYTs: “Tribes to Confront Bias Against Descendants of Enslaved People.”

Underscore: “Race and Tribal Sovereignty Clash in Congressional Dispute Over Enrollment.”

AP: “Black Freedmen struggle for recognition as tribal citizens.”

Choctaw Nation: “An Open Letter From Chief Gary Batton.

NPR: “Choctaw Nation Taking First Steps To Grant Citizenship To Freedmen.”

Additional materials on the Greenwood massacre.

AP: “‘The foundation of the wealth:’ Why Black Wall Street boomed.

California COA Decides ICWA-Related Appeal Involving Cherokee/Choctaw Freedmen Descendants

The opinion in In re D.N. is here.

An excerpt:

The “by blood” requirement in the Choctaw Nation‟s Constitution, as well as others, has been interpreted as excluding the descendants of freedmen. (Allen v. Tribal Council (2006) 9 Okla. Trib. 255.) The exclusion of the descendants of former slaves of the Five Civilized Tribes is a matter of ongoing controversy. (See, e.g., Cherokee Nation v. Nash (N.D.Okla. 2010) 724 F.Supp.2d 1159.) It cannot be addressed in this dependency proceeding since membership criteria are the tribe‟s prerogative, and its determination of a child‟s eligibility for membership is conclusive for purposes of ICWA. (44 Fed.Reg. 67584, 67586 (Nov. 26, 1979); § 224.3, subd. (e)(1); In re Jack C., III (2011) 192 Cal.App.4th 967, 978.)

Tenth Circuit Rejects Tribal Membership Claim by Alleged Choctaw Freedman Descendant

Here is the opinion in Greene v. Impson.

An excerpt:

The question in this appeal is whether officials from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) violated Charles Greene’s constitutional rights by failing to provide him an application form to allow descendants of Choctaw Indian Freedman to apply for federal recognition as an Indian.


Greene Appellant Brief

Federal Appellee Brief

Greene Reply Brief