Video by America Reframed
Most Americans are familiar with the Trail of Tears, when Cherokees were removed from their native lands and forced west. However, the involvement of African Americans is less known. When the U.S. Indian Removal Act forced many Native Americans to move, enslaved Africans also followed them into the frontier. After the U.S. banned slavery, men and women who were enslaved in the Cherokee Nation were granted freedom and full tribal membership—they were called Cherokee Freedmen. This excerpt from the new documentary By Blood, by America Reframed, looks at the current legal battle for tribal rights that descendants of the Freedmen are embroiled in. Both the Cherokee and Seminole Nations began denying citizenship to Freedmen descendants, arguing that they are not members of their tribe “by blood.” Watch the full film here.
This story was originally written by Nadine Ajaka and found on the Atlantic.com — https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/510728/descendants-of-cherokee-freedmen-are-being-denied-tribal-rights/
Just a note to the journalist…they were not African American..they were Cherokee of African descent…the Cherokees are just a political society, not a race…American is not a race…it’s a political construct of many races today…you can say many of the Cherokee Nation citizens then, especially the slave owners were Cherokee citizens of European and Indian descent…the Cherokee is the political part in reference and the race or color is the African (Negro), European (White) or Indian as in North American Indian the race….unfortunately people missed the importance of this history when they use modern day terms and our today’s experiences trying to relate or understand this important history…
While researching my past I learn that I am from a North American Indian/European/African past. Unfortunately through my DNA I am unable to learn what tribe may be related.
You can have native American blood and be of any race and not be given tribal rights, they have what is called the Dawes Rolls, here is some history “The Dawes Rolls, also known as the “Final Rolls”, are the lists of individuals who were accepted as eligible for tribal membership in the “Five Civilized Tribes”: Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, Chickasaws, and Seminoles. (It does not include those whose applications were stricken, rejected or judged as doubtful.) Those found eligible for the Final Rolls were entitled to an allotment of land, usually as a homestead.” This had to do not only with Tribal membership but the allocation of land. The Dawes act, The Dawes Act of 1887 authorized the federal government to break up tribal lands by partitioning them into individual plots. … The objective of the Dawes Act was to assimilate Native Americans into mainstream US society by annihilating their cultural and social traditions. Basically if you think you are a member of any of these tribes and can’t trace yourself to someone on these rolls, you aren’t considered a member. To search their data base go here. https://www.archives.gov/research/native-americans/dawes/tutorial/intro.html