MUSCOGEE NATION JUDGE RULES BLACK FREEDMEN DESCENDANTS ELIGIBLE FOR CITIZENSHIP
News 9 - September 29, 2023 6:52 am
The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs holds a hearing on "Freedmen" provisions in tribal treaties, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, July 27, 2022. Freedmen were the freed Black people enslaved by the Five Tribes, Cherokee, Seminole, Choctaw, Muscogee (Creek) and Chickasaw nations, who were guaranteed the rights of citizens of the tribes under separate 1866 treaties with the United States. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
A Muscogee nation judge rules the tribe must admit Freedmen descendants as citizens.
The judge ordered the tribal citizenship office to admit two black descendants who sued when they were refused citizenship.
While this decision could mean that Muskogee Creek Nation Black Freedmen will become full citizens of the tribe, the Creek Nation has also said they’ll continue to fight this decision in tribal court.
The plaintiffs said they’re ready because they’ve been fighting this case in different forms for 40-plus years, and this is the most significant ruling that’s come in their favor.
Black Freedmen are descendants of tribal slaves who have been fighting for citizenship since the 1979 Constitution blocked the pathway they had. The attorney said even though pending appeal could have some problems, this ruling puts the momentum on their side.
“This is a great day. This is a great victory. This will change the lives of Black Creek Freedmen throughout this country and particularly in this community,” expressed Attorney Damario Solomon Simmons.
He said that the two plaintiffs in this case using this ruling will go to Okmulgee on Friday and apply for tribal citizenship. They also would like to meet with Chief David Hill to try to reconcile.
The Muscogee Creek Nation says it will appeal to tribal Supreme Court, and from there, it could go into the U.S. federal courts.