Friday, January 29, 2010
This Week is 6th Anniversary of Redding Rancheria's D-Day: Indian Termination Via Disenrollment of the Foreman Family
We recently posted about their website tribalcorruption.com and Carla Maslin, Bob Foreman Sr.'s daughter wrote to us.
Here some of the letter that Carla Maslin sent to us:
It is ironic that you posted this today as it is anniversary or "the D-Day" for all 76 members of my family.
We were "Disenrolled" on this day in 2004. It is with me everyday. I relive it like a movie playing over & over in my mind.
I served as a tribal council person for many years & look back at all that was accomplished over the years. Our small tribe started with nothing & with only a few who were there to see that the seeds were planted for all lineal descendants of the 17 original distributees.
My great grand mother Virginia Timmons (OP: Tracy Edwards grandmother said, "JUST DIG HER UP, SHE IS JUST A BAG OF BONES! )was one of them. My dad was the first tribal Chairperson, one who wanted the healthcare system for Indians. The land that was once my ancestor's land is now apart of where our gaming came to be, because my grandmother & her children wanted that for the tribe. We could have not have had gaming at that time without certain land.
The betrayal of our community is the most unforgettable. It is a crime for them to commit fraud, injustice, & lies to the public about my family's bloodline & heritage. As it would be for any human being whose roots, blood ties and connections to their ancestors is an unwritten and sacred law. It is an outrage.
My Father died without justice. I still remember when Tracy Edwards, Tribal Chairperson at that time promised me that my family would not be disenrolled. She told me she loved my family. I can still hear her voice. She and others told me that it was Barbara Hayward-Murphy who wanted us out.
There is so much more involved regarding the corruption of these tribal leaders. Gary Hayward, Casino G. M. told my family to our faces at a local movie theater that "he was glad that we were disenrolled." "The money is great!" He was boasting about it! He then wanted to fight my brother right then & there. He & his wife were told to leave by the theater management.
It amazes me that these people are treated like royalty from our community leaders. I guess it is the money. I hope someday there is justice for all. Us included. We will never forget & it is important to keep the voices of the victims out there. We are also taking a stand for the voices of those who have passed away & cannot speak out for themselves. Their dignity and their family name has also been attacked with nothing more than lies.
The "truth" is on our side. We just need someone to hear it & stand with us.
Please read more of the story at the links above. Please share with your friends on Facebook. Please ask them to visit this site and tribalcorruption.com Help provide JUSTICE for those terminated by their tribes in CA and the U.S.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
One of the heroes of California's Native Americans, the late Bob Foreman, the first tribal chairman of the Redding Rancheria, until he was terminated by the tribe, and his family have a website: Tribal Corruption.com
The website is filled with video and many stories of tribes throughout the country that have stripped the rights of many of their citizens. I urge you to look at this site, often and pass it on to your friends and family.
Other sites: www.airro.org http://pechanga.info
Thanks to Mark and Carla Maslin for all their help in keeping tribalcorruption.com going.
Monday, January 25, 2010
The Casino tribes promised they would take care of our budget issues if we gave them more machines. How's that working out for us?
They said that non gaming tribes would benefit. How's that working out for them?
They said they would take care of their tribal members. How's that working out for over 3,000 tribesman who have been terminated from tribes like Pechanga, Enterprise, Redding, San Pascual, Picayune?
Here's Attila the CPA's post:
The courts offer a forum for resolving many disputes but there are many matters that can’t be effectively resolved by judges and juries, and are effectively resolved in other ways. The courts are reluctant to interfere in who may be a shareholder in a business, or a member of an Indian tribe. Courts cannot second-guess the kind of expenditures that enterprises can make in the furtherance of legitimate purposes except in limited circumstances.
In most enterprises there is a need for professional managers to represent the interests of the owners. This separation of “ownership” and “management” gives rise to needed mechanisms to assure management serves the needs of the owners, and does not confuse management’s interest with the interests of the owners. These “Internal Controls” assure the free flow of reliable information from business and governmental managers to the owners. This information flow assures that shareholders are treated fairly, and that business or government entities expenditures legitimately further the interest of the business or governmental enterprise. It is through fair and complete reporting from managers, that the owners protect their interest.
There are bad guys out there!
In order to prevent Organized Crime from taking over Indian Gaming, The National Indian Gaming Commission and others have developed Minimum Internal Control Standards for Indian Gaming (MICS). There has been considerable resistance from the tribes over the implementation, and content of the MICS, and who should enforce these rules. Some of the tribes want another bite at the apple in drafting the rules.
Who can we trust?
The Tribes say that they can do it themselves; the NIGC says that it is their job, and Jerry Brown; the California Attorney General says that it is his job. While they squabble over who has oversight over enforcement, Tribal Members and the Public pay the price for inaction.
Where the #$%@ are the Auditors?
CPA’s routinely examine payments to shareholders to verify that all shareholders are treated fairly and paid according to terms of the entities entity’s enabling documents, For Indian Tribal Governments, This audit step confirms adherence to policies as outlined in the tribal bylaws and compliance with documentation standards applicable to governmental entities. Tribal compliance with the policies is not exempt from verification under auditing rules. Other audit procedures confirm that regulatory requirements and tax rules are followed, and that Officers and Employees don’t divert organizational resources to themselves.
The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act requires that a CPA firm audit Tribal gaming activities. Additionally The White House Office of Management and Budget requires that a CPA audited Annual Report, along with a report of Internal Control deficiencies be submitted as a condition for receiving Public Funds. The tribal annual reports must follow Governmental Accounting Standards Board accounting rules and disclosure rules and be available to the Public. While the tribes have often placed restrictions on the availability of these reports, they are available, as evidenced by the Torres Martinez Audit Reports published recently by the Palm Springs Desert Sun in conjunction with yet another Indian Country scandal.
There are significant resources fighting against effective oversight of tribal leaders. Tribal leaders fear disclosure. Politicians like Jerry Brown drag their feet to slow the implementation of needed oversight in order to increase their share of tribal campaign financing kitty. Additionally, tribal members have been reluctant to insist on accountability from their leaders out of fear of disenrollment and other forms of retaliation.
Let’s put it in the newspaper!
Now is the time to hold the tribal leaders feet to the fire, and demand full disclosure of internal control deficiencies, and their stewardship of tribal resources. The Palm Springs Desert Sun, to their credit, has shown us how to do it. We must insist that the Pechanga Audit reports be made public, and that Internal control deficiencies be corrected, and that the BIA and other Federal and State agencies be required to explain any failures to exercise their oversight responsibilities.
Attorney General Jerry Brown casts himself as a no-nonsense prosecutor. But when it comes to asserting state oversight of casinos owned by Indian tribes, he's been less than aggressive.
Tribes that own the state's most lucrative casinos are betting early that Brown will be the next governor. Based on his actions as attorney general, those casino owners will have a friend in the most important corner office in California.
In 2008, for example, Brown sided with the tribes and against the state Gambling Control Commission, which wanted to impose new requirements on the tribe's casino operations, similar to how Nevada casinos are regulated.
Since then, he has collected $692,000 from tribes into various campaign and charitable accounts. Brown says there is no connection. But his view is that the state has a limited role overseeing tribe-owned casinos – and that ought to give voters some pause, regardless of their views on gambling.
AND.... we TOLD YOU SO: Tribes don't need to disclose their take. Federal and state governments have ceded almost all oversight to the casinos' owners.
WHY do we think that Brown may not have the people of California's best interests in mind:
To this end, he gathered 30 tribal leaders and their consultants together early in December at the Somerset, a chic eatery in Oakland's boutique-y Rockridge section.
They dined on entrees of salmon, roasted chicken and flatiron steak, and an apple crisp that was to die for. Brown raised $205,000 in November and December from the tribes.
Since Brown's election as attorney general in 2006, tribes that own casinos have donated $715,000 to Brown's coffers for attorney general and governor, and to charities that operate charter schools he established in Oakland.
The timing of that money is particularly interesting. Brown collected almost all of it – $692,000, or 96 percent – after September 2008 when he sided with tribes and against the state Gambling Control Commission
Let's not make another mistake and vote for Jerry Brown.
See the article
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Will she give equal weight to tribe's like Pechanga, which told Congress that they wanted to preserve land to the tune of 700 acres because of its "sacred to the Pechanga people" who then put a golf course on the land and called it a 'zoning change'!
Step up Senator Boxer. INVESTIGATE!
The tribes have had a very difficult time in the past — a lot of difficulty getting the funds they feel they deserve to have,” Boxer said. “Now there's been a settlement decree, and we're trying to put that into law, to make sure the tribes are being treated fairly.
“It would be very sad if the tribes lost the confidence of the public. (But) everybody has to play by the rules.”
What about what the tribes have done the INDIVIDUAL INDIAN, SENATOR?
“They've lost the ability to administer this program,” Bono Mack said of the Torres-Martinez, a tribe of approximately 445 members with a reservation southeast of the Coachella Valley along State Highway 86 and the Salton Sea's western shore. “They've lost the credibility to administer the program.”
Bono Mack on Wednesday wrote the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General, expressing her concern and seeking clarification on a number of points related to the tribal welfare program
See Desert Sun Story HERE
The Desert Sun Investigation finds:
The Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program's required audits have outlined serious negative findings each year since 2002, with many of the same issues persisting for years despite tribal assurances that fixes were in place or on the way.
The Desert Sun analysis of the audits revealed:
The federal government in 2005 found that the program potentially “misused” more than $6 million in taxpayer money in fiscal years 2002 and 2003.
Program officials were able to justify some of the spending, but agreed in 2007 to pay a penalty of more than $1.5 million as a result of misuse of welfare funds.
“As of December 2008 the tribe is not in compliance with the terms of the agreement,” the tribe's auditor stated in September 2009.
Year after year, how much money the program has on hand, how much it has spent or whether spending followed federal laws and program rules often could not be verified because of the “inaccurate,” “misstated” or incomplete financial records of the tribal program.
More than $50,000 in undocumented credit card expenditures by program administrators, most carrying late fees and interest penalties.
The Torres-Martinez tribal welfare program purchased 45 cars for use by 90 employees and then failed to track where the cars were or how they were being used.
OP: Isn't it PAST time that the citizens of California get to see how the tribes handle their finances? They get a monopoly on gaming and as we told you last year, the Propositions would let them audit their own books and then tell us it was okay. We need accountablility and we need our elected officials to watch out for us. We won't be able to count on Jerry Brown, he takes so much money from tribes he can't be looking out for the people of California.
THANK YOU Rep. Bono Mack!
Friday, January 22, 2010
Lynn Valbuena, the current vice chairwoman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, was unanimously reelected as chairwoman of TASIN to a three-year term, a position she has held since 1995.
In addition to her service to TASIN and San Manuel, Valbuena also serves as Secretary of the National Indian Gaming Association and is a member of the Board of Trustees for the National Museum of the American Indian of the Smithsonian Institution. She is also on the Board of Trustees for the Autry National Center in Los Angeles.
Maurice Lyons, the current vice chairman of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, was elected TASIN vice chairman for a two-year term. Lyons replaces Patrick Murphy of Pechanga.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Salgado has led the Soboba tribe, east of San Jacinto, intermittently for more than 30 years since he was first elected in 1976. He has long fought diabetes and walks with a cane, but has said his health has not affected his leadership, The Press-Enterprise reported.
In October, Salgado was charged in a 36-count indictment on charges that he accepted $250,000 in bribes to pay his personal debt in exchange for contracts at the Soboba Casino and the reservation. He pleaded not guilty. A trial date is scheduled for May 7.
Salgado has given up his chairmanship, pending resolution of the charges.
In a 2008 dispute with Sheriff Stanley Sniff, Salgado demanded that deputies identify themselves before entering the reservation, and Sniff responded by trying to get the casino's gaming license suspended. That beef has since been resolved.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
10 Things You Can Do To Help Stop the Lawlessness in Indian Country
1. Call, Write, and Email your Congressional representatives and tell them that the violations of human rights and civil liberties must be stopped and the violators must be prosecuted.
OP: If only 10 people send a letter, it makes no impact, 11 is more, 120 is better. Don't sit back and hope somebody writes a letter, or email or fax. Send one yourself and one for your wife and kids and ask your neighbors if you can send one on their behalf.
2. Write letters to the editors of your local newspapers describing the violations of human rights and civil liberties occurring in Indian Country.
OP: How do you think we got a news piece on KNBC (linked at my blogroll)? The editors will right about what their readers want to read.
3. Boycott Indian Casinos owned by those tribes whose tribal officials have violated the human rights and civil liberties of its citizens and customers. (List coming soon to Pechanga.Info Homepage)
OP: I used to spend $3,000 a year at Pechanga, but no more. I tell people now, not to go there, and why.
4. Get others to boycott with you.
OP: How about your high school reunion committee that's thinking of having it at the casinos? Nope. And send a letter to the casinos telling them WHY you aren't having it on their properties.
5. Stand beside those who have been wronged - walk the protest lines.
6. Speak out about the injustices occurring in Indian Country. Don't hide behind the fear "that you might be next".
OP: Bullies will beat up on those who won't defend themselves. We are living proof.
7. Stand up to your tribal leaders and show them that you won't tolerate being a part of creating another era of dishonor and genocide against Indian People. Do not hide behind the shame of what is being done to your family and friends
OP: Had more of the other families brought their relatives in to vote, we wouldn't be in this situation. One vote lost by 4 votes.
8. Join and support the American Indian Rights and Resources Organization or any other organizations that work to promote, protect and preserve human rights and civil liberties in Indian Country.
9. Persuade local business and community leaders not to accept Casino money from tribal officials that violate the human and civil rights of any individual.
OP: How is it that school districts will support illegal immigration, but not support those who suffer the violation of civil rights by their Native neighbors?
10. Support and encourage those who have had their human rights and civil liberties violated by tribal officials.
OP: Say, like commenting on blogs, or passing the blog address to friends or visiting the blogs 3-5 times a day to show some love? Or now, with social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace, you can link to blog stories so that all your "friends" can see it on their profile pages. Also, become friends with politicians and newspeople so you can share the stories with them.
For more information on the fight to end lawlessness in Indian Country, please continue to visit tribalcorruption.com or contact email@example.com or www.airro.org
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Which Group of Federally Recognized Indians Is One of The Largest in California? Disenrolled and Moratorium Bound People
Why are they NOT represented at President Barack Obama's Listening Sessions? Where is the EQUAL Protection for this group of Native Americans?
UPDATE: Commenter JAG fills in some of the blanks for you all and I think it's important to promote it on this post:
Thousands of men, women, children, and elders make up the fastest growing California Indian Group since the turn of the century. (JAG means the 21st Century)
The growth of Indian gaming has spawned a movement among California Indian leaders to reduce or limit the number of California Indians who benefit from Indian gaming. (In Pechanga's case, it includes and unconstitutional moratorium, in ADDITION to disenrollments)
Whether it be Pechanga and San Pasqual in the Southern part of the State; Redding, Robinson, and Enterprise Rancherias in the North; or Chukchansi in the Central Valley, leaders at these and other Tribes have violated the basic human and civil rights of thousands.
Such violations include the denial of due process and equal protection of tribal and federal laws; denial of participation in the political process; and denial of basic services afforded other tribal members.
Indeed, the violations have gone as far as to require the desecration of Indian burials and re-classification of tribal citizens to 2nd class status.
There is no end in sight, not as long as tribal leaders are allowed to invoke tribal sovereignty to protect themselves from being prosecuted for their crimes. Even though it is quite clear that laws have been broken and crimes committed, there is no means by which to address such actions.
While California's tribal leaders continue to reduce and limit their member numbers, California's newest class of Indians will continue to grow.
Where our ancestors once endured a century of dishonor at the hands of numerous "foreign" governments, thousands of California Indians find themselves in a time where the dishonor and destruction have been brought forth by their own leaders- men and women who do not have more blood or greater ancestral ties (in fact, some leaders come from families adopted into the tribes) than those they have oppressed.
Saturday, January 9, 2010
With the election taking attention away, we hope that the Department of the Interior will now find time to meet with Temecula Indians who are in danger of being on the outside looking in while negotiations over their water could be under control of a tribe that ousted them from membership. Namely, the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, led by Mark Macarro.
Here is a link to TESTIMONY.
I. The Department of the Interior and Pechanga Band Failed to Notify Allottees of the Negotiations to Settle Water Rights
2. After several requests, the Department has not allowed us to participate in Negotiations
3. Pechanga Tribal Officials do not Represent the Interests of all Temecula Indians or Temecula Indian Allottees
4. Temecula Indian and Temecula Indian Allottees should be Parties to the Settlement Negotiations and consulted regarding pending Acts of Congress
5. Prior to any action, HR 5413, and other Acts, should be Amended to Reflect the Ownership Interests and Water Rights Due Temecula Indians and Temecula Indian Allottees not represented by Pechanga Tribal Officials
6. The term ‘Tribal Water Right’ should be Amended to Reflect Benefit for Temecula Band and Temecula Indian Allottees
7. Entitlement to Water Shall be Satisfied by the Department of the Interior, the Temecula Band, or the Pechanga Band; and Temecula Indians and/or Temecula Indian Allottees shall not be Subject to the Pechanga Water Code or other Pechanga Band laws
Additionally, it would be pre-mature and irresponsible to approve HR 5413 in its current form as a large group of affected water rights owners, namely Temecula Indians and Temecula Indian Allottees, have been denied the right to participate in the settlement negotiations.
Friday, January 8, 2010
Dissenting Opinion Jeffredo v Macarro
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Will Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar Leave Office BEFORE Holding Tribes That Have Violated Their People's Civil Rights Accountable?
Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (D) announced Wednesday that he would not seek reelection this fall, saying it would free him "to make the tough and unpopular decisions that need to be made.
His departure could also affect the Interior Department's top staff, because Salazar brought several aides with him.
And, lastly, the title is a JOKE. Does anyone REALLY think Salazar cares about the THOUSANDS of tribal members that have been harmed by their tribes in America? Is there a LISTENING meeting scheduled for them?
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Today and tomorrow, the California Valley Miwok
(CVM) and their supporters will hold “an open protest against the Bureau of Indian Affairs” at the Bureau’s Central Valley Agency Central California Agency in Sacramento, California.
The protest is meant to draw attention to the Bureau’s actions to withhold P.L. 638 contract money and deny recognition of the current CVM leadership. As a result, the CVM contends that it cannot pay its bills and faces eviction from Tribal property that has already been foreclosed on.
The CVM accuses the Bureau, and Bureau officials, of violating federal law and the civil rights of the tribal members in denying federal funding and services to the Tribe.
However, the pleas for help only tell half the story. The recent history of the CVM is one of competing factions struggling to control the Tribe which eventually led to the disenrollment of a long-time Tribal leader.
Based on this disenrollment and the current CVM leadership’s failure to include eligible Tribal members, including the disenrolled, in the development and passage of the Tribe’s Constitution, the Bureau has declined to recognize the constitutional election and the current CVM Chairperson. As a result, there is no recognized Tribal government (according to the Bureau).
To thousands of California Indians who, over the last decade, were subjected to disenrollment and disenfranchisement from their Tribes or denied participation in tribal elections, what has occurred at CVM is nothing new.
At places such as Pechanga, Redding Rancheria, Chukchansi, Enterprise Rancheria, Jamul Indian Village, Robinson Rancheria and numerous other California Tribal Nations, men, women, children and elders have been subjected to countless basic rights violations at the hands of tribal leaders. Most have lost jobs, elder care, education assistance, medical care, and some have even had their homes foreclosed on them.
What is new is the Bureau’s action to protect the rights of those subjected to disenrollment and/or denied the rights and privileges afforded other tribal members.
To date, the Bureau has been reluctant to act on numerous requests made by California Indians who have been harmed through disenrollment, disenfranchisement, or denial of participation in tribal matters.
These Indians, these thousands of California Indians, must now look at what is happening at CVM and wonder why the Bureau is applying one standard to that situation and another standard of review and action to cases concerning their own tribes.
The Bureau’s inconsistent handling of the current and ever-growing problem of human and civil rights violations in California Indian Country is almost negligent. In denying assistance to thousands of California Indians, the Bureau has failed to carry out the trust responsibility owed to California’s original inhabitants and created an environment for future violations to occur.
Where the CVM asks that you join them in protesting the Bureau’s actions, you should ask why the Bureau has not done this sooner and with more frequency. There is no shortage of California Tribes where the circumstances mirror those of the CVM – disenrollment, disenfranchisement, and suspect actions by tribal leaders-, so there is ample opportunity for Bureau intervention.
If you are against the tribes violating civil rights and the BIA not applying equal pressure, then join in the protest in Sacramento. Take a friend.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
There will be a protest tomorrow in Sacramento, here is the press release:
The California Valley Miwok Tribe invites you to join us in our open protest against the local Bureau of Indian Affairs, Dept. of the Interior, Central California Agency
Our Tribe is a federally recognized Tribe that is listed in the Federal Register as an Indian Entity Recognized and Eligible to receive services from the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The Central California Agency - BIA is illegally trying to re-organize a federally recognized Tribe that has never been terminated, that has a Custom and Tradition Tribal Constitution ratified by the Tribe in March 2000. The local BIA has been illegally withholding our Mature Status 638
Contract since 2008 and by refusing to confirm to the California Gambling Control Commission who our duly elected Chairperson is, BIA has caused the CGCC to illegally withhold the Tribe's Revenue Sharing Trust Fund Monies (RSTF) since 2005.
Our civil rights have been violated. The local BIA is also violating federal law
The Pechanga Bylaws and Constitution provide for OPEN ENROLLMENT each January. If you believe you belong in the tribe, you should request an application.
The address from the Pechanga website for contacting their Tribal Government is:
Pechanga Enrollment Committee
PO BOX 1477
Temecula, CA 92593
fax: (951) 695-1778
Don't take NO for an answer. It's IN their constitution. Call and ask for Frances Miranda. You can go to the government center for a packet.
Sunday, January 3, 2010
We know they have casino dollars to spend on policitcians. We know for a fact that most of us don't have those kind of funds to fight back. And we know these fights aren't won instantly. But we must understand that we can only fight with the weapons that are available to us: TIME, ENERGY, WILLPOWER and ALLIES.
We can use our TIME to: send emails, letters, faxes to our representatives reminding them of the injustices we face. As has been said, THEY HAVE THE WATCHES, we have the TIME.
Energy to get involved, either with a small donation, sharing articles and websites via MySpace and Facebook and commenting on posts you read. And we must use the social networking skills of our young to help us.
Willpower to STAY with it. Our ancestors struggled much more than we do now. We can build traffic on sites like this to show the politicians that this IS important to many of us.
Using our ALLIES to marshal our forces. We support the Freedmen here, we need their help too. We support the actions of those in California who have been terminated from their tribes, we should expect their support here.
I asked Allen Mitchell, who is a Creek Freedman, how many Creek Freedmen were in his predicament and he came up with a number of 14,000 or so. THINK about what would happen if you got all of the Freedmen to hit this site and the Creek Freedmen siteONCE per day? TRAFFIC! And it would show how serious you are. How can their 10-50 foot soldiers carry 14,000 on their backs?
We ALL have responsibilities that keep us from donating our time 24/7 BUT we ALL can spare 3 minutes a day.
Believe me, I address this issue with my own family, the Hunters, of Pechanga, who were disenrolled 3 years ago. In fact, THIS BLOG is visited 5-10 times a day from the TRIBE, if my own family would do the same, my blog would take off even better than it has. We have the BIA and Department of Interior, the U.S. House of Representative, the F.B.I ALL checking this site regularly. THEY ARE INTERESTED
Many people get disillusioned easily and that's what the Creeks, The Cherokee, The Pechanga Band, and many others who have violated their people's rights are COUNTING ON. Don't let them win without fighting! We KNOW that Pechanga had to spend 50 MILLION DOLLARS more than the other three tribes to support their Prop. 94 here in California. They KNOW they don't have the best public reputation. We need to keep REMINDING our politicians that they have LIED to the people, violated their own constitution and REMIND their customers that if they will CHEAT their OWN PEOPLE, they will cheat THEM.
Keep visiting our sites, you can help us make a difference and help YOURSELVES too.
Saturday, January 2, 2010
1) "Freedmen are only after money and benefits and don’t want to build up the tribal culture". - There is no evidence of this in actuality. Peoples of African descent who are enrolled tribal members do attend stomp dances and learn the language of their nation. Some have written books regarding history of their tribe. (An example of such an Afro-Indian is Mr. Bob Curry, an enrolled Chickasaw who has written the book, the "Chickasaw Rolls"). Many freedmen descendants are employed as engineers, doctors, lawyers, systems analysts, etc.; such individuals would not even qualify for income based tribal assistance programs such as housing assistance and have no need for Indian Health Service programs, since they can access insurance through their employers. Descendants of Freedmen for the most part, have always known that they had Indian descent as well as African descent, and never have tried to hide it. That is contrary to many of the "white Indians" whose Indian descent was not discernable; these people hid their Indian descent until after the proliferation of Indian programs began.
2) "Freedmen and their descendants have no Indian blood" - The historical record does not bear this out. Approximately 1/3 of the original Chickasaw Freedmen went to court to be transferred from the Freedmen rolls to the "Chickasaw by blood rolls". (Equity case 7071). Each of these individuals had affidavits, witnesses, parents marriage licenses, etc. in order to substantiate their case. That they did not prevail at trial was due to procedural grounds and racism in the court system, not to lack of evidence. A look at Dawes census cards also shows Freedmen with Indian descent. For example, the Dawes census card of Ed Johnson, a Chickasaw Freedmen, indicates that his father was Frank Colbert, a deceased Chickasaw Indian who was his previous owner. However, Ed Johnson was not enrolled as a Chickasaw by blood by the Dawes Commission, but was enrolled as a Chickasw freedmen. In another case, Emmitt Homer, son of Ed Homer, a fullblood Choctaw Indian who was legally married to Annie Homer, a Creek Freedwoman; was enrolled as a child by the Dawes Commission as a Creek Freedman, and not as a Choctaw by blood.
3) " Indian Freedmen did not want to be classified as Indians by blood and wanted to be classified as Freedmen". - Again, the historical record does not bear this out. Choctaw and Chickasaw Freedmen only received 40 acres at the time of the allotment, while Choctaws and Chickasaws by blood received 320 acres as their share of land allotments. It is inconceivable that an Afro-Indian Choctaw tribal member would willingly settle for 40 acres as a Freedmen rather than 320 acres as an Indian by blood, given the choice. Also, in the Chickasaw nation, the Chickasaw nation provided no education for Freedmen since they did not deem them to be Chickasaw citizens. Education for Chickasaw Freedmen was almost non-existent until Oklahoma Statehood, thus it would have been to an Afro-Chickasaw advantage to claim his Chickasaw ancestry in order to obtain education for his children. Thus it is clear that it was the Dawes Commission who made the choice of whether an individual was enrolled as a Freedmen tribal citizen or a citizen by blood. It should also be noted that many tribal citizens of African descent were not fluent English speakers and lacked education; and lacked understanding of the legal process and how to fight discrimination.
4) "Enrollment of the Freedmen descendants will bankrupt the 5 tribes" - This myth also does not hold up to scrutiny. The enrollment of Seminole Freedmen did not bankrupt the Seminole nation, which continued to enroll Seminole Freedmen as tribal members until recently. Surveys show that the average individual of African descent has a higher income than the average non-African Indian. Thus, the newly enrolled Descendants of Freedmen would be less likely to use the needs based tribal services. It must also be noted that the amount of Federal funding is tied to the number of tribal members. Thus, larger tribes such as the Navaho or the Cherokee receive a larger share of Federal Funds for programs than smaller nations such as the Peoria or the Shawnee.
5) "The Dawes Rolls are accurate rolls of tribal members blood quantums" - This again is a myth, a genealogical search of different families shows brothers and sisters of the same parents being enrolled with varying degrees of Indian blood. And again, the rolls were set up to generally record degrees of blood of those tribal members of Indian descent who had no African descent. If a tribal citizen was recorded as an adopted white citizen, he clearly had no Indian blood. However, if a tribal citizen was enrolled as a Freedmen, this did not by definition indicate a lack of Indian blood. Indian blood of Freedmen simply was not recorded.
6) "Freedmen Descendants are wannabe Indians" - Again the historical record shows this to be a myth. Unlike many other currently unenrolled individuals, Freedmen descendants do have legitimate treaty rights, and ancestors with legitimate ties to the 5 nations. Many also do have documented Indian blood, although the blood degree is not listed on the final roll . Although it is true that the majority of the tribal members prior to the civil war did not have slaves of African descent; the unpaid labor of these former slaves allowed slaveholders to have extra money to provide advanced educational opportunities for their children that helped them in their later positions as tribal leaders in dealing with the US government. (An example of such an individual was WP Ross, a member of the slaveholding Ross family who became a Cherokee Chief after the Civil War , a "mixed blood " white Indian and who was also a relative of longtime Cherokee chief John Ross). Thus, the entire nations benefited from the slave labor, not just a few individuals.
7) Freedmen “Buffalo soldiers “ were used to oppress other citizens of the Five nations – Again this is only a myth. After the Revolutionary war, the US government forbade free blacks to serve as armed military troops. Thus there were no black soldiers participating in the “Trails of Tears” of the five nations during the 1830s. There were black soldiers who volunteered and served in the military after the Civil War.. However, these troops mostly consisted of what were called by the five nations Citizens, “State Negroes”, i.e. Black citizens of the United States as opposed to the black Indians who were citizens of the 5 nations. The reason for this was that there were few job opportunities in the United States for free black men and the army offered a steady paycheck. The 5 nations citizen freedmen had more opportunities than the US citizen blacks, as they could work the land in common with other citizens and were able to receive education, training, and employment , including opening small businesses and serving in the tribal governments much easier in the 5 nations than other people of African descent could in the United States. Thus the 5 nations black Indian freedmen generally worked to build up their own nations. The Buffalo soldiers were organized into segregated infantry and Calvary units, almost always commanded by white officers. These black soldiers were used to search for certain Native leaders among the plains Indians and to guard the 5 nations citizens against some of the plains tribes. It must also be brought out that only about 10% of the military at that time consisted of black troops; as the mood of the times would not have allowed huge numbers of armed black troops, even in the territories. Also, black troops were not present at the massacres of indigenous people perpetrated by generals such as Custer at the Battle of the Washita against the mostly women and children of Cheyenne Chief Black Kettle. There were no black troops in the 7th Cavalry who shot the unarmed women and children of Lakota Chief Big Foots band under orders of Colonel Forsyth at Wounded Knee. Thus, tales of mistreatment by the 5 nations Freedmen of their fellow tribal citizens due to their military service are definitely untrue.
8) “The Freedmen all gave up their citizenships in the 5 nations after being bought off. Again, this is not true. A few Choctaw freedmen, in 1885, did take a cash payment and gave up their right to Choctaw citizenship. The number of people who accepted the cash payment were less than 100 people, including women and children. The vast number of Choctaw Freedmen elected to remain in the Choctaw nation, the land of their fathers.