Another example of how this is trying to be *spun*...all of these *stories* fail to include, that these 1. Freedmen are not Cherokee by Blood, they do not have a Cherokee Ancestor on the Dawes Roll; 2. Indian Tribes are sovereign Nations and as such have the right like any other country to determine who is or is not a Citizen 3. Freedmen with Cherokee by Blood or Ancestry and that are on the Dawes Roll are citizens of the Cherokee Nation.
Most articles like this are written by Freedmen or their supporters and continue to distort the facts of what is really going on. We just think you should be Cherokee to be a Citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
The Freedmen's identity is not within the Cherokee Nation regardless of how they came to be associated with the Indian Tribes - their identity is with other freed slaves and they should push to retain that identity rather than trying to *become* Cherokee. They can still get all the benefits they get from the Cherokee Nation through the U.S. Government, that after all is where we get the funding for those benefits. However, Watson would like to see all that funding cut and it is in fact the Freedmen that are pushing for Watson's Bill in congress.
"In the United States, the Cherokee Nation voted earlier this year to exclude the Cherokee Freedmen. These are black and multiracial Indians who fled slavery and found sanctuary with the tribe and then were forced west with their Cherokee brethren to Oklahoma along the Trail of Tears. Cherokee leaders argue that it is their tribal right to determine who is a member of the tribe. But for the 2,800 disenrolled Freedmen, the decision is a wounding blow to their identity, not to mention their well-being. As a result of the decision they will lose their share of tribal housing, healthcare, voting, and other rights. The decision has sent shudders through mixed-race Indians from other tribes. They worry that Native American tribes have absorbed discriminatory attitudes long directed against them by whites."