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Tue May 13, 2014, 09:00 PM

Honor the Treaties: Cherokee Freedmen Complicate Native Rights Mantra

It was Monday, May 5 when news began to spread that Indian country had lost one of its greatest treaty rights activists, Billy Frank Jr. The 83 year-old died that day along the Nisqually River where he had fought so tirelessly to defend the right to hunt and fish along its shores, four decades earlier. Today, Pacific Northwest tribes enjoy a stable economy buttressed from the salmon harvest—a payoff in large part due to Frank’s devotion to uphold a promise the federal government made to the region’s tribes in the mid-1850s. In a 2007 interview, Frank told me of his activism, “Treaties were what it was all about.”

For those who know anything about Native Americans in this country, most are aware that the treaties they signed with the United States is what sets Native peoples apart from other ethnicities in the country. Yet, with so many of these historic pacts broken over time, it’s no surprise then that a popular mantra among Native American rights groups has been to “Honor the Treaties.”

And so it has been with great wonderment to witness the decades-long drama unfold about the Cherokee freedmen, a class of African-American citizenry in the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma who risk losing their place in the tribe despite an 1866 treaty that promised their ancestors otherwise.

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/05/13/honor-treaties-cherokee-freedmen-complicate-native-rights-mantra-154848

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Reply Honor the Treaties: Cherokee Freedmen Complicate Native Rights Mantra (Original post)
Strange Luck May 2014 OP
Darkness Falls May 2014 #1
NorthwoodsWi May 2014 #2
Sag. May 2014 #3

Response to Strange Luck (Original post)

Tue May 13, 2014, 09:03 PM

1. RIP, Sir. You did great work!

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Response to Strange Luck (Original post)

Tue May 13, 2014, 09:08 PM

2. Thank You For Posting This

I teach near a reservation, and the more people understand, the better they are with each other. I am not Native, and I have a lot to learn about Native issues, so I appreciate good information like this.

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Response to Strange Luck (Original post)

Tue May 13, 2014, 11:55 PM

3. Many Blessings for Billy Frank Jr.

Thank you SL for the post...

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