MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Black Creek members rallied in support of an upcoming court hearing scheduled for Thursday morning.
Black Creek Native Americans, known as Creek Freedmen, are demanding to be citizens of the Muscogee Creek Nation.
Article 2 of the Treaty of 1866 states that tribes, like Muscogee Creek Nation, must abolish slavery within tribal nations and make former slaves, members.
Black Creek descendent and lawsuit plaintiff Rhonda Grayson said in 1979 Creek Nation disinvested themselves in Creek Freedmen members. She said the treaty is still valid and needs to be honored.
“We are entitled to be members of that tribe and truth be told we are still citizens because that treaty is still valid. They are breaking their own laws. They are in violation of the law,” Grayson said.
Black Creek Descendant, Christy Williams, said Muscogee Creek Nation is holding onto its racist past.
“We have a right to the share of the funds, we have a right to a share of the land, but today we do not and no longer are we going to continue to carry the badges of slavery because that is exactly what they’re forcing us to do,” Williams said.
Civil Rights Attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons is not only an attorney for this case, but also a Creek Freedmen member. He said the law is clear, but because Creek Freedmen not being citizens, they aren’t receiving any benefits.
“Includes the benefits of being a member of Creek Nation like healthcare, educational benefits, housing, cash stipends. Anything that Creek gets we should, too,” Simmons said.
FOX23 reached out to Muscogee Creek Nation for a comment. The tribe declined due to pending litigation.
The court hearing is Thursday at 10 a.m. at Muscogee Creek Court house in Okmulgee.
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