After Denying Care to Black Natives, Indian Health Service Reverses Policy

Posted in Articles, Health/Medicine/Genetics, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2021-10-08 22:55Z by Steven

After Denying Care to Black Natives, Indian Health Service Reverses Policy

The New York Times
2021-10-08

Mark Walker and Chris Cameron

LeEtta Osborne-Sampson
LeEtta Osborne-Sampson said a nurse at an Indian Health Service clinic denied her a vaccine because her tribal identification card said she was a Freedmen, a Black Native American in the Seminole Nation. Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

The shift comes as the Biden administration pressures Native tribes in Oklahoma to desegregate their constitutions to comply with treaty obligations.

The Indian Health Service announced this week that Black Native Americans in the Seminole Nation, known as the Freedmen, will now be eligible for health care through the federal agency, which previously denied them coronavirus vaccinations and other care.

The shift in policy comes as the Biden administration and members of Congress are pressuring the Seminole and other Native tribes in Oklahoma to desegregate their constitutions and include the Freedmen, many of whom are descendants of Black people who had been held as slaves by the tribes, as full and equal citizens of their tribes under post-Civil War treaty obligations.

“The I.H.S.-operated Wewoka Indian Health Clinic provides services to members of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, and personnel at the clinic and other I.H.S. facilities in Oklahoma have been informed that they should provide services to Seminole Freedmen who present at their clinics and hospitals,” the Indian Health Service said in a statement.

The Seminole Nation did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the announcement.

Chuck Hoskin Jr., the principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, announced on Friday that his tribe would also start allowing Seminole Freedmen to visit their tribally operated I.H.S. hospital, near Wewoka

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cherokee Nation Strikes Down Language That Limits Citizenship Rights ‘By Blood’

Posted in Articles, Audio, History, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Slavery, United States on 2021-02-27 03:58Z by Steven

Cherokee Nation Strikes Down Language That Limits Citizenship Rights ‘By Blood’

National Public Radio
2021-02-25

Mary Louise Kelly, Host
All Things Considered


Rena Logan, a member of a Cherokee Freedmen family, shows her identification card as a member of the Cherokee tribe at her home in Muskogee, Okla., in this photo from October 2011. She is among the some 8,500 people whose ancestors were enslaved by the Cherokee Nation in the 1800s.David Crenshaw/Associated Press

The Cherokee Nation’s Supreme Court ruled this week to remove the words “by blood” from its constitution and other legal doctrines.

The words, added to the constitution in 2007, have been used to exclude Black people whose ancestors were enslaved by the tribe from obtaining full Cherokee Nation citizenship rights.

There are currently some 8,500 enrolled Cherokee Nation members descended from these Freedmen, thousands of whom were removed on the Trail of Tears along with tribal citizens.

“The Freedmen, until this Cherokee Nation Supreme Court ruling, they couldn’t hold office, they couldn’t run for tribal council and they couldn’t run for chief,” says Graham Lee Brewer, an editor for Indigenous affairs at High Country News and KOSU in Oklahoma. “And I would argue that that made them second-class citizens.”…

Read the entire story here. Download the story (00:04:10) here.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Black, Native American and Fighting for Recognition in Indian Country

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Slavery, United States on 2020-09-11 01:10Z by Steven

Black, Native American and Fighting for Recognition in Indian Country

The New York Times
2020-09-08

Jack Healy, Rocky Mountain correspondent


Ron Graham’s father, Theodore Graham, center, as a youth with his youngest sibling, Rowena, on his lap, in a photograph from around 1912. Mr. Graham spent decades assembling documentation showing that he is a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. via Ron Graham

Enslaved people were also driven west along the Trail of Tears. After a historic Supreme Court ruling, their descendants are fighting to be counted as tribal members.

OKMULGEE, Okla. — Ron Graham never had to prove to anyone that he was Black. But he has spent more than 30 years haunting tribal offices and genealogical archives, fighting for recognition that he is also a citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

“We’re African-American,” Mr. Graham, 55, said. “But we’re Native American also.”

His family history is part of a little-known saga of bondage, blood and belonging within tribal nations, one that stretches from the Trail of Tears to this summer of uprisings in America’s streets over racial injustice.

His ancestors are known as Creek Freedmen. They were among the thousands of African-Americans who were once enslaved by tribal members in the South and who migrated to Oklahoma when the tribes were forced off their homelands and marched west in the 1830s…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A mixed-race woman’s long quest to prove her Native American ancestry

Posted in Articles, Autobiography, Biography, History, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Tri-Racial Isolates, United States on 2019-01-05 20:47Z by Steven

A mixed-race woman’s long quest to prove her Native American ancestry

The Washington Post
2019-01-04

Neely Tucker, Contributing reporter


Darnella Davis, center, with her siblings and their parents, John and Mary, in 1955. Mary was Muscogee Creek, and John said he had Cherokee blood; a grandfather received a land allotment for Native Americans. But Darnella’s Indian heritage was later disputed. (University of New Mexico Press; courtesy of Lafayette West)

When Darnella Davis was a shy, “sandy-colored and sandy-haired” teenager growing up in Detroit in the 1960s, she knew she was “part Indian.” It wasn’t entirely clear what that meant. In that era of Motown, the civil rights movement and the devastating 1967 riot/rebellion that wrecked that city, she knew that her Oklahoma-based family was not culturally kin to the black neighbors who’d fled sharecropping and the Deep South. As a standout arts student at the city’s premier (and racially mixed) high school, Cass Tech, she knew she wasn’t white, either.

Her dad talked of growing up as a Cherokee kid; people sometimes called her Muscogee Creek mom “Pocahontas,” and the family drove 19 hours to their ancestral spot in northeast Oklahoma every summer and school holiday. Her grandfather, Crugee Adams, had once grown rich there, drawing on the mineral rights of his land allotment for Native Americans dating back to the late 19th century.

So imagine her surprise when she applied for a post-graduate scholarship in Boston reserved for Native Americans and was told, both by the state of Massachusetts and the Cherokee Nation, that she wasn’t Indian, either. The resulting, decades-long experience of white and Native American bureaucrats telling her what percentage of Indian blood she must possess to qualify as a certified member of the tribe proved to be the background for “Untangling a Red, White, and Black Heritage: A Personal History of the Allotment Era.”…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , ,

Untangling a Red, White, and Black Heritage: A Personal History of the Allotment Era

Posted in Autobiography, Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Native Americans/First Nation, Tri-Racial Isolates, United States on 2019-01-05 20:32Z by Steven

Untangling a Red, White, and Black Heritage: A Personal History of the Allotment Era

University of New Mexico Press
November 2018
312 pages
21 figs
6×9 in.
Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-8263-5979-7
E-book ISBN: 978-0-8263-5980-3

Darnella Davis
Washington, D.C.

Examining the legacy of racial mixing in Indian Territory through the land and lives of two families, one of Cherokee Freedman descent and one of Muscogee Creek heritage, Darnella Davis’s memoir writes a new chapter in the history of racial mixing on the frontier. It is the only book-length account of the intersections between the three races in Indian Territory and Oklahoma written from the perspective of a tribal person and a freedman.

The histories of these families, along with the starkly different federal policies that molded their destinies, offer a powerful corrective to the historical narrative. From the Allotment Period to the present, their claims of racial identity and land in Oklahoma reveal inequalities that still fester more than one hundred years later. Davis offers a provocative opportunity to unpack our current racial discourse and ask ourselves, “Who are ‘we’ really?”

Tags: , , ,

Congress votes to end blood quantum requirement, applies to five tribes

Posted in Articles, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-01-04 19:26Z by Steven

Congress votes to end blood quantum requirement, applies to five tribes

KFOR-TV
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
2018-12-26

OKLAHOMA CITY — A bill ending a blood quantum requirement awaits President Donald Trump’s signature after it unanimously passed the U.S. House and Senate.

HR2606, also known as the Stigler Act Amendments of 2018, was authored by Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) and co-sponsored by Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02). The legislation amends a 1947 law and would remove the one-half degree Native American blood quantum restriction for holders of tribal allotment land.

The legislation specifically impacts citizens of five Oklahoma tribes: the Chickasaw, Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek), Choctaw and the Seminole nations

Read the entire story here.

Tags: , , , , ,

The black Americans suing to reclaim their Native American identity

Posted in Articles, History, Law, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, Slavery, United States on 2018-11-13 03:06Z by Steven

The black Americans suing to reclaim their Native American identity

The Guardian
2018-10-02

Caleb Gayle


Rhonda Grayson, with an image of her great-great grandfather Willie Cohee. Photograph: Brett Deering for the Guardian

Their ancestors were black slaves owned by Native Americans. Now they’re suing the Creek nation to fully restore their citizenship

Johnnie Mae Austin and her grandson, Damario Solomon-Simmons, can tell you everything about their ancestry. They can go back as far as 1810, the year Solomon-Simmons’ great-great-great-great-grandfather, Cow Tom, was born. With undeniable pride, they recount the man’s feats of bravery during the civil war, and his leadership within Oklahoma’s Creek population.

In fact, they are so determined to let the world know exactly who Cow Tom was that they’re suing the Creek nation to make sure his descendants aren’t forgotten.

Solomon-Simmons and his grandmother are black, but they argue they’re also Creek, and they’re fighting to reclaim their identity…

Red the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Yvonne Chouteau, Native American Ballerina, Dies at 86

Posted in Articles, Arts, Biography, Media Archive, Native Americans/First Nation, United States, Women on 2016-02-11 03:34Z by Steven

Yvonne Chouteau, Native American Ballerina, Dies at 86

The New York Times
2016-01-29

Jack Anderson


Yvonne Chouteau, one of the five celebrated Oklahoma ballerinas with an American Indian background, in a 1963 photo. Credit Jack Mitchell/Getty Images

Yvonne Chouteau, a former principal dancer of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo who emerged as one of a celebrated group of dancers known as the American Indian ballerinas of Oklahoma, died on Sunday at her home in Oklahoma City. She was 86.

The cause was congestive heart failure, said Mary Margaret Holt, director of the School of Dance and dean of the College of Fine Arts at the University of Oklahoma. Ms. Chouteau was a founder of the dance school, one of the leading institutions of its kind in the Southwest

…Part French and part ShawneeCherokee, Myra Yvonne Chouteau was born into a pioneering Southwestern family in Fort Worth on March 7, 1929, the only child of Corbett Edward Chouteau and the former Lucy Annette Taylor. The family soon moved to Vinita, Okla., and her father, who was known as C. E. Chouteau, became a prominent American Indian figure in the state.

Ms. Chouteau was a direct descendant of Maj. Jean Pierre Chouteau (1758-1849), who established Oklahoma’s oldest white settlement in 1796…

Read the entire obituary here.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Oklahoma cop gets life for sex crimes against the poor

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2016-01-22 03:00Z by Steven

Oklahoma cop gets life for sex crimes against the poor

USA Today
2016-01-21

Melanie Eversley, Breaking News Reporter


Former officer Daniel Holtzclaw was sentenced to 263 years in prison after he was convicted in December of 18 counts, including first-degree rape.

A former Oklahoma City police officer was sentenced Thursday to spend the rest of his life in prison after his conviction for raping and sexually abusing women in a low-income neighborhood while on the beat.

District Judge Timothy Henderson agreed with an earlier court recommendation and sentenced Daniel Holtzclaw to 263 years in prison for the attacks on black women in a low-income neighborhood between 2013 and 2014. Holtclaw, 29, had been charged with 36 counts.

After a six-week trial, a jury on Dec. 10 found Holtzclaw guilty of 18 counts. The youngest victim was 17 at the time of her attack and testified that the incident took place on her mother’s front porch, according to The Oklahoman.

The judge denied a request for a new trial made by Scott Adams, Holtzclaw’s defense attorney, who maintained that Holtzclaw was denied a fair trial because the prosecution made deliberate violations and misrepresentations in discovery.

The case drew national attention because of the race of the victims. Holtzclaw is half-white and half-Asian…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , ,

Former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw found guilty of rape

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Law, Media Archive, United States on 2015-12-13 02:01Z by Steven

Former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw found guilty of rape

Cable News Network (CNN)
2015-12-10

Michael Martinez, Newsdesk Editor & Writer

Gigi Mann

(CNN) A jury found former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw guilty Thursday of some of the most serious charges against him, including sexual battery, forcible oral sodomy and rape.

Holtzclaw faced 36 counts. He was found guilty on 18.

The former officer cried openly in the courtroom and rocked in his chair as the verdict was being read. Jurors deliberated for more than 40 hours over four days.

The Oklahoma City Police Department welcomed the verdict. “We are satisfied with the jury’s decision and firmly believe justice was served,” it said.

Sentencing is set for next month.

His trial touched upon the explosive intersection of race, policing and justice in America.

Holtzclaw, whose father is white and mother Japanese, was accused of assaulting or raping 13 women, all black, while he was on the job. Court records identify his race as “Asian or Pacific Islander.”

The jury was all-white, composed of eight men and four women…

Read the entire article here.

Tags: , , , , , ,