Creek Nation Freedmen file lawsuit against Oklahoma tribe

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TULSA, Okla. – A second Oklahoma tribe is facing litigation over the citizenship status of the descendants of its former slaves.

The Tulsa World reports that the Muscogee Creek Freedmen filed a federal lawsuit last week against the Creek Nation and the U.S. Department of the Interior.

The Creek Freedmen are seeking full tribal citizenship and to have the tribe’s constitution declared in violation of the Treaty of 1866, which guaranteed tribal citizenship to the tribe’s freed slaves and their descendants, as well as black Creeks. The department in 1979 approved a law in the tribe’s constitution that restricts citizenship eligibility to those with proof of Creek lineage.

The tribe has declined to comment until it receives the lawsuit.

The Cherokee Nation faced a similar lawsuit that was resolved last year.

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