A Senate hearing concerning the Indian Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes is scheduled for Wednesday, July 27th, 2022 at 2:30 pm in Washington DC. Regrettably noted, very few Freedmen are invited to present. Mrs. Marilyn Vann a prominent name and entity in the Freedmen struggle, is the only Freedmen representative asked to speak. She’s been given 5 minutes to relate well over 150 years of racism, inequities, and injustice that has been the Freedmen experience. Tribal representatives have also been scheduled to speak. The overall objective of the hearings is to re-establish Freedmen as tribal citizens with full rights and benefits as stated in the Treaty of 1866. The tribes have continually been hostile toward this end. In response, the move is on to withhold federal funding in the N.A.H.A.S.D.A. Indian housing bill from tribes out of compliance and who are practicing this form of racism.

This hearing takes place nearly an exact year after a similar hearing before Congress in 2021. Ms. Vann had a 5-minute window in which to speak then also. Chuck Hoskins, Jr., Cherokee Nation Chief, also spoke and gave an impassioned report on Freedmen acceptance in the Cherokee Nation saying “they (the tribe) are better now” with the Freedmen accepted as citizens. Several other important Freedmen supporters have been or will be contacted. From this writer’s perspective, It is a striking curiosity that so much concern is logged about the Indian people who need the NAHASDA money, but there’s no concern for the numbers in the generations of Freedmen descendants who’ve been systematically disallowed from this and other programs for years.

Of course, a show of support on July 27th by Freedmen supporters able to attend the hearing would be encouraging for Ms. Vann. The movement has been fractured by Covid 19 which injured in-person meetings by such groups as Ms. Vann’s Descendant Freedmen of the 5 Civilized Tribes and our DFAKC meetings. Zoom meetings helped to fill the gap, but we need more innovative input from the talented and energetic other Freedmen descendants out there. What say YOU!!?!