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Ethnic Indian News


For Immediate Release: Cherokee Nation: Challenger Wins! 

Cherokee Nation Chief Defeated In Election

Black Indians United Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc.

Enid, Oklahoma

Thursday, October 13, 2011  

In a small column on the page behind headline news, lay an article letting readers know that Cherokee Nation votes were certified Wednesday, October 12, 2011 and Bill John Baker was declared the official winner by a margin in excess of 1,500+ votes. Chad Smith, the controversial anti-Freedmen figurehead did not receive enough votes to continue leading the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.  

The hotly contested election between former Chief Chad Smith and longtime Tribal Council Member, Joe Don Baker, boiled down to Freedmen votes and a tally of Absentee Ballots. Once Cherokee Freedmen received last minute assurance that they would be able to votes and their votes would be counted, the Election Board began a brief campaign to notify eligible members in time to get Absentee Ballots out ahead of the rescheduled Election date. Smith served as Principal Chief for a decade.  

Chad Smith Again Attempts To Thwart The Freedmen Election Process  

Descendants of Freedmen of the 5 Civilized Tribes Association

Courtesy: Correspondant Fannie Bates

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 

On October 11, 2011, in the middle of counting ballots in the Cherokee Principal Chief’s election, the Cherokee tribal Supreme Court attempted to overturn an order in the case Vann versus Salazar signed by Federal Judge Kennedy, as well as the U.S. Department of Interior, which insured participation by Cherokee Freedmen Citizens in the election for Principal Chief and continued citizenship of the freedmen unless otherwise ordered by the Federal Court. 

On October 11, 2011 tribal Supreme Court struck the Federal order as being unenforceable as being binding on the Acting Principal Chief and not the tribe itself. The Tribal court also held Judge Kennedy’s order to be a violation of the tribal Supreme Court order filed August 22, 2011 which removed citizenship from the Freedmen. Subsequently, tribal Attorney General Hammonds stated that the tribal court could not set aside orders by a federal judge and that Freedmen citizenship would continue under Federal Court order approved on September 21, 2011 in Cherokee Nation vs. Nash Federal case.  

Marilynn Vann, a Cherokee Freedmen Citizen and President of the Descendants of Freedmen Association stated: “The freedmen people are tired of tribal leaders who play the race card and manipulate tribal elections to block freedmen participation in the Principal Chief election. Freedmen people have driven on their own funds from as far away as Dallas, Kansas City, and Nashville to exercise their rights to vote.

I, myself drove 160 miles each way to vote. The tribe is subject to U.S. law, just as individuals who don’t control hundreds of millions of casino dollars. It is a violation of the tribal constitution to no follow U.S. laws. I believe that it is not a coincidence that the tribal court attempted to block the freedmen from voting this year just prior to absentee ballots being sent out and now in the middle of the count tries to stop our votes from being counted. Tribal court judges who don’t want to follow the law should resign from the bench. We remind the public that the tribal court judges were appointed by the former principal chief and may very well fear losing their position if he is not reelected. Most of these same judges counted un-notarized ballots and refused to hear evidence of fraud in order to allow an anti-freedmen petition to be placed on the ballot before tribal voters in 2007.

We call upon the Department of Interior to not recognize the election of any principal chief who is elected without freedmen participation. The U.S. government must be willing to protect the 1866 treaty in Federal court in 2011, just as they did when the Seminole nation blocked freedmen citizens from voting several years ago in tribal elections. Assistant Interior Secretary Echo Hawk publicized his willingness to protect the 1866 treaty on September 9th. Is this a nation where only poor freedmen widows and disabled veterans must follow the law and not those who control casino wealth? That remains to be seen.”

Marilyn Vann

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

August 6, 2011

Freedmen Update

Freedmen Descendants, Freedmen supporters, and interested members of the public:

The Descendants of Freedmen Association will host their next meeting on Saturday August 13th 2011 at the Rudisill Library 1520 N Hartford, Tulsa Oklahoma beginning at one pm. Meeting is free and open to the general public of all races, creeds, colors and tribes. Here updates on the Cherokee nation election. The invited speaker, a member of the Muscogee Creek tribal town of Coweta will give a lesson on the Muscogee Creek language and on Creek tribal towns.

Cherokee nation registered voters as of March 31 2011 will have an opportunity to once again vote on the Principal Chief in September 2011. The June 25th Primary Chief Election was thrown out by the tribal supreme court. Voting at the precincts is set for September 24 2011. Voters may request absentee ballots between August 1 and August 12th if they did not request one for the primary and wish to vote absentee. For more information, see:

S Joe Crittenden was elected as Cherokee nation Deputy Chief encourage people of all races, to donate to the 501 C3 African Indians Foundation to support charitable projects (litigation, education, etc) for the Freedmen. See our link at: Information on upcoming Muscogee Creek Nation elections: Vann President - Descendants of Freedmen Association =

(Copy and Paste Links Until They Are Activated)

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