By Fred L. Jones, Jr.
Eagle Staff Writer
Attorney Dasmario-Solomon Simmons filed a Federal Lawsuit against the Creek Nation Principal Chief, James Floyd; the United States Department of the Interior (DOI); and the Hon. Ryan Zinke, Secretary of DOI.
Simmons stated: “We are proud to announce that my team and I have filed in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia against Creek Nation Principal Chief, James Floyd; the United States Department of the Interior (“DOI”); and the Hon. Ryan Zinke, Secretary of DOI on behalf of our clients.
We filed because the Muscogee Creek Nation (“MNC”), with full knowledge and approval of the DOI, continues to deny so-called “Creek Freedmen “and their descendants their Creek citizenship in violation of the Creek Treatyof1866, the Constitution of the United States, and the Indian Civil Rights Act.
We can no long allow so-called “Creek Freedmen” to be denied basic rights of citizenship including but not limited to their right to vote, right to hold office, and right to be recognized for who they are: Creek Indians by birthright, heritage, history, & culture due to #race and #racism”.
- Plaintiffs are individuals and a collection of persons whose ancestors were listed on the final Dawes Rolls of 1906 as “Creek Nation Freedmen” and include the descendants of: 1. Creeks of “African Descent”; 2. free “Africans” living as citizens of the Creek Nation; 3. “mixed blood” Creek Nation citizens; and 4. individuals who were enslaved by MCN, who were all listed as Creek Freedmen on the Dawes Rolls because of the color of their skin.
- For hundreds of years, Black Creeks, both free and enslaved, were important citizens of the Creek Nation.
- Black Creeks served as Chiefs, Interpreters, Town Kings, Senators, Lawyers, Judges, and Lighthorsemen.
- The Creek Treaty of 1866 between the United States and the MCN requires that the so-called Creek Freedmen and their Descendants, regardless of their “blood” status, “shall have and enjoy all the rights and privileges of native citizens” of the MCN.
- Despite the ironclad legal requirement and over a century of compliance, the MCN has spent the last 39 years systematically denying citizenship to the Creek Freedmen by rewriting its tribal constitution and citizenship regulations. MCN has done this all with the full blessing of DOI.