Cherokee Freedmen Descendants Schedule Protest

Saturday, March 24th 2007, 2:19 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Descendants of people the Cherokee Nation once owned as slaves schedule a protest against an election fundrasier for tribal Chief Chad Smith and Deputy Chief Joe Grayson.

The descendants of slaves, called freedmen descendents, are upset that Governor Brad Henry, Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins, state Treasurer Scott Meacham and Senate President Pro Tem Mike Morgan have been listed as hosts for the Tuesday fundraiser.

Marilyn Vann, the president of the Descendants of Freedmen Association, says members of the group will protest at the state Capitol building on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, more than 76% of Cherokee voters decided in a special election to amend the nation's constitution to remove about 2,800 freedmen descendants and other non-Indians from the tribal rolls.

A spokesman for Henry has said permission was given to use the governor's name as a host for the fundraiser, even though Henry does not plan to attend.

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