Freemen call for boycott
TULSA, Oklahoma —The Muscogee Creek Indian Freedmen Band Inc (MCIFB) strategy for obtaining their MCN citizenship has shifted beyond obtaining a court order as they announced their position on a bill introduced into U.S. House of Representatives by Illinois Democrat Danny Davis.
H.R. 1514 was introduced and assigned to the Committee on Natural Resources and Judiciary Committees on March 5.
General counsel for the Muscogee Creek Indian Freedman Band Demario Solomon-Simmons spoke to press along with Jeff Kennedy, Wanda Grayson and Sharon Lindsay.
The bill still has several stages before it can be adopted into law.
Summary of the bill on congress.gov calls ‘To sever United States Government relations with the Creek Nation of Oklahoma until such time as the Creek Nation of Oklahoma restores full Tribal citizenship to the Creek Freedmen disenfranchised in the October 6, 1979, Creek Nation vote and fulfills all its treaty obligations with the Government of the United States, and for other purposes.’
That severance would include a halt of all federal funding and gaming rights according to a full-text draft of the bill supplied at the April 2 press conference.
H.R. 1514 stated, ‘The United States hereby severs all relations with the Creek Nation including all financial obligations or otherwise until such time as the Creek Nation meets all of its treaty obligations and other Federal Statutory obligations restoring the rights of all Creek Freedmen disenfranchised from the Creek Nation.’
“The Creek Nation rightfully receives federal tax dollars for many of the programs that they provide to their membership,” Solomon-Simmons said. “Programs that Creek Freedmen should be entitled too, so the theory is that why should these Creek Freedmen pay in their tax dollars to an organization that is discriminating against them based upon race.”
“That bill specifically is aimed to stop the anti-black racism that the Creek Nation has perpetrated on black Creek Indians also known as Creek Freedmen,” Solomon-Simmons said.
He went on to talk about the national partners supporting the MCIFB such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Provided in the press packet was a letter from Director, NAACP Washinton Bureau and Senior Vice President for Policy and Advocacy Hilary Shelton.
‘Thank you for your leadership and your wisdom in introducing H.R. 1514,’ the letter stated. ‘The NAACP Washington Bureau is committed to working with you at the federal, state and local levels to educate the American population the need for H.R. 1514 and on its benefits to our people and our nation.’
“Many other organizations are going to formally adopt, formally supporting this work over the next few weeks,” Solomon-Simmons said.
He said members of MCIFB by the thousands will lobby for the bill and anticipates other national affiliates show support.
Solomon-Simmons also called for a boycott of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
“Thirdly, I wanted to announce that we will be working with our national partners to call for all individuals of good faith, particularly African Americans, to stop doing any business with the Creek Nation until they do right by Black Creek Indians,” Solomon-Simmons said. “Our national partners have committed to helping us contact different organizations, different music groups that perform at the Creek Nation Casinos, to put them on notice. That they should not spend their money with an institution that is openly, brazenly and boldly discriminating based upon race.”
MCIFB reported that their case with the District Court in the District of Columbia is still pending at this time.
Not only would the bill pull funding but it calls gaming sanctions and a system of reporting Freedmen enrollment compliance.
‘The Creek Nations Authority to conduct gaming regulated under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and to administer any funds from such gaming are suspended until such time that the Creek Nation is in compliance with all treaty obligations with the United States,’ Section 3 of the bill states.
Additionally, if enacted the bill would structure a reporting system. A periodic reporting to Congress on the status of all Freedmen in the Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, and Seminole would address whether each of the tribes complies with treaty obligations the bill stated.
Section 4 of the bill outlines subsequent actions for noncompliance with the legislation. It allowed federal courts would have exclusive jurisdiction over the right to seek private legal actions against both the MCN and the U.S. Government in the lawsuits brought under the Freedman legislation.
‘Any Creek Freedmen shall have a private right to bring actions for injunctive relief, declaratory relief or monetary damages against the Creek Nation of Oklahoma, officials of the Creek Nation of Oklahoma or Federal officials for noncompliance with this act, or for violations of the terms of the Treaty of 1866, the 13th Amendment of the United States Constitution or Indian Civil Rights Action of 1968,’ the bill stated.
Section six of the bill outlines fiscal reporting requirements. It stated the Government Accountability Office would issue a public report to Congress for each of the five fiscal years ending immediately before the report including all the Creek Nation’s expenditures of federal funds, analysis of Federal funds allocated by leadership for its member’s benefits and services, as well as determinations as to whether or not the Creek Nation is in full compliance with all federal regulations overseeing the management and disbursement of Federal funds.
On April 3, a statement was issued by Muscogee (Creek) Nations Public Relations.
“We are still reviewing H.R. in its entirety,” Principal Chief Floyd said. “We note, however, that we are involved in litigation on this subject matter in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, have filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s claims, as has the United States government, and we are currently awaiting a decision from the court.”