Disagrees with Vann


Regarding ''Freedmen descendants struggle to maintain their Cherokee identity'' [Vol 26. Iss. 43]. The freedmen chose to be put on the freedman rolls because it was to their advantage not to be associated with the Indians. The freedmen received land allotments just as the Indians did. If it were to give the white people more land, they would not have given the freedmen allotments.

The U.S. government made the Dawes Rolls; the Indians did not. If Marilyn Vann does not like the way the government handled the rolls, she should be suing them. What does she mean, the freedmen tried to keep ''the treaty going?'' That doesn't even make sense. It was between the Cherokee Nation and the U.S. government.

Marilyn Vann [said ,] ''The freedmen people were opposed to the allotments. They did as much as they were able to keep the treaty going.'' Vann also said that many of those who the Dawes Commission listed as freedmen did have Cherokee ancestry, but were placed on the freedmen rolls as a way to get white settlers more land.

- Donna Darling

Tulsa, Okla