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Racial Issues and Native Politics Topic of Lecture

Elmhurst College President S. Alan Ray, Cherokee, will discuss the Cherokee Freedmen and other issues of Native American citizenship and tribal sovereignty during a lecture November 5 in Evanston, Illinois.
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S. Alan Ray, president of Elmhurst College, in Elmhurst, Illinois will discuss race, tribal independence and citizenship issues when he delivers the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian’s second annual Dr. Carlos Montezuma Honorary Lecture.

The Cherokee Nation citizen will discuss the conflict between his Oklahoma-based tribe and some 2,800 freedmen, descendants of Cherokee-held slaves, who are fighting for tribal citizenship granted to their ancestors in a post-Civil War treaty.

Ray points out that this issue raises the broader question of, “What makes someone an Indian?” According to a release, Ray holds a doctorate and two master’s degrees from Harvard University and a law degree from the University of California.

“I’m very interested in how race intersects with tribal sovereignty and nationhood,” Ray told the Mitchell Museum. “Should tribes limit their citizenship to people of a particular race, in this case, to persons with Indian blood?”

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The lecture will be held November 5 at 5:30 p.m. at Northwestern University’s McCormick Tribune Center, 1870 Campus Drive, in Evanston, Illinois. Tickets are $12 for the general public, $10 for students, museum members and tribal members.

For more information call 847-475-1010 or visit the Mitchell Museum website.