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Genealogist Angela Walton-Raji has committed herself to sharing information with the descendants of the Freedmen of Indian Territory--which is now Oklahoma. She is the author of the book Black Indian Genealogy Research: African American Ancestors Among the Five Civilized Tribes. The book serves as a guide to researching the history and lives of the 20,000 Freedmen of Indian Territory, who have been deleted from American history. She is also the author of the http://african-nativeamerican.blogspot.com.
The Dawes Commission, named after Henry C. Dawes who chaired the commission, consisted of a process that would lead to a redistribution of land to those who already owned it among the Five "Civilized" Tribes. Understand that land was held in common by the Five Civilized Tribes. The Dawes Enrollment process was created to determine who would be eligible for allotted parcels of land. Eligibility involved providing "proof" that one had been a part of the tribe for several decades, and especially in those years immediately following the Civil War. So one had to prove that one had been a part of the Indian Community since 1866. For those whose ancestors were enslaved by members of the Tribes, (the Freedmen) they had to often provide proof that their former enslaver was a member of the tribe.
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