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Descendants of black slaves to meet in Tulsa

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TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Descendants of black slaves who were once owned by some members of the Cherokee Nation are scheduled to meet this week in Tulsa.

The meeting of the descendants - known as freedmen - is to take place Saturday in Tulsa.

The freedmen argue that the Treaty of 1866 between the U.S. government and the Tahlequah-based Cherokees gave the freedmen and their descendants all the rights of native Cherokees. But leaders of the Cherokee Nation say the descendants should not be considered Cherokee citizens unless they can show proof of Indian blood.

A federal court is scheduled to sort out the matter starting in April.

There are about 3,000 freedmen descendants today.

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