Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Burial Sites Tied by Blood, History and Culture

Approximately a year ago this month a conference was held in Tulsa, Oklahoma which brought together many descendants of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Freedmen.

One of the sessions during the conference was on the need to preserve the burial grounds of the former slaves and their descendants who lived in Indian Territory prior to becoming the state of Oklahoma.

One person who has worked tirelessly in preserving the cemeteries in the surrounding area of Fort Coffee is Verdie Triplett. Together with Mr. Triplett we put together a short video to illustrate the urgent need for Indian Territory Freedmen descendants to take responsibility to preserve the burial sites of their ancestors.

Personally it is my belief the so called Five Civilized Tribes have a responsibility in preserving these sites as well. Despite the manner in which segregated Dawes Rolls were constructed with people who had "Indian" fathers placed on freedmen rolls, those individuals in fact possessed Choctaw, Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek and in some cases Seminole blood.

That being the case I would think the tribes are obligated to reclaim and preserve every identifiable cemetery for historical reasons that tie the burial sites to the tribes by blood, history and culture.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this video and the work on the cemeteries. My hope is that the work continues and that others will also take the charge of preserving the burial sites of our ancestors as well.