Jul 27, 2022

For Immediate Release

July 27, 2022



Manu Tupper or Mike Inacay (Schatz) at


Schatz Leads Oversight Hearing On 1866 Reconstruction Treaties Between United States and Oklahoma Tribes


WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led an oversight hearing titled, “Oversight Hearing on Select Provisions of the 1866 Reconstruction Treaties Between the United States and Oklahoma Tribes.”


In his opening statement, Schatz explained his reason for holding the hearing.


“For the first time in the history of the United States Senate, [the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, Muscogee Creek, and Seminole Nations], Freedmen descendants, and the administration have an opportunity to present their views on the 1866 Treaties for the record,” said Chairman Schatz. “I understand and acknowledge that this is a difficult conversation because this issue, at its core, involves injustices perpetrated by the United States government more than a century ago against both Native Americans and African Americans. It is emotionally charged for many, and for good reason – yearslong litigation and disagreement over the citizenship status of Freedmen descendants among the Five Treaty Tribes has divided communities – and even divided individual families. But disagreements cannot get resolved in silence.”


The following witnesses participated in the oversight hearing:

  • The Honorable Maxine Waters, U.S. Representative, 43rd Congressional District of California, Washington, DC
  • The Honorable Bryan Newland, Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC
  • The Honorable Chuck Hoskin, Jr., Principal Chief, The Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah, OK
  • The Honorable Lewis J. Johnson, Chief, Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, Wewoka, OK
    • Accompanied by the Honorable Brian Palmer, Assistant Chief, Seminole Nation of Oklahoma
  • The Honorable Michael Burrage, General Counsel, Choctaw Nation, Durant, OK
  • The Honorable Jonodev Chaudhuri, Ambassador, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Okmulgee, OK
  • Mr. Stephen Greetham, Senior Counsel, Chickasaw Nation, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Ms. Marilyn Vann, President, Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Tribes Association, Oklahoma City, OK


To view the full video of the hearing, click here.