The Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes Association and the African Indians of the 5 Civilized Tribes Foundation will hold a virtual conference, Saturday, Nov. 7, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The theme will be “Freedmen Origins of Greenwood: Tribal Enslavement, Sovereignty, and Citizenship,” and it will be available on

The special guest speaker will be Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.

Freedmen descendant John W. Franklin, senior manager emeritus, National Museum of African American History and Culture, and Managing Member Franklin Global LLC will be a featured speaker.

A lawyers panel will discuss the McGirt decision and its effect on tribal court, freedmen litigation, sovereignty, and the impact on the North Tulsa community. Panelists are Cherokee Nation District Court Judge Luke Barteaux, former Creek Nation Assistant Attorney General John Parris, and Assistant Public Defender of the Colorado River Indian Tribe Branton Grissum, who is a Creek freedmen descendant.

A panel of African Americans of tribal and nontribal heritage will discuss North Tulsa community issues. Panelists include attorney and author Hannibal B. Johnson, author and retired professor Art Burton, and author and genealogist Angela Walton-Raji, who is a Choctaw freedmen descendant.

Panelists Cherokee tribal councilman Joe Deere, author and journalist Randy Krehbiel, and North Tulsa Cherokee Community Organization President Waynetta Lawrie will discuss race reconciliation.

Other speakers include historians Eli Grayson and David Cornsilk; genealogist Ron Graham; and Cherokee Nation citizen Reuben Gant, executive director of John Hope Franklin Center for Reconciliation.

There will be featured presentations of guest artists, theatrical performances and more. All are welcome.

This conference is sponsored in part through a grant from the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission and WPX Energy.

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