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Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes Association president/director to speak March 14 to Canadian County Democrats

posted Mar 6, 2016, 11:12 AM by Jody Harlan   [ updated Oct 2, 2016, 9:15 PM ]


YUKON, Oklahoma – Marilyn Vann, president and a director of the Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes Association will speak to the Canadian County Democrats on March 14.
The public is invited to attend the Democrats’ meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. at the Yukon Police Department, 100 S. Ranchwood Boulevard.

Seating is available on a first come, first served basis. There is no charge to attend.
The Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes Association is a non-profit corporation which educates the public on the history, culture, and political rights of the African Indian peoples of the Five Nations, formerly known as the Five Civilized Tribes.

The Descendants’ ancestors were enrolled as freedmen tribal members by the U.S government’s Dawes Commission approximately 100 years ago.

Vann is a litigant in two federal lawsuits, Vann et Al Versus Norton and Cherokee Nation versus Nash, which deal with the enforcement of the 1866 treaty rights of the Cherokee Indian freedmen people’s tribal membership rights.
Vann is also president of African Indians of the Five Civilized Tribes Foundation.

She has also participated on panels sponsored universities and non-profit or civic organizations and written articles published in national and Oklahoma newspapers and magazines pertaining to the Indian freedmen and other Native American issues.

Vann has also spoken about tribal services, including Indian Health Service, contract health services, and the rights of tribal members and families under the Affordable Care Act.

Marilyn is a citizen of the Cherokee nation of Oklahoma. She is a descendant of Joseph Vann and Rider Fields, who were native Cherokee citizens by blood who immigrated to what is now Eastern Oklahoma prior to 1860. 

Her father was a member of the Cherokee nation born in what is now Nowata County. He was listed on the Dawes’ final rolls of  Cherokee citizens, the base tribal rolls  prepared and recognized by the U.S. government and the Cherokee nation at the turn of the 20th century.

Vann is active in her tribal community group, the Native American Fellowship, based in South Coffeyville, Oklahoma. She attends meetings of the Legislative Native American Caucus, the Five Tribes Intertribal Conference and National Congress of American Indians on a regular basis, as well as tribal council and community events of the Cherokee Nation.

She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s of science in petroleum engineering with distinction and is the first known female student of African descent to graduate from that discipline at OU.

After two years of employment with Exxon-Mobil as an engineer, Vann was employed as a federal government Treasury Department engineer for 32 years in Oklahoma City before retirement.

For more information about the Descendants of Freedmen, visit, the Facebook page at  or email

The Canadian County Democrats regularly meet at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month (except December) at the Yukon Police Department, 100 S. Ranchwood Boulevard. For more information about Canadian County Democrats' activities, phone 405-354-3189.