Source: Birchfield, D.L. Encyclopedia of the North American Indians Volume IX
Freedmen are not just non-Indian people living in a tribe. They are the former slaves of the Cherokee people, some with no Cherokee blood and others with large percentages of Cherokee blood. These particular Freedmen and their descendants were adopted by the Cherokee Nation; therefore becoming citizens of that nation. For more than a century, Freedmen were Cherokee Citizen, and it is morally wrong for the Cherokee Nation to strip away their tribal identities. There were many Freedmen who made contribution to their tribes despite the disagreements concerning citizenships and rights.