Following a Cherokee nation Supreme Court ruling this week upholding new membership requirements, members who were descendants of slaves who accompanied Indian owners in a forced march from the Deep South to Oklahoma have been ousted from the nation.

Following the Civil War, slave descendants were allowed to join the Cherokee nation. There are an estimated 2,800 Freedmen, as they are called by the tribe and there are applications pending for another 3,500 .

The 2007 decision by the tribe was to limit membership to only those who could prove direct lineage to Cherokees. That decision was challenged in court by the Freedmen members.