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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2021

Wewoka, Okla. (March 26, 2021) - Seminole Nation Chief Gregory P. Chilcoat issued the following statement today
relating to the United States Indian Health Services dissemination of COVID-19 vaccines.

"On behalf of the Seminole Nation, I would like to extend our condolences to all families that have experienced the loss
of a loved one due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Seminole Nation is deeply concerned to learn the Wewoka Indian
Health Services Clinic denied descendants of Seminole Freedman access to COVID-19 vaccines. To be clear, the
Seminole Nation does not operate the Wewoka IHS Clinic, has absolutely no Policy oversight regarding the day-to-day
operations of the Clinic and was in no way involved with administering COVID-19 vaccines. The administration of COVID-
19 vaccines at the Wewoka IHS Clinic rests solely with the Indian Health Service, a Federal Agency that operates under
the guidance of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. It is apparent that descendants of
Seminole Freedman have been misled to believe the Seminole Nation has had a part in denying them access to COVID-
19 vaccines. The allegations made against the Seminole Nation are entirely baseless and false. The Nation recommends
the descendants of Seminole Freedman seek a remedy directly from the United States for any rights or liberties they
believe they are owed. Approximately 299 adult descendants of Seminole Freedman reside within the Seminole
Nation's Reservation Boundaries which accounts for 1.6% of our Nation, comparatively. We encourage descendants of
Seminole Freedmen to seek proper recourse or remedy from the United States Government."

"Lastly, we understand some have attempted to conflate the failure of IHS to provide COVID-19 vaccinations into a
platform that the Seminole Nation is racially and maliciously motivated to allow harm to befall descendants of Seminole
Freedman. As a minority group that has overcome extreme prejudice, economic hardship, being stripped of our
homelands in Florida, a forced death march of our Ancestors and paternalistic United States policies for over 235 years,
the Seminole Nation declares the allegations as false, reckless and harmful to the Nation. The Seminole Nation has deep
respect for all people regardless of race, color or national origin."

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