By Chris Gerbasi
Charlotte County attorneys plan to seek an injunction to force Robert Chancey Sumner to correct building and zoning violations at his residence and auto junkyard on Taylor Road in Punta Gorda. Sumner says he is a member of a legitimate tribe--the Pembina Nation Little Shell Band of North America. The Anti-Defamation League, however, describes it as a fake tribe concocted by anti-government extremists to help them avoid paying taxes and other fees.
Mark Pitcavage is director of investigative research for the New York-based ADL, which monitors extremist groups. He said the Little Shell Pembina Band of North America, as he refers to it, was created by Ronald K. Delorme of North Dakota. In 2001, Delorme claimed Indian ancestry and sued the U.S. government for appropriations, but the case was dismissed and the group is not a federally recognized tribe, he said. Pitcavage says that in 2003, Delorme's band became a sovereign citizen group, accepting members for a small fee whether they have Indian ancestry or not.
"It's completely dysfunctional," Pitcavage said. "Anybody can now claim they're in the group."
I hate to reiterate the obvious, but this is another result of Native stereotyping. People use stereotypes to create this scofflaw environment. The process goes like this:
Real Indians vanished long ago. Now Native beliefs and attributes belong to everyone. We're all Redskins, Blackhawks, Fighting Sioux, et al. We all have the right to be Indian.
Thus, we get Hollywood casting anyone with brown skin in Native roles. The Dudesons mocking Indians for fun and profit. James Ray inadvertently killing three people in a Native sweat lodge. And these criminals using their alleged Indian ancestry to avoid paying taxes.
For more on the subject, see Self-Proclaimed "Indian" Secedes from City and "Grand Chief" Webber Sent to Jail.
Below: "Robert Sumner, 74, says he is a member of the Pembina Nation Little Shell Band of North America, a group the Anti-Defamation League describes as a fake tribe." (E. Skylar Litherland)