February 06, 2007

Tribe or no tribe?

Teaching 'the human people'

Whether they are an actual tribe is debated.AhNiYvWiYa tribal members like Wind Walker are enthusiastic about their culture. Some observers, though, have questioned the legitimacy of this heritage and the truthfulness of the stories they tell the world and each other.

"It's sad. I feel like a lot of the people down there have been defrauded by Paul," said Glinda Ladd Seabaugh, owner of the Cherokee Trails shop on Broadway in Cape Girardeau. She has meticulously traced her own native ancestry back to the 18th century and says she doubts White Eagle's native bloodlines.

"He tells them a lot of things about what it means to be, what they call AhNiYvWiYa, and it's just not accurate. They believe him because they don't know any better," said Seabaugh.
Comment:  This is the type of "tribe" the federal recognition process is designed to screen out and does screen out. In contrast, tribes like the Chickasaw, Kickapoo, Chickahominy, and Lumbee can document a longstanding history of culture and government. That's why the Chickasaw and Kickapoo tribes are recognized and the Chickahominy and Lumbee are close to recognition. (The Pequots are a special case because they got recognized through an act of Congress, not the BIA's recognition process.)


The Local Crank said...

"White Eagle"?
"Wind Walker"?
Why is it that everybody who wants to "play like" they are NDN wants to be Cherokee? And why do they always pick names that don't sound the least bit Cherokee? You never hear of these guys naming themselves Pumpkin, Big Mush or Stalking Turkey.

Rob said...

Good point about the hokey names. Yes, that's one sure sign of wannabe-ism.

I'm well aware of the current status of the Chickahominy and Lumbee tribes. I never said the feds have recognized them.

The Pequots are a special case in this context because I was talking about the usual recognition process. They didn't go through the usual process.

In theory, Congress should scrutinize a prospective tribe as much as the BIA does. In practice, it probably doesn't.

Rest assured that I'm not getting any money from the Pequots. I am employed by an enrolled member of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, but you haven't impugned their integrity (yet).

Rob said...

I think I read about the "Komchitas" in one of your stories.

I'm employed by one Pechanga Indian--Victor Rocha--not by the whole tribe. PECHANGA.net is Victor's privately owned business. He named it after his tribe to honor them.

You could've Googled "Pechanga Indians" and found out all about them. Here are some excerpts from their tribal website:


The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians has called the Temecula valley home for more than 10,000 years. Life on earth began in this valley, Exva Temeeku, the place of the union of Sky-father, and Earth-mother (Tuukumit'pi Tamaayowit). The Temecula Indians (Temeekuyam) lived at Temeekunga—the place of the sun.

The payomkowishum, or Luiseño People, were nearly destroyed by events and actions from first contact with Spanish Missionaries. Turbulent times continued with the eviction of our tribe from traditional lands in the 1870s. The Pechanga reservation was established by Executive Order of the President of the United States on June 27, 1882, affirming Pechanga Tribal sovereignty and our land-base.

Anonymous said...

I dont who or what you think you are or know, but you do not have a clue about me or anything real in Native society! I am not cherokee, I am AhNiYvWiYa the real name of that tribe! We are the real thing and have not acculturated or adopted anything from the white man since the beginning of time when it comes to our belief or Traditions! I am not playing indian & I am surely not a wanna-be! I have family listed on 3 different Indian Rolls and my name of WindWalker was given to me by Elders & Ancestors, I did not name myself! Learn some real facts before you talk crap about someone or something of which you have no clue!!!!

Rob said...

I think I am what I've said I am: a white Anglo-Saxon Protestant with a deep interest in Native issues.

I didn't say anything about you or your tribe being Cherokee. I mainly quoted a newspaper article and let it stand on its own merits.

"Local Crank," who I believe is part Cherokee, did say something about you and the Cherokee. But he was mostly generalizing about how wannabes always seem to have Cherokee ties and names such as "Windwalker." Whether this applies to you or not, I'd say it's a valid point in general.

Let's review the article again:

"Most people will not be able to find documentation, so we ask people to trace any family history they can. Through our spiritual ceremonies, they will be shown. What we ask of people is that they're willing to learn language and want to be part of our true culture," White Eagle said.

You may have ancestors on three tribal rolls (which ones?). But White Eagle is saying that kind of documented ancestry isn't necessary. According to him, you can demonstrate you're an Indian through a "spiritual ceremony" or by learning the language and wanting to belong.

This is classic wannabe talk. None of the 560-plus recognized tribes determines its membership by a ceremony or a wish to join. If you don't understand this, you don't understand much of anything.

In conclusion, I know plenty of "real facts," thanks. I'll put up my breadth of knowledge against anyone's. I haven't lost a debate yet, but if you want to challenge me, go right ahead.

Anonymous said...

dawes roll guion-miller roll hester roll are the 3 rolls my people are on & no its not a requirement for people to have proof because we are not interested in being federal! A ceremony to find out what nation or clan one is does not mean thats how you come into the tribe! Many people do make up silly names to try and be indian but they are more like dancing white buffalo or butterfly at a river etc. my name is WindWalker, on my license, ss card etc. that reporter was a mole for a paper and fake cherokee group who we have had problems with in the past! he was supposed to do a story on our preserving the language and turned it into a farce about our legitimacy! More lies of the white man just like always! as far as debate on this native issue i know for a fact you would lose when in talks with White Eagle as he has lived it his whole life and has been a scholar and professor and teacher etc.! His cousin Chadwick Smith is Chief of Cherokee Nation and we are not anything wannabe except wannabe left alone by ignorant christian honkies who still dont have a clue except what they have read in books written by more white men!

Rob said...

Here is White Eagle's direct quote yet again:

"What we ask of people is that they're willing to learn language and want to be part of our true culture," White Eagle said.

Is this quote accurate or isn't it? Yes or no?

If it's accurate, White Eagle is saying you'll admit anyone who wants to be an Indian enough to learn your language and be a part of your "true" culture. In other words, a wannabe.

You know for a fact that I'd lose a debate? You must have a fanciful definition of "fact," since that's not something you can know in advance.

Fact is that I've never lost a debate in my life. I'm guessing I could out-debate White Eagle just like I've out-debated thousands of other people.

Anonymous said...

no that is not a correct quote by that mole of a reporter! those of AhNiYvWiYa bloodline who want the real culture heritage language etc are welcome to come into the tribe! Not just anyone who says they want those things! come on man act like you have common sense if you so smart! How you think you gonna debate your bullcrap facts from a white man written book and history over that of a person who has lived the truth his whole life and the REAL history been passed down by our Elders since the beginning of time! this is where you show your ignorance! book learned doesnt mean wise or knowledegable of true facts! Stick to your church and debate the ways the bible contradicts itself from cover to cover and leave the Native issues to the Natives! Thats all i have to say!

Rob said...

Re "those of AhNiYvWiYa bloodline who want the real culture heritage language etc are welcome to come into the tribe!":

Congratulations. It took you only three tries to address the quote in the article. I hope White Eagle debates better than you do, because you don't do it very well.

But your claim that the reporter misquoted White Eagle is unsupported by evidence (so far). Until I see a direct quote from White Eagle, not your interpretation of his position, the issue remains undecided. Sorry.

We're still waiting for you to demonstrate my "ignorance" on some issue. All you've demonstrated so far is your inability to address my arguments. Do you think braying the word "ignorance" over and over will make it real? How pathetic can you get?

You have no idea where I got my knowledge from. Perhaps I got it from my dozens of Native colleagues, many of them elders. So you're the only one demonstrating ignorance so far. You don't know what I know and you don't know how I know it.

Your opinion that White Eagle could beat me in a debate is as worthless as your other opinions. Since I've defeated hundreds of people already, I've confident of my abilities. In contrast, I don't know if White Eagle can write or speak clearly. I'm not even sure he exists.

If you want to prove he has some ability to debate, go ahead and do so. Send me some of his winning arguments in writing. In other words, put up or shut up. I'm tired of your un-Native arrogance.

By the way, I don't belong to a church, bright boy. I'm an agnostic, not a Christian. That's another thing you're ignorant of.

In addition, I work on Native issues every day at PECHANGA.net and BlueCornComics.com. My boss is an enrolled Pechanga and he appreciates my work. In fact, most Natives praise me for it.

Therefore, I'll continue doing what I'm doing, thank you very much. If you don't like it, lump it. Make like a tree and leave.

Anonymous said...

Go fuck yourself bible believing white boy! Agnostic or christian you still follow a book of lies that was written by man for man and to suit man's needs and all the hypocrisy that goes along with anything "biblical"!!!!! And the last time i checked, Protestant is a church, therefore christian!There never will be a direct quote to "prove" otherwise, what part of the reporter being a fake-ass mole and telling lies do you not understand???? I could care less who you know or work with, they are most likely "apples" red on outside and white on the inside! Most likely they have no clue as to what their Ancestors really believed, practiced or spoke! Just like most Native Tribes of today as the government wanted to commit genocide of all, and now only recently its "cool" to be indian or like you, act as if you have learned sooo much from one! By the way, my arrogance is more than adequately backed up by my heart, courage, strength and ability to whip some ass!!!! There is no word for "goodbye" in any Native language, so just know that i will never check this page for a reply from you again, so if you write one it will only be for your amusement! Your bible brothers are still waiting to debate why the book contradicts itself from beginning to end!!!!

Rob said...

Re "Go fuck yourself bible believing white boy!" Translation: You couldn't come up with an intelligent response so you resorted to childish insults. Imagine me yawning at your stupidity.

Agnostics don't believe in anything, bright boy, so I don't follow the Bible any more than you do. I'm a Protestant culturally but an agnostic theologically. If you don't know what these words mean, look 'em up in the dictionary.

I've probably debated the Bible's contradictions with more Christians than you have. I haven't lost any of those debates either. For instance, see What Jesus Said and the responses to it.

I couldn't care less which dubious "tribe" you belong to. My boss Victor is an enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe, which is more than you or "White Eagle" can say. I hope you're not an artist, because you'll get kicked out of Indian art shows if you can't prove you're an Indian.

You have the "ability to whip some ass"...and you're proving it by turning tail and running? Or are you merely slinking away on your yellow belly? Either way, you couldn't handle the debate, which suggests you're an intellectual coward.

I also couldn't care less if you never read this comment. It'll be here for anyone who comes across this posting. For example, a search for "AhNiYvWiYa" or "White Eagle" in Google will reveal my pointed criticism of your pitiful claims. If you can live with that, so can I.

Rob said...

Confirming what I just wrote, a Google search for "AhNiYvWiYa" turns up this posting as the 11th hit in the list (as of 1/24/08). Not bad considering I've posted about the tribe only once.

Anonymous said...

some people have nothing better to do than to throw stones at people, but dont realize how ignorant they can be!! who are they to judge and to mock someones name. I am a "White Eagle" decendant , and nothing can take it away from my blood and that inner indian intution and spirit that resides inside the temple of the inner I, certefied by government or not it is all in the spirit.

Rob said...

You're a White Eagle descendant, Anonymous? What does that mean? That you're one of Paul White Eagle's children or grandchildren?

I'm still waiting for one of you AhNiYvWiYa to demonstrate my ignorance about some facet of Indian history or culture. Braying the word "ignorant" over and over isn't the same as proving it, you know. It suggests you don't know what the word means.

P.S. Given all your spelling and punctuation mistakes, I wouldn't brag about how knowledgeable I was if I were you.