The crux of the debate is whether the tribe is genuine and how it determines its membership. Therefore, some quotes on the subject may be illuminating:
Legal Status of AhNiYvWiYa Inc.
AhNiYvWiYa is registered with the Internal Revenue Service of the United States of America as a 501C3 Non-profit Native American Tribe under the categories of Religion and Education.
AhNiYvWiYa Inc. Tribe of Native People is not under treaty with the Federal Government, therefore is not Federally Recognized.
Correspondence must be maintained with the Tribal Office over a designated period of time before an applicant is given the Application for Tribal Membership. Because so many are interested in just being "Indian" by card membership and not interested in living the traditional culture of our people, the AhNiYvWiYa want to see from the applicant their sincere desire to be associated with the AhNiYvWiYa ah-ni-gu-ta-ni. Holding a card from a Tribe does not make you a Native Person. Living a true culture of Native People makes one Native.
Whether they are an actual tribe is debated.
So are they really Indian?
It's an uncomfortable question that gets to the heart of ethnicity and identity in the 21st century. In a melting pot world, who gets to decide who the "real" members of any group should be?
"We do not look at a quantum of blood," said White Eagle of his tribal requirements.
Also of interest is Chief Paul White Eagle's art. As a website assures us: