March 26, 2011

Canoe voyage for Native awareness

A Canoe Voyage to Increase Cultural Understanding

By Vincent SchillingOn June 11, Jerry “2 Feather” Thornton, Cherokee, will join several other American Indians in Kentucky on a canoe adventure he has deemed the “Voyage for Native American Awareness 2011.” The 110-mile, three-week journey—created by Thornton to educate the public about the presence of Native Americans in Kentucky via trade camps along the route—has been endorsed by the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission.

According to Thornton, there is a vast Native presence in his state, contrary to the beliefs of the majority of Kentuckians. “There are still so many people that believe Native Americans never lived in Kentucky. Most people believe that American Indians only fought battles or traveled through the state. That is a huge farce that has been proven and re-proven. In fact, they have built many small towns here in Kentucky on the remains of Native villages.”

Thornton’s claims aren’t without merit. According to an archive article in, more than 22,000 archaeological sites have already been recorded within the state, ranging from small backyard finds to larger accumulations that attract university researchers. In the article, University of Kentucky assistant professor Dr. George Crothers, says the discovered sites may represent only about 20 percent of the actual sites discovered as of 2004.

Currently, there are no formally recognized American Indian tribes by the Kentucky General Assembly. Although in 2009, the Ridgetop Shawnee Tribe was recognized and commended for its work as a nonprofit organization, the tribe has since terminated registration and member services as of October 2010.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Cherokees = Lost Tribe of Israel? and Marketing Tennessee's Cherokee History.

Below:  Jerry "2 Feather" Thornton.

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