CHAMPAIGNE, Ill.—A provocative paper on Jewish and American Indian identities in the 21st century has been published by Common Ground Publishing and The International Journal of Diverse Identities (August 27, 2013, vol. 12, issue 3, pp. 25-36). Presented last June in a colloquium called “Perspectives on Ethnic Identity: Epigenetics, Marketing, DNA and Genealogy” at the 12th International Conference on Diversity in Vancouver, B.C., sponsored by DNA Spectrum, the article is titled “Dying Campfires: Jews, Indians and Descendant Organizations,” by Donald N. Yates and Phyllis E. Starnes.
With the advent of DNA and individuals’ personal discovery of mixed ancestry, ethnic identity categories are becoming blurred. The intersection of Jewishness and American Indian identity is examined here.
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ABSTRACT: Since the 1990s, genetics has transformed many of our notions of race, ethnicity, and identity. In the 2000 U.S. Census, respondents were given the option of checking multiple ancestries or ethnicities for the first time. The similarities of identifying as a descendant of Jews and American Indians are examined in two works of literature—Bernard Malamud’s “The People” and George Tabori’s play “Weisman and Copperface: A Jewish Western.” Three precedents in Hebrew poetry by Benjamin Nahun Silkiner, Israel Efros and Ephraim E. Lisitzky are compared, and the administrative rulings of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and Jewish halakhic writing (B. Netanyahu on crypto-Jews) are discussed as they pertain to Indian and Jewish identity.
Are You Now, or Have You Ever Been a Cherokee Indian?
We may as well have used the word “provoking” instead of “provocative.” The subject explored in “Dying Campfires” is a sore point with many, notably with tribal, governmental and religious authorities who presume to regulate identity in U.S. society empowered by public opinion or officialdom. While Yates and Starnes take a purely objective look at the topic, examining images in contemporary literature and famous administrative rulings, their characterization of the dynamics at play is not likely to please either the identity arbiters like the Bureau of Indian Affairs or myriad seekers after official recognition.
The authors portray present-day Jewish and Indian identity as an unfathomable boondoggle of illusion and delusion, a knot of complexities better left to the domain of comic fiction.
Persecution of Blond Indians
“Non-recognition is a form of recognition,” an observer of Indian affairs once remarked. And that paradox is perhaps nowhere better illustrated than in the case of Cherokee descendants. There is an official list of all the unofficial Cherokee groups at an official/unofficial page called “Thoughts from Polly’s Granddaughter.” If you are now or ever wanted to be considered Cherokee, you will want to check to see if you have ever had truck with one or more of the following “fraudulent” groups:
AL The Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama AL Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama AL Chickmaka Band of the South Cumberland Plateau AL Chero-Creek Intra Tribal Indians (Dothah, AL) AL United Cherokee Ani-Yun-Wiya Nation AL Cherokee of Southeast Alabama AL The Langley Band of Chickamogee of Cherokee Indians AL Eagle Bear Band of Free Cherokees AL Cherokee River Indian Community AL Cherokee of NE Alabama (formerly Cherokee of Jackson Co.) AL Chickamauga Cherokee of Alabama AL Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama Wolf Clan AL Phoenician Cherokee II Eagle Tribe of Sequoyah AL Principal Creek Indian Nation East of the Mississippi AL Cherokee Nation of Alabama AL United Cherokees of Alabama AR Confederated Western Cherokees of Arkansas AR Arkansas Cherokee Nation AR Central Tribal Council AR Cherokee Nation West of Missouri and Arkansas (formerly Cherokee Nation West – Southern Band of the Eastern Cherokee Indians of AR and MO) AR Lost Cherokee Nation of Arkansas and Missouri (Two factions 1. Conway 1. Dover) AR Arkansas Band of Western Cherokee INC (formerly Western Arkansas Cherokee Tribe) Sulphur Springs, AR AR Arkansas White River Cherokee (Lady Lake, FL) AR Cherokee-Choctaw Nation of St.Fransis and Black River (Paragould, AR) AR Northern Cherokee Nation of the Old Louisiana Territory AR Northern Cherokee Tribe of Indians of Missouri and Arkansas AR Amonsoquath Tribe of Cherokee (Mammoth Spring, AR) AR Ozark Mountain Cherokee Tribe of Arkansas and Missouri (Melbourne, AR and Alton, MO) AR Old Settler Cherokee Nation of Arkansas (Timbo, AR) AR The Arkansas Cherokee AR Sac River and White River Bands of the Chickamauga and Cherokee Nation of Arkansas and Missouri (Springfield, MO) formerly known as No. Chickamaga Cherokee Nation of AR and MO) AR Western Cherokee Nation of Arkansas & Missouri (Paragould, AR) AR Western Cherokee of Arkansas and Louisiana Territories AR Neches Tribe – Cherokee Nation (Hot Springs, AR) Defunct AR Chickamauga Cherokee Nation White River Band AZ The United Cherokee Nation (UCN) Western National Office CA Tuolumne Band of Cherokee Indians (Twain Harte, CA) CA Ani Yvwi Yuchi (Cherokee) CA Amonsoquath Tribe of Cherokee CA CA The Cherokees of California (Marysville, CA) CA Cherokee Nation Heritage Organization of California FL The Hunter Tsalagi-Choctaw Tribe (Marianna, FL) FL Chickamauga Cherokee Indian Creek Band (Deltona, FL) FL Choctaws of Florida (AKA Hunter Tsalagi Choctaw Tribe) FL Tuscola United Cherokee Tribe of Florida, Inc. (formerly Tuscola United Cherkees of Florida and Alabama, Inc.) FL Wolf Creek Cherokee Tribe, Inc. of Florida GA Cherokee Indians of Georgia, Inc. GA American Cherokee Confederacy GA Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee (1st) GA Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee (2nd) Dahlonega,GA GA Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee (3rd) (William Dover and Charles Thurmond GA United Cherokee Nation (Arizona and Georgia) GA Cane Break Band of East Cherokees (rejoined Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee, Inc.) GA Southeastern Cherokee Confederacy, Inc. (American Cherokee Confederacy and Southeastern Cherokee Council) Albany, GA GA Broad River Band of Cherokee GA The United Cherokee Nation (UCN) Eastern National Office GA Uganawvkalvgv Kituwah Ayeli GA Chickamauga Cherokee Band of Northwest Georgia GA SouthEastern Indian Nation GA Southeast Cherokee Confederacy ID Cherokees In Idaho(follow the link to see their name) IN Lone Wolf Band of Cherokee Indians IN Northern Cherokee Tribe of Indiana KS Neutral Land Cherokees KS Red Nation of the Cherokee (also operates in AR) KS Kanasas (Awi Akta) District of NCNOLT KS Kaweah Indian Nation (Chief Thunderbird Webber) KY Black Wolf Clan of SE Cherokee Council, Inc. KY Cherokee Tribe of Kentucky KY Kentucky Cherokee Heritage Group (Henderson, Co. KY) KY Southern Cherokee Nation of Kentucky (Henderson, KY) MI Southeastern Cherokee Council, Inc. MO Ahi Ni Yv Wiya, Inc. MO Western Cherokee (Salem, MO) MO The Northern Cherokee Nation of the Old Louisiana Territory (Columbia, MO) MO Amonsoquath Band of Cherokee MO Chickamauga Cherokee Nation MO Cherokee Nation West (Seneca, Mo) MO Dogwood Band of Free Cherokees MO Northern Cherokee Tribe of Indians of Missouri and Arkansas (Clinton, MO) MO The Wilderness Tribe of Missouri MX Cherokee Nation Mexico NC Cherokees of Hoke City or Co. (Lumber Bridge, NC) NC Cherokee Indian Tribe of Robeson and Adjoining Counties (Red Springs, NC) NC Cherokee Powhattan Indian Association (Roxboro, NC) NC Cherokees of Robison and Adjoining Counties NC Creek-Cherokee Indians , Pine Tree Clan NC Free Cherokee (Chapel Hill, NC) NC Ridge Band of Cherkees (Ridgecrest, NC) NC Southeastern Cherokee Confederacy, Silver Cloud Clan, (Cedar Grove, NC) NC Southeastern Cherokee Confederacy (Haw River, NC) NC Tsalagi Nation Early Emigrants 1817 NJ Cherokee Nation of New Jersey NJ Osprey Band of Free Cherokees NM Alburquerque Township Cherokee Nation NY North-Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians NY Deer Council of Free Cherokees NY CherokeeBlackfeet NY Nuy Keetoowah, Inc. NY Ohatchee Cherokee Tribe of New York and Alabama OH Cherokee Delaware Indian Center (Coshocton, Ohio) OH Cherokee United Intertribal Indian Council OH Chickamauga Keetoowah Unami Band of Cherokee OH Eastern Cherokee Nation, Overhill Band (Columbus, OH) OH Etowah Cherokee Nation (Portsmouth, OH) OH Tallige Cherokee Nation, Fire Clan (Lucasville,Ohio) OH Free Cherokee, Four Direction Coucil (Toledo, Ohio) OH Free Cherokee, Hokshichanklya Band (Creola, Ohio) OK OK (Ani Tsi Na) District of the NCNOLT OK Canadian River Band of the Southern Cherokee Nation OK Northern Cherokee Tribe of Indians (Weatherford, OK) OK Southeastern Cherokee Confederacy, Horse Clan OK Southern Cherokee Nation (Webbers Falls, OK) OK Northern Chickamaunga Cherokee Nation of Arkansas and Missouri (Miami,OK) OK United Band of the Western Cherokee Nation OR Northwest Cherokee Deer Clan OR Northwest Cherokee Wolf and Paint Clan (Salem,OR) OR The Cherokee Delaware Tribe of the Northwest OR Northwest Cherokee Wolf Band of the Southeastern Cherokee Confederacy (Talent, OR) PA Southeastern Cherokee Confederacy of Pennsylvania PA Tsalagi Elohi Cherokee Earth PA Free Cherokee-Chickamauga (Chesne,PA) PA United Cherokee Tribe of West Virginia, (Sewicky, S. Carolina) PA White Path Society SC Cherokees of South Carolina (Columbia, SC) SC Broad River Band of Cherokee SC Eastern Cherokee, Southern Iroquois & United Tribes of South Carolina, Inc SC Free Cherokee-Chickamauga SC Paia Lower Eastern Cherokee Nation TN Chikamaka Cherokee Band of the South Cumberland Plateau Region, Inc. TN Tennessee River Band of Chickamauge Cherokee TN Cherokee Wolf Clan (Yuma, TN) TN Chota Nation (Sweetwater, TN) TN Turkey Town Association of the Cherokee (Nashville, TN) TN Cherokee of Lawrence Co. (Sugar Creek Band of the SECCI AKA Central Band of Cherokee (Leoma, TN) TN Buffalo Ridge Cherokees TN Chickamauga Circle Free Cherokee (Chattanooga, TN) TN Cumberland Creek Indian Confederation (Tracy City, TN) TN Eastern Cherokee Nation (Chattanooga, TN) TN East Tennessee Overhill Cherokee Descendants TN Elk Valley Band-Council of Chickamauga Cherokee (Estill,TN) TN Free Cherokee Tennessee River Band Chickamauga (Jasper, TN) TN Free Cherokee (Grandview, TN) TN Free Cherokees Chickamaugan Circle (Ooltewah, TN) TN Free Cherokee Good Medicine Society (Grandview, TN) TN Red Clay Band of Southeast Cherokee Confederacy (Ooltewah, TN ) TN Red Stick Confederacy (Franklin, TN) TN Free Cherokee of Tennessee (Evensvillie, TN) TN Elk Valley Council Band of Free Cherokee (Pigeon Forge, TN) TN Etowah Cherokee Nation (Cleveland, TN) TN Etowah Cherokee Nation (Pigeon Forge, TN) TN Tennessee Band of the Cherokee (Strawberry Plains, TN) TN Aniywiyai Native People (Cleveland, TN) TN Appalachian Confederated Tribes (Lee Vest, Kingsport)AKA Upper Cumberland Cherokee TN Aniyunweya Nation (Lyles, TN) TN Over-Hill Indian Nation – Cherokee (Englewood – Tellico Plains) TN Deer Clan of East Tennessee (Lenoir, TN)_ TN Faraway Cherokee Association (Memphis, TN) TN Tanasi Council of the Far Away Cherokee (Memphis, TN) TN Tanasi Native American Group (Knoxville, TN) TN Tennessee Band Cherokee, Inc. Earth Clan (Nashville, TN) TN Tennessee Band of Eastern Cherokee (Knoxville, TN) TN TeeHahNahMah Nation (Rockwood, TN) TN Tohcahe Band White Wolf Guardian Spirit TN Tsalagi Intertribal Warrior Society TN United Eastern Lenape Nation Middle Division Inc. (formerly known as Cherokee of the Upper Cumberland, Knoxville) TN United South and Eastern Tribes (Nashville, TN) TN Central Band of Cherokee AKA Cherokees of Lawrence Co. TN TN Western Cherokee, TN (Break away from Ar and MO, Atoka, TN TX American Cherokee Tribe of Texas (Lumberton, TX) TX Cherokee Nation of Texas Limited TX Free Cherokee, Hummingbird Clan, (Dallas, TX) TX Cherokee Nation of Texas Tsalagi Nvdagi Troup TX Southeastern Cherokee Confederacy, Hawk Clan (Mineral Wells, TX) TX Southeastern Cherokee Confederacy, Sequoyah Clan (El Paso, TX) TX Southeastern Cherokee Tribe and Associated Bands (Porter, TX) TX Texas Band of Cherokee Indians of the Mount Tabor Indian Community TX Texas Gulf Coast Cherokee and Associated Bands New Caney, TX TX Texas Buffalo Bayou Band of Chickamaugan Cherokee, Southern Cherokee Nation TX Court of the Golden Eagle, The Oukah TX Sovereign Cherokee Nation (Tejas, Mesquite, Dallas) UT Cherokee Indian Descendents Organization of the Ani-Yun-Wiya UT Colorado River Band of the Southern Cherokee Nation UT Rocky Mountain Band of Cherokee Descendents – Magna VT Free Cherokee, Tribal Council, Springfield, VT VT Green Mountain Band of Cherokee (Bristol, VT) VT Sunray Meditation Society (Bristol, VT) VA Appalachian Cherokee Nation VA Buffalo Ridge Cherokees VA Cherokee of Virginia Birdtown VA Free Cherokees Spider Clan (Richmond, VA) VA Inagel Tsalagi, Cherokee of Virginia (Rapidan, VA) VA Northern Tsalagi Indian Nation VA Southern Cherokee Confederacy, Pine Log Clan, (Fairfax, VA) VA Turtle Band of Cherokee (Evington, VA) VA United Cherokee Tribe of Virginia (Madison Heights) VA Wolf Creek Cherokee Indian Tribe of Virginia WV United Cherokee Tribe of West Virginia WA Free Cherokees, Four Directions Council, Toledo WA Anisahani Blue Clan, Woodland WS Southern Cherokee Confederacy, Wisconsin VBC Southern Cherokee Confederacy, Haddock/Compton Clan (Vancouver) WDC Cherokee Tuscarora Nation of Turtle Island (Washington, D.C.) MB Chewah Cherokee Nation (Amaranth, MB ROH OBO Canada) Various locations – The United Cherokee People Unknown location – United Cherokee Nation 2 – led by Robin Mayes.
Note that several of these have moved or are at large. Thanks, Cherokee Nation Fraudulent Indian Task Force, which has a minute-by-minute alert log resembling a tornado watch on its page.
If you are beginning to get worried that maybe you are a fraudulent Indian as well as being a fraudulent Cherokee, take a look at Polly’s Grandmother’s expose of actors and entertainers who are not what they may appear to be (including Diane Sawyer, debarred because blond):
Tori Amos, singer James Brown, singer Rita Coolidge, singer The Jonas Brothers, singers Loretta Lynn, singer Kevin Costner, actor Johnny Depp, actor Hunter Tylo, actress Carmen Electra, actress James Garner, actor Charisma Carpenter, actress Jimi Hendrix, guitarist, singer Gregg Rainwater, actor Val Kilmer, actor Demi Moore, actress Mandy Moore, singer and actress Lou Diamond Phillips, actor Wayne Newton, actor and singer Chris Douglas, actor Joe Nichols, country singer Chuck Norris, actor and martial artist Elvis, singer, actor Quentin Tarantino, actor Burt Reynolds, actor Tina Turner, singer Liv Tyler, actress Steve Tyler, singer Billy Ray Cyrus, singer and songwriter Mylie Cyrus, singer and actress Crystal Gayle, singer Cindy Crawford, model Cher, singer and actress Della Reece, actress Corbin Bernsen, actor Clint Walker, actor James Earl Jones, actor Johnny Cash, singer Sam Elliot, actor Sydney Penney, actress Tommy Lee Jones, actor Waylon Jennings, singer Robert Redford, actor Alicia Silverstone, actress Garth Brooks, singer Jennifer Garner, actress Diane Sawyer, (claims to descend from Princess Cornblossom!!!)
There is also a helpful audiofile on How to Spot a Wannabe Indian, by Simon Moya-Smith (Warning for Language). But you’ll have to hunt for it among all the other bigoted ravings and Spanish Inquisition-styled denunciations. We won’t spoil your visit by telling you what the Cherokee Nation thinks of Elizabeth Warren. HINT: She’s also blond.
After reading these lists I have decided you cannot trust anybody. I am completely paranoid now and will no longer use the C-word, or the I-word, or even the politically correct NA, except in the sense of “non-applicable.”