Meet Native America: Interviews with Indigenous Leaders

June 22, 2016

Meet Native America: Audrey Hudson, Mayor, City Manager, Tribal Chairwoman, and Police Commissioner of the Metlakatla Indian Community

In the interview series Meet Native America, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian invites tribal leaders, cultural figures, and other interesting and accomplished Native individuals to introduce themselves and say a little about their lives and work. Together their responses illustrate the diversity of the indigenous communities of the Western Hemisphere, as well as their shared concerns, and offer insights beyond what’s in the news to the ideas and experiences of Native people today. —Dennis Zotigh

Mayor Hudson

Metlakatla Indian Community Mayor and Tribal Chairwoman Audrey Hudson at Celebration, a biennial festival of Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures. June 2016, Juneau, Alaska.

 

Please introduce yourself with your name and title. 

Audrey Hudson, mayor, city manager, tribal chairwoman, and police commissioner of the Metlakatla Indian Community, Annette Islands Reserve, Alaska.

A more traditional introduction would be: My full name is Audrey Meri Louise Hudson. I am the daughter of Alice (Walker) Dundas, Tsimshian/Inupiaq of Metlakatla and White Mountain, Alaska. My maternal grandmother is Janet Louisa (Marsden) Hanson. My maternal great-grandmother is Louisa Feak Marsden. We are all of the Tsimshian Gish-but-wada Clan in Metlakatla, Alaska.

Can you share your Native name with us? 

My Tsimshian name is Galksiyaa da mangyepsa tgwa. It means She Who Walks through the High Glass. When the members of our community voted for me to be mayor of Metlakatla, I broke the glass ceiling by becoming the first woman ever to be elected to this position of leadership. This name was gifted to me by my close friends Gavin Hudson, David A. Boxley, David R. Boxley, and Kandi McGilton. My name is very precious, and every day I work to keep my name good and full of integrity.

Where is your tribal community located? 

The Metlakatla Indian Community, Annette Islands Reserve, is the southernmost community in Alaska. We are two hours via Alaska Airlines from Seattle, Washington, plus a ferry ride from Ketchikan, Alaska. Annette Islands Reserve consists of 132,000 acres of land and water base. Metlakatla Indian Community has exclusive commercial and subsistence fishing rights to the islands’ waterways extending from 3,000 feet at mean low tide. We are the only reserve in Alaska. In the 1970s, the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act was accepted by other tribes in Alaska. Metlakatla is the only tribe that opted out. Metlakatla will forever be grateful to our leadership of that time for making that wise decision. 

Where were your people originally from? 

The Tsimshian originated in the headwaters of the Skeena River, in what is now known as British Columbia, Canada. 

What are the criteria to become a member of the Metlakatla Indian Community?

Metlakatla’s enrollment is based on lineage, not blood quantum. If you are not of lineal descent from Metlakatla, but you are Alaska Native and would like to become a member, you must reside in Metlakatla for one year. The Community Council has the authority to set a non-lineage quota per year.

What is a significant point in Metlakatla history that you would like to share? 

The settlement of New Metlakatla was formally established by ceremony on Annette Island, Alaska, on August 7, 1887. So, every year on August 7, we have a large Founders Day Celebration. Many members of the community return home for this time of celebration, cultural dancing and feasting. 

Tribal Chairwoman and Mayor Audrey Hudson
Mayor and Tribal Chairwoman Audrey Hudson, Metlakatla Indian Community.

What responsibilities do you have as a tribal leader? 

As mayor and tribal chairwoman of Metlakatla Indian Community, I preside over all Council meetings. As city manager, I supervise and manage all professional officers and the directors of federal, state, tribal and revenue programs. As police commissioner, I supervise the work of the Metlakatla Police Department and the representative of the police force to Council. The chief of police is a separate position that handles day-to-day situations.

How is your tribal government set up? 

Metlakatla Indian Community was founded as a federally recognized Indian tribe under the provisions of the Indian Reorganization Act 25 USC, Section 426, with a Constitution and By-laws. The Metlakatla Indian Community of Annette Islands is the local governing body. A twelve-person Council governs the community. The mayor, secretary, and treasurer are elected by the general voting membership of the community. Each of these is elected for a two-year term. Council seats are staggered, resulting in the election of six Council seats each year and three executives every second year.

How often does your government meet? 

Our Tribal Council meets the first Tuesday of every month. Any member of the community may request a Special Council Meeting if he or she is able to obtain five Council signatures. Council has committees that meet regularly and handle particular issues and projects pertaining to finance; health, education, and welfare; community realty; law and order; planning; and natural resources. 

Who inspired you as a mentor? 

When I was a child, my inspirations were my aunts Margaret J. Williams, Anna Walker, and Mary L. Mandan, and my great aunt Margaret M. Marsden. My aunty Mae was the first woman ever to hold the position of executive secretary within our government. During this time, my great aunt Lena Dundas was a magistrate judge. In those particular years, I would listen in on conversations between Aunty Mae and Aunty Lena as they would discuss politics and I was intrigued by the various political angles and points of view.

My grandmother Janet L. (Marsden) Hanson is an inspiration. She told me to pray and look to the Lord for daily guidance. Her words to me were, “Your life is what you make it. Always make good choices.”

Is your language still spoken on your homelands?

Metlakatla, Alaska, has approximately five fluent Sm′algyax speakers remaining. All of our fluent speakers are over the age of 60. So there is an urgency to revitalize our language. We have worked in partnership with Annette Island School District in obtaining a federal grant with the goal of cultivating a new generation of children who are fluent in both English and Sm′algyax. The project is in its first year and is showing great promise.

What economic enterprises does your tribal community own?

Metlakatla Indian Community owns and operates a small Casino and Bingo Hall that features 90 class II electronic gaming machines. We own a fish-packing plant—Silver Bay Seafoods–Metlakatla, LLC—which buys salmon, halibut, sea cucumber, and geoduck from our local fishermen. We have always prided ourselves on the excellent quality of salmon caught in our waters. We have a tourism program that is growing every year.

What annual events does the Metlakatla community sponsor?

Every year, Metlakatla hosts the 7th of August Founders Day Celebration. The celebration this year will consist of a community-wide church service at the David Leask, Sr., Memorial Town Hall and go into a parade, followed immediately by the field events at the Russell Hayward Memorial Park. In the early evening there will be a semiformal dinner for adults over the age of 16, during which we will tell the history of our people. To end the night there will be a fireworks show. Founders Day is always a wonderful time in Metlakatla.

What other attractions are available for visitors on your land and waters?

Annette Island has an array of sightseeing opportunities. Whether you decide to climb Purple Mountain, walk to Sand Dollar Beach, hike Yellow Hill, or drive Walden Point Road and appreciate the view on our Official State Scenic Byway, we can assure you that at the completion of your visit, your heart and your stomach will be full.

How does your tribe deal with the United States as a sovereign nation?

Most recently, my administration has worked very hard to reinvigorate a good working relationship with various heads of departments within the federal government. Some of the relationships that we value are with the Department of Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Division of Energy and Mineral Development. Metlakatla has come upon many issues that deal with the effects of climate change. Whether it may be increasing municipal water source levels or assistance with the hydroelectric plant, we are beginning to experience the benefits of strong professional relationships with the United States government and the State of Alaska.

What message would you like to share with the youth of your community?’’

I was recently asked to speak at the middle school promotion and at the Metlakatla High School graduation ceremonies. The one thing that I portray to them is very simple: Your life choices are your choices. You will decide to push forward and succeed. You will be the one to determine where you will be sitting in ten years. Hard work always reaps benefits. Make good choices and always, always, always be true to yourself.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I would like to acknowledge and thank my family for their support. My husband, Conrad Hudson Sr.; our son, Conrad Hudson Jr.; daughter, Lakin; and son-in-law, Warren Brendible. Recently we have been blessed with our first grandson, Kaspen Everett Brendible. 

On November 5, 2013, I was elected by the members of the Metlakatla Indian Community to be the Mayor and Tribal Chairwoman of Metlakatla, Alaska, Annette Islands Reserve. Up to that date, in all of Metlakatla’s 127-year history, there had never been a female mayor. I am the first.

I have been in this office for two-and-a-half years, and I can proudly say that I have worked very hard for the people of my tribe.

My hopes are for a community where the children will flourish, where the government is stable, and where power struggles are a thing of the past.

I dream of a community that functions as a safe haven where we can all work together towards our common goals. We are heading in that direction, and all in all, I love my job!

Thank you.

I thank God for examples of strong, modern women, and for the many opportunities he has brought before me. I thank him for the vision of a brighter future for my people.

And I thank you, for the opportunity to reach out to your readers with this interview. 

Photos courtesy of the Metlakatla Indian Community; used with permission.

To read other interviews in this series, click on the banner below. Meet-native-america
From left to right: Representative Ponka-We Victors (Tohono O’odham/Southern Ponca) taking the oath of office in the Kansas House of Representatives; photo courtesy of Kansas Rep. Scott Schwab. Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne/Mescalero Apache) at the Sundance Film Festival; photo courtesy of WireImage. Sergeant Debra Mooney (Choctaw) at the powwow in Al Taqaddum Air Force Base, Iraq, 2004; photo courtesy of Sgt. Debra Mooney. Councilman Jonathan Perry (Wampanoag) in traditional clothing; photo courtesy of Jonathan Perry. Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne/Hodulgee Muscogee) at Blackhorse et al. v. Pro Football, Inc., press conference, U.S. Patent and Trade Office, February 7, 2013; photo courtesy of Mary Phillips. All photos used with permission. 

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June 13, 2016

Meet Native America: Walter D. “Red Hawk” Brown, III, Chief of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe and Chairman of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribal Heritage Foundation

In the interview series Meet Native America, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian invites tribal leaders, cultural figures, and other interesting and accomplished Native individuals to introduce themselves and say a little about their lives and work. Together their responses illustrate the diversity of the indigenous communities of the Western Hemisphere, as well as their shared concerns, and offer insights beyond what’s in the news to the ideas and experiences of Native people today. —Dennis Zotigh

 

Chief Walter Brown III
Chief Walter D. “Red Hawk” Brown, III, leads the sacred pipe ceremony to celebrate the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe's closing on the purchase of a 163-acre tract of tribal land. In the last seven years, the tribe has bought back 263 acres of land in Southampton County, Virginia—part of the 41,000-acre reservation granted to the tribe in 1705 by the Virginia House of Burgesses. Cattashowrock Town, near Courtland, Virginia; April 23, 2016. Photo by Bert Wendell, Jr.

Please introduce yourself with your name and title. 

My name is Walter D. “Red Hawk” Brown, III. I am chief of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe and chairman of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribal Heritage Foundation, Inc. Cheroenhaka—which is pronounced pretty much as it's spelled: Che-ro-en-ha-ka—means People at the Fork of the Stream. It is the true name of the Nottoway Indians. We are a Virginia-state recognized tribe. The foundation is a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit organization created to support the tribe's cultural and educational goals. 

Can you share your Native name and its English translation with us? 

It's Ga-nunt-quare Cheeta, which means Red Hawk. 

Where is your tribal community located? 

Our headquarters are in Courtland, Virginia, in Southampton County. 

Where is your tribe originally from? 

We're from this same region of southeastern Virginia. We lodged and hunted along the Nottoway, Blackwater, and Chowan rivers. We migrated to Southampton County from Nottoway, in Sussex County—which was originally the southwestern part of Surry County—and from Isle of Wight County. Southampton County was created in 1749 from the southwestern part of Isle of Wight County. 

What is a significant point in history from your tribe that you would like to share? 

I'd like to share two aspects of our history that are still very relevant today. 

Excavation of the Hand Site in Southampton County carbon dates the ancestors of the Cheroenhaka Tribe in this region to around 1580. On November 2, 2009, a state historical marker commemorating the Hand Site was placed on the corner of General Thomas Highway and Hansom Road in Southampton County. The state notes that the site was “long claimed” by the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe. It is believed that the site was inhabited as early as AD 700. 

Our tribe is currently seeking to have the 132 skeletal remains that were dug up and removed from their resting place at the Hand Site returned and reburied on the 263 acres of ethno-historic tribal land currently owned by the tribe here in Southampton County. The remains were disinterred in 1965, 1966, and 1969 and are now housed in shoeboxes at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, in Washington, D.C.

The second event I'd like to share begins in 1705, when the Virginia House of Burgesses—which became the House of Delegates in 1776—granted our tribe 41,000 acres of reservation land in what is now Southampton County. The grant was made up the 18,000-acre Circle Tract and the 23,000-acre Square Tract. 

On April 7 and 8, 1728, William Byrd II of Westover Plantation on the James River visited the tribe's Indian Town on the reservation land. Byrd described how the men and women looked, danced, and dressed—including that the women wore the colors red, white, and blue. He also described the nature of the palisade fort, longhouses, and bedding. Byrd noted in his diary that the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) was the only tribe of Indians of any consequence still remaining within the limits of Virginia. 

On August 7, 1735, the Indian interpreters for the Cheroenhaka—Henry Briggs and Thomas Wynn—were dismissed by an Act of the Commonwealth. On the same day the first of many land-transfer deeds for the Circle Tract of land were recorded between the colonials and the Cheroenhaka chief’s men. Transfers would continue up to November 1953, until both the Circle and Square tracts—41,000-acres of reservation lands—were in the hands of European-Americans.

In 2009 and 2016, the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe reclaimed by way of purchase a total of 263 acres of land that was once part of the tribe's 41,000-acre reservation. The first purchase was of 100 acres and the second, 163 acres.

Cheroenhaka pipe cermony

Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia Kelly Thomasson and Chief Brown shake hands at the sacred pipe ceremony to commemorate the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe's most recent land purchase. Others who took part in the celebration that day include Irvine Wilson (far left) and Rick Meyers (second from left), Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, and Cheroenhaka chief men and other tribal members. Cattashowrock Town, near Courtland, Virginia; April 23, 2016. Photo by Bert Wendell, Jr.

 

How is your tribal government set up? 

We are governed by a nine-person Tribal Council. 

Is there a functional, traditional entity of leadership in addition to your modern government system? 

Yes. As a traditional ethno-historic entity of leadership, we have eight "chief men" and one king or chief. 

How often are elected leaders chosen? 

Council members are chosen every four years but may serve consecutive terms. The chief follows a hereditary line and is elected for life. 

How often does your Tribal Council meet?

Our Tribal Council meets once monthly. The tribal membership meets four times per year—once a quarter. 

What responsibilities do you have as chief? 

I am the tribe's spokesman and principal networker, as well as the tribal historian. My explicit duties include serving as chairman of the Tribal Council and chairperson of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribal Heritage Foundation. 

How did your life experience prepare you to lead your tribe? 

I grew up on our family farm in Southampton County, hunting, trapping, fishing, and tanning hides with my father and learning Cheroenhaka traditions and culture from my mother, father, and grandfather during supper conservations about the history of the tribe. I also spent 28 years on active duty in the U.S. Army and retired as a lieutenant colonel. From my career in the army I was able to glean a host of leadership skills. From the point of view of education, I have B. S. and M.S. degrees. 

Who inspired you as a mentor? 

My father, Walt “Coon Hunter” Brown, Jr., and mother, Ruth “Cooking Bird” Brown. I would also include my 18 uncles and aunts and the host of leaders I served under during my career in the army. 

Are you a descendant of a historical leader? 

Yes, Queen Edith Turner—whose Native name was Wane Roonseraw—and my great-great-great-great-grandmother Polly Woodson. Polly—who was also known as Mary Turner and whose Native name was Kara Hout—was raised by Queen Edie and Chief Man Alex Rogers. All three are listed on the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian 1808 special census. 

Approximately how many members are in your tribe? 

We have 425 active, enrolled tribal men, women, and children. 

What are the criteria to become a member of your tribe?

Our Constitution and Bylaws govern the manner in which a person can become a member of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe. To be enrolled a person must submit to the Tribal Council a paper trail copy of his or her genealogy going back to an ethno-historic Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian surname represented in the 1808 tribal census or found among the names of chief men that appear on land deeds between 1735 and 1953. The applicant must prove the bloodline on the mother's or father's side or both. 

Is your language still spoken on your homelands? If so, what percentage of your people would you estimate are fluent speakers? 

Approximately 5 percent of tribal members speak our dar-sun-ke (language or tongue) in part. On July 7, 1820, former President Thomas Jefferson sent a copy of the language's vocabulary and other source materials to Peter Stephen Du Ponceau, a student of Indian languages who lived in Philadelphia. On March 4 of that year, John Wood, a former professor of mathematics at the College of William & Mary, had transcribed the language, working with Queen Edie on the tribe’s reservation in Southampton County. Du Ponceau recognized the language as Iroquoian. It has been described as a mixed dialect of Mohawk, Onondaga, Tuscarora, and Seneca.

To help keep our language alive, we do a word-a-week program for all tribal members, adults and children. We are also in the process of producing a spoken-language CD. 

What economic enterprises does your tribe own?

Of the 263 acres of land the tribe currently owns, 10 acres are our Powwow Grounds and 2.3 acres are our 17th-century replica Iroquoian palisade village, Cattashowrock Town. We are raising money to build a Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribal Educational Cultural Center and Museum on 3.6 acres. When it is built, we will have a place to display some 3,000 tribal artifacts—points, ceremonial spear points, scrapers, knives, pottery shards and grinders, etc.—all of which have been found on the tribe’s former 41, 000 acres of reservation land. 

What annual events does your tribe sponsor?

We host two powwows every year—a Green Corn Dance on the fourth Saturday in July and the Corn Harvest Dance Powwow and School Days on the second weekend in November. We also have a Primitive Skills Gathering on our tribal land annually in May. 

What other attractions are available for visitors on your land?

The replica 17th-century Iroquoian palisade village Cattashowrock Town includes walking trails with Iroquoian- and English-language signage identifying the flora and fauna on our tribal land. Cattashowrock Town becomes a “living village” on our School Days. 

How does your tribe deal with the United States as a sovereign nation? 

We strongly believe in sovereignty for all Native nations. In addition, on February 27, 1713, the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe became the last Native nation in the Commonwealth of Virginia to sign a treaty with the Crown of England. Since that treaty was negotiated to include a successor clause and since there has been no act or policy by the U.S. government to supersede it, we still proclaim that the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe is a sovereign nation. 

What message would you like to share with the youth of your tribe?

This is something I'd like to share with the youth of all our tribes and nations: Remember that we must keep our culture and traditions alive! Learn the history of your people. Practice your traditions and live your culture. Should you still have your tribe’s language, make sure it is taught to those who will follow you. Always tell the story of our people to whoever will listen! 

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Yes. May your walk in this sacred circle of life make better the walk of others—those who will follow in your tracks, your children. 

Thank you. 

Thank you. 


Photos courtesy of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe; used with permission.

To read other interviews in this series, click on the banner below. Meet-native-america
From left to right: Representative Ponka-We Victors (Tohono O’odham/Southern Ponca) taking the oath of office in the Kansas House of Representatives; photo courtesy of Kansas Rep. Scott Schwab. Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne/Mescalero Apache) at the Sundance Film Festival; photo courtesy of WireImage. Sergeant Debra Mooney (Choctaw) at the powwow in Al Taqaddum Air Force Base, Iraq, 2004; photo courtesy of Sgt. Debra Mooney. Councilman Jonathan Perry (Wampanoag) in traditional clothing; photo courtesy of Jonathan Perry. Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne/Hodulgee Muscogee) at Blackhorse et al. v. Pro Football, Inc., press conference, U.S. Patent and Trade Office, February 7, 2013; photo courtesy of Mary Phillips. All photos used with permission. 

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May 13, 2016

Meet Native America: Chairman Tony Johnson, Chinook Indian Nation

In the interview series Meet Native America, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian invites tribal leaders, cultural figures, and other interesting and accomplished Native individuals to introduce themselves and say a little about their lives and work. Together their responses illustrate the diversity of the indigenous communities of the Western Hemisphere, as well as their shared concerns, and offer insights beyond what’s in the news to the ideas and experiences of Native people today. —Dennis Zotigh

Tony Johnson
Tony A. Johnson, chairman of the Chinook Indian Nation. In addition to serving in tribal government, Chairman Johnson is an artist and Chinook language teacher and the education director of the neighboring Shoalwater Bay Tribe.

Please introduce yourself with your name and title.

My name is Tony A. Johnson. I'm chairman of the Chinook Indian Nation (CIN).

Can you share your Native name and its English translation, or your nickname? 

It's naschio. It means Little Brother. It was originally given as a nickname, but it has come to mean a lot to me.

Where is your tribal community located?

We live by the mouth of the Columbia River and along the adjacent seacoast. The CIN includes the five westernmost Chinookan speaking tribes—the Clatsop and Kathlamet from present-day Oregon and the Lower Chinook, Wahkiakum, and Willapa from Washington State. Our tribal offices are currently located in the traditional village of Bay Center on Willapa Bay in Washington.

Where is your tribe originally from?

We are fortunate that we still live on our aboriginal homelands. However there are many issues our nation deals with today because we refused to participate in the relocations proposed for us.

What is a significant point in history from your tribe that you would like to share?

Our people signed treaties in 1851 that were never ratified. These Anson Dart treaties, which were negotiated on the treaty grounds at Tansy Point, were good for us, because they allowed us access to resources and, most importantly, they allowed us to stay in our villages. They say that the next winter was one of our worst—the government never came through with the goods promised at the negotiations. 

The treaties of 1851 weren’t ratified because some in Congress wanted to remove us east of the Cascade Mountains. 

In 1855 we participated in another treaty negotiation with our neighbors. At that treaty council we learned that the rumors we had heard were true and that we were being asked to move north away from our traditional territory. We refused, along with our closest neighbors. Naturally the people from the lands we were to be removed to agreed. They had a treaty ratified later that year, but the Native people of southwest Washington and the mouth of the Columbia River were left without a treaty. All of the tribes from this area are still suffering the consequences of these actions, or this lack of action. Most of the tribes are federally recognized, but do not have large reservations or other treaty-guaranteed rights. The CIN, however, still lacks official federal recognition today.

How is your tribal government set up?

We transitioned from a traditional form of government to an elected form of government under a constitution in the early 1950s. A point of pride with us is that the original writers of our current Constitution were all hereditary leaders within the community. In fact the first elected chairman was an important hereditary chief.

Is there a functional traditional entity of leadership in addition to your modern government system?

Hereditary leadership is still valued and in some cases has more weight than the elected government, but the Chinook Tribal Council runs day-to-day business.

Johnson McIsaac canoe carving

Chairman Johnson and artist Adam McIsaac (background) carving a canoe for the Community of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde in Western Oregon.


How often are elected leaders chosen?

We have a nine-member council, with members serving staggered three-year terms. Elections for three positions happen every summer at our annual General Council meeting.

How often does your Tribal Council meet?

Our Constitution requires monthly meetings, but we meet more often as needed. 

What responsibilities do you have as tribal chairman?

I am most concerned with the big picture of the preservation of our community and the lifeways associated with it. Our people have a right to exist in our territory and to access its resources. This drives me every day.

How did your life experience prepare you to lead your tribe?

I was enrolled when I was three months old. My father was elected to our Council the same year. Chinook politics have been a part of my life from the beginning.

Despite our lack of federal recognition, we have always had certain rights and we have always been treated as Indians. When I was a young man, these rights were being challenged, and I grew up watching our community fight for them. Without federal acknowledgment and treaties, many of these rights have been stripped from us in my lifetime. This includes the basic right of fishing in our rivers to feed our families.

Who inspired you as a mentor?

We had very hard-nosed leaders when I was growing up. Watching them pound the table and defend us in the strongest way possible was very inspiring. Nearly all the leaders of that old group are gone, and I miss their fire every day.

Are you a descendant of a historical leader? If so, who?

oskalawiliksh was a treaty signer in 1851. His wife akensi was also a person of high status. They are not the only ones in our family line who are significant, but our inheritance from them is important for our position in the community. My wife is also a descendant of one of our treaty signers, a chief named wasilta. He is also not the only prominent person in her family. These are important inheritances for our children.

Approximately how many members are in your tribe?

We have about 3,000 members.

What are the criteria to become a member of your tribe?

We had three citizenship rolls commissioned by the U.S. government in the early part of the 1900s. A person must have an ancestor on one of these rolls to be considered eligible for enrollment.

Is your language still spoken on your homelands? If so, what percentage of your people would you estimate are fluent speakers?

Three languages were common in our area until recently. Many others were spoken as well. Chinook and Kathlamet are the primary languages of our ancestors. They are the two westernmost Chinookan dialects. Most of us are also descendants of our Salish neighbors, so their languages were common here as well. These are primarily the Tillamook and Chehalis languages.

Our ancestors also created a pidgin language known as Chinuk Wawa or Chinook Jargon. This was used widely and for many generations as a common language for people who did not otherwise share a language.

Today there are very few people who speak any of the Chinookan dialects. Salish languages and Chinuk Wawa became more prominent in our lands because of the disruptions associated with Americans and Europeans arriving here. More people understood those languages, and they were more useful over a broader area. Of Chinook, Kathlamet, and Chinuk Wawa, Chinuk Wawa is closest to flourishing, but it is still endangered. I am a good speaker of Chinuk Wawa.

What economic enterprises does your tribe own?

We do not have any significant economic enterprises today. 

What annual events does your tribe sponsor?

We sponsor community events such as our First Salmon Ceremony, a number of paddle events, an annual Winter Gathering and a Storytelling Gathering. The community also has a large canoe family that practices the canoe culture of our ancestors. 

B2

The Chinook Indian Nation canoe skakwal taking part in the 2006 Tribal Canoe Journey. That year the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, whose lands lie along South Puget Sound, hosted the journey's traditional five-day potlatch. 


What other attractions are available for visitors on your land?

Our homeland is beautiful—one of the most incredible places on the planet—but we do not operate any significant tourist activities.

How does your tribe deal with the United States as a sovereign nation?

We fully expect to be treated as a sovereign nation, and despite a current lack of clarity on our federal status we receive that treatment. We consult on a nation-to-nation basis on projects in our area at the county, state and federal level. Amazingly, all branches of the federal government, including many offices within the Department of Interior, treat us as sovereign. Only the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)—in fact, only a part of the BIA—doesn’t recognize our sovereignty.

What message would you like to share with the youth of your tribe?

We can’t let our youth accept our current status—lack of land and diminished rights cannot be considered acceptable. I am 45 years old, and many of these rights have been taken in my lifetime. My father and his brother were raised on Indian Trust land. Our grandparents were forced to go to Indian Boarding Schools. They were all given allotments. So much in our lives is affected by the abuse and neglect that we have experienced.

Our young people need to know that while recognition will not be perfect for us, it will at least raise us up to be on an equal standing to the other tribes. As my dad has often said, we are third-class citizens. We need to be able to be self-sustaining, to be able to govern our own land base and to access our own natural resources for the preservation of our culture and sustenance of our children. We must fight as a community for this. We have been here 10,000 years and have an inherent right to be here another 10,000!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

An amazing story: My father was the chairman of the Chinook Indian Nation at the end of a 23-year process through which we had petitioned the federal government to clarify our status. In January 2001 we were given federal acknowledgment. Then-Assistant Secretary of the Interior Kevin Gover, director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, apologized for the incredible treatment we had received over the years, and it was finally done. Justice had happened, and the Chinook were again a federally recognized tribe of the United States of America.

As chairman of the federally recognized Chinook Indian Nation, my father attended a luncheon hosted by President George W. Bush that was intended to honor the tribes along the Lewis and Clark Trail and kick off the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. That was on July 3, 2002. My father and mother stayed in Washington for the Fourth of July, and while they were walking in the city on the July 5, they received a call from the BIA. Under the new Bush administration and with a new assistant secretary, the BIA had rescinded our federal acknowledgment. Rather than judging us on our own merit, the broken system of the bureau's Branch of Acknowledgement and Research acted on the objection of another federally recognized tribe. What happened at home that day as the word spread is another story. We still have not recovered.

Thank you for sharing this with us. 

Thank you. 


Photos courtesy of the Chinook Indian Nation, used with permission.

To read other interviews in this series, click on the banner below. Meet-native-america
From left to right: Representative Ponka-We Victors (Tohono O’odham/Southern Ponca) taking the oath of office in the Kansas House of Representatives; photo courtesy of Kansas Rep. Scott Schwab. Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne/Mescalero Apache) at the Sundance Film Festival; photo courtesy of WireImage. Sergeant Debra Mooney (Choctaw) at the powwow in Al Taqaddum Air Force Base, Iraq, 2004; photo courtesy of Sgt. Debra Mooney. Councilman Jonathan Perry (Wampanoag) in traditional clothing; photo courtesy of Jonathan Perry. Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne/Hodulgee Muscogee) at Blackhorse et al. v. Pro Football, Inc., press conference, U.S. Patent and Trade Office, February 7, 2013; photo courtesy of Mary Phillips. All photos used with permission. 

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May 06, 2016

Meet Native America: Glenna J. Wallace, Chief of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma

In the interview series Meet Native America, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian invites tribal leaders, cultural figures, and other interesting and accomplished Native individuals to introduce themselves and say a little about their lives and work. Together, their responses illustrate the diversity of the indigenous communities of the Western Hemisphere, as well as their shared concerns, and offer insights beyond what’s in the news to the ideas and experiences of Native people today. —Dennis Zotigh

Chief Glenna J. WallaceChief Glenna J. Wallace, Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. 


Please introduce yourself with your name and title.

Hello, my name is Glenna J. Wallace, and I am chief of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. My Indian name, Ni ni le wi pi mi , comes from the Eagle or Chicken clan and means An Eagle Overhead Watching Everyone.

Where is your tribe located?

The Eastern Shawnee Tribe is one of three federally recognized Shawnee tribes, all located in Oklahoma. We Eastern Shawnees are in the extreme northeast corner of Oklahoma, in an area where three neighboring states can be accessed within minutes—Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas. The tribe borders Missouri, and we can be in Kansas or Arkansas in 30 minutes, max.

Where are the Eastern Shawnee originally from?

We were known to be a wandering, traveling tribe, living in close to thirty states until we settled in Ohio in the early 1700s. We eventually shared a small reservation there with the Seneca Cayuga Tribe. Together we were known as the Mixed Band.

After the passage of the 1830 Indian Removal Act, the Mixed Band was the first group to be forcibly removed to Indian Territory, a journey we made on foot with more than 15 percent not surviving the ordeal. That occurred in 1832, and we remained the Mixed Band until 1867, when we were separated into two distinct tribes, the Eastern Shawnee Tribe and the Seneca Cayuga Tribe. Both tribes remained in the northeast corner of Indian Territory, which became the state of Oklahoma in 1907.

What is a significant point in history from your tribe that you would like to share?

We are a small tribe, approaching 3,300 in number, but just prior to 1900 we were down to only 73 people. Historical documents state that we had only seven or eight men over the age of 21. It truly is an example of almost total genocide.

At that time our culture had so few people to support the ceremonials and dances, those practices became dormant. Not extinct, but dormant. Some way, somehow, the tribe, both men and women, miraculously held on, and in 1939 our first Constitution and Charter were approved. These documents served as our guidelines until 1994, when a new Constitution was adopted, making the chief a full-time position equivalent to a modern CEO. Today more than two-thirds of our membership lives outside our service area.

How is your tribal government set up? Is there a functional traditional entity of leadership, in addition to your modern government system?

The Eastern Shawnees are a self-governance tribe with a structure most similar to that of the United States—three separate but equal powers invested in executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The legislative branch is comprised of six individuals: three councilmen, a treasurer, and a secretary, plus the second chief who chairs the meetings but has no vote except as a tiebreaker. The chief comprises the executive branch and has no vote but does have veto power. At the present time we defer to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Court for the judicial branch. Terms are four years in length, with no term limits. To stagger terms, an election is held each year, conducted by absentee voting.

We have no additional leadership entity in our modern government system with the exception of our Annual Council. The Annual Council meets each September at tribal headquarters following the annual election. And of course tribal citizens have the right to submit initiatives or referendums for action by the Business Committee or by the General Council comprised of all registered voters.

How did your life experience prepare you to lead your tribe?

I am now in my tenth year of serving as chief, having been elected in 2006. Before then, I served on the Business Committee for 18 years. Those years and experiences were invaluable in preparing me for my current responsibilities.

Two other life experiences shaped me as an individual. When I was nine and in the fourth grade, our family left Oklahoma and moved to the West Coast. There we became a migrant family, moving from community to community and working in all types of migrant labor. My four siblings and I were expected to reach a certain quota each day to contribute to the support of our family. Any earnings beyond that quota went to us as individuals, to spend as we wanted. At an early age I became an overachiever. I learned to set goals, work toward those goals, develop a work ethic, and think long-range, and I realized the value, self-worth, and confidence that come from those achievements.

The second life experience that shaped my entire essence was education. I was the first young woman in my family to graduate from high school, the first to graduate from college, the first to pursue postgraduate degrees, which resulted in my being a college instructor and administrative leader for almost 40 years. Those years prepared me for my current role, which ironically is as the first woman to be chief of any Shawnee tribe.

Who inspired you as a mentor?

My mother was my personal mentor. She was a woman who had little, materially speaking, in life. Her mother died when she was only seven years old. She did not finish high school. She moved across the state in a covered wagon with her father and two younger brothers, whom she basically raised, leaving her three older sisters where they had grown up. Later she married and had five children. My father became disabled at a young age, leaving my mother with few options.

She never complained. Instead she taught the five of us to be proud, to work hard, to be honest, to manage our resources and be the best we could be. None of us wanted to disappoint her.

Additionally my first academic dean and two college presidents saw abilities in me that I didn’t know existed. Each challenged me, each gave me opportunities that enabled me to grow and to reach heights I hadn't known were even possibilities. These individuals made me who I am today.

What are the criteria to become a member of your tribe?

Membership in the Eastern Shawnee Tribe is through continuous lineal descent. A citizen today had to have a mother or father who was a citizen who had to have had an Eastern Shawnee mother or father who was also a citizen and so on.

Is your language still spoken on your homelands? If so, what percentage of your people would you estimate are fluent speakers?

I mentioned earlier that when our membership was so low that even our survival was in question, our culture became dormant. Today I am not aware of a single Eastern Shawnee who is a fluent Shawnee speaker. We do have some, however, who are semi-fluent, working to become fluent. Fortunately we have two other Shawnee tribes in Oklahoma who do have a few fluent speakers, and they are of immense help in our efforts to reawaken our dormant culture and language. At the present time we employ two fluent Shawnee speakers who conduct classes or serve in a myriad of other ways advancing our language and cultural opportunities.

What events does your tribe sponsor?

Today we have weekly language classes and a cultural gathering each month with activities ranging from stomp dancing in the spring and summer, to beading, to making moccasins and regalia pieces, to cooking demonstrations, to language workshops. We host a large annual powwow the third weekend in September, with this year being our 25th celebration.

We also have a most popular children’s powwow, known as the Shawna Stovall Back to School Powwow, the first Saturday in August where we provide backpacks and school supplies for all attending children 12 and under. That night we have contest dancing for those youngsters, as well as cultural demonstrations and vendors of all types, including Native arts and crafts and food.

This year we will have our third annual History Summit, where knowledgeable tribal citizens and professional researchers present and discuss Eastern Shawnee topics. We also host a Children’s Culture Camp each June, participate in state language contests for youth, host an annual Winter Gathering as well as an annual Elders Dinner, and offer many other activities and opportunities. We work hard at sponsoring cultural activities, events that will bring our tribe together.

What economic enterprises does your tribe own?

The year 1984 was a pivotal one for the Eastern Shawnee Tribe: That was the year we started our first economic venture in the world of gaming. At first we were limited to bingo and pull tabs in a joint venture with a private individual. Three years later we assumed total responsibility for our gaming enterprise. We added on to our first building three times, then opened Bordertown Casino and Bingo in a new building in 2003.

In 2012 we relocated to new facilities on Highway 60. Indigo Sky offers diverse forms of gaming including off-track betting, bingo, table games, and poker machines. The hotel has 117 rooms, conference facilities, and two restaurants. This year a Convention Center and approximately 125 additional rooms will be added. After opening Indigo Sky in 2012, we reopened Bordertown Casino/Arena in 2015. Gaming revenue has enabled us to purchase additional economic enterprises, including majority ownership of People’s Bank of Seneca, which has now expanded to three locations; Native2Native Solutions (N2N), a tribally owned holding company providing services in human resources, education, tire and automotive, freight and transportation, and hospitality; and the Eastern Shawnee Travel Center. From the original casino there now stand three, each one unique. Our land base has grown from 58.19 acres acquired in 1939 to approximately 2,500 acres today.

Equally important as economic ventures are tribal programs and services. We are located near a small town of approximately 2,300 residents. Our Senior Nutrition program serves about 100 people a day. We have an Early Childhood Learning Center for children 3 months to 5 years old, a Housing Authority enabling home ownership, and twelve rental Independent Elders Living units. We partner with the Wyandotte Nation to provide a health clinic to citizens of both tribes, Bearskin Health Clinic. We have our own Police Department, a tribal tag program, our own print shop, a state-of-the art Wellness Center open to the entire community, and six miles of walking trails. We own and operate a successful Recycling Center. We provide numerous programs to serve those in need, to prevent family violence and violence against women, drug abuse, and suicide; promote Indian Child Welfare   provide assistance via the Child Care Development Fund; and offer professional counseling, including equine therapy for youth.

Most importantly, we support a strong benefits program for our tribal citizens which includes a most progressive educational scholarship program for all, but particularly for our young people. We constantly work with our youth, as they are the leaders of tomorrow. Currently we are writing our first children’s book as well as the history of our tribe. Those are both major undertakings as little has been known about the Eastern Shawnee. Both books should be available within the next year.

What attractions are available for visitors on your land?

Our casinos all located within five miles of each other, four beautiful seasons, and immediate access to four states have made us a destination resort area. Indigo Sky is an upscale gaming facility beautifully landscaped with luxurious rooms and fine dining, plus a modern convenient RV resort. OutPost boasts a small, cozy atmosphere. Bordertown Casino/Arena is action-packed, with a large dance floor, cowboys, a mechanical bull plus live indoor bull-riding or live bucking bulls, depending upon the weekend.

Ottawa County, where we are located, is home to nine federally recognized tribes, more tribes in one county than any other place in the United States. In this one county you will find a minimum of 14 gaming establishments within 25 miles. You will also find powwows, cultural events, fine dining, elegant rooms/suites, conference amenities, lake activities, fishing, golf, indoor bull-bucking, and bull-riding within these 25 miles.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

We, the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, are a small, progressive tribe. We pride ourselves on setting goals, working hard, managing our resources, looking to the future—actually influencing our future—regaining our culture, and taking care of our people.

Thank you.

Thank you.


Photo courtesy of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma; used with permission.

To read other interviews in this series, click on the banner below. Meet-native-america
From left to right: Representative Ponka-We Victors (Tohono O’odham/Southern Ponca) taking the oath of office in the Kansas House of Representatives; photo courtesy of Kansas Rep. Scott Schwab. Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne/Mescalero Apache) at the Sundance Film Festival; photo courtesy of WireImage. Sergeant Debra Mooney (Choctaw) at the powwow in Al Taqaddum Air Force Base, Iraq, 2004; photo courtesy of Sgt. Debra Mooney. Councilman Jonathan Perry (Wampanoag) in traditional clothing; photo courtesy of Jonathan Perry. Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne/Hodulgee Muscogee) at Blackhorse et al. v. Pro Football, Inc., press conference, U.S. Patent and Trade Office, February 7, 2013; photo courtesy of Mary Phillips. All photos used with permission. 

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April 29, 2016

Meet Native America: Jim Taylor, Elnu Abenaki Tribal Councilman and Elder

In the interview series Meet Native America, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian invites tribal leaders, cultural figures, and other interesting and accomplished Native individuals to introduce themselves and say a little about their lives and work. Together, their responses illustrate the diversity of the indigenous communities of the Western Hemisphere, as well as their shared concerns, and offer insights beyond what’s in the news to the ideas and experiences of Native people today. —Dennis Zotigh

Councilman Jim Taylor
Elnu Abenaki Councilman and Elder Jim Taylor.

Please introduce yourself with your name and title.

I'm Jim Taylor. I'm an Elnu Abenaki tribal councilman and elder.

Can you share your Native name and its English translation, or your nickname?

My Native name is Nanabi Wokwses, which is Abenaki for Fast Fox. Many of my people just call me JT.

I am Abenaki and Cherokee. N'wjihla W8banakiak, which means, "I come from the People from Where the Sun Rises." (The letter 8 in the Abenaki alphabet is a vowel with a soft, slightly nasal sound that has been described as sounding like the u in uncle.)

Where is your tribe located?

Our Tribal Headquarters is in the small town of Jamaica, Vermont, in Windham County in the southwestern part of the state.

Where is your tribe originally from?

Our original territories were the southern portions of Vermont and included abutting areas of Massachusetts at one time. Our current home lies at the heart of our ancestral territory.

What is a significant point in history from your tribe that you would like to share?

First and foremost, our state recognition on April 22, 2011, which took many years to secure with the Vermont State Legislature. It was a hard fought fight by many elders before me, who saw state recognition granted then taken away in the 1990s. We kept fighting and finally secured recognition for the Abenaki people 17 years later. 

If I might add a second important point in our history, it is our being asked, along with the three other state-recognized tribes—the Nulhegans, Koaseks, and Missisquoi—to be part of a historic Wabanaki Confederacy meeting in August 2015 with our Eastern Wabanaki cousins—the Penobscot, Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet), Passamaquoddy, and Mi'kmaq. Until that day, such a meeting had not been held in Vermont in over 200 years. We came together to affirm our alliance as Wabanaki people, bound by our traditional wampum belts, to help each other and support one another moving forward as one people. 

Recognition

The Elnu Abenaki Tribe and the Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe receive recognition by the State of Vermont—official acknowledgment of the Abenaki people's long-standing existence in Vermont, which predates European settlement, and of their carefully maintained oral tradition and traditional arts. From left to right: Jim Taylor, Chief Don Stevens (Nulhegan Abenaki Tribe), Governor Peter Shumlin, and Chief Roger Longtoe Sheehan (Elnu Abenaki Tribe). Vermont Statehouse, Montpelier; April 22, 2011.

How is your tribal government set up?

We have an elected chief, or sagomo, and two Council leaders and elders—neg8nigo—one male and one female.

Is there a functional, traditional entity of leadership in addition to your modern government system?

We have a very traditional tribal society and form of government that we adhere to. Our tribal Constitution is not only on paper in the Vermont state government archives, but also traditionally written in wampum bead strands for our people as well.

How often are elected leaders chosen?

Our sagomo is appointed for life or until the chief chooses to step aside or is deemed unfit to hold the position by the Council elders. At that time a Grand Council will be ordered by the Tribal Council, and tribal members will be asked to vote for a new leader selected by the Council elders.

How often does your Tribal Council meet?

We meet once a month and at other times when there is an important issue that needs to be heard.

What responsibilities do you have as a tribal leader?

As a councilman and elder I assist our chief in many areas within our Native community, from repatriation and protection of ancestral sites to working with our younger tribal members on issues they may be having within our tribe. I also work closely with our other councilwoman and elder on issues that pertain to the women of the tribe.

Who inspired you as a mentor?

I would have to say my parents, along with my maternal aunt. My mother and aunt were both very strong, independent female role models in my life. I am also inspired by my father, who was very poor growing up in rural Kentucky, and by descending from a Removal Cherokee great-grandfather. My family imparted many lessons about being humble but proud of who you are, and about never allowing your struggles to define you.

Approximately how many members are in your tribe?

Of the four Vermont-recognized tribes, we are the second smallest in membership. We have a little over 60 tribal members at this time.

What are the criteria to become a member of your tribe?

We Elnu have the same criteria as many other Native communities: You must provide proof of Native descent or ancestry through supporting genealogy records, documents, and the like. We do not recognize the Anglo concept of blood quantum to the extent that we would ever exclude someone based on current blood quantum.

Is your language still spoken on your homelands? If so, what percentage of your people would you estimate are fluent speakers?

Abenaki is still spoken, but sadly fewer than twenty or thirty people in the state are fluent. More people are learning each day, as we have a very strong effort to revitalize the language amongst all of the Abenaki people here and in Canada. Imagine our culture as Abenaki people as a large puzzle that was taken from us and tossed into the air and scattered in many different directions. We have been forced, like so many Eastern Native nations since the time of Contact, to put the puzzle of our culture back together one piece at a time, working with those people who were able to hang on to traditions such as our language, our ceremonies, and our songs. Part of that puzzle has come back to us through our Eastern Abenaki cousins of the Wabanaki Confederacy. For that we are truly grateful and honored.

What economic enterprises does your tribe own?

Elnu at this time is working with local groups who may be willing to donate a land space that our families can use for hunting, fishing, and a community garden. Also we have many traditional artists in our community who, as our ancestors did, sell their art as a source of income.

Jim Taylor Lake Champlain Museum
Jim Taylor serving as a cultural interpreter during Abenaki Heritage Weekend, discussing the importance of the pipe in Abenaki society, diplomacy, and religion. Photo by Kris Jarrett, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

What annual events does your tribe sponsor?

Elnu started the Abenaki Heritage Weekend. It is held annually on the last weekend in June at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes, Vermont, and all four state-recognized tribes participate. Lake Champlain is an important and sacred area to all Abenaki people. The weekend gives people a chance to meet Abenaki people from the four Vermont tribes, to experience a pre-Contact fishing village and speak with Abenaki cultural interpreters, to meet many Abenaki artisans selling their art, and to see demonstrations in how some of the traditional crafts were made before Contact and after. Also, there are panel discussions featuring the various tribal leaders where people can see, hear, and learn more about issues we currently are dealing with as Indigenous people, in our communities and in Indian Country overall.

What other attractions are available for visitors on your land?

All of Ndakinna—our homeland, Vermont—is beautiful for a visit. Jamaica State Park has a small area with a display of artifacts collected in Elnu territory. The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum has a gallery dedicated to the Abenaki people of the Champlain Valley, as does the ECHO, Leahy Center in Burlington, Vermont.

How does your tribe deal with the U.S. and Canada?

Currently we don’t have any issues with either government on the federal level. On the state level, our relationship is one of respect, and the state has been working with us on current issues that affect all of the state tribes, as well as each individual tribe, within Vermont. We look forward to continuing this relationship moving forward.

What message would you like to share with the youth of your tribe?

No matter where you may go, remember you are W8banaki. Remember how far we have come and never stop moving forward!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

N’Nanabi Wokwses. N’W8banaki, Plawinno. Wlakamigen! I am Fast Fox. I am Abenaki, Turtle Clan. Peace!

Thank you.

Wli'wini—thank you.


Photos courtesy of the Elnu Abenaki Tribe of Vermont; used with permission.

To read other interviews in this series, click on the banner below. Meet-native-america
From left to right: Representative Ponka-We Victors (Tohono O’odham/Southern Ponca) taking the oath of office in the Kansas House of Representatives; photo courtesy of Kansas Rep. Scott Schwab. Bird Runningwater (Cheyenne/Mescalero Apache) at the Sundance Film Festival; photo courtesy of WireImage. Sergeant Debra Mooney (Choctaw) at the powwow in Al Taqaddum Air Force Base, Iraq, 2004; photo courtesy of Sgt. Debra Mooney. Councilman Jonathan Perry (Wampanoag) in traditional clothing; photo courtesy of Jonathan Perry. Suzan Shown Harjo (Cheyenne/Hodulgee Muscogee) at Blackhorse et al. v. Pro Football, Inc., press conference, U.S. Patent and Trade Office, February 7, 2013; photo courtesy of Mary Phillips. All photos used with permission. 

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