Friday, April 11, 2008

Fabricated “Tribes” and An Anti-Sovereignty Wannabe “Indian”

Originally Posted 3 February, 2008

For this comment we will follow the interconnections of a state recognized “tribe”, to a “tribe” that was created as the result of a “vision quest”, the relationship between two anti-Indian organizations, and finally to a wannabe Indian who claims to be speaking for the Mohawk people. Understanding these connections is particularly important now in the light of the multitude of land to trust applications that have been denied in the past couple of months, and the continuing pace of these denials.

Without any requirements for being American Indian or a history of being an American Indian Tribe, in 1993 the state of Georgia recognized three organizations as being American Indian “tribes”. The first noticeable of these organizations is the “Lower Muscogee Creek Tribe”, which had drastically failed in almost all counts to meet requirements in it’s attempt for federal recognition. The second organization, and the one addressed in this comment, is the “Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee”.
A member of the Georgia legislature, William J.Dover introduced the bill for the Georgia Eastern Cherokee while, at the same time, he was the “Chief” of the organization. Rather convenient, I’d say. The organization itself had originated with a heritage club founded by Thomas Mote and his mother in 1977. Mote later wrote a complaint to the BIA that Dover “cannot document any Indian ancestry”. As with other fabricated tribes, wasn’t long before the “tribe” ran into difficulties in deciding on who was the real “tribe“.

Four groups claimed to be the genuine article: the Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee Indians Inc., Dahlonega; Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee, Echota Fire Inc., Dahlonega; Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee Inc., Cumming; and another group calling itself the Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee, Dahlonega. Besides the years of law suits against each other, the activities have boarded on the best slap-stick comedy.

Two examples: The post office box given in the recognition process was in error, and did not exist at the time (P.O. Box 1993, Dahlonega). When the post office boxes were expanded in 2000, John Chattin (Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee, Echota Fire Inc.), ran down and reserved the box number for his group. Meanwhile, Lamar Sneed of the Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee Inc., Cumming, tied up 67 dot-com names with every combination of Georgia and Cherokee and Indian that he could think of. Sneed was also involved in chartering groups in other states (such as the Arkansas Band of Western Cherokee) as Cherokee “tribes”. And, in all of this time, these groups have been sucking up well over millions of federal Indian monies that should have gone to legitimate Indians and Tribes.

The next step in our connection involves C.W. Duncan, aka Grandfather Duncan Sings-Alone. A member of the Georgia Eastern Cherokee, Duncan claims to have received instructions to form his own group from “the Grandfathers” during a vision quest. Named the “Free Cherokee”, Duncan’s organization is mainly an “Internet one designed as an inter-tribal and inter-racial group dedicated to helping committed individuals discover and practice their ancient spiritual traditions.” It also opened the door of opportunity for additional wannabes to pour in and claim to be “Indian”. According to Tracy Miller of the Cherokee Nation, Duncan originally recruited many members for his group through the now defunct Genie information service.

One of the recruits for the Free Cherokee was James David Audlin. According to Auldin’s own writings ( “Sacred Place, Sacred Time” in the Eagle, Vol. 8, No. 4. July-August 1990), he started his career as an Indian at an early age. Around ten years old, he began reading Vedic scriptures, the Bible, and books on American Indian spirituality. When he was around thirteen, he claims to have met a Lakota spiritual leader named “Wandering Eagle”. In the following years, Auldin became involved in Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shinto, Judaism, Islam, Baha’I, and various “Tribal Religions” to one extent or another. Having taken “precepts as a Choygye Zen Buddhist”, he is also an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. Finally, to top all of this off, he is supposed to be a “chief and ceremonial leader in the Native American spiritual tradition“.

Auldin continued his career in becoming an Indian through “studies with Lakota-trained Cherokees such as “Running Deer“ and “Grandmother Alloday Gatoga”. He was “ initiated into the Good Medicine Society in 1989 and have been appointed the New England Area Chief of the tribe in which I am enrolled” (Free Cherokee).
The Good Medicine Society” is another interesting group that has spread it’s shadow across the county and promotes it’s own style of New Age Indian spirituality. It was originated by the late Eli Gatoga in Arkansas and operates out of Norfork, Arkansas. His grandmother was supposed to have been a member of the “Cherokee Medicine Clan” and his grandfather was supposed to have been the “Druid Squire” of the little village“ (Old Joe, Arkansas).

At the same time, Auldin has been promoting his “brothers”, such as Robert Three Eagles Shrewsbury of Fredonia, Arizona. “Three Eagles” operates the “Nation Leaders of the United Lenape Nation”. His unusual web site can be found at:

Now calling himself “Distant Eagle, Tribal Council Chief of the Free Cherokees“, Auldin wrote: “I am distributing this letter from my brother Chief Three Eagles as being from me too, encouraging all Free Cherokees, all Cherokees of whatever tribal organization, all Native people, and all people of good heart of whatever ancestry, to join in this fast and prayer time. Wado (thanks)!”

Living in New England, Auldin apparently decided that it would be more beneficial to be Mohawk than Cherokee. He dropped the Cherokee phrases in his communications, started using Kanien’keha (Mohawk language) and metamorphosed into a Mohawk. He also claims to speak ten different languages. One can either regard this as fact, or consider that Mohawk words and phrases are as common on the internet as Cherokee.
I contacted two different officials at the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe - and they said that they never heard of the man Now, we come to the final connections. For a short review, we have come from a fabricated state recognized tribe, to an internet tribe with connections to other questionable “Indian organizations, and from being a Cherokee to being a Mohawk. Because of the length of this comment, we will continue a Chapter Two later this week.

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