Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Greed Continues

This comment was one of the last made on my old site. The copy was sent to me by a previous reader who has found me again. Since the information contained in the comment is of recent nature, it is being introduced once more.

The unmitigated greed of those who misleadingly profess to be an American Indian "tribe" was demonstrated this past month in Ohio by Oliver Collins, "principal chief of the Tallige Cherokee Nation". These folks demand everything that they believe they should receive as an "Indian". After repeated warnings, the Scioto County sheriff's office raided the group's Cherokee Bingo Hall on Rt. 23 on 17 March and shut the operation down. .The raid followed the refusal of the so-called "tribe" to pay the annual $4,000 licensing fee.

While this might seem to be a high fee, the group has been taking in over a million and a half dollars per year on it's bingo games. It's earnings were the second highest among 16 bingo operations in the county.Despite the million plus earned last year, the "Tallige" claimed only $15,520 in profit. Collins explained that the bingo money has been used "to teach the community about the tribe, to foster Indian adoptions, to hold religious conferences and to sponsor dance teams." In other words, the money was used to mislead the public, stick their nose into the Indian Child Welfare Act, and promote bastardized Indian religious ceremonies.

In a different interview, Collins stated: "One-hundred percent of the proceeds of Cherokee Hall - which has games two days a week, Thursdays and Sundays - goes to charity, Collins said. "It goes to support the hall, and to help the Cherokee Nation, of which there are about 600 of us, most of us here in southern Ohio. We also have a church and retreat on 39 acres in Adams County. We help support all that."

However, one ex-member described the spending thusly: "Mostly it supported him and his family and he was sure to throw crumbs to the people." This is pretty much supported by Collins' claim that, because of the bingo being shut down, that he and his family were left with no physical means of support.

Once involved in the selling of fake Mohawk BIA cards, Collins' response to the shutting down of his "Cherokee" bingo operation was: "They are trying to assimilate us by hurting us in the pocketbook. We advance our nation, we fight for our people, and we are a religious organization. But they are still trying to kill the Indians." He further described the raid as an "invasion" on sovereign Indian territory." This is not about a bingo game," he said. "Our sovereignty rights - the rights of the Cherokee Nation, have been violated. We come under the Bureau of Indian Affairs." "We are the refugees from the Trail of Tears," he said. "My ancestors were not captured. We escaped and came here."

As an example of my past warnings about the U.S. Census and growing Indian population fueled by wannabes, Collins has previously exclaimed: We must start calling ourselves Cherokees in today's society. It is time to come out of the closet and make ourselves known to the dominant society–OUT IN PUBLIC! In 1990 when the next United States Census is taken, we must say on the forms that we are Cherokee. We must change our Race on all documents, such as, Drivers License, Social Security Number, Birth Certificates, etc." This is a common refrain found in the newly founded "tribes", with the ultimate goal of having federal Indian funds misdirected.

The "Tallige Cherokee Nation", was started in 1972 and incorporated in 1988 - the same time period that all of the other little groundhog Indians began appearing. Like some other groups, it also lies about being a "state recognized tribe".

Perhaps the most onerous activities of this group occurred in 1987, when it stuck it's nose into the reburial of forty seven Indian remains at newly built Kalanu Native American Cemetery in Scioto County. Although the remains were most likely of Shawnee Indians, the group claimed them as "our ancestors" and conducted what they called a "traditional Cherokee burial ceremony". As a part of commonalities between the different newly founded "tribes", other groups and individuals have also usurped legitimate Indians in the reburial of remains - despite current NAGPRA laws.

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