Monday, April 28, 2008

A Study Of How Congress Is Manipulated: Chapter 7

Continuing comments addressing Section 2 of S.514 AND H.R. 2028

Misleading Claim:

Sec. 2 (10) (D) maintained a ceremonial area on Bruce Creek that was attended until the late 1920s;


The Walton County Historical Society was unable to identify such a ceremonial ground. It would be unusual for a Tribe or Band to abandon a ceremonial ground for other reasons than a death at the ground or the movement of the complete group a large distance away from the area. In the case of a death, the grounds are sometimes shifted only a short distance. Tribes commonly maintain their original ceremonial grounds even if tribal members move far away. It’s not uncommon for tribal members who have moved many states away from a Tribal location to return to those grounds for tribal ceremonies.

If Bruce has been the center of the Muscogee Nation for 150 years, why was the ceremonial ground moved over three hundred miles away (see following)?

Misleading Claim:

Sec. 2 (11) the ceremonial area of the Nation, as in existence on the date of enactment of this Act--
(A) is located in the community of Blountstown, Florida, 1 of the reservations referred to in the Apalachicola Treaty of October 11, 1832; and


This is a weak and misleading attempt to link the Muscogee Nation with the reservation at Blountstown.

This reservation was a four square mile reserve that was awarded to John Blunt (Lafarka) under the 1823 Treaty of Moultrie Creek for his services to the U.S. Government in the Creek War of 1813-14, then as a guide for General Andrew Jackson during his invasion of Florida in 1818. This invasion resulted in the purchase of Florida from Spain. Five other Indians loyal to the U.S. also received similar reserves in Middle Florida under the same treaty.

The October 11, 1832 treaty provided for the surrender of their reservations and an indemnification of $13,000, with $3,000 in cash and the remainder $10,000 once they started their movement. Chiefs Blunt (Blount) and Davy were to continue to draw their $5,000 annuity payment as long as they were in the Territory of Florida, with a proportional final amount paid when they removed. The Indian parties involved were also presented with the opportunity to patent the land, but if they did so they would come under the laws of the territory.

Blount and his band removed from Florida in the spring of 1834 after selling the land to the U.S. government and they settled on the Trinity River in Texas - where Blount became a wealthy cotton planter.

The distance between Blountsville and Bruce is approximately 326 miles. Yet the headquarters of the Muscogee Nation of Florida is given as being at Bruce. While tribal ceremonial grounds are commonly removed a relatively short distance from a tribal headquarters for privacy purposes, this appears to be an excessive distance and is most likely based on the powwows originally being conducted there.

Misleading Claim:

Sec. 2 (11) (B) is the site of continuing ceremonies, such as Green Corn, and traditional events;


The group, as the Eastern Creeks, originated their “ceremonies” as powwows. Powwows are public intertribal dances and are not traditional ceremonial events. It should be noted that Dr. Andrew Boggs Ramsey has held both the “Tribal Chairman” position and the “Ceremonial Chief” positions. Yet, tribal ceremonial activities and the regular day-to-day business activities mix together like oil and water. In other words, the two are completely separate in every way. They do not mix freely by the switching from one side to the other.

In a December 12, 1979 letter to Mrs. Alice Grady of the old Boggs Newsletter, Dr. Ramsey claimed to be Cherokee. One of the documents he listed to support his statement was a 1851 Tahlequah (Oklahoma) District Payment of $278.49 to a Polly Boggs Tarsequanyshkee. It’s more than apparent that Dr. Ramsey, as have many others trying to prove an Indian ancestry, merely has gone window shopping for any American Indian with the Boggs name.

Misleading Claim:

Sec. 2 (12) local governments have recognized the community of Bruce as the center of tribal government of the Nation; and


This recognition is fairly recent and has no historical precedence. Such recognition is usually at the request of organizations such as the Eastern Creek Nation/Muscogee Nation of Florida and provides communities with potential added income through federal monies and tourism. Most communities, unless they are located in an area with a tribe that has a known historical presence there, have no experience in determining the validity of claims such as made by the Muscogee Nation of Florida.

That the local governments and organizations have no actual knowledge of the Eastern Creek Nation/Muscogee Nation of Florida as a historical tribe in the area is supported by their inability to identify, through correspondence or by telephone, the locations and/or history of the school, church, cemetery, and ceremonial grounds claimed in this resolution as being founded, maintained, or otherwise used by the Muscogee Nation of Florida. This is especially true if even the Walton County Historical Society was not able to identify these items.

If anything, community recognition of the Muscogee Nation of Florida indicates the shrewd publicity campaign conducted by the organization to invent itself as a historical tribe over the past 20 or so years. Similar recognition to recently founded organizations claiming to be tribes has been given by communities in other states.

Misleading Claim:

Sec. 2 (13) during the 30-year period preceding the date of enactment of this Act, the Nation has received Federal, State, and local grants, and entered into contracts, to provide services and benefits to members of the Nation.


The “30” year period is given because this encompasses the complete period of the history of this “tribe“, including time spent as part of previous groups attempting to be federally recognized. The majority of grants received were no different than what any other organization is eligible for.

A Manpower Training Grant for $75,000 was received in 1976, which was used as a recruiting tool. Advertisements paid for by this grant read “ If you do not need job training but would like to sign up as a descendant of the American Indian….”

A Vista “mini-grant” was received in 1976, but was withdrawn in 1977. A grant for $85,000 was received in 1976 from the United Southeastern Tribes organization, but was withdrawn the following year after it was discovered that the funds were being misspent.

The group received $30,000 to support “several job fairs to bring employers and Native Americans with disabilities who are seeking jobs together“.

The group has also received grant monies from the Administration for American Indians (ANA), which has a long past history of funding anyone who merely says they are Indian. The Department of Agriculture has admitted to granting Indian program funds to anyone who self-identifies as American Indian. The Office of Indian Education provides Title VII grants to schools with no Indian students. Virtually every single similar group calling itself an American Indian “tribe” has received Federal grants for one contrived reason or another. Such grants do not necessarily mean that the receiving organization is American Indian or is recognized as a “tribe“. These grants are, however, symptomatic of a broken and wasteful system.

To be continued.

No comments: