Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wannabe Seamstress Claims Work As Her Own

The unethical and fraudulent acts by those involved in newly fabricated “tribes” in order to enrich their own pockets apparently knows no bounds. Rita “Cheyenne Autumn” Chance, a member of the “Chickamauga Cherokee Tribe Indian Creek Band” of Deltona, Florida and wife of its “Chief”, Bill “Little Red Wolf” Chance, is a prime example.

The “Chickamauga Cherokee Tribe Indian Creek Band” was created as a Florida corporation on 5 September, 2000 - Document Number N00000005978. As with other similar groups, it bases it’s existence on revisionist history. The organization also has close ties with the infamous “Manataka American Indian Council” of Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Mrs. Chance advertises herself as having a “reputation for creating beautifully designed and well crafted regalia has grown to such an extent that dancers from coast to coast in Canada and the United States are placing orders - Hawaiians too - Making her the Queen of Powwow regalia!” Her advertisements also claim: “Rita has a degree in fashion design and uses her special knowledge and talent for creating some of the most talked about, beautifully designed Indian regalia anywhere around.”

The problem that arises is that the regalia she advertises on her site is not regalia that she has made, but photos of regalia that she has lifted from other artisan’s sites. At least nineteen photos were identified by Janet Littlecrow as being of creations made by herself and her daughter, Christy. Janet is an excellent seamstress and regalia designer (she made my Otter Hat and Gourd Dance blanket) who operates Littlecrow Trading Post in the Red Rock, Oklahoma, Otoe-Missouria reservation. As this is being written, other legitimate Indian regalia makers are also in the process of identifying regalia used by Chance as examples of her own work.

The fraudulent use of photos by Chance depicting the creations of legitimate Indians as her own is devastating to those who depend on their work for their livelihood. Rita “Cheyenne Autumn” Chance‘s actions in doing this are reflective of her so-called “tribe’ , and similar others, in stealing everything they can from the Indian peoples.

I hope that prospective customers of this woman deeply reconsider any business that they might contemplate conducting with her.

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