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Monday, June 29, 2015
Feds Say Missouri Man a FAKE Indian and Charge Him with Misrepresentation of Indian-produced goods...
The recent Rachel Dolezal flap, a white woman posing as black led to a lot of columns about FAKE Indians, something that has happened for over a century, Iron Eyes Cody, was an Italian actor. Our Senator from MA, used fake Cherokee heritage for personal gain at Harvard.
We are in the process of putting out some stories of FAKE Pechanga Indians who usurped power. Today another story comes out...
HERE we have the story of a man with no membership in any federally recognized Cherokee tribe, misrepresenting himself as Cherokee.
Federal prosecutors in Kansas City recently charged Terry Lee Whetstone, 62, with misrepresentation of Indian-produced goods and products, a misdemeanor that is punishable by up to a year imprisonment.
Neither Whetstone nor his lawyer responded to requests for comment, and he is not a member of the federally recognized Cherokee Nation, according to records of the Oklahoma-based tribe.
But he is an enrolled member of the Northern Cherokee Nation, according to Chief Kenn Grey Elk.
And while that nation is not federally recognized, it is officially recognized by the state of Missouri, according to Grey Elk.
That, according to Grey Elk, would qualify Whetstone as an Indian under federal law.
Federal prosecutors declined to comment about the charges beyond the information contained in court documents.
Whetstone’s website no longer functions. But for more than a decade, it cited his Cherokee heritage in advertising his music, painting, sculptures and jewelry.
He was raised in suburban Kansas City, according to his online biography, and performed flute music at numerous events around Kansas City. For years, his website claimed that his artwork could be found in many galleries and private collections — and even at The Smithsonian museum gift shop in Washington, D.C.
Federal prosecutors in Kansas City said they could not recall a similar case being filed in recent memory under the Indian Arts and Crafts Act of 1990.
But the phenomenon is enough of a problem nationwide that a special board under the auspices of the U.S. Department of the Interior has monitored the art world since 1935 to ensure that art marketed as Indian is authentic.
“While the beauty, quality, and collectability of authentic Indian art and craftwork make each piece a unique reflection of our American heritage, it is important that buyers be aware that fraudulent Indian art and craftwork competes daily with authentic Indian art and craftwork in the nationwide marketplace,” the Indian Arts and Crafts Board states on its website.
Federal law does not prevent non-Indians from producing Indian-style artwork. But only a member of an officially recognized Indian tribe, or a person certified as an Indian artist by a tribe, is allowed to market products as Indian-produced.
The law covers a variety of traditional and contemporary arts and crafts.
According to the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, items frequently copied by non-Indians include jewelry, pottery, baskets, carvings, rugs, Kachina dolls and clothing.
“These counterfeits undermine the market for authentic Indian art and craftwork and severely undercut Indian economies, self-determination, cultural heritage and the future of an original American treasure,” according to the Indian Arts and Crafts Board.
For legitimate Native American artists, the law is an important way to protect their cultural identity and livelihoods.
Counterfeiters “are appropriating a culture that’s not theirs,” said George Levi, an Oklahoma artist of Cheyenne-Arapaho descent.
Levi likened the crime to people who profit from counterfeiting the work of big-name fashion designers. Every piece of artwork sold as authentic by a non-Indian takes money away from a legitimate Indian artist, he said.
“They’re just trying to make a buck off of us,” Levi said.
Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/crime/article25737253.html#storylink=cpy