It’s all the rage for white folks to fake being Native American. Sen. Elizabeth Warren might the most famous one but two contractors in Missouri have certainly set a record. They reportedly raked in $300 million by lying about their background.
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The Los Angeles Times reports Bill Buell, the owner of Premier Demolition Inc., received over $300,000 from the city of St. Louis, Missouri. Buell just said he was Native American even though his “ancestors are identified as white in census and other government records. And his claim to being a Native American rests on his membership in a self-described Cherokee group that is not recognized as a legitimate tribe.”
However, this is one example of many, the Los Angeles Times investigation found, “Since 2000, the federal government and authorities in 18 states, including California, have awarded more than $300 million under minority contracting programs to companies whose owners made unsubstantiated claims of being Native American.”
Basically, the government loves to give money to people who do not “look” like minorities but claim they are. Rocky Miller, a state lawmaker in Missouri and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, the largest of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes, said, “It’s infuriating. They’re enriching themselves based on a nonexistent recognition.”
Rebecca Nagle, a community organizer and citizen of the Cherokee Nation, also added, “It’s taking those resources not just from our community, but from all communities of color. It’s really problematic.”
As of now, there appears to be no punishment for these companies, they have been stripped of their Native American “status.” Reportedly, the Small Business Administration will conduct a thorough investigation of their records.
In case you forgot, The Washington Post obtained Warren’s registration card for the State Bar of Texas back in 1986, which clearly shows she lied by identifying as an “American Indian” — even though she denied every outwardly saying she was Native American. See below:
Warren did apologize, saying, “I can’t go back. But I am sorry for furthering confusion on tribal sovereignty and tribal citizenship and harm that resulted,” she told the Post.
Back in October, Warren released a DNA test to try to prove she was part Native American after Trump claimed she was lying about her heritage. The test, which was conducted by a Stanford University professor, showed that Warren has a Native American ancestor going back six to 10 generations, which means she is somewhere between 1/32nd and 1/1,024th American Indian.
Native American journalist Simon Moya-Smith blasted Warren, writing on CNN.com, “Warren claims now to have Native American heritage. And her claim to having such heritage — versus a claim of actually being Native — feels sneaky to me. Where has she been on these many issues that plague our communities? Although the results from her DNA test are new, her identity claims here aren’t. Why has she ignored us for so long? Why only now come around? This latest disclosure lets her save face without having responsibilities to the Native community she’s claiming to share heritage with. Furthermore, name me one nation or tribe that claims her. None do.”
Well said, Simon Moya-Smith.