Sovereign Nations/Identity falsely claimed: Cherokee
Determination: Willful fraud
The National Tekakwitha Conference is a wonderful organization representing St. Kateri Tekakwitha. Gail Beth Rando has served on the board of directors for various terms, including at times, as the chair of the board of directors. It was brought to our attention that Beth claims to be Cherokee and centers herself as if she is a Cherokee woman with a Cherokee perspective and a right to a voice and a seat at the table where American Indian concerns are discussed. She is also chairing this board, which we understand is intended for American Indian people.
Lianna Costantino, TAAF director, met Gail at a retreat in Cherokee a few years ago. Lianna now facilitates this retreat. It was suggested that Lianna reach out to Gail to see whether she would recommend it to others. Gail’s response was rude, suggesting that Lianna had made unwelcome changes to the retreat (which now focuses on uncolonized authentic allyship, truth-telling, tribal sovereignty, anti-racism, true Cherokee history, intergenerational grief and trauma, etc.)
Lianna had also been told about Gail’s position with the Tekakwitha Conference and that Gail is not actually Cherokee. Lianna asked Gail about this but Gail refused to answer at all, saying at that point that “other people’s opinions of me are none of my business” and told Lianna not to contact her again.
This racist, white privileged attitude, along with her genealogy (which shows no American Indian ancestry whatsoever) and things like the racist picture of Gail (below), dressed in some sort of cheap costume and sharing her stereotypical fake “Indian name” with the world ("She Who Stands With The Wind In Her Face"), show an incredible lack of respect for the people she falsely claims to be descended from. Her unwillingness to even talk about (in order to learn and understand) why all of this is highly problematic has resulted in obviously willful ignorance and unrepentance regarding her entitled attitude that she can take whatever she wants from the Cherokee people with no accounting whatsoever.
It is her blatant entitlement and rude disrespect that prove without any doubt that this is a case of willful fraud. She clearly has no intention of admitting that she is not Cherokee at all, let alone apologizing for her behavior.
We at TAAF have zero doubt that the National Tekakwitha Conference will take this in hand and respond appropriately. But we also have little doubt that Gail will go forward continuing to lie about who and what she is. Therefore, she will be added to the frauds listed on our website and on all social media channels as a public service announcement to other organizations out there that this woman is a fraud.
ALL of Gail’s maternal great-grandparents were born in Poland. Obviously definitively zero American ancestry on that side of the family.
Her paternal ancestry goes back to Missouri and Kentucky, places where the Cherokee never lived.
This was an extremely simple case. None of Gail’s family are listed on any Cherokee rolls or anywhere else as “Cherokee” or “American Indian”.
We often uncover the mistakes made in someone’s genealogy, and it is rare that anyone ever “lied”. Usually, these mistakes that spark family myths of having American Indian ancestry happen in very innocent and often fascinating ways. But in this instance, we cannot even find that tiny mistaken spark. There is just nothing there. Gail has zero American Indian ancestry.
There are hundreds of documents supporting this case. Those that prove this case are available in a GEDcom file that you would have to upload through an ancestry.com account. We did go back 8 generations on Gail’s father’s side. If she would like a copy of her genealogy file, there will be a fee. But it only took going back 4 generations to clearly see that there is no American Indian ancestry.
The Dawes Rolls were created by the United States Dawes Commission. The commission was authorized by United States Congress in 1893 to execute the General Allotment Act of 1887.
The Baker Roll of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians was created by the Eastern Cherokee Enrolling Commission after it was commissioned by the United States Congress on June 4, 1924. The purpose of the Baker Roll was to collect and compile data from older Eastern Cherokee censuses and determine tribal affiliation.
In 1902, Congress authorized the U.S. Court of Claims to hear claims arising from Cherokee treaties (32 Stat. 726). Three claims were filed under this act as the Guion Miller Roll (1906-1911) by the Eastern Cherokee and their descendants, alleging that the U.S. government had violated the Cherokee treaties of 1835 and 1846. The Court consolidated the cases and ultimately ruled in favor of the Eastern Cherokee on May 18, 1905.
This resulted in the appropriation of more than $1 million for the Tribe’s eligible individuals and families. Interior Department Special Commissioner Guion Miller created a list using several rolls and applications to verify tribal enrollment for the distribution of funds. A lot of non-Indians applied for this money and were rejected. The same is true for the other rolls.
So finding one’s name associated with any of these rolls does not automatically mean those people were Cherokee. Also, oftentimes people find someone on a roll with the same name as their ancestor, and they assume, without verifying, that it’s the same person and thus, that they are Cherokee. That “same name” error happens daily.
But if your family were not living with the Cherokee when these rolls were created, if they were not on the Trail of Tears, the chances of your family being Cherokee are astronomically slight. And on that note, the Cherokee did not live in a vacuum and they are all very well documented. So if someone’s ancestor did leave the Trail, or their documents ‘burned in a fire’, they would have had plenty of other Cherokee relatives who would have been well documented and to whom we could easily connect them today.
It is not incumbent upon Indian people to prove a negative. It is incumbent upon people who claim to be Indian what they are basing that claim upon. Being an American Indian person is a protected legal political status in the United States, not a race. It is not about who you claim to be. It is about who claims you.
We welcome feedback from Gail if she is able to show us where we made an error.
Subject: Gail Beth Hart Born 1-4-45 Weymouth, Massachusetts
Gail’s mom: Pauleen (Pauline) Willametta Kabatt (b. PA: 10-12-21; d. 11-16-2004 Delaware)
Gail’s dad: Jacob Morrell Hart, Sr. (b. Missouri: 3-8-20; d. 9-8-47 Arkansas)
Note: Jacob’s middle name appears with different spellings in various documents but is obviously corroborated as the same person. Other spellings include: Murrell and probably misspelled as “Movell” in some records)
Pauleen / Pauline Willametta Kabatt
Mom: Mary Kozlowska (b. 11-23-02 Poland; d. 1984)
Mary’s mom: Pauline Slominski (b. 1878 Poland)
Mary’s dad: Joseph Kozlowski (b. 1870 Poland)
Note: In some Eastern European countries, the surname ending for the woman, -ska, is different than the surname ending for the man, -ski. Here we see this in the names above between Mary and her dad’s last names. It’s not an error.
Dad: Joseph Kabacinski 1901-1965 Born in Pennsylvania
Joseph’s mom: Sefamija “Stefanie” Przysiecska (b. 12-1-1875 Poland;
Joseph’s dad: Wladyslaw “William” Kabacinski Kabatt (b. 10-12-1866 Poland; d. 9-7-1941) (It appears that the name changed from Kabacinski to Kabbat with “William”)
Jacob Morrell (“Movell”) Hart Sr.
Mom: Nellie Vera Hughes (Robey?) (b. 1-17-1885 Kentucky; d. 12-28-1978)
Nellie’s mom: Hayden M. Murrell (b. 10-1-1875 Kentucky; d. 5-7-1932)
Nellie’s dad: Joseph J. Hughes (b. 5-28-1869 Kentucky; d. 1-26-46)
Dad: Albert Wylie Hart (b. 1-22-1882 Missouri; d. 4-13-1930)
Alberts mom: Elizabeth Brazeale (b. 5-8-1855 Missouri; d. 6-4-32)
Albert’s dad: Matthew Pickney Hart, Jr. (b. c. 1849 Missouri; d. c. 1884)