Signed in as:
Signed in as:
The investigation into Larry J. Lewis was the first undertaken by the ad hoc committee that would become T.A.A.F. Here are the findings.
Lewis' claim to be a member (and elder) of the Cherokee Nation was picked up by individual members of the CN, UKB, and EBCI Cherokee/Keetoowah Tribes who proceeded to investigate his genealogy, using established procedures for determining a person's connection to the people.
Lewis had left a trail of evidence to his real family origins. Through Google it was discovered his name, his parents' names, his childhood address, and from there the details of his genealogy were filled in by Cherokee researchers to the great-great-grandparents' generation on both sides.
Lewis was approached by concerned individuals and now the group, but refused to comment. An exchange of open letters and published articles brought the dispute into the public sphere, resulting in a public statement from Lewis' organization, Two Feathers International Consultancy (TFIC), a 501c, disavowing the idea that Lewis had ever made such claims to membership or leadership within the Cherokee Tribes.
The TFIC organization, it was pointed out by T.A.A.F., repeatedly released media where Lewis, under the pseudonym of Mashu White Feather, was described as a Cherokee Elder and Traditionalist. This was not the only inconsistency of his spokespeople's defence. Lewis' 501c, it was also shown, had an annual revenue estimate of over $100,000. Lewis was able to make a living from his false claims to represent Indigenous people.
T.A.A.F. statements made a clear distinction between those who mistakenly appropriate Indigenous culture while seeking to discover their own roots and those who continue the genocide/erasure of Indigenous people by misrepresenting and stealing for fame and financial gain. Both kinds are damaging, but Lewis' deception was egregious. In December 2017, the Two Feathers International Consultancy (TFIC) closed its doors. Lewis "retired", continuing under a less public persona to call himself Mashu White Feather. Lewis' damaging, world-travelling misrepresentation of Cherokee people, at least, has come to an end.