Bureau of Indian Affairs Denounces Bogus Cherokee Group

08/18/2000
CHEROKEE NATION SEAL Cherokee Nation News Release
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August 18, 2000

Bureau of Indian Affairs Denounces Bogus Cherokee Group

MUSKOGEE—The Bureau of Indian Affairs dismissed the claims of a group that is currently selling invalid car tags and contends that they are the legitimate Cherokee Nation.

In the letter, the BIA’s Eastern Oklahoma Regional Office acting director Stan Speakes writes that “there is only one federally recognized ‘Cherokee Nation’ and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Interior recognizes Principal Chief Chad Smith to be the official spokesperson and highest elected executive officer of the Cherokee Nation. The Bureau does not recognize Robin Mayes as an elected or appointed officer of the Cherokee Nation and the United States does not maintain, and never has maintained, a government-to-government relationship with this group or organization that he purports to represent.”

“This is undeniable evidence of consumer fraud on the part of Mayes’ group,” Smith said. “It’s a shame someone would prey upon our good Cherokee people like that.”

“This backs up what we’ve been saying all along,” said Julian Fite, General Counsel for the Cherokee Nation. “Mayes’ group has no right whatsoever to issue car tags.”

State and local law enforcement officials have been put on notice by the Cherokee Nation that this illegal activity is occurring, but have not yet taken action to stop the tag sales.

“The fraudulent use of the name ‘Cherokee Nation’ has caused a great deal of confusion and it is important that the public is informed and that the authorities act without further delay,” said Fite.