Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Sorry, Not Indian Enough

From the (Little Rock) Arkansas Times:

When is an Indian not an Indian?

Arkansas schools are finding out the hard way.

Leslie Newell Peacock
Updated: 9/22/2005

The federal government is questioning grants totaling $1,089,745 that 24 Arkansas school districts have won based on the number of their American Indian students — a population that’s made a meteoric jump over 2002 census figures, if the documents accompanying the grants are correct.

Officials with the federal Office of Indian Education suspect that the increase is not the result of an influx of American Indians into Arkansas, but of misinformation spread by a group called the Lost Cherokee Nation of Arkansas and Missouri. The LCN, as it’s called, began in 2003 to spread the word about the grants, telling schools they could get federal dollars based on the word of students filling out so-called 506 forms. The LCN told schools that their Indian students didn’t have to be enrolled in federally recognized tribes to be counted, but only needed to be able to trace their Indian heritage to an ancestor several generations back.


[Read the whole story]
Like all lost Indian nations, Lost Cherokee Nation has a website.

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