OPINION: ‘Mashu White Feather’ isn’t Cherokee
In his response to Luke Mason’s apology, Larry J. Lewis, aka “Mashu White Feather,” using his Two Feathers International Consultancy identity via his public relations officer Daris Reno Blickman, who claims to be a citizen of the Cherokee Nation but is not, made this statement: “He (Luke Mason) is certainly not privy to Mashu’s family history or genealogy.”
While Luke may not have the skills to determine Lewis’ family history or genealogy, he can use other factors about “White Feather” to determine if he is what he claims. But a team of genealogical researchers does have the skills to trace Lewis’ genealogy, using public information about him. A lot of this information was placed in the public forums by Lewis.
In researching “Mashu White Feather,” genealogical researchers found that this was one of four names that were used by the same person. His birth name was Larry J. Lewis. His “papered name” now is Larry J. White Feather. Then there is the TFIC, which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit of which he is the founder and board chair. A Google search for “Mashu White Feather” gave the name “Larry White Feather.” This gave the name of his parents, Jo Marie and James Orville Lewis. This was verified by the obituary for Jo Marie Lewis, which lists Larry White Feather as one of her sons. It also lists the names of her parents. More verification was given in a post by Doreen Bennett where she talks about the loss of their mother and names “Mashu White Feather” and his siblings listed in the obituary.
As “Mashu White Feather,” Lewis has claimed that he is a Cherokee elder and that his mother and her family raised him as a Cherokee traditionalist. But the genealogical research of Jo Marie Johnson Lewis found no connection to the Cherokee people at all. Her family consists of white people who came to Boone County, Missouri, from Kentucky, Virginia and Europe. Lewis also made the claim that he is part Osage. Since his mother’s side consisted of all white people, he must be making that claim for his father’s side. But like his mother, his father’s side is also white people who came to Missouri from Kentucky, Virginia, and Europe. His father’s maternal grandmother was born in Osage County, Missouri, from parents that were born in France. So, both of these claims are proven to be false by the actual records of his family.
Also, there are pictures of Jo Marie and James Orville on the top shelf of a bookcase in the house at 1509 June Lane in Columbia, Missouri. This is the address that was listed as both an address for Larry White Feather and the TFIC. This is all information that is available to anyone that searches for it because it is all public information. All of this evidence will be available to view at the web address below, where it will be archived for public view, as well as in a blog away from Facebook. It is enough information for any genealogical researcher to find the ancestors of Mr. Lewis. A team of researchers worked on this information independently and each found the same results.
In researching Jo Marie Johnson’s family and that of her husband James O. Lewis, the researchers found one consistent fact about each generation. Each generation were people that were honest, hardworking people that ensured the survival of their family no matter how tough the times were. They were the type of people that anyone would be proud to call their ancestors. One can only wonder why Lewis saw fit to recreate them into something they were not.
TFIC claims that Lewis has never claimed to be a Cherokee elder, but the photo that accompanies this article, which appears on the TFIC page online, is proof otherwise, as he certainly has control of what is printed about him there.
There was nothing false or misleading in what Mason wrote. Mason showed courage and integrity by telling the truth.
Lewis is claiming to be a Cherokee elder, and has traveled around the world, dressed as a Cherokee, speaking about Cherokee history, culture and current events, when he is not a tribal citizen, has never lived among us, is not involved in any of our communities, has not contributed anything towards the betterment of our lives, is not a member of any of our ceremonial grounds, is not a fluent Cherokee language speaker by any means, cannot vote in our elections and is claimed by none of us. This man takes selfies at the United Nations dressed in regalia when, as a non-tribal citizen, he has no voice there.
According to Manta, the TFIC had estimated revenue of $108,862 in 2016, employs a staff of five and shows an North American Industry Classification System code of 813211, “Grantmaking Foundations.”
“When these frauds ‘teach’ who we are to non-Cherokees, they are implementing the final stages of our genocide. “People see the fake history and perverted culture and then have no room to learn or respect what is real and so it is pushed that much more out of the way,” said Jared Edens, Cherokee.
Cultural misappropriation harms legitimate Cherokees and Cherokee tribes. The history, language and culture are often distorted by those appropriating Cherokee culture for themselves, silencing true “Cherokee voices from speaking of our culture, history and language. “Those misrepresenting themselves as Cherokees confuse the public and lawmakers when issues arise that should solely be resolved with the legitimate Cherokee tribes, and directly impacts tribal sovereignty,” said David Montgomery, Cherokee.
“When non-Cherokee people willfully, fraudulently usurp Cherokee space and voices, then attempt to bully us into silence for pointing it out, it is nothing less than the continuation of the genocide of our people,” said Lianna Costantino, Cherokee.
To view the facts of Lewis’ genealogy, visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1609142732471453/?ref=br_rs
Lianna Costantino, Cherokee Nation
Kurt West, Cherokee Nation
David Cornsilk, Cherokee Nation /United Keetoowah Band
David Montgomery, Cherokee Nation
Neta McMurrian, Cherokee Nation / United Keetoowah Band
Chris Penick, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians
Jared Edens, Cherokee Nation
Kathie Forbes, Cherokee Nation
Reggie Gregory, Cherokee Nation
Amy Alexander, Cherokee Nation
Rhonda Earp, Cherokee Nation
Rashele Martinez, Cherokee Nation
Raymond Pettit, United Keetoowah Band
Richard D. Teel, Cherokee Nation
Ashley Borden Price, Cherokee Nation
Harold Colvin, Ally
Donna Smith, Ally