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Ray Harrell Hijacks Yet Another Thread

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In answer to your questions:

"Is not the real issue here whether what is said is true or not?   Has Harrell done what he told me and I read?   What profession is he in and therefore what is the context?   Where does he live and what is the norm in that place for polite, common and vulgar contexts?"   

At least some of what Harrell has said in here is not true, or extremely questionable. He refused to say whether he was actually Cherokee, for example, and did all kinds of elaborate ridiculous Dances With Words to avoid the question.

"Hasn't the lack of context been used for centuries by the Europeans to blast the ayvwiyah for not conforming to their idea of what is polite language?   

Does a Jew or Christian speak the same as a Cherokee or an Italian?   

Does the Vendetta Law of Blood where you must "settle the score" mean the same as the Hammarabi "eye for an eye"?"

I have no idea what you mean by any of this.   

"if he is who he says then he has an impressive record and I personally know that he has never traded on being Indian"

We still don't know if he is who he said he is. And yes, he does trade on being NDN quite a bit. The most famous example being using his claim of being NDN to be a consultant for Disney for the music on that awful racist movie Pocahontas.

Sam Nodoc:
Osiyo Educated Indian,

That is a good and serious set of questions and so I called Ray Evans Harrell (REH) and asked him to examine them.   I have also examined the posts that you refer to on the list.    I will be upfront about who I am in this.   I will not give my name because there are three of us serving as Speaker for REH on this and I am an Actor who does not wish to have my name on the Internet unless it does my work some good.     The other two, who haven’t written thus far, serve also as references for REH.   You might consider us as “translators.???   

REH  IS a contrary fellow and obscure in many of his comments.   He is also a very friendly, even courtly person.   He, like both of his father’s, is not a person to be toyed with and takes his name (he’s a Jr.) and his reputation very seriously but more about that later with your questions.   He’s is very proud that his biological father studied all his life and earned his Doctorate in his late fifties.   They both received their degrees from TU in the same ceremonial.    His father once sat with him in an interview for the Bartlesville  “Examiner Enterprise??? Newspaper.   He didn’t say a thing but when the interview was done he complimented him and told his son that he had to check because this was where he lived and was his reputation as well. 

I commented in my post on “Context??? and so as I am functioning as Harrell’s “Speaker??? on this I will set the context being careful to observe, out of respect, the rules of not naming the dead, or mentioning anyone who is alive and does not know they are being talked about on the internet.     Anyone whose name is mentioned is either available elsewhere or has been asked and agreed.    I will also keep the parallels that I would use in NYCity to a minimum.   NY is a multi-cultural highly diverse community where you must know many versions of English meaning or you will have huge fights.   You must always ask what the other person means by that and you did the proper thing in not assuming what I meant by Context and the quotes on Italians and Hammarabi, although there was a Star Trek episode on Hammarabi. (joke)

The first context is his reputation in the Arts.   His company is largely Native, has given many productions and recordings of Native material and was founded by three Natives, two Cherokees and one Aleut.   The first production was given at the American Indian Community House in conjunction with then Director Hanay Geiogamah and his American Indian theater program at AICH.   

You must understand that networking is the basis of all work in the Arts.   That there is such a huge labor glut that only 2% of all college graduate Artists in any medium make a living in the Arts.   REH has made a living for the 48 years of his work in the private Arts sector and his reputation IS his Capital.   Imagine an Indian Reservation where everyone went to school but only 2% could make a living without leaving the reservation and denying their heritage.   The highest unemployment on any reservation is 80%.    American Indians complain about discrimination and we should but per capita compared to the other groups we still do better than 2% of all trained Master’s degree Actors compared to our population.    That world is where REH lives and fights to survive.    That success is measured not in climaxes and victory but in small increments soon forgotten, except the internet now preserves all bad reviews to follow you to your grave.   That is why you will not know my name in this discussion.     It is indicative of the craziness that REH was once told by a prominent school that he could get his doctorate on his life experience as long as he had the $80,000 for the tuition.    All without every going to or taking a class, because the teachers were people he had trained.

I was surprised how far REH went with you and this list.   It seems to me that he broke some of his most sacred rules in order to document the history.   He used the names of the dead because, he told me, he wanted them remembered and this is another time different from the “times of old.???    If you are not remembered in print then you don’t exist and neither do your people or your children.   That is the new way.

His father got his Master’s Degree from OU in History where he and his brother C. Clay  studied with the great Edward Everett Dale sitting longside Angie Debo, another student destined for greatness.     Even at his age, REH is struggling to use this new Internet medium wisely and in a sophisticated manner for the future of the Cherokee people.    His uncle C. Clay is still, at 90+. doing great things in Muskogee.   One can just ask around about that.   His stepson is the Senator from Oklahoma.   

(I would note that REH does not share the political opinions of that Senator but still he is family.   REH is from the old Watie Cherokee Democrat faction as opposed to the Ross Republicans, although as Ani-Gituwahgi he would have been on the opposite side in the Civil War as were many of his relatives.   It literally was brother against brother at the time.   If you check the Watie regiment in Starr you can find four different families of his relatives.   Reynolds, Webbers, Smiths and a Harrell was the Chaplin of the regiment.    (The Harrell Institute in Muskogee was one of the first Cherokee schools and Will Rogers was one of the first expelled from the school for his tricks.) 

Harrell said neither of his fathers would tolerate demeaning their names or reputations.   His biological father is still held in high regard in Ottawa County and Bartlesville and his passing received an article in the Tulsa World Newspaper.   The article noted the advances he had achieved in the school system at Picher in spite of the lead pollution.   Harrell fathers were both Cherokee and his biological father was educated in Oklahoma Schools.  Translate that as “Cherokee??? since the Cherokee system of education in Indian Territory was the model for the OEA as well as the OMA and the Oklahoma Bar Association.   (See Woodward if you need a reference on that)   

His biological father’s sisters graduated from Northeastern State at Tahlequah because they were Cherokee and that was in their minds the old Cherokee Female Seminary.    Harrell’s sister also graduated from there as well and although she downplays the Cherokee and is Christian she still returned there as if she were a homing dove returning to learn from her ancestors.   She now lives with her family in Cleveland and is married to a Cherokee Christian man.

His father's Best Man at his wedding became the head of the Math Department at Tahlequah and his wife was the librarian who insisted that they develop the Cherokee section of the library when everyone was still in denial.    They used to have a sawmill where REH would go down for "singins" and fishing on highway ten at the bridge across the Illinois.  (Doesn't that sound wonderful?)
REH told me that when he called the CNO in Tahlequah and spoke to the representative that had written the letter on this site (without ever speaking to him or knowing him) that the man started by calling him a Wannabee.   That was his greeting.  REH responded from his thirty plus years in New York and called him the English version of “somebody with brown, flexible, hot, smelly, material from one’s behind smeared all over his head.???     The stereotypical comment from the CNO was that Cherokees don’t talk that way.   Which is nonsense for non-Cherokee speakers or people who don’t know Cherokees.     If we don’t have it in Tsalagi then we just translate but we do have the equivalent of Sheistkopf in Tsalagi because modern Cherokees in the Army use it.   Just ask one.   

This is going on over long but I’m enjoying the Saturday and I do have to get to work as I’m sure you do as well since you make your living as an academic and must publish or perish.

Just a couple of points here about REH’s comments to you.    He knows Dr. Ben Broome at Arizona State and his wife Bliss and made some assumptions about what was appropriate that didn’t work out.   Those assumptions were from your educational background as well as your ethnicity.   REH's adopted father was 1/8th Apache and spent several years at San Carlos where he received his Apache Medicine.   It turned out that his assumptions about what he could say and how it would perceived were not accurate and were as Broome would say “killer assumptions.???    And things did turn toxic quickly.   

Another issue is “Wannabee???.    That is the same as any derogatory stereotypical term to him.    He doesn’t use or tolerate any of them.   He is a traditional Keetoowah and such toxicity is not allowed on the peace grounds and they try to remove them from their lives as well.    REH said that what he should have told the man was that if he "wanted to be" him then he would have stayed in Oklahoma.   He left because he didn’t "want to be" him or support the mixed culture with its victimization and hatred even between people of faith.   

He hopes that Nuyagi can present another option that is more positive for all.   That is why they had a Chief’s conference of non-aligned Cherokee Chiefs last summer doing the Tribal Issues Management System of Interactive Management for the purpose of exploring what it would take to achieve Reconciliation between all Tsalagi peoples everywhere.    They are raising money for an environmental conference this summer between native and non-native naturalists to deal with the problems of the animals in Sullivan County where the influx of humans is extreme on a wild population.   They will again use the native TIMS process to examine the issue.   A workshop for 2008 is planned with Dr. Jane Ely that will host a conversation between native healers from around the country.

Not meaning to be negative but just truthful,  I suspect you are not aware of how many non-aligned (NA) Tsalagi do not like the CNO especially and as the Eastern Band becomes more political they are being included.    These NAs  are also unhappy with the current politics of the grounds and the UKB.    They chose from 1880 to 1914 to refuse to enroll because they believed it meant the end of the Cherokee as a people and world Nation.   

In fact they insist that those who did enroll on the Dawes Rolls early on, were either Collaborators, Prisoners (like Redbird Smith who was incarcerated at the time) Whitemen who wanted land and were the fathers of the “Sooners???  or were simply Cherokee Christians who believed spiritually that the old Nation was dead and heathen.    That is hopelessly simple and stereotypical but feelings are feelings and I have heard that expressed from more than one person both orally and in print.   

I think it was significant that many of these met last summer seeking a way through their own hearts into reconciliation and healing with what one Apache psycho-therapist calls Soul Wounds.     REH and the NKS Council set this up and it was monitored by REH and Broome’s mentor John Warfield.   If you have questions about the Tribal Issues Management System (TIMS) you can access it through Broome on the Internet or through LaDonna Harris, Ruben Snake and others in the Indian Education community.

This is fun and interesting to me but overlong.   Now I will just answer your questions.

educated indian said:

At least some of what Harrell has said in here is not true, or extremely questionable. He refused to say whether he was actually Cherokee, for example, and did all kinds of elaborate ridiculous Dances With Words to avoid the question.

Nodoc reply:

He loves word games and learned them at Picher.   He also has unusual uses of words through the problem caused by the Lead pollution damage as a child.  That has been documented and treated by the VA.   As for Cherokee?  He is by faith Keetoowah.   His father was Tsalagi and his mother had Indian blood but long denied.   Probably Chickasaw since her family had a long history around Ponotac County where his father met his mother at Chickasaw University called East Central State.   Technically that was an issue so the High Priest could not apprentice him without making him a relative and that is why he legally adopted him as his son.   When the old man was asked about his Clan he told REH that as a Priest he must now serve “All the Clans.???     That’s the best I can do with that.   He is who he is.

I said:
"Hasn't the lack of context been used for centuries by the Europeans to blast the ayvwiyah for not conforming to their idea of what is polite language?   ...............etc.

and educated indian replied:
I have no idea what you mean by any of this.

Nodoc replies:

I hope that long first part took care of this.   Phew!   

educated indian said:
We still don't know if he is who he said he is. And yes, he does trade on being NDN quite a bit. The most famous example being using his claim of being NDN to be a consultant for Disney for the music on that awful racist movie Pocahontas.

Nodoc replies:

I’m not getting into that Pocahontas swamp.   I thought he explained it pretty well on this list but it seems that either way Disney has now opted for a genuinely awful racist movie in “Apocolypto.???     REH, Apache/Tsalagi Joan Henry, Mohawk Dennis Yerry and Lakota Russell Means all worked in Pocahontas and worked on Schwartz and Menchen and they all agreed that the movie was changed for the better as a result.    It could and would have been a cartoon “Apocolypto??? with music or a “Sioux Me??? which was the basis for NYCity Indians preferring “Looney Tunes??? to “Nuage??? when talking about people masquerading whether white or red.   

As for finding REH’s name on the Pokey roster look under singers and you will find him along with an illustrious group of Broadway and Opera singers like the fabulous Alex Corey, the great contemporary American singer Wilbur Pouley of City Opera, and many, many others.

Part of your confusion according to your comments (from REH since I couldn’t find them here) seems to be with documentation.    Harrell was not paid for his services as a consultant on either Pocahontas or the Gypsy research on Hunchback of Notre Dame.   I told you he gave a lot away.   As his Cherokee Elder in college advised him:   “You can get a great deal done if you don’t get credit for it, otherwise all you get is money.,??? 

One of the pieces all of the people who hated Pocahontas loved was “King Island Christmas???   another piece that REH was both singer and consultant for.   He fought long and hard to get them to return it to the original Inuit context but the writers refused because of the Pocahontas fiasco with Disney and so made them all “just folks.???      Strange folks but “just folks.???   That is the definition of ayvwiyah I guess. 

Harrell has not been hired as an Indian but as a singer and authority on things he has authenticated knowledge on.     He does not take fees for lectures but gifts that are given to the Stompground.   

He tells of the one time when Mohawk composer Dennis Yerry hired him to sing, as a Cherokee Indian, for the alternative “Indian Thanksgiving??? at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine.   He was there with Carlos Nakai,   Little Hawk and Chiefs from all over America and Canada.   He was paid $1,400 for singing about ten lines.    He said that was the most tempting he had ever been to claiming to be white so he could keep the money.   It became a part of the NKS Stompground Fund instead,  but his future wife first heard him at that concert and that was worth a lot more than $1,400.

I would also challenge you to find any of the New York City Indian people on Naqoyqatsi, the Philip Glass film.    They are there with some of the finest native artists we have but only the amateur performers from out west are named.     The New York NDNs got their $250 bucks and walked away to buy some food or give it to the Stompground.

Well,  life is good and women are sweet and the earth will live better because we were here.

I hope your life prospers and you continue to work through that soul wound as we all do.   If there are other questions, please ask.   As I said, there are three of us “Nodocs??? here and if one gets tired the other can pick up the feather for we all wear the beak and the talons.   That is our job.    Wado for doing yours.   I know it is not easy.    The same to the Delaware Scholar for his battle for that brave little community in New Jersey.

dodada gohv’i

Sam Nodoc. 


--- Quote from: Sam Nodoc on December 16, 2006, 10:21:25 pm ---If we don’t have it in Tsalagi then we just translate but we do have the equivalent of Sheistkopf in Tsalagi because modern Cherokees in the Army use it. 
--- End quote ---

Just for accuracy: S-c-h-e-i-s-s-kopf would be preferable in the way of spelling the term, but I'm sorry having to advise that we don't use it. Scheisse aber auch (Northern Grrman dialect, approx 'tough sh**').

Sam Nodoc:
Osiyo Delaware Scholar and Ingeborg

Sometimes I also write for an hour.    We were all trying to decide whether you were Ray or Sam.    But there are three of us here and having a good time.   

But REH is the only one who has been challenged and that is the issue.   Truth.    Too bad you can't see how long my ears are on the internet.    I'm too fat for a Rabbit but I can make soup. (Joke for the Cherokees on the list)


Europeans get all huffy about spelling and pronounciations.   I was taught that to speak another's language correctly is to claim that heritage so we deliberately add a mistake however this was not the demon seed I put.   I'm afraid I was spelling from my memory of Joseph Heller and Catch 22 which was a hidden joke I inserted in the post to see which Cherokee would catch it.

dodada gohv'i

Sam Nodoc (1)

Harrell up to his old games again. So I took out the part of the thread he tried to hijack. Since his impersonation of "Sam" is more comical than malicious, I'm moving this thread to Comedy and not banning him. Not unless people ask us to. Anuyone wanting to amuse themselves with Harrell's games is welcome to. If he doesn't mind people laughing at him (as opposed to with him) that's up to him.

But any attempts to hijack other threads, as he and his Empire State Building sized ego did for the Sand Hill thread, will get him banned quick. Go pay for advertising, Harrell. This board is not here for you to keep posting your vanity vita.


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