For a group claiming to be Lenape, why do they have a chief who claims his family to be (yet more) Cherokees who hid out from the Trail of Tears? And why would a group that says they're 90% Cherokee call themselves Lenape?
I suppose there might be two UELNs, one in TN and one in PA.http://www.tngenweb.org/scott/fnb_v5n3_many_moons_ago.htm
Many Moons Ago By JOSETTA GRIFFITH FNB Chronicle Editor
In 1838, soldiers near Savannah, Georgia were rounding up Indians for the removal to Oklahoma on the "Trail of Tears.’ A three-year-old Indian boy was left behind, hidden in the woods by his parents. He nearly starved, eating only fruits, berries, roots, bark and whatever he could find. A Cherokee woman who was married to an English settler found the child. She named him "Simmon Tree" because she found him underneath a persimmon tree.
The boy adopted their name after he grew up and a Justice of the Peace wouldn’t perform his wedding ceremony unless SIMMON TREE took a surname.
So, he became SIMEON TREE MARCUM, after BURCHFIELD and NANCY MARCUM, his adoptive parents.
During this time in 1838, BIG BEAR (HENRY MATHIS) and his wife MARTHA ELLEN (both full blooded Cherokees) lived in Turtletown, Ga. Make-shift stockades were used by the soldiers to gather the Cherokee Indians in until time for their removal from their native homeland on the "Trail of Tears" to reservations in the Southwest. On this particular day, BIG BEAR was away on a hunting trip and the soldiers took MARTHA ELLEN to the stockade. Word was left for BIG BEAR to be ready to travel by daybreak the next day. He refused to go and hid out, taking his three daughters, PRUDY, REBECCA and ELIZABETH, and going to Somerset, Kentucky. ELIZABETH, at the age of four, died from a fever on the way and was buried in an unmarked grave near Burnside, Kentucky.
The route the soldiers took brought the Indians across Tennessee, into Kentucky, southern Illinois and Missouri on the way to the new home in Oklahoma. MARTHA ELLEN was expecting a child and when her labor began, the drunken soldiers beat her to death with the butts of their rifles. Two women who were with her buried her beside a log, stacking rocks over her to protect her body from birds and animals....
HAROLD T. MARCUM was given the name LITTLE BEAR by his grandmother, PRUDY MATHIS, and he grew up under Indian customs, wearing shoes his father made for him using a straight last that had been handed down from his great-grandfather, BIG BEAR....
In 1979 Chief MARK LITTLE BEAR was appointed village chief in Tennessee of the United Eastern Lenape Nation.
Lenape means people. The Lenape tribe is a branch of the Delaware Indians, those which met the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock and fed the early settlers at Thanksgiving and when they were about starving through the winter.
Chief MARK LITTLE BEAR has served since 1983 as High Chief of the Middle Division of the U.E.L.N. His division is headquartered in Scott County and has 900 members. The United Lenape Band is open to those who are at least one-sixteenth Indian. About ninety percent of the members are of Cherokee descent. Other tribes represented in the U.E.L.N. are Sioux, Black Foot, Chippewa, Apache and Algonquian, to mention a few. As High Chief, Mark Little Bear represents 20,000 people across the United State and in some foreign countries.
Chief Mark Little Bear
Route 1, Box 22
Winfield, Tennessee 37892
His duties as High Chief include speaker for said Indian nation, promotes the well being of said nation, presides over all High Councils and Grand Council, has the right to issue awards and promotions, instructs members of nation’s history, cultural (both religious and material) traditions, customs, etc., has the right to issue direct orders to any of its nation’s members, has the right to enforce all the nation’s by-laws and constitution, the right to call, when imperative, a High Council, and he answers only to the High Council.
LITTLE BEAR’s division is the largest and attempts to do the most for its people. A food and clothing-for-the-needy program is the most visible local project. DONNA (LAUGHING FAWN) MARCUM, LITTLE BEAR’s wife, supervises the operation. Items of clothing, which include winter coats, are distributed at a building located next to Chief LITTLE BEAR’s residence on the New Light Road in Winfield on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s free and there are no questions asked, according to Chief MARK LITTLE BEAR. The distribution center was built with labor and materials that were donated. The clothing is also donated by many area residents.
Chief MARK LITTLE BEAR strives to enhance the employment opportunities for local people of Indian descent and has spent a great deal of time trying to secure federal funds to provide schooling for Indians....
Last year’s Pow-Wow brought in 14,271 visitors from 16 states, during the three days of the event, 3,100 of whom were local schoolchildren. Service stations and store deli’s in Winfield reported large increases in business due to Pow-Wow visitor purchases. The Pow-Wow is not only an opportunity to experience the sights, sounds and tastes of the Indian culture, but also an economic boon for the area that hosts it....
On the wall of Chief MARK LITTLE BEAR’s and LAUGHING FAWN’s living room is the Cherokee prayer for peace."