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Documents: Anti-Redskins Indian leader not a legitimate member of his tribe

Photo of Patrick Howley
Patrick Howley
Political Reporter

The American Indian leader spearheading the campaign to change the name of the Washington Redskins is not a legitimate member of the tribe he leads, according to a New York State Assemblywoman, but rather an Obama crony who is raking in casino money and paying back only small stipends to his tribe members.

Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter, who is also the CEO of Oneida Nation Enterprises, is not recognized in his position by the Grand Council of Chiefs governing the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy. Halbritter is not a legitimate member of the Oneida tribe, Assemblywoman Claudia Tenney told The Daily Caller.

“He is not even technically an Oneida. There is not a drop of Oneida in him,” Tenney said.

Halbritter traces his lineage back to a woman who lived on traditional Iroquois Confederacy land, but as a non-member of the Six Nations.

A microcopy of 1885-1940 Indian Census Rolls from the National Archives of the United States, obtained by The Daily Caller, disputes Halbritter’s claim to have one-fourth Oneida blood on his mother’s side. The Oneida Indian Nation of New York determines membership by matrilineal descent and requires “a blood quantum of 1/4 degree,” according to its constitution, submitted to a former official of the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1994.

The document lists Lucy Carpenter, Halbitter’s great-great grandmother on the “Census of Indians residing upon the Oneida Reservation who do not belong to the Six Nations.”

Many Indians whose families left New York attempted to get back into the Six Nations during this period to take advantage of various treaties.

Lucy Carpenter’s daughter Christina Cornelius, born in Canada, had a daughter in New York named Mary Cornelius, who later married and changed her name to “Mary Winder” and had a daughter in New York named Gloria Winder, who went on to have a son with a man named “Ramon Halbritter.” That son was Arthur “Ray” Halbritter, the current Representative of the Oneida Nation, according to documents obtained by TheDC.

Halbritter ancestor Lucy Carpenter’s expulsion from the Six Nations, according to the 1885-1940 Census Rolls, invalidates Halbritter’s claim to one-fourth Oneida heritage on his mother’s side, according to Tenney.

“He has no ancestry in the Six Nations but he has a lot of powerful friends in D.C.,” Tenney said.

Halbritter attended a January 27, 2012 fundraiser with President Obama in Washington, D.C. with 70 Indian leaders. The $15,000 to $35,800 fundraiser raised up to $2.5 million for Obama’s re-election campaign.

“The president was most gracious and kind in his remarks,” Halbritter said after the event to a media network owned by his nation’s company, noting that Obama is doing more to reach out to Indian tribes than any president in his experience.

Obama recently said that if he was the owner of the Redskins, he would “think about changing it [the team name].”