Local Native American Tribe Is Opening Offices At Chaffee Crossing

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

FORT SMITH (KFSM) - In two "5NEWS This Morning" segments that aired Sunday (Mar. 15th), anchor Daren Bobb brought on two guests involved in the recent decision to move the Western Cherokee Nation Indians of Arkansas and Oklahoma's offices to Chaffee Crossing. Chief Hershal Hobaugh and Ivy Owen, the Executive Director of the Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority, talked about the significance relocating means for the Western Cherokee tribe. Chief Hobaugh also presented historical background into why the tribe calls this area home.


  • James

    How could you report this nonsense! These people are not one of the 3 federally recognized Cherokee tribes! They are a fake tribe! This is a fraud that your news room helped to promote by giving them a public platform. The real Western Cherokees were consolodated into the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma

  • ryan

    Got some breaking news for you. This isn’t a real tribe. There are two Cherokee Tribes in Oklahoma, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and Keetoowah Cherokee. The REAL chief of Cherokee Nation is Bill John Baker. There is also an Eastern Band of Cherokees in North Carolina.

  • B. Mitchell

    As the other commenters have pointed out this organization is neither Native American nor a tribe. There are over 200 groups in the US claiming to be “Cherokee tribes,” that cannot prove their Cherokee identity. The three federally recognized Cherokee tribes—the Cherokee Nation, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians—have well-documented histories. These other groups are pulling their imagined “histories” out of thin air.

  • Catherine Foreman Gray

    I am very disappointed in the reporting of Channel 5 News on this. This is one of the 200+ fake tribes that are out there. There are only three federally recognized Cherokee tribes: The Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, OK; United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Tahlequah, OK; and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in Cherokee, NC. The “chief” of the Western Cherokee Nation Indians of Arkansas and Oklahoma is giving a very distorted view of Cherokee history and I can promise you this group will never become federally recognized. Historically, there was a Western Cherokee Nation that resided in Arkansas Territory and Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma) before the forced removal (Trail of Tears) of the Cherokee Nation in 1838-1839. But this “chief” forgets to mention that these two nations were united under one political body when they signed the 1839 Act of Union. If “Chief Hobaugh” really was Cherokee, then he would be a citizen of the Cherokee Nation or the United Keetoowah Band. Cherokees are one of the best documented of all Indian tribes. If someone claims Cherokee, 99.9% of the time we can verify whether or not it’s true. With that said, this is not about having an ancestral connection to any of the three federally recognized tribes. Just because someone might have Cherokee ancestry does not give them the right to try and start their own tribe. The issues that federally recognized tribes have with these fake tribes is not about “benefits” or casino profits. It is about the historical treaty relationships that federally recognized tribes have with the federal government.

  • Lee

    Incredibly disappointing that you would give airspace to a fake tribe. Did your news team do no investigation of this group whatsoever?

    • Sioux Nell Smith-Vann

      There is no such animal such as the Western Cherokee. Why would you give these people a minute of air time without research. This is ludicrous. These people could not answer questions on our Cherokee history/culture correctly.

  • Bruce

    So very, very sad journalists no longer feel it is their duty to fact check before they give folks like this time on air! This group is so obviously fake it is not funny! Shame of 5 News for legitimizing these frauds.

Comments are closed.