In regards to the alleged recognition of the Shawnee Nation United Remnant Band

Dear Editor,

I’d like to respond to the Shawnee Nation United Remnant Band's “leadership’s” accusation that I have some sort of hidden agenda in pointing out that they are not recognized by the state of Ohio as a tribe.

As a journalist, my only agenda is the truth. I consider it professional courtesy to point out fact errors to fellow journalists who may be unaware of a story’s legitimacy.

Here is a portion of a piece written by respected journalist David Lazarus from the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 7, 2007. He was writing about the United States Mint’s announcement that they were offering refunds to people who had purchased handcrafted authentic American Indian pouches to hold the 2004 Lewis and Clark commemorative coins. The pouches were crafted by the URB.

The Mint stated in a press release that “neither state nor federal authorities recognize the Shawnee Nation United Remnant Band of Ohio as an offical Indian tribe.” As such, “the pouch is not an authentic American Indian arts and crafts product.”

Lazarus then reports:

“So I contacted the Ohio attorney general’s office and pointed it toward the state legislature’s “Joint Resolution to Recognize the Shawnee Nation United Remnant Band, as adopted by the Senate, 113th General Assembly, Regular Session.”

Was there a problem with that?

Yes, replied Leo Jennings, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office.

“The resolution has no force of law in the state of Ohio,” he said. “It was basically a ceremonial resolution.”

But doesn’t that still constitute a form of state recognition?

“It was purely ceremonial,” Jennings reiterated. “We have not officially recognized them.”

I have also contacted the Ohio attorney general’s office about this issue and received the same reply. Sorry if the truth hurts. We’re just doing our jobs.


Mary Annette Pember

Independent Journalist

Cincinnati, Ohio 45255

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