This is the state­ment of the Idaho Delaware Indi­ans to the Sen­ate Select Com­mit­tee on Indian Affairs made by Clyde Wesley Creech Sr. on Jan­u­ary 14, 1980.

Mr. Chair­man and hon­or­able mem­bers of the committee:

My name is Clyde Wes­ley Creech Sr. I live in Boise, Idaho and am here rep­re­sent­ing The Delaware’s of Idaho, Inc. for which I serve as a mem­ber of the Tribal Coun­cil. My uncle, Arthur A. Creech, who is chair­man of the Tribal Coun­cil of the Delaware’s of Idaho, Inc. is here with me and joins me in this state­ment. Also with me is our Wash­ing­ton D.C. Attor­ney, Mr. Robert H. Hunt of the Firm Hud­son & Creyke, which serves as co-council with our Idaho attor­ney, Mr. W. Anthony Park, of the firm of Park & Meule­man, Char­tered in Boise.

The Delawares of Idaho, Inc. is a non-profit cor­po­ra­tion, the mem­bers of which are Delaware Indi­ans com­pris­ing approx­i­mately 200 in num­ber. The major­ity of the tribe live in the State of Idaho but younger mem­bers are also located in the States of Ore­gon, Wash­ing­ton, Nevada, Mon­tana, Texas, Okla­homa and Cal­i­for­nia. They have gone there seek­ing employment.

The Delawares of Idaho, Inc. was incor­po­rated in the State of Idaho in Jan­u­ary 1978. Prior to the incor­po­ra­tion of the group, it had existed as a loosely knit band of Delaware Indi­ans. The ances­tors of the mem­bers of the group (and indeed, some of the older mem­bers who are still liv­ing) migrated from Okla­homa many years ago to the north­west­ern states.

The Delawares of Idaho have been dili­gently seek­ing two main objec­tives. (1) cer­ti­fi­ca­tion as a fed­er­ally rec­og­nized Indian tribe of the United States of Amer­ica; and (2) that its mem­bers, all of whom are descen­dants of the same Delaware Indi­ans who entered into the Delaware Treaty of 1866 with the US Gov­ern­ment, be des­ig­nated to share in funds appro­pri­ated by con­gress for dis­tri­b­u­tion to Delaware Indi­ans in redress of past wrongs inflicted upon the Delaware’s gen­er­ally by the U.S. Government.

Although those efforts to date have been unsuc­cess­ful, the Delawares of Idaho, Inc. believe that they should be enti­tled both to tribal cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and to share in any funds presently being con­sid­ered by the Con­gress of the United States for appro­pri­a­tion to Delaware Indi­ans, for the fol­low­ing reasons:

All of the members of the Delawares of Idaho, Inc. trace their Indian blood directly to four common Indian ancestors named Rebecca Lucas, William Mar­shall, Lucinda Mar­shall and Fran­cis Mar­shall, all four of whom appear on the 1867 Pratt’s Reg­istry of Delaware Indi­ans. The 1867 Pratt’s Reg­istry is the “Reg­is­ter” referred to in sec­tion 1 of S1466; per­sons who are descended from a lineal ancestor whose name appears on the “reg­is­ter” are eli­gi­ble for enrol­ment under S 1466. Rebecca Lucas is listed as entry No. 638, Allot­ment No. 929, on the Pratt reg­istry. Rebecca Lucas’ daugh­ter, Lucinda Mar­shal, appears on the same roll as Entry 310, Allot­ment 928, along with her hus­band William Mar­shal Entry No. 399, Allot­ment No. 333. Copies of pertinent portions of the Pratt Reg­istry are included as Exhibits “A” and “B”. The orig­i­nals may be found in the national Archives in record group 75.

We have avail­able six charts which describe which describe the Indian ances­try of six later born individuals who trace their ances­try directly to these four ances­tors. The six later born indi­vid­u­als are Grace Creech, Arthur A. Creech and Elsie D. Creech, all liv­ing, and Bruce L. Creech, Viola Creech and William Fent, all deceased. (Exhibits “C” through “H”) The remain­der of the 200 mem­bers of our group are descended from one of these six named indi­vid­u­als. Birth Cer­tifi­cates and other doc­u­men­tary evi­dence are avail­able as to each mem­ber of the group in sup­port of the claimed lineage.

Our group’s ances­tors do no appear on either the Dawes Com­mis­sion Roll of 1906 or the 1940 Base recon­structed Cen­sus Roll, upon which eli­gi­bil­ity to share in past judg­ment funds has been pri­mar­ily based. The rea­son for this omis­sion is not clearly known, but the evi­dence we have sug­gests that the names were fraud­u­lently omit­ted from the rolls with out knowl­edge of the per­son who was omit­ted. For exam­ple, William Marshal’s name appears on the 1898 roll of Delaware’s resid­ing in the Chero­kee Nation under the name “William Mar­shal Connor-Washer” Despite the addi­tion of the name Connor-Washer, His true iden­tity is estab­lished by the use of his entry num­ber, which cor­re­sponds with the num­ber issued to him on Pratt’s Reg­istry. Lucinda Mar­shal appears on the same roll, and a copy of the orig­i­nal record of 1898 roll on file with the Kansas his­tor­i­cal Soci­ety is attached as Exhibit “I.” There are many other doc­u­ments that estab­lish clearly the Delaware lin­eage of the Delaware’s of Idaho. If the com­mit­tee desires fur­ther doc­u­men­ta­tion, we will be happy to pro­vide it. How­ever, we feel the attached let­ter from Rick Lavis, the then Act­ing Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of the Inte­rior for Indian Affairs makes it clear that the Idaho Delaware’s, on the Basis of their descent from per­sons on the Pratt’s Reg­istry, and are enti­tled to inclu­sion. (Exhibit “J”)

It is, there­fore, our strong opin­ion that the mem­bers of The Delawares of Idaho, Inc. should share in the dis­tri­b­u­tion of any pro­posed Delaware funds. The doc­u­men­ta­tion that we have estab­lishes that the mem­bers’ ances­tors should have been included in all ear­lier awards, and that omis­sion should now be rectified.

To date, how­ever, none of The Delawares of Idaho or their ances­tors have ever yet shared in any award made for the ben­e­fit of the Delaware Indi­ans by the United States Gov­ern­ment down through the years. One of the pri­mary rea­sons for the past omis­sions is that our mem­bers, sep­a­rated by great dis­tances from the main tribe, were sim­ply unaware of the awards and their enti­tle­ment to share in them. They have ini­ti­ated their efforts dili­gently upon learn­ing of the awards, only to find that the time period had run out for fil­ing claims. Inter­est­ingly, my aunt, Viola Creech, through an attor­ney, wrote the appro­pri­ate author­i­ties in the U.S. gov­ern­ment clear back in 1911 seek­ing enti­tle­ment to her land allot­ments in Okla­homa, (Exhibits UV and W) Her efforts went unre­warded. Because of this long his­tory of frus­tra­tion, a sub­stan­tial injus­tice will occur if The Delawares of Idaho are not per­mit­ted to share in the funds now avail­able for dis­tri­b­u­tion in such a man­ner as to “make up” for the past omis­sions. S1466 will pro­vide for this “make up” and we urge its passage.

The Delawares of Idaho appre­ci­ate very much this oppor­tu­nity to tes­tify before you today and we thank you and your staff for your efforts on our behalf.

Very truly yours,

Clyde Wes­ley Creech Sr.