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Bad Eagle Journal

“Indian way” and Rudy’s way

by David Yeagley · January 3, 2007 · 30 Comments ·

A long time ago, Clifford Seymour (“Tree top”) used to visit our family. He was an elderly Comanche, and he knew a lot about the old days. He was highly respected, and his memory still is. One day he was at our house with a young man he introduced as his son. “Clifford, your son? I didn’t know you had a son!” my mother said. “Well, Indian way,” Clifford said. “Indian way.” What did he mean?

Clifford Seymour, center, in the tan sportscoat. My older brother
Fred is on the left, with his son Brant Portillo Yeagley to the left
of Fred. On the far right is my uncle, Raymond Portillo, with my
mother (his sister) next to him. The woman on my mother’s right
is Clifford’s wife, I believe. This is a picture from late 70’s or
early 80’s.

He meant that the young man was not his actual, biological son. And he didn’t mean he had legally adopted him. Clifford meant that he had taken responsibility, to some significant extent, for the young man. The young man was obviously an Indian, but apparently without parenting. Without family. Clifford and his wife had taken the lead for him. The young man was on his way to Los Angeles. (This was back in the ’80’s, if I remember correctly.) He wanted to live in California, and find success out there.

“Indian way.” In the old days, it was an expression for different relationships. Indian families looked after one another’s members, if there came to be missing parents. Sometimes, they just took a shine to some kid or person, and would start referring to him as “my son,” or “my brother.” I think some of this may traced to the post-reservation days, when the fragmented families of warrior bands were dragged into the fenced camps. Indians had to take care of each other. In any case, today, there’s still relations that happen “Indian way.” The difference is, some people are using the term “adopted,” and using rather loosely.

These are different times. Today, everything is a legal matter. There’s money involved, entitlements, even movie roles. “Indian way” you don’t hear very often, especially outside Indian country, but it represents something that has become a problem. Indian idenity is intensely legal at this point in history. Land, casinos, politics, etc., all come directly associated with ‘federal recognition’ and “enrollment” on the tribal membership lists. Fraud and Indian identity theft has never been more serious and consequential.

Enter: Rudy Gonzalez “Youngblood.” The continental Indian. The indigenous North American. A member of every major Indian group in the Western Hemphisphere. Right? Wrong. He is black hispanic–according to the categories established by the US census bureau. He is mestiso and “black” (American Negro?). None of the tribes he originally claimed to be part of have any legal documentation on or about him. He has no Indian blood demonstrable.

What he does have is significant association with some Indians. He did establish some kind of relationship with the Comanche family of Preston Tahchawwickah, although the blood kin of Preston all say they never knew of any “Rudy.” There are a couple of Tahchawwickahs, however, who will vouch for the “Indian way.” I have been contacted by a few people. Of course, the fact that Rudy claims “Indian way” relations with the Cree, and used to claim he had ancestors at both at Little Big Horn and Wounded Knee (Sioux and/or Cheyenne), makes this whole identity a fantasy of some kind. The only “Indian way” relation for certain is whatever he established with the Tahchawwickah. Of course, Rudy never claimed that name before pressed to do so, and this is two years after Preston Tahchawwickah’s passing. To day, only one person has actually identified himself to me, and said Rudy was associated with Preston. We can only assume it was in relation to pow-wow circumstances. Beyond that, it is private affair. Rudy is not, however, blood kin to the Tahchawwickahs, in any way. It’s only “Indian way.” This is the truth, so far, as has been able to varify it.

As far as Rudy’s new web site is concerned, the most reasonable approach to his identity is to simply say Rudy loves Indian culture. Rudy has participated in it for years, and identifies himself with it. This is far different from saying he is actually an Indian. Rudy and apparently his manager Michelle R. (Hall) “Shining Elk” before presented Rudy as Mr. All Indian, All the Time. The new Rudy should comprise the truth. His personal life is apparently fascinating enough. Just the facts, just the truth, is more than sufficient. They should have confidence in the power of the truth. Rudy’s story might make a top-selling biography.

But the initial presentation of Rudy to the world was grossly misleading, false, and insulting to all Indian people in America. It came at a terrible time, when the biggest fake heretofore, Ward Churchill, was just exposed as the most profund fraud in academic history. Completely white, he had made a lucrative career out of being Indian. Under pressure, the University of Colorado fired him. And now Rudy shows up, with a bio that marked him as the next biggest fake in Indian history. Only Rudy had dark brown skin. Ah, well, that should surely convince everyone that Rudy was really Indian. He could combine that with his pow-wow regalia, and easily fool all the dumb whites in Hollywood.

It was all a fantasy, and a fascinating scheme. It worked! He landed a movie part, and was suddenly before the world as a dynamic Indian! (–in spite of the fact that he doesn’t look anything except what he actually his, a mestiso black.)

What he was, actually, is more interesting. He has obviously had a broad experience, sociologically and geographically. He has all kinds of ambitions, and the talents to carve out a worldly success. Voila. It has happened.

But, in cleaning up the mess he left, we have to understand the modern circumstances of being Indian, and the necessity to guard the Indian identity–before it becomes an ethnically meaningless social club, in which anyone can participate and then claim to be “Indian.” Rudy’s example pushed open further a very dangerous door, through which every Mexican and black hispanic in America will seek entrance. (Many blacks have already herded themselves through it.) The racist whites of America welcome it all. They created that door. They love to put all darkies under the same banner, in the same ‘teepee,’ calling them all “American Indians.” Rudy has played into this mind set very successfully. Hawaiian, Filippino, Mexican, Mayan, African-American, what does it matter? They’re all non-white, all “skins,” and therefore, all “American Indians.” That’s the liberal racist goal. Rudy’s in the lead.

But it’s over now. The truth, which in his case is interesting and valid enough on it’s own, will have to be presented unabashedly. The bigger picture of Indian country, the historical perspective, will simply not allow this charade to continue. It has been challenged, and proven false. It is harmful to Indian people. It is threatening beyond anything Columbus did. To say anyone and everyone is “Indian” is completely denying the true American Indian identity. That’s what we face. Political genocide. We don’t exist. We’re something else.

This is what Rudy’s supporters need to understand. What Rudy has done is a threat to Indian identity. If he just presented the truth about himself, his origins, his ethnic identity, all would be well. The situation is bigger than just one kid who got a movie part by claiming to be Indian. The circumstances are more significant that simply his temporary associations with this Indian family here or that Indian family there. The historical and sociological context of this matter has to be considered more important than his personal life.

A few Indian people may be upset that Rudy has been exposed. They may be angry that such a course has been pursued by I understand that. I’m saying to these very few people that the bigger picture is more important. Indian people are more important than non-Indian Rudy Gonzalez. A movie role–particularly one obtained by fraud–does not condone, exonerate, or justify misrepresentations, or personal fantasies. Money does not validate a lie. Success does not make everything right. Rudy has his friends, and they all ride the wave of success with him, and they all are angry that anything should be questioned or challenged. But the bigger picture says they should think more of Indian people than their own personal fun. The glamour, the glitz, or the money, is hardly a worthy motive. It hardly encourages anyone to undertake serious behavior modification. It hardly makes any moral difference in character–especially when it was gained through false representation. What’s being encouraged here? What are young Indians supposed to be encouraged to imitate? Since when to Indians value money more than their own blood?

I think these are pretty low expecations, with or without misrepresentations. The bottom line is, Rudy is not an Indian. Rudy simply loves Indian culture. That’s good enough. Away with the false representations. That was a big, big mistake. The quicker he and his managers snap out of that, and present Rudy for the person he really is, the better off everyone will be. Again, look at the bigger picture. Help Rudy see the bigger picture. He used Indians for his personal success. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t love Indian culture, and even a few Indian people. But, it does mean that he has some major changes to make in his image.

Posted by David Yeagley · January 3, 2007 · 9:32 am CT · ·

Tags: Bad Eagle Journal

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30 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Patricia // Jan 3, 2007 at 11:30 am   

    “Only Rudy had dark brown skin. Ah, well, that should surely convince everyone that Rudy was really Indian. He could combine that with his pow-wow regalia, and easily fool all the dumb whites in Hollywood.”

    The way you put that is funny David. I honestly don’t think they care what he is in Hollywood, as long as he’s photogenic. His website is back up and I’m disappointed that it hasn’t been amended to reflect a truer picture of Rudy’s life, and his admiration and fascination with Indian culture. This nugget of truth is actually more interesting than the slick package. I’d love to know how he came to be involved with pow-wow circuits and what first interested him in grass dancing and involvement in the communities. Oh well, maybe some day he’ll talk about it publicly. As for the “Indian way”, he’s taken it to heart to be sure. It’s too bad that the old ways have become a contentious present, maybe he can’t see that because of this whirlwind experience he’s just had. Give him a little time. I see something of a real Jaguar Paw there. I hope I’m not wrong.

  • 2 David Yeagley // Jan 3, 2007 at 2:22 pm   

    I see the “up-dated” Yo Blood website. How completely disappointing.

    Well, their defiance of truth will cost them. The pursuit shall be unflenching.

    And to think I really thought they were going to reconsider.

    What we have here is a mis-guided, mis-managed, and mis-taken young man. I tried to tell them how to present him, privately, through email. What did his ‘manager’ Michell R. (Hall) “Shining Elk” do? She defied and condemned me for objecting to the facade.

    She apparently has had some contact with anti-Yeagley crowd, you know, that fantasy internet reservoir of truth and integrity, all four or five of them, who continually quote each other for varification. Michelle has acted very unprofessionally in all this.

    Especially in the matter of consorting with NON-Indians (i.e., white liberals who think they know more about Indians than Indians). THere are many such “authorities.” For an Indian to be associated with them is bad news. Michelle needs to completely disassociate herself with them. But, she apparently is completely naive, politically.

  • 3 ecology // Jan 3, 2007 at 2:33 pm   

    Its very disturbing that a person with 1/4 Sioux blood claims to be a “Sioux indian”. Hey pal YOU ARE NOT AN INDIAN. Its a deep mental illness I believe. Beaten as a child? Molested? Shamed?

  • 4 David Yeagley // Jan 3, 2007 at 3:26 pm   

    Ecology, I don’t think Rudy has ever mentioned any blood quantum, of any of the tribes he claims to be descended from. Rudy doens’t have any Indian blood quantum. Certainly not Sioux.

    Careful, or you’ll get all our Sioux folks ticked off!

    Rudy has claimed Sioux, Cree, Comanche, and Yaqui. He is apparently none of the above. Only black/hispanic, more hispanic, that is, mestiso. The Yaqui people I contacted in Arizona hadn’t heard of him, or the movie, or the issue.

    I’m still pursuing the truth, though, for everyone’s sake. It is important to be fair about this. So far, nothing but empty claims from Rudy. Lies, most people call them.

    Fantasy world. Hollywood. It’s okay there. But Rudy has invoked a power far beyond his knowledge, appreciation, or respect. This will be a learning experience for all.

  • 5 ecology // Jan 3, 2007 at 3:32 pm   

    Oops sorry Sioux folk! I was just ranting becuase there is this white guy who hunts out here and he has like 1/4 sioux (so he claims anyway) and he considers himself a sioux Indian. I guess its the hunting thing or something. maybe these claimers feel important or something? Yes this is sure a learning for us all. Its very strange to say the least. But its only entertainment right? I am glad you are going for the truth. Like you said there are real indians that need to get the opportunities that these posers are getting.

  • 6 ecology // Jan 3, 2007 at 3:39 pm   

    and for petes sake I dont want to get the Sioux angry! Oie vie! They will have my scalp!;-)

  • 7 David Yeagley // Jan 3, 2007 at 4:59 pm   

    Mel Gibson was technically defrauded by Rudy. There’s the legal case.

    But, most cases are about financial harm, or physcial harm.

    Identity theft involves activity that really harms someone else. No?

    We are going to have to involve serious legal research in this matter. Sorry to say.

  • 8 ecology // Jan 3, 2007 at 5:14 pm   

    There is not going to be a happy neverland ending is there? The script calls for it!

  • 9 ecology // Jan 3, 2007 at 5:16 pm   

    I read too that Rudy once he heard he was getting looked at for the part changed his last name from Gonzales to Youngblood. Im sure you know that but I did not.

  • 10 curious // Jan 3, 2007 at 5:17 pm   

    David, so what if he is mixed (Black Mexican and Native Indian)?? Does that make him lesser of a person than you?? You know there is really no pure race, everybody’s got a little mix of something in them weather if it Caucasian Spanish Asian African etc… ..

  • 11 KuhnKat // Jan 3, 2007 at 6:02 pm   


    Rudy’s actual heritage does not make him better OR worse. What makes him worse is that he has willingly defrauded people by claiming something he is not at a time when it could cause a loss to those with the ethnicity he CLAIMS!!!

    LYING IS BAD!!!!! I know that is not something easily understood now a days. Without learning from History you will have to take my word for it!!


  • 12 ecology // Jan 3, 2007 at 6:19 pm   

    He has yet to prove he is Native American (Redskin). Mexican does not cut it! Lying is bad! Orwell. truth is fiction. right is wrong. This is a pure fantasy hollywood nation rigth on up the strata. Permeated. Its going to be wild when reality can not be evaded anymore.

  • 13 Nadine // Jan 3, 2007 at 9:58 pm   

    Lol, my father’s 1/4 Swedish blood certainly does not make him Swedish; nevertheless, his maternal grandfather was, whereas my dad & his mom lived & died as Indian, though both were light enough to pass if they had wanted to. It’s really up to the character of the individual. Yet, conversely, 1/4 Sioux blood DOES in fact make one Sioux, specificially my tribe the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe, whose cut off is 1/4 BQ. It’s up to the tribes to decide which makes one a member of said tribe. Take for instance the Cherokee Tribe, which doesn’t have any BQ, thus anybody can claim Cherokee if they really wanted to… Rudy should’ve claimed this tribe instead of one that has an 1/8 BQ (aka Comanche Tribe). ‘Course the best thing to do is to claim *descendency*, which most white people & non-Indians do, when one is not enrolled nor has enough BQ to be enrolled nor any proof of really being Indian at all. This is why it’s important to keep documents, not just oral history, and have a family that has always been proud to be Indian, thus having always been enrolled & not copping out by passing for something other than Indian. (:^)

    Truth, Rudy, truth shall set you free!

    In the famous words of Sir Walter Scott ~ “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive.”

    Sincerely, Nadine

    P.S. Doc, still awaiting the truth about your real age?

  • 14 Samantha // Jan 3, 2007 at 10:48 pm   

    Rudy is like a joke. The guy is living in a fantasy world

  • 15 Mario // Jan 3, 2007 at 11:44 pm   

    I see Dr. Yeagley, you have shown yourself as the lone man that is willing to take on the “establishment”.

    The establishment I refer to is the leftist concentration of power in the media, univeristies, and government where it has become, in a perverted way, profitable to claim oneself as an indian.

    Add the mythological nonsense of heaven on earth that the lefties claimed to have existed before the arrival of the white european, and who would not want to claim themselves as indians.

    I believe Dr. Yeagley that today we have an updated version of the “noble savage”. By claiming oneself as an indian, you can claim yourself as a minority, use history to demand some kind of reparation or entitlement, and if anyone decides to question your “indianess”, then you have impunity to attack the naysayer.

    Same thing is happening by claiming yourself as a “undocumented worker” who can have advocates in seats of power as just saying you are just here to make an honest living. With getting sympathy votes from gullible voters, illegal aliens can begin a new life without the work and effort that a legitimate immigrant goes through. Now immigrants are being lumped as just looking for a better life for themselves and their families. How they get here is incosequential to the lefties. The word of immigrant is now cheapened.

    I can see that Dr. Yeagley you do not want indian identity to suffer the same fate. These socialist/fascists/communists are truly very diabolical.

  • 16 Brooke // Jan 3, 2007 at 11:47 pm   

    1/4 Sioux blood does make you Sioux. Sorry if that doesn’t conform to your puritanical racist worldview. David isnt 100% Comanche either, but somehow he is more Indian than Rudy. Why? Because he can show who his Indian ancestors were with pieces of paper. Yes, pieces of paper are what we as a people have been reduced to today. What do you think a Mestizo is, David? It is mixed indian and spanish person. yes David, that’s right INDIAN and Spanish. You know what is funny David? Notice your Spanish surname of your Indian ancestors? Yes David, if USA hadn’t won the land owned by Mexico, You would be considered today a Mestizo! haha Love the irony.

  • 17 Nadine // Jan 4, 2007 at 12:22 am   

    testing…testing…as my post didn’t go through a couple of hrs. ago. Hmm….

  • 18 Nadine // Jan 4, 2007 at 12:42 am   

    Now let’s see if this one does. Here goes (recalled from memory earlier, lol):

    My dad’s 1/4 Swedish blood didn’t make him Swedish, nevertheless his maternal grandfather was, and even though my dad & grandmother could’ve passed for Swedish they never did, rather they lived & died as Indians. It all comes down to character. Conversely, 1/4 Sioux blood does make you Sioux, leastways in my tribe it does, i.e. The Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe, as the cut off is 1/4 BQ. It all depends on the specific tribe & its requirements, EXCEPT that is the Cherokee Tribe, which doesn’t have a BQ requirement, thus non-Indians can claim to be Cherokee & use it to their advantage while the real Cherokees suffer. Now this is the tribe that Rudy should’ve claimed descendency from, not one that has an 1/8 BQ requirement (aka Comanche Tribe). This is why it’s good to come from a family that has always been proud to be Indian (never passed for non) & has documents, not just oral history, as in this day & age it’s the IN thing to be Indian (ala Rudy Youngblood), not like in the past.

    The truth, Rudy, shall set you free!

    In the wise words of Sir Walter Scott ~ “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive.”

    Sincerely, Nadine

    P.S. I’ve left this part blank, as I’m thinking my prior post wasn’t posted due to the question I asked of Doc, at the end…

  • 19 Nadine // Jan 4, 2007 at 12:44 am   

    Yep, censoring going on, as once again I typed up a long reply, with an added ? I asked of Doc, and it didn’t go through…

  • 20 "Greetings, my son!" // Jan 4, 2007 at 4:36 am   

    Relax Nadine, I think it has happened to all of us one way or another. Boy do you have an exagerated sense of entitlement

    I personally had a brilliant food order deleted, and comments that never made it through–them’s the breaks.

    I think it has something to do with the following:

    “We’ve heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true.”
    – Robert Wilensky

  • 21 David Yeagley // Jan 4, 2007 at 9:28 am   

    Folks, just let me say, again, rarely is anyone deleted. What happens is this: MovableType, the software blog program on which the Bad Eagle Journal is written, has certain devices with which to block out spam. “Settings” they’re called. I can block certain words, phrases, and forumalas which spammers use.

    I get hundreds and hundreds of SPAM–PER DAY!! There is a huge bin for trash, which I have to empty every day. Sometimes, spam still gets through, and sometimes–REAL posts from people get blocked!

    This is a major head-ache, DAILY. Sometimes, I accidentally dump real posts, one or two, that, when mixed in with the hundreds, I can’t see. I can’t weed the reals ones out.

    MY OWN posts have often been blocked, and ended up in the dumpster. If it happens immediately, I can do something about it. I go to the dumpster, and it’s at the top of the list. I merely “unblock” it, and it appears back on the comments.

    I may have set the “settings” too tight, in my attempts to block the spam.

    Please be patient. The new age of Bad Eagle is approaching. We WILL have a new site, and we WILL be more protected! (I know you’ve heard that before, but, I’m inexperienced on the net, and I get defrauded…)

    This is the result of liars, hackers, virus creators, and other low-life. Sorry. We all pay the price. We all bear the burden. Society is very slow to correct itself…

  • 22 David Yeagley // Jan 4, 2007 at 9:38 am   

    Nadine, I just found your two previous unpublished comments. I have to go down pages and pages of spam to pull them out of the junk pill, once they get put in there.

    I just can’t do this every day. I just deleted about 800 spam, in the last 10 minutes. I go by page. I delete whole pages, 125 pieces at a time. To look through each, down the list, to fish out a real one, is simply too time consuming.

    I get my own, only because I know it was blocked immediately, I go to the trash, and I find it on the top. If someone posts, and it’s hours ago, or a day ago, when it was blocked, it will be so far down the list of pages (8, to 10 pages, with 125 spam each!), I’ll never find it.

    As I said, I’m hoping for better conditions in the future.

    I’m really when someone gets cut. I can loosen up the settings, but, then I’ll have probably twice as much spam as I already have.


  • 23 David Yeagley // Jan 4, 2007 at 9:41 am   

    Who said Rudy was a 1/4 Sioux? Ecology, apparently, in a loose, off the cuff comment, meaning nothing.

    Rudy is not Sioux! Good grief. Let’s be accurate here. No mud slinging. Just facts.

    FACT: Rudy has offere not a single piece of evidence that he has one drop of Canadian, American, or even Yaqui Indian blood in him. He is enrolled nowhere, in any tribe.

  • 24 Nadine // Jan 4, 2007 at 9:54 am   

    Okay, I’m sincerely sorry & embarrassed, my apologies everyone, especially Dr. Yeagley. Mea culpa. :(

    Sorry, Nadine

  • 25 ecology // Jan 4, 2007 at 10:28 am   

    No the 1/4 thing was not associated with Rudy. Sorry! I had too many thoughts going on at once. He did say he had Sioux in him and other indian. just wanted to say its not proven that he does. No lets not mud sling.admit I can do that and go haywire.

  • 26 David Yeagley // Jan 4, 2007 at 11:20 am   

    What can I say? I feel I’m under pressure! Ha, ha! These things take time and patience.

    Eco, you have a lot of good things to say! Please keep saying them. (Just use a scope on your rifle!)

  • 27 Ena // Jan 6, 2007 at 12:38 pm   

    Dear Dr. Yeagley,
    it makes me sad that you are so hungup on the bloodquantum. that is not an “indian” way of thinking of things. it is an european thing. befor the europeans came to america, there was no bloodquantum theory. american indians believed that everything is related. all humans are related. your focus on bloodquantum is against the believe of your ancestors. look at quanah parker, he is part white and part comanche, but he honored his mother with her last name….
    it makes me sad that american indians go on each ohters throat because they want to proof that they are more american indian as the one next to them…
    why do you destroy yourselfs from the inside?

    btw. if someone is from mexico and indian, than he or she is american indian because mexico is in the AMERICAS! why this division between south and north?

    please, mr. yeagley tell me about all this….


  • 28 David Yeagley // Jan 7, 2007 at 1:52 pm   

    My point precisely, Ena. Everyone feels they have a right to the name “American Indian.” I couln’t disagree more. Of course, I’m Indian. Are you?

    GreyFoot says he’s Comanche, but not ethnocentric. I say that’s a perfect duplicity, a perfect academic contradiction.

    I’m sadden, too, that I have to be accused of doing wrong, when I’m making the effort to preserve the truth, and the blood.

  • 29 Ena // Jan 8, 2007 at 12:08 am   

    i am not saying that everyone should call themselves ‘indian’. of course not. but, it makes me sick, when indians tell other indians, that have a white mother or father, that they are not really indians…
    such thinking destroys the tribes. it does not keep the tribes strong…
    don’t you think that quanah parker was comanche?
    he was as much white as he was indian, but back then, the comanche did not care. they honored him and his mother.
    i am against frauds, but i am also against racial theories that the europeans brought to the indians.
    why do you use a weapon that was given you by the europeans, the people that made you suffer so much? why don’t you rely on your comanche customs that were inclusive instead of exclusive?

    would be happy to hear an answer.
    thank you


  • 30 azureth // Jan 11, 2007 at 7:56 pm   

    There was another guy a few decades back. He thought that blood and proving racial purity through pedigree charts and physical features was not only necessary but essential to the “preservation of everything good.” Remember Hitler? You’re starting to sound so similar…

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