The Resurrection of Tiger Lily

Apparently, I received a present for my birthday from the United States Supreme Court when I was transformed, overnight, along with another 1.8 million people, into a Native American.

This was my birthday card:  “The Supreme Court today kept the United States’ sacred promise to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation of a protected reservation. Today’s decision will allow the Nation to honor our ancestors by maintaining our established sovereignty and territorial boundaries. We will continue to work with federal and state law enforcement agencies to ensure that public safety will be maintained throughout the territorial boundaries of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.”

I now live on land belonging to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and to live on their land, you must be Creek by blood and trace back to a direct ancestor listed on the 1906 Dawes Roll by issuance of birth and/or death certificates.  I don’t know anything about this Dawes Roll.  I guess they will “grandfather” me in somehow until I am able to prove I have Muscogee blood in me.  I’m going to have to sign up for 23andMe to see if I qualify.  I am assuming that given the great wisdom of our US Supreme Court, I must qualify or why would they have done this insane thing?

But I think because I now live on a reservation, I can safely say this:  I am more Native American than Elizabeth Warren.  Just saying . . .    

Frankly, I’ve always wanted to be an Indian (that was a perfectly acceptable thing to call them back then).  I made braids out of brown yarn and use bobby pins to attach them to my hair.  I even wore them to school, much to the consternation of my teachers.  I saw myself as  Tiger Lily and because of my stubborn nature when it comes to relaxing my ideals, some of my family members actually have the attached picture of me on their phones (notice how I am tied to the cross).

I guess it’s for real now and I am proud to be an Okie in Muskogee.  I belong to the Creek Nation, a self-governed Native American tribe located in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.  It is one of the 5 Civilized Tribes and is the fourth largest tribe in the U.S. with 86,100 citizens, plus me and the rest of my Tulsa neighbors.

My tribal website says the government side is made up of an executive branch, a legislative body and a tribal court system.  We are, apparently, a diverse entity with many facets such as: cultural tourism, gaming, businesses, and a higher learning institution.

So, I am kind of stoked.  Kind of. 

I am also a little worried about the logistics.  Like do I own my own home?  You’d think the State of Oklahoma would have mentioned it was up for grabs when I bought it two years ago.

And I’m worried about all those in prison who have to be tried at the Federal level and if they’re going to let them all out in the meantime.

There are other pesky problems, too, like do they own the land my house is on (I suspect they do), as well as the real estate that lays on top of the land?  If so, will they think it is reasonable and expedient to take what the Supreme Court gave them and tell me to “run along” when they find out I probably don’t have a drop of  Native American blood in me.

Of course, neither does Elizabeth Warren and nobody challenged her when she got her education paid for and ran for president or when she shared her Native American recipes that require mayonnaise, something I don’t think Native Americans had on hand back in the day.

So a lot of questions.  George tells me the difference between Creek and Greek is only one letter, so we’re probably good.

I intend to get some mileage out of this while I can, in case the US Supreme Court turns out to be an “Indian giver”.  I am resurrecting the name I used in 3rd grade.  Please call me Tiger Lily from now on.  I am excited to see if the Supreme Court also has jurisdiction over Neverland so I can fly there and find Peter.  With regard to Wendy, Tink and I agree that she can fly back home to New York where she belongs.  We never liked her much, anyway.  She was way too much of a girl, eww, yuck and all that stuff.

I always had thing for Peter which is why I probably married George.  ‘Cause here we are, shoulder to shoulder, fighting the Captain Hooks of the world, just like the old days.  I guess we really don’t change.  Thank goodness for my extensions, as I would now be looking for those yarn braids about now. . .


  1. Michelle says

    The real test will be: will the expanded Reservation convict and punish the child rapist?
    If not, beware anyone new who moves to town…

  2. This was really interesting. I heard about this as I was driving through Tulsa on Friday on the way back to Texas and couldn’t really get a good understanding of what all of this meant, or, if it has any bearing on the non-Indians of Oklahoma. I saw this video that Dr. Steve Turley put out regarding the decision: 

    I’m honestly still not 100% sure what to make of it and am guessing that this will set a way for other groups to claim their own land

    • Gail Sheppard says

      It is the craziest thing to get up one morning and realize you’re living on a reservation. Don’t get me wrong, if ancestral guilt is a “thing” then I would have it in spades. Not for blacks but for Native Americans.

      My great-great grandfather (I think I included the right # of “greats”) graduated from a university in St. Louis and received further education from the Jesuits in Cuba. Because he was educated, was charged with chronicling the events when they sent soldiers out west to fight the Apaches in an effort to protect the settlers. His name was Augustus Brichta and you can read what he wrote on-line. Mostly they traded with the Indians, i.e. “Give the good folks back their horses and we’ll give you bacon and coffee.” But it wasn’t always like that.

      And when you read about the Trail of Tears, over 5,043 miles long, covering nine states, it is absolutely heartbreaking. Genocide, really.

      Thanks for the video, Petros. Looking forward to watching it.

  3. MultiSpoonAbomination says

    Dear Tiger Lily,

    I have to say that I’m a little envious. It’s not every day that a person becomes the member of a Naive American Tribe without so much as lifting a finger.

    And while you are enjoying your newfound homies and discount drinks at the blackjack table, the rest of us mere-human-totally-white guys are up dung Creek without so much as the proverbial paddle.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Exactly! I’ll be up a “Creek,” too, but at least I will have a paddle. . . maybe. Actually, hard to say given I think they may own my house!!!

  4. Michael Bauman says

    Gail, problem with many of the DNA sites is that they do not have good samples of Native American DNA. The Dawes roll also did not include Native Americans who either objected to registering with the U S government or just did not.

  5. Michael Bauman says

    Tiger Lily given the fact that the SCOTUS decision is on of the few times that ANY US court has upheld any treaty, it is intriguing as to why now. Probably because “white man speak with forked tongue.”

  6. When you introduced yourself to me two years ago in Russia, you were Galina (cause I’m a priest?).  But everyone addressed you as Gail (ok).  But Tiger Lily?  Now I’m confused.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Tiger Lily, was a childhood fantasy. My baptismal name is Gailina. Have always gone by Gail. Except in high school, where many called me Tange, a name given to me by a boyfriend who said that like a tangerine, I could be bitter and sweet all at the same time!

      I so enjoyed meeting you, Father. I’ll never forget how wonderful you were with those handicapped children and how their little faces lit up when you gave them blessings. – Hope you are well, Father. So good to hear from you.

    • Pat Teague says

      I’m just too accustomed to George writing in Monomakhos.  I was really getting worried about him wearing homemade Brown yarn braids to school.  Just how did he pin them to his bald head?  

  7. Fr Joseph Huneycutt says

    Safe to assume y’all are now Creek Orthodox?
    (I’ll show myself out.)

  8. Sage-Girl says

    ?Today July 12th is St. Paisios of Mount Athos
    ascension day! ? Axios!

    Once he left his mortal body in hospital, people outside church he built in Soureti, Greece looked up + saw him floating above church waving + waving to them!

    The great Elder Paisios besides his many supernatural gifts could tame snakes ? + bears too.?
    Beloved Saint Paisios Hear Our Prayers In This Critical Time. Amen ?

  9. cynthia curran says

    Indians do better when the live and work in the general society and not the reservations. Studies show better income and lover poverty off the reservations. Currently, the reservations make their money off of Casinos.

  10. How nice that you can leave the country without having to uproot house and home.

  11. Gregory Manning says

    Robert Barnes is just about the easiest (and funniest) lawyer to understand. His explanation of the Muskogee decision and the implications should be a big help. The gist of it begins at 5:35.

    • Gail Sheppard says

      Thank you. Happy to hear it is citizenship and territory, combined. In other words, they would only have jurisdiction over the Muskogee who happen to live here in Tulsa. They do not have land that is currently deeded to the non-Muskogee. At least I still own my home! – Interestingly George got a test message asking if he was interested in working for the Muskogee!!!!

      • George Michalopulos says

        I guess they saw the “G” in “Greek” and thought it was a “C”!

  12. Tim R. Mortiss says

    I don’t get the tone of this piece. Living on an Indian reservation doesn’t make you an Indian. Innumerable non-Indians in the US West live on Indian reservations.
    I don’t know anything about these particular treaties, but inasmuch as Georgia and Alabama tribes were forcibly relocated to Indian Country (i.e. Oklahoma), I’m not surprised that they might have treaty rights that may need to be vindicated in Federal court. This is common enough farther West. Indeed, land titles in my area, Tacoma, were under considerable question until the Federally-approved land claim settlement with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians 30 years ago, which extinguished Puyallup land claims in exchange for ownership of about 25% of the Port of Tacoma. 
    Doesn’t bother me when these old post-treaty rip-offs get fixed.

  13. Antiochene Son says

    This case was an example of the classic cuckservative trope of doing the wrong thing for the right reason. Yes, we treated the Indians badly by reneging on our treaties, but should procedural issues allow a child molester to walk? If the facts of the case are not in dispute, it should not change anything.
    Looks like Trump’s list of (((Federalist Society))) approved picks was trash, just like most other Republican jurists. 

  14. cynthia curran says
    • Gail Sheppard says

      Great video, Cynthia. We need to overhaul what passes for education these days. It’s not education. It’s indoctrination.