The true story of Iron Eyes Cody, America's favorite crying Indian



That’s why you should always ask for the long-form-birth-certificate… :wink:


You don’t get method actors like that anymore.


Huh - he sure looked the part…

Then again I don’t look Indian, but I am officially on the Potawatomie Nation, Citizen Band Tribal rolls. Federally recognized and all.


What a quintessentially American story! We’re all about reinvention, and this guy went all in to the point of being an activist. Reminds me of the story of the beloved book “The Education of Little Tree”, written in Asa Earl Carter’s second act, after he turned from a southern racist political operative and speechwriter for George Wallace into a fictional Native American publishing his memoir. There are people who still refuse to believe who he was. In both stories you are left to ponder if the lie did enough good to be forgiven.

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I had a good friend who actually got work as a “native American” photo model, although he was actually a member of the tribe of Israel.

Ah, so he is Native American…


The Mormons should love him then, as that would be evidence of their otherwise unsupported Nephi hypothesis.

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Damn. Beat me to it.

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It’s interesting how there are so many cases of people presenting themselves as Amerinds without actual ancestry (Grey Owl, Little Tree, Iron Eyes Cody, etc). I wonder are there any other cases for other indigenous peoples? Is there a history of people fraudulently presenting themselves as Bedouins or Sami or Mongolian horse herders?

I’ll take Maori, they’re pretty cool.

He adopted the culture, stayed true to it, even fought for it.

He was a pretty good Indian.


I’ve heard about cases of people fraudulently claiming Aboriginal status, usually for the purposes of either benefits or art fraud.

I worked briefly for a counseling agency in Oklahoma that had a counselor who claimed Native American ancestry (despite being blonde and blue-eyed) because it gave them some sort of status to counsel tribe members. It reminds me of the joke: What do you call sixty-four white people? A Cherokee.


“You’ll rust your eyes out!”

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