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Another controversy involves Patrick McCoy, who is organizer of the Sun Dance. Some people are making statements that McCoy is not an American Indian. However, he is a tribal citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, based in Sault Ste. Marie, and holds a master's degree in addiction counseling. A cousin, Darwin Joe McCoy served as tribal chairman of the Tribe for almost three years until May 2011. His brother, Michael, has been a legislative director for the Tribe for several years.
“Patrick came to a Sun Dance years ago in Pipestone. Others came with them to participate with the Sun Dance I saw them there for several years and then even wanted to be sanctioned. Vernon Bellecourt was there. Floyd Westerman was there. I was there,”
Last year was the first year, McCoy held a sun dance in Michigan.
“Crow Dog was supposed to conduct the sun dance last year,”
said McCoy told the Native News Network.
“Then I got a call from Crow Dog who said he had a scheduling problem. He recommended Dennis to perform the sun dance. ”
Banks had already planned on attending the Sun Dance. Banks concluded the Longest Walk 3 Reversing Diabetes one week before. Several of the people who accompanied Banks into Washington, DC drove to Sault Ste. Marie to participate in the Sun Dance.
“Last year we had 25 Sun Dancers. This year we will have more,”
“This whole business of Dennis making money off of this is ridiculous. Dennis Banks is not receiving any money for doing the sun dance. He is doing it for free,”
“He is doing it out of the kindness of his heart.”
“Last year I was with him when he was in Walmart buying ropes for the dancers who came with him,”
“I would imagine it cost him a lot of money. We actually lost money last year.”
Banks and McCoy both confirmed there is no fee to participate in the Sun Dance.
“I think the confusion began when I put together a travel package that includes lodging, food and travel. People are coming from Europe for this. It will cost those who are traveling long distances money, but we are not charging,”
posted June 11, 2012 7:40 am edt
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