However, Little is an Anniston city councilman thanks to Ward 3 voters who picked him in the 2008 election. From his amplified perch at City Hall, Little regularly dispenses insults, evidence-free claims and conspiracy theories.
He was at it again Tuesday when the council considered zoning changes at McClellan.
“That place belongs to the Indians, anyhow,” Little said of the former Army post. “You go ahead on and improve it as much as you can and like I said, when you do all that, they’ll come in with the law that this community knows, that Defense Department knows, the federal government knows, they’ll come and say, ‘Me wantum property.’”
If possible, let’s put aside Little’s horribly offensive language that is a slur against Indians. Instead, let’s focus on his claim that McClellan’s 18,000 acres belong to Indians.
As evidence, several months ago Little presented us with a 1995 government report titled, “Collections Summary for Fort McClellan, Alabama.” According to the cover sheet, it was “[p]repared for the U.S. Army Environmental Center, Environmental Compliance Division by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District,” which is the “Mandatory Center for Expertise for the Curation and Management of Archaeological Collections.”
Little points to a paragraph of the report reading, “Only the Creek have been adjudicated the land on which Fort McClellan is situated, however, ethnographic evidence indicates that the other tribes referenced above may have some cultural affiliation with the archaeological materials from Fort McClellan, and should be contacted regarding these collections.”
The report, which is a fascinating glimpse into the history of this region, provides evidence that other tribes besides the Creeks once called this place home.
It seems Little’s claim boils down to the meaning of the word “adjudicated.” It does not, by any legal definition, necessarily mean in this instance that the Creeks have been given property on or around McClellan. It means that some arrangement for the property was established between the Creeks and the United States.
Actually on an earlier page, the report notes, “In 1832, the Creek Indians ceded the eastern portion of what is now Alabama, including the ground now occupied by Fort McClellan, to the United States government.”
The words “ceded ... including the ground now occupied by Fort McClellan” is the key to understanding that the report in no way implies Indians have claim to McClellan property.
Besides, the report was written to ensure the protection of Indian artifacts, and not to be the authority for ownership of the property.
What’s next, councilman? Are you going to claim the earth is flat?