Coast Miwok Tribe stands by ancestry of chairman

Members of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, also known as the Coast Miwok Tribe, say their leader's ancestry is legitimate.

Chairman Greg Sarris has led the tribe since it was restored to federal recognition in 2000. Tribal members say they have no doubt he has Miwok ancestry.

But Marilee Montgomery of a group called Stop the Casino 101 Coalition says Sarris doesn't have any Indian ancestors. She wants the Bureau of Indian Affairs to take him off the tribe's rolls.

Sarris, who didn't find out he was Indian until his early 30s, has offered to give a blood test to prove he is related to other tribal members. He told The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat that Montgomery's request was "horrendously offensive to me and my family."

Get the Story:
Casino critic challenges tribal leader's Indian heritage (The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat 2/18)

Related Stories:
Anti-casino group challenges tribal chair's ancestry (2/11)