News

Economy & Business

Government to Scrutinize Contractors Who Claimed ‘Native American’ Ancestry Without Basis

U.S. Representative Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) (REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang)

The U.S. Department of Transportation is calling for a nationwide review of all companies participating in its minority contracting program that claim to be “Native American,” following an investigation by the Los Angeles Times that revealed that many of the participating companies do not belong to any recognized Native American tribe.

One of the government contracts in question was awarded to the brother-in-law of then–House majority leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.). The brother-in-law, William Wages, claimed to be a member of the Northern Cherokee Nation, which is not a federally recognized tribe.

Birth and census records dating back to 1850 showed no Cherokee among Wages’s ancestors.

Meanwhile, the House Small Business Committee announced it would also be scrutinizing the claims of various companies to Native American heritage, and other authorities across several states were already looking into the matter.

The announcements come after a June investigation by the Los Angeles Times in which the paper discovered numerous instances of company heads using unverified claims of Native American ancestry to obtain government funding set aside for minority contractors. Total funding for these contractors amounted to over $300 million.

Six states have already begun stripping certain companies of their minority status, after it was found that the company owners asserted membership in one of three Cherokee tribes that are not recognized by the government, and which recognized Cherokee tribes consider fraudulent.

“Government contracts are a powerful tool for spurring economic growth and job creation, and any abuse of programs intended to level the playing field for traditionally underserved populations is completely unacceptable,” said the chair of the House Small Business Committee, Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez (D., N.Y.).

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

The March for Life Is a March for Truth

Pro-lifers are marching today, as they do every year, to commemorate a great evil that was done in January 1973 and to express solidarity with its innocent victims. The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade eliminated legal protections for unborn children in all 50 states, and did so without any ... Read More
Law & the Courts

The March for Life Is a March for Truth

Pro-lifers are marching today, as they do every year, to commemorate a great evil that was done in January 1973 and to express solidarity with its innocent victims. The Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade eliminated legal protections for unborn children in all 50 states, and did so without any ... Read More

A Nation of Barbers

It seems almost inevitable that long hair is unwelcome at Barbers Hill High School. There’s a touch of aptronymic poetry in Texas public-school dress-code disputes. When I was in school in the 1980s, at the height of the Satanism panic, the local school-district superintendent circulated a list of ... Read More

A Nation of Barbers

It seems almost inevitable that long hair is unwelcome at Barbers Hill High School. There’s a touch of aptronymic poetry in Texas public-school dress-code disputes. When I was in school in the 1980s, at the height of the Satanism panic, the local school-district superintendent circulated a list of ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More
U.S.

Nadler’s Folly

Jerry Nadler must have missed the day in law school where they teach you about persuasion. The House Democrat made a critical error early in the trial of President Trump. He didn’t just say that Republican senators, who voted to begin the proceedings without calling witnesses, were part of a cover-up. He said ... Read More
U.S.

Nadler’s Folly

Jerry Nadler must have missed the day in law school where they teach you about persuasion. The House Democrat made a critical error early in the trial of President Trump. He didn’t just say that Republican senators, who voted to begin the proceedings without calling witnesses, were part of a cover-up. He said ... Read More