Vandals damage Indian fort
Published 11:11 am Friday, February 12, 2016
Vandals have done extensive damage to three structures and a fence at the Native Palisade Fort in Cattashowrock Town, the property of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe.
Chief Walt “Red Hawk” Brown discovered how much had been cut, pushed or pulled down when he came to the site on Thursday morning. He said he had been at the property on Wednesday afternoon, but had not gone on to the fort, which was the only place affected.
“I wanted to cry when I saw it,” he said. “A lot of labor and time went into this fort.”
With a Southampton Sheriff’s Deputy present, Brown said he thinks the vandalism took place this past weekend as he had been there a week and a half ago and nothing was amiss then.
About 100 palm mats that covered two roundhouses and a longhouse were pushed out, and in some places obviously cut, from their frames. The chief estimated there’s been $5,000 in damage. Each of the mat segments, which he added are made in California, cost about $50 apiece.
There’s liability insurance for when people visit the town, but not for structures. Brown is asking for contributions to the tribe’s foundation to help pay for the new matting.
Several poles that create a fence around the fort were also pushed down, and three tobacco racks in the longhouse were stolen.
The deputy had discovered that morning three sets of footprints from tennis shoes in and around the structures. Brown said later he thinks that young people were involved, judging from the size of the prints.
“You’d think kids would have better things to do than this,” he said.
This is not the first time that the fort has been damaged, Brown added. He said he reported three times last year to the Sheriff’s office of finding mats punched out in the houses, but believes this was done as a blind for turkey hunting.
A program for the public is scheduled this May and there’ll be a lot of repair work to be done between now and then, said Brown.
“It’s painful,” he said.
Contact the foundation by calling 562-7760 or 354-6839; email firstname.lastname@example.org; visit wwww.cheroenhaka-nottoway.org or on Facebook.