Chicora Chief Gene Martin honored | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | April 27, 2018 5:00 am
Last Updated: April 25, 2018 at 9:43 am
Veterans Victory House resident Gene Martin, chief of the Chicora tribe of Horry and Georgetown counties, was honored by his friends and family on April 21 in a ceremony at Veterans Victory House for “his effort and all the accomplishments he has achieved for all Indian people of S.C., the U.S. and the Chicora tribe.”
An army combat engineer veteran, Martin served as tribal chief for 24 years, retiring as active chief in November 2000.
His name, Igmu Tanka Sutanaji (Great Cougar Standstrong) comes from a line of Standstrong chiefs dating back at least 400 years. He holds a part of that line’s medicine, a Cannunpa Wakan, a sacred ceremonial pipe passed down from generation to generation in his family.
Martin spent his life fighting for the rights and recognition of his people. On Jan. 25, 1995, he was invited to the White House by then President Bill Clinton and spoke before 357 chiefs and members of the president’s executive committee. He also spoke at the Great Sioux National Summit Meeting in Great Falls, Minn., in August 1998, after which proclamations were issued declaring the Chicora people of S.C. as one of the lost tribes of the Dakota Sioux and gaining recognition and acceptance into the Great Sioux Nation by a consensus of the people.