Letter from Whitetop Tribal Council Chairman regarding the 125-year-old historic Hoskins Cemetery in Manchester, Kentucky

Len Rineholt 350 H

Len Rineholt, Whitetop Band of Native Indians Chairman 

By Len Rineholt, Chairman, Whitetop Band of Native Indians

To the many concerned,

Let it be known that The Tribal Council of The Tribe of the Whitetop Band of Native Indians, has been continually opposed to the Clay County School Board of Education (Kentucky) in the matters of the relocation of the interred at the place known as Hoskins Cemetery in Clay County KY.

Governor Andy Beshear 185Let it be known that The Tribe of the Whitetop Band of Native Indians have been recognized as an indigenous Native American Tribe by executive order in the following counties in Kentucky: Lincoln County, Rockcastle County, Christian County, Leslie County, Knott County, Clay County, Harlan County, Livingston County, Pulaski County, Madison County, Magoffin County, Bell County, Boyd County, Breathhitt County, Elliot County, Estill County, Floyd County, Hyden County, Jackson County, Knox County, Laurel County, Lawrence County, Lee County, Letcher County, Owsely County, Perry County, Wolfe County, as well as the City of Manchester KY, and the City of Hayden KY. These documents can found as public record. The Tribe of the Whitetop Band of Native Indians has also received an Acclamation of Recognition from The State of Kentucky signed by Governor Andy Beshear.

It seems as though the people's voice has no bearing on the outcome of this situation. Not one opposition to the Board of Education has ever been publicly debated among the Clay County Fiscal Court. Any discussion among the fiscal court members took place in secrecy prior to their voting on this matter. The allowance of public opinion, prior to their vote, was nothing more than a formality with out any public statements from the individual court members. The public opinion meeting on the matter showed little support for the school board, however, it seems as though the political power of the School Board will win no matter the opinions of the people they represent. It seems as though there is an absolute power here that cannot be fought. Who has absolute power to remove and relocate the graves of those who chose this sacred ground as their final resting place?

We as citizens of this great country often feel our hands are tied and we continually struggle with the realization of the elite class having control when the rights actually fall upon the people. Many times we see local school boards abuse their power and in some cases misuse tax dollars. Shamefully, the school board has refused to hear the people they represent or the families of the interred. Common taxpayers have taken a stance concerning Hoskins Cemetery and have not been heard by the deaf ears of this School Board and County Fiscal Court. How much more of a fundamental issue can be expressed than this? How sad an affair is it that someone’s grandparent picked a location for their final interment and now a group of elitists have decided to remove and relocate their graves? I ask the court to consider the morality of this? Would this school board relocate George Washington’s grave if he were buried there? If deceased Kentucky Governors were buried there would this relocation effort even been thought of? In short we all know the answer to those last two questions as a solid NO. Is it upon the death of commoners that rights cease? Which cemetery, of common citizens, in Kentucky will be the next on the list?

How can any Kentucky State Court rule in favor of the Clay County Board of Education unless they are likely connected in unseen ways? Sadly the elite are often joined at the hip.

I pray this not to be the case in this situation. I ask the State of Kentucky to find the rights of the interred to be more favorable than the whims of a local school board that should have no right to relocate graves on land they purchased knowing that they had purchased a cemetery.

  • How does one claim a cemetery is abandoned when it is clearly visited by families of the deceased?
  • How does one refuse access to these families?
  • Who purchases a cemetery in which Kentucky Citizens have recently been interred with the intent of moving it? 

Perhaps it is only those with highly subjective motives.

Len Rineholt Chairman www.whitetoptribe.org



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