December 8, 2004 by

Chief Roy Crazy Horse


Categories: Education, Military, Politicians, Religious Leaders, Writers/Editors

crazyhorse.jpgChief Roy Crazy Horse, the leader of the Powhatan Renape Nation, died on Nov. 11. Cause of death was not released. He was 79.

Born in Camden, N.J., Crazy Horse lied about his age in order to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II. After returning from the South Pacific, he graduated from high school and attended Temple University and La Salle College.

Crazy Horse became chief of the Powhatan Renape Nation, an American Indian Nation and non-profit entity, in 1972. As the executive director and spiritual leader of the Powhatan, Crazy Horse defended the rights of American Indians and publicly criticized the mythology surrounding portrayals of Indians in popular media. He wrote several books on the history of native peoples, including “Morrisville: A Hidden Native Community,” “Holocaust of the American Indians,” “A Brief History of the Powhatan Renape Nation” and “North American Genocide.” He taught classes on Indian studies at Rowan University and lectured at several universities.

Crazy Horse established the Rankokus American Indian Reservation on 225 acres in Rancocas State Park in 1982. Since he was able to trace his tribe’s roots back to the people of the Powhatan Confederacy in Virginia, the state of New Jersey agreed to rent the land for 25 years. The reservation hosts a biannual American Indian Arts Festival and remains open to visitors who tour its heritage museum, art gallery and outdoor exhibits.

Crazy Horse was appointed by Gov. Christie Whitman to the Commission on Discrimination in State Employment and Contracting in 2000. He also served as the chairman of the New Jersey Commission on American Indian Affairs.

17 Responses to Chief Roy Crazy Horse

  1. Idamarie Stewart

    To a great Leader of our nation, he has taught me a great deal about my culture, by interacting with us during Pow Pow’s and gatherings. He has brought back the truth of our nation and that of a powerful people. And made the world recognize The Pocahantas Myth..
    Chief Crazy Horse you are Loved and will be missed.
    Idamarie, Dakota & Anton

  2. Tanita

    As the famous nineteenth century warrior Crazy Horse fighting for keeping the Indian culture HE (Roy Crazy Horse) was – teaching and making the history of ‘true america’ unforgetable. There are few people that could be admired as much as he should be. That fame goes all over the world – even in a small european country that Poland is.
    With respect,

  3. Jamie Jordan Hulsey

    I just seen the post and I am very saddened for the loss of Chief Crazy Horse. I had previously spoke to him 2001 & 2002 online, in search of my ancestry w/the Powhatan Nation. He was very thoughtful and gracious. I will miss him and his insightfulness. I have waited too late to meet a great man of the Powhatan Nation! Many regards to his family!
    Jamie Jordan-Hulsey
    Claremore, OK

  4. Cheryl Benninger

    He’s a liar born in Caroline County Virginia as a colored boy not a Indian.Known as big red a black militant in Camden NJ not a Indian.NO Indian Reservation is in Mt.Holly it is a NJ State Park NOT a Indian Reservation.This is the truth not the lie they are telling everyone.

  5. Eileen G

    Roy Crazy Horse was a very humble and caring man, not only for his own peoples buy of All peoples.He took time to talk to people and educate them about the native people of America. I for one admired and respected this man.Perhaps if we took a leaf out of the indian nations book we would have a better world to live in.

  6. M N Hawkins

    Chief Crazy Horse gave Native Americans a place to feel at home. A place where we can get together and share the many wonders of our tribes. Cheryl Benninger get your information right before you open your mouth.

  7. Otis "No Bow" Batchelor

    Impressive feelings fill my being when i think of Crazy Horse. He started a path that I am glad to follow. As a child i remember when Crazy Horse would come to sit with my grandfather Norman Careny; or as some people Knew Him as Mohawk; and talk of pleasent things in the past as well as hard times that had shaped our nation and how family unity and faith in the creator would bring us back from the oppression of misunderstanding about Native culture. I will miss him, but will remember what he stood for and how he had instructed us not to lash out but to guide outsiders to educational awareness about Native American People, our people.

  8. One Song

    this is a tribute, not a place to argue. If anyone know of the history of Eastern Native American people,they would know what not only the powhatans, but also the nanticokes,mohawk and many other indian nations have been faced with racism idenity. we know who we are,but, people like Cheryl Benninger are just jealous and lost. the Chief found himself and made it known to everyone. Peace Crazy Horse may the other cheifs welcome you home.

  9. Karen Robbins

    I wish I had the priviledge of knowing Chief Roy Crazy Horse. I only know him now because in his after life I am helping him finish but of course with his help. For all of you who mourn… His spirit is very much alive. Do not hesitate to contact me if you want to talk.
    Karen Tellefsen “wren” Robbinsj

  10. Monique white

    Cheryl beringer or whatever your name is , im 20 yrs old and the indian reservation has been there ALL myy 20 years. it recently , just about 4 5 yrs ago just turned into the new jersey state park . I used to go there with myy mother as a child and actually met Chief Crazy Horse and other natives that lived/worked on the reservation ..Oh and your right its not in Mt Holly its in WestamptonNJ .do not slander this great man who fought for his peoples rights and made a difference !

  11. Jim Latta

    I was fortunate to meet Chief Roy Crazy Horse on a visit from Australia, representing an Aboriginal School I taught in down under. He was so charming and proud, and let me film the reservation and his private horse stables, and the museums, the reservation, showed me round everywhere. He made my trip to the US warm and unforgettable. As he told me … “We have much in common with our brothers and sisters in Australia…” His spirit will remain within me forever. We had memorable and numerous discussions. A compassionate and intelligent man, the world was lucky to have had him.

  12. Brenda

    I was a young Navajo girl who happened to find herself in Medford, New Jersey. I met and worked for Chief Roy Crazy Horse. He hired me as tour guide for the museum in the early 80’s. He taught me about the Powhatan Renape Nation and told me how fortunate I was to know my traditional culture, language and to know where I came from. I was always impressed with his generosity and his fight to have the Powhatan Renape Nation federally recognized. I will always remember his fierce determination to have recognition of all Eastern Native American Tribes. He was an inspirational, compassionate and loving person who I was honored to have met. I was very sadden to learn of his passing.

  13. Paul

    I knew Chief as none of you did. I was his doctor and I can tell you not a finer man existed. We had much time( sadly not enough) to speak about his people. It was his
    favorite topic. It was my honor and privilege to have cared for him. To his people …you should be proud to have been lead by him. May his principles still guide you.

  14. Al Santos

    I lived with him, worked on the reservation, performed as an artist and musician at the yearly festival and even traveled with him to Puerto Rico to visit his relatives there as he was part Puertorican. Even on his Puertorican side, he always taught people about the Taino Indian blood of Puertoricans. He even got me started on smoking cigars. I knew him very well. His favorite cigar was Punch, lol. He was a good man and very good to me, my wife and kids. God bless him!

    • Al Santos

      Actually, now that I think about it, he was either visiting his mom or mother-in-law in Puerto Rico cause if I remember correctly, if he wasn’t Puertorican, his wife was cause her maiden name was Mathias I believe.

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