Long Lance (born Sylvester Long) claimed to be a Blackfoot or Blackfoot-Cherokee chief. In fact he was almost certainly not a Blackfoot at all, but rather of mixed ancestry, including African-American, white, and possibly Catawba and Lumbee. The rest of his family identified themselves as African American, but young Sylvester always thought of himself as a Native American.
When he was 12 he left home to join a wild west show. He attended the US Bureau of Indian Affairs school at Carlisle from the age of 18 (registering as a Cherokee), graduating top of his class in 1912, and then attended Dickinson College for a year. He served in the Canadian army during World War I, then settled in Calgary, where he worked as a journalist, writing many stories about the Native Canadians of the western provinces.
He was adopted as a chief by the Blood tribe (a branch of the Blackfoot) in 1922. Also in 1922, after he set off a crude bomb -- possibly only as a prank -- in the mayor's office, he was fired, and moved to Vancouver and Winnipeg, before returning to the USA. He was also prominent as a photographer and film actor (The Silent Enemy, 1930).
His claim to be a Blackfoot has parallels to those of Forrest Carter (Little Tree) and Archibald Furmage (Grey Owl). He committed suicide in 1932 as rumors about his real origins began to circulate.
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