JAMES STANLEY LONG, Principal Chief
James Stanley Long was born on May 9, 1952 in Milan TN and died on January 7, 2021 in Huntsville. His parents were Jeff & Nancy Long of TN. On August 3, 2002, he married Janet Selman Long. In addition to his wife, Chief Stan is survived by two children from a previous marriage: Laura Rankhorn and Lindsey Konrad, and five grandchildren: Victoria Belle; Ellie Blair Rankhorn; Addy, Hallie & Ario Konrad.
Other family members who are on tribal rolls include includes his mother (Nancy), sister (Karen), and wife (Janet).
Chief Stan had three passions: education, the Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama, and his private behavioral health practice. He began his higher education with a bachelor’s degree from Bethel College in TN, Master of Theology from Liberty Bible College in FL and Master of Social Work from Alabama A&M. He obtained his Licensed Independent Social Work (LICSW) license Private Independent Practice (PIP) license. At the time of his death, his private practice in behavioral health practice was with Catalina Family Services LLC in Huntsville.
Chief Stan joined the Cherokee Tribe of Northeast Alabama (CTNEAL) on January 3, 1998 under the bloodline of John Bryant and under Lucy Bryant/Briant who appears on the Reservation Roll of 1817. He held numerous positions in CTNEAL, initially being elected as a District Representative. He served as Principal Chief of CTNEAL from 2008 to 2019, during which time he represented CTNEAL as a Commissioner on the Alabama Indian Affairs Commission (2011 to 2020) and as Vice Chair of their Board from (2017 to 2020). He was also the CTNEAL representative on the Intra Tribal Council of Alabama (2008 to 2020), where he participated with programs such as the annual Miss Indian Alabama Competition in Montgomery AL and the Trail of Tears Native American Powwow and Festival Commemorative Motorcycle Ride and walk in Waterloo AL.
Chief Stan was the Keynote Speaker at numerous events, including the U.S. Census Summit held in Tampa FL (2019), the Birmingham Library (2020), Redstone Arsenal’s celebration of American Indian Heritage Month (2017 & 2018). He served and advocated for the Indian people of Alabama. He was greatly loved and will be missed.
Many milestones were achieved by CTNEAL under his leadership, including, but not limited to the following:
· Hosting 4 Youth Retreats, 4 Family Retreats, 4 powwows, and numerous cultural events & tribal gatherings;
· Speaking and/or demonstrating at numerous events held at schools, courthouses, libraries and towns;
· Adoption our tribal Code of Ethics, Mission Statement, Vision Statement, Constitution, and Ordinances;
· Approval for the design of our tribal seal, flag, & auto tag; sale of the campground, and re-distribution of CTNEAL Districts;
· Establishment of 4 new tribal scholarships;
· Creation of our Military Honor Roll, an orientation program for new citizens, a tribal website, and five business entities;
· Acquisition of tribal land in Pinson;
· Approval to issue a tribal REAL ID and for manufacture of an Alabama license plate.
Dreams for CTNEAL included hosting a Veterans Retreat, obtaining a tribal 8a status, involving more CTNEAL citizens in tribal activities, providing housing & a medical home for CTNEAL citizens, obtaining tribal land for our Indian village, establishing a museum in partnership with other Alabama tribes where people could learn about cultural similarities & differences between the tribes, language classes, and finding sustainable revenue streams to support all tribal activities.
Per Stan’s request, a memorial service and scattering of his ashes will be held May 8, 2021 at the Stone Door natural rock formation in the Savage Gulf State Natural Area, which is a part of the South Cumberland State Park, and is near Beersheba Springs TN. This site was used by Indians as a passageway into the gorge below. Per the family’s request, memorial donations should be sent to CTNEAL, PO Box 876, Pinson AL 35126.
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