Levi Rickert, Native News Network
TAHLEQUAH, OKLAHOMA – For those of you familiar with the ongoing custody battle over Cherokee Veronica Brown between her biological father, Dusten Brown and a non-Native adoptive couple from South Carolina, you may have seen Troy Dunn, from the show called “The Locator,” on the Dr. Phil Show saying disparaging things about the Indian Child Welfare Act.
On Wednesday, he showed up at a press conference held by the South Carolina couple, who flew to Tulsa, Oklahoma to attempt to sway Dusten Brown to give up his legal battle to keep his daughter.
Troy Dunn was present and said more disparaging things about the Indian Child Welfare Act. At the news conference, he called on Brown to meet one-on-one with him without attorneys or Cherokee Nation officials. Brown never responded to Dunn.
Outside the Tulsa Hyatt where the press conference was held, over a dozen supporters of Veronica and Dusten Brown were outside with signs.
“I was there to support …the bottom line is the sovereignty of every tribal nations. We have to stand up and fight for our rights and children,”
commented Linda Sacks, a tribal citizen of the Cherokee Nation, who was there to support the Browns.
“It’s about sovereignty …that is the ultimate thing.”
Then on Thursday, Dunn with a television camera in tow attempted to show up at a Cherokee school where Veronica was. Cherokee marshals turned him away.
Cherokee Nation Attorney General Todd Hembree issued the following statement late Thursday afternoon:
“I was concerned with the Capobianco’s judgment in putting forth Troy Dunn as the central spokesperson in their press conference yesterday. Mr. Dunn’s Internet presence reveals that he is a reality TV producer, a stand-up comedian and a “motivational speaker.” He is neither a counselor nor mental health expert although he perpetuates that illusion on TV.”
“Furthermore, in his more than year long involvement with the Capobiancos, he has proven himself not to be a neutral party in this matter, he has made inflammatory statements to the media and has publicly posted degrading comments about Veronica’s real father, Dusten Brown.”
“Troy Dunn is injecting himself into a complex and emotional legal issue for which he sorely lacks any relevant skill set.”
“My concerns of yesterday were well founded in that today, Troy Dunn and his hired TV cameras were asked to leave Cherokee Nation school premises by Cherokee Nation Marshals. His antics are inappropriate and dangerous. The safety and well-being of our children is our first priority.”
“His shenanigans and grandstanding is purely for the cameras and self-promotion. Our concern has been and always will be what is in the best interest of Veronica, a beautiful and innocent Cherokee child. The Cherokee Nation is not interested in his personal entertainment endeavors and his media circus.”
“We are steadfast in our commitment to creating a safe environment for Cherokee citizens. We all want to see an amicable resolution to the Veronica Brown impasse. Sadly, Troy Dunn’s theatrics are a distraction to this very difficult issue.”
“Dusten Brown, an American war veteran, deserves his due process and Veronica deserves her privacy.”