Chief Walter David “Red Hawk” Brown, III is the elected Chief of the Cheroenhaka (Che-ro-en-ha-ka) Nottoway Indian Tribe of Southampton County VA and the Chairman of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribal Heritage Foundation, Inc., a 501 (c) 3 entity. Chief Red Hawk is a native of Southampton County, Virginia and grew up on his family’s farm experiencing the age old “Traditions” and Culture” of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indians by farming, raising hogs, fishing, hunting, trapping and curing hides to sell with his father.
Chief Brown proudly documents his genealogy (paper trail and by oral history) to an ethno-historic “matrilineal line” of the 18th and 19th Century Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indians in Southampton County, Virginia. He is the 5th Foster Great Grandson of Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe’s Queen, Chief Edy (Edith) Turner (1754-1838), who married William Green in 1819, both of whom were listed as Free Persons of Color (FPC) on their marriage license. Queen Edy Turner raised Chief Brown’s 4th Great Grandmother, Mary “Polly” Woodson Turner, both of whom are named on the 1808 Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe’s “Special Census” conducted on the former reservation’s land of the tribe in Southampton County, Virginia. Mary Turner, aka Polly Woodson, married Parson Turner (Artist Town) and begat Patsy Turner who is Chief Brown’s 3rd Great Grandmother. Her death record of 1856 (Southampton County) lists Mary Turner as her mother.
He is a former elected official that served on the Southampton County Board of Supervisor for eight years, 2004 to 2012. Chief Brown was the first Native American ever to sit on the Board since Southampton County was annexed from Isle of Wright County in 1749. He also served on the Virginia Association of Counties Transportation Steering Committee and the Advisory Council to the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia – the Honorable Bill Bolling. In 2003, as his party’s choice, he ran, unsuccessfully, for VA State Senate, 18th Senate District. In 2004, he was elected as a 4th Congressional District Alternate Delegate to the Republican National Convention in New York. He attended as one of 30 Native American Delegates.
Chief Brown is a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel, having served 28 years on active duty. He has held many commands and leadership positions in the United States and Overseas. He has served extensive tours of duty in Germany, England, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Korea, and Okinawa Japan. He is also a Vietnam and Desert Storm Era Veteran. He is a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the American Legion and Disable Veterans (DAV). Chief Brown also served on the Executive Board for the STOP Program of the Western Tidewater Senior Services Program.
His early education began in a one-room “Country School,” (Diamond Grove Elementary School) – a Rosenwald School built in 1919 set aside for people of color, in Southampton County, Virginia (grades 1st to 6th). For the first six years of his early education, Chief Brown had to walk the 1.5 – mile stretch, 3 miles round trip, from his family’s farm to school and back each day.
Chief Brown was a senior at Norfolk State University when drafted by the U. S. Army. While on active duty he attended the University of Maryland and the State University of N.Y., earning a Bachelor of Science, B.S., in Social Science in 1976. He also received a Masters of Science Degree, M.S., in Logistics Management from Florida Institute of Technology in 1983. He is a graduate of the Armed Forces Staff College, Class #81; Command & General Staff College; the Logistics Executive Development Course; the Army’s Race Relations Discussion Leaders Course, the Department of Defense Project Management / Contract Management Course and the Defense Language Institute (DLI), Turkish Language Course, in Monterey CA. Chief Brown has taught Joint Operations at the National Defense University’s Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia, and JROTC in the Wythe County Public School System, having responsibility for three high schools. In 1999 and 2000, he served as Census 2000 Manager for Virginia Congressional District #4, having responsibility for 7 cities and 11 counties and some 1,100 employees.
Chief Brown was first elected Chief of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe in 2002. Since 2002, to the current time, he has been a “requested presenter” on the Native American Speaking circuit throughout Virginia having given Native American Presentations to tens of thousands elementary school children, teachers, college students and teachers, via on site presentations and by way of Television documentaries; to include, all Military Installations throughout Hampton Roads and on the hill in Richmond, VA and Washington, DC. Presentations centered on the ethno history and current history of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe of Southampton County, Virginia. Chief Brown is an Evangelist, (Baptist Minister), and serves as a Minister at Diamond Grove Baptist Church, Franklin, VA 23851. He has seven children: Caroh “Water Blossom” Holley; Kisha “Red Fern” Brown-Richards; Christopher “Two Wolves” Brown, Major Felicia “Moon Flower” Brown, US Army Nurse Corps; Walter David “Spirit Hawk” Brown, IV; Windsong Brown and Red Eagle Brown.
The Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe of Southampton County VA celebrates two Annual Powwows on its own 263 acres of tribal land annually, at Cattashowrock Town, in Courtland, Virginia. The first Powwow is the “Green Corn Dance” Powwow on the first Saturday in July and the second Powwow is the “Intertribal Corn Harvest” (Key-to-ok-ney –Harvest time) Powwow and School day on first weekend of November.