Manataka American Indian Council

Proudly Presents







At the inaugural Native American Music Awards, Graceland confirmed Elvis Presley's NATIVE AMERICAN heritage for our "Did You Know They Are Native American?" segment.

Elvis Presley's great-great-great-grandmother, Morning White Dove (1800-1835), reportedly was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian. Can this picture be of her? The source of the photo is from The likelihood may be slim, but Elvis did have Native American heritage.

Elvis's ancestry was primarily a Western European mix, including Scots-Irish, Scottish, German, some French Norman and Cherokee. Presley's mother, Gladys' great-great-grandmother, was Morning White Dove, a full blooded Cherokee.

It is said, Morning White Dove married William Mansell, a settler in western Tennessee, in 1818. William's father, Richard Mansell, had been a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Mansell is a French name--its literal translation is the man from Le Mans. The Mansells migrated from Norman France to Scotland, and then later to Ireland. In the 18th century the family came to the American Colonies. The appellation 'white' in Morning Dove's name refers to her status as a friendly Indian. It was common for male settlers in the West to marry American Indians as there was a scarcity of females on the American frontier.

Like other young men in the American Southwest, William Mansell fought with Andrew Jackson in the Indian Wars of the early nineteenth century. He fought with Old Hickory in Alabama, at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, and later in Florida too. Returning to Tennessee from the Indian Wars, William Mansell married Morning White Dove. Elaine Dundy says of the marriage, "William Mansell gained 'age-old Indian knowledge of the American terrain; of forests and parries; of crops and game; of protection against the climate; of medicine lore, healing plants as well as something in which the Indians were expert--the setting of broken bones'." Moreover, added to Elvis' lineage were Morning White Dove's ruddy Indian complexion and fine line of cheek.

The newlyweds migrated to Alabama from Tennessee to claim lands garnered in the Indian Wars. The Mansells have been said to have settled in Marion County in northeast Alabama near the Mississippi border.






Elvis and his Mother

Can this picture be of Elvis' grandmother, Morning White Dove?







Although Elvis had Cherokee heritage, did you know Indian Country has its own Elvis? He is CC Murdock, also known as Indian E. CC Murdock is of Shoshoni Timpanogos decent and has performed at the Native American Music Awards and across the country. CC wrote and produced his first Native American Music Award award winning CD for Best Country Recording which was released in the fall of 2010. CC went on to win his second Native American Music Award for Best Video for his performance of "America The Beautiful" dedicated the Wounded Warriors Project.

However, one of the greatest honors for CC was when he was asked to perform "Go Rest High On That Mountain" to honor the late Russell Means, the most famous American Indian since Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, according to the New York Times. CC performed the song live, which was originally written by Vince Gill, to a sold-out audience in the Seneca Niagara Casino Events Center at the Thirteenth annual Native American Music Awards show, in Niagara Falls, New York.  Watch CC and Indian E live: CC Murdock Live / INDIAN E Live