Oglala Sioux tribal leaders say they haven't seen a dime, and have never been contacted by Hoka Hey organizers.
"The administration of the Oglala Sioux Tribe's Rural Water Supply System is also unaware of a plan by the HHMC organizers to improve the water system with revenue generated from the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge," the tribe said in a statement.
The challenge was organized by Jim Red Cloud, and the Hoka Hey website lists the Red Cloud Humanitarian Fund as the charitable organization which will receive the money. But tribal leaders say the primary agent for that fund has been dead for four years.
Several calls to race organizers were not returned, but a family member of Jim Red Cloud said the money will go to the Lakota people -- not the tribe itself.
In an interview earlier this month, McKenneh said there is no truth to concerns that the challenge is a hoax.
"How could that possibly be? And how could you -- when you do something like this, and these are federal people, federal land -- you have to remember the Native American lives on federal land, so for them to be able to hoax anybody would be a huge federal issue," McKenneh said. "So I don't know what to say to them; I haven't really answered them because it just seems silly to me."
The Oglala Sioux tribe says it's not affiliated with the race at all, and that it will not be paying the $500,000 prize money at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota this August, as asserted by race organizers.
"If the Oglala Sioux tribe had ready access to a half-million dollars, the funds would more than likely be used for the emergency needs of tribal elders and children," the tribe said in its statement.
The Oglala Sioux tribe has passed an ordinance preventing people from fundraising in the name of the tribe without its permission. In a press release, it notes that there are other Sioux tribes in South Dakota.
Contact Jackie Bartz at firstname.lastname@example.org