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"White" Native Americans? - Page 2

post #21 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by eepster View Post
But we are totally happy to claim you as our own. See, Obama song one great-great-great grandpa and they wrote him a song. One only needs to have a single grandparent born in Ireland to return and/or claim full citizenship.

Yep, the Irish want you.
Ah, but none of my grandparents were born in Ireland- it's further back then that. :P Shame, though.
post #22 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by theretohere View Post
I have a lot to say, but no way to say it in a way that isn't going to offend. You feel Native, and you want your kids to be raised that way, right? You need to accept that other Natives aren't going to really like that, though.
Why not just say that your kids have some Native ancestry? Here people like you would be called descendants, even if no one recognized you as Native.
I hope that you can find some peace, for yourself and your kids.
So my brothers are Native, my mom is Native, my cousins are all Native but I'm a "descendant"? Care to tell me how that works?
post #23 of 87
Can I get in on this conversation, too?

My grandmother on my mom's side is half, I think. Her lineage comes from her dad and we're Mohegan.
On my dad's side, he thinks we're Shawnee or Crow. There is no proof because my great-gma was unmarried when she had my gpa and that wasn't discussed back in the day in WV, I guess.

Pic of my dad.

Pic of me.

I KNOW my lineage is NA. It doesn't matter to me whether it's through my grandmothers or my grandfathers. I AM STILL NA. I don't have much connection to it, though, and that kind of saddens me. I don't have stories and legends and heritage to share w/ my kids.
post #24 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justthatgirl View Post
Can I get in on this conversation, too?

My grandmother on my mom's side is half, I think. Her lineage comes from her dad and we're Mohegan.
On my dad's side, he thinks we're Shawnee or Crow. There is no proof because my great-gma was unmarried when she had my gpa and that wasn't discussed back in the day in WV, I guess.

Pic of my dad.

Pic of me.

I KNOW my lineage is NA. It doesn't matter to me whether it's through my grandmothers or my grandfathers. I AM STILL NA. I don't have much connection to it, though, and that kind of saddens me. I don't have stories and legends and heritage to share w/ my kids.
You are PART NA. You can examine the connection and learn stories and legends, just like I'm assuming you are with the rest of your cultural heritage.



Quote:
Originally Posted by JacquelineR View Post
So my brothers are Native, my mom is Native, my cousins are all Native but I'm a "descendant"? Care to tell me how that works?
I am trying to explain to you why you are having problems being accepted. It's not just your appearance, it's your attitude. I'm sorry that being called white hurts your feelings and that people haven't recognized your family ties. That's rotten. But can't you see where people are coming from? You may be reasonably in touch with Anishinaabe culture, but as I'm sure you know there are a lot of people who have one ancestor 6 generations back who want to run to the rez looking for acceptance and open arms. It's not easy to tell based on looking at you that you aren't part of that camp. I am trying to be supportive without falsely blowing rainbows at you.
post #25 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by theretohere View Post
I have a lot to say, but no way to say it in a way that isn't going to offend. You feel Native, and you want your kids to be raised that way, right? You need to accept that other Natives aren't going to really like that, though.
Oh, and by the way, I don't just "feel" Native. I *am* Native. Kind of a big difference. It's kind of difficult for me not to *be* what my entire family *is*.
I'm sorry but I can't help what I *look*like.
I started this thread to hear from others who, like myself, lived in their culture, maybe even have been taught traditionalist ways (like myself), but have to fight to be accepted as what they *are*, not what they feel or think they are.
You say I have an "attitude" about being called a "white Indian". Yes, I do. It's difficult not to when I've been beaten, mocked and criticized for trying to keep my culture and traditions alive to the tune of "white Indian" by both sides of the fence. I'm sorry that the Natives who are lucky enough to *look* it don't get that. I realize they have their own troubles with discrimination to deal with. *This* thread was started with the intention of supporting those who are Native but don't look it and have to deal with the problems inherent in that situation- not to be told yet again how we're "not Native", "don't belong" and are "white Indians", nor why it's "okay" for us to be mistreated because of the colour of our skin, hair or eyes.
post #26 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by theretohere View Post
You are PART NA. You can examine the connection and learn stories and legends, just like I'm assuming you are with the rest of your cultural heritage.

Why is there such exclusion? Ok, so PART NA. SO SORRY.

Attitudes of exclusion (like this) make it very hard for me to search for my roots and find my way. It's really rude. I'm not looking to appropriate a culture that is not mine. I am looking to discover a culture that my ancestors belonged to, to see what made them tick, how they lived. I want to feel closer to my roots. I can't do that if other NA's insist upon making sure I know that I'm only PART NA.

I'm only PART Scottish, too, but I don't get Scots telling me I'm only part Scot. :

As for Jacqueline's situation: She is NA. She just happens to have blonde hair and white skin. So there's a white person generations back or something! So what? She's more NA than I am and she gets crap for it, too?
post #27 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justthatgirl View Post
Why is there such exclusion? Ok, so PART NA. SO SORRY.

Attitudes of exclusion (like this) make it very hard for me to search for my roots and find my way. It's really rude. I'm not looking to appropriate a culture that is not mine. I am looking to discover a culture that my ancestors belonged to, to see what made them tick, how they lived. I want to feel closer to my roots. I can't do that if other NA's insist upon making sure I know that I'm only PART NA.
This is what makes me scared to look into my NA ancestry. I'm Inuit and Cherokee. The Cherokee is mostly on my dad's side, and not registered because my paternal grandfather was, how shall we say, born out of wedlock though his mother was married. The Inuit is registered and both I and my sons qualify for health benefits and so on. But I live in OK (which would be great for learning about our Cherokee heritage) and previously I lived in NM and people see the dark hair and think I am latina. Dh works with several people who are NA, and some who look more NA than I suppose I do, but I have more blood quantum than they do. (Certainly blood quantum is not the end-all be-all of anything, just sayin.) But since I didn't grow up on the rez, I don't think I could find anyone willing to teach me or anything. I'm just...too white. with white babies. Maybe that isn't what I would find, but I'm really afraid that it is.
post #28 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by desertpenguin View Post
This is what makes me scared to look into my NA ancestry. I'm Inuit and Cherokee. The Cherokee is mostly on my dad's side, and not registered because my paternal grandfather was, how shall we say, born out of wedlock though his mother was married. The Inuit is registered and both I and my sons qualify for health benefits and so on. But I live in OK (which would be great for learning about our Cherokee heritage) and previously I lived in NM and people see the dark hair and think I am latina. Dh works with several people who are NA, and some who look more NA than I suppose I do, but I have more blood quantum than they do. (Certainly blood quantum is not the end-all be-all of anything, just sayin.) But since I didn't grow up on the rez, I don't think I could find anyone willing to teach me or anything. I'm just...too white. with white babies. Maybe that isn't what I would find, but I'm really afraid that it is.
It's been my experience, unfortunately. Also, I live many states away from my grandmother, my only real link to our culture. She can tell me stories, but I can't find Pow Wows down here in a reasonable driving distance to me and I don't know of ANY Mohegans in TX.

My children have been given names (dd is Yellow Lark [she's blonde, hence the Yellow] and ds1 is Wolf Spider [Mohegan is the Wolf clan], and baby is so far unnamed), but there wasn't an official naming ceremony because I don't know it and my grandmother and our tribe is too far away for us to get there to have one.

Also, I have to PAY to be on the books. A) We don't have that kind of money, and B) Why should I pay for something that is my birthright? I don't pay money to Scotland to claim my Scottish lineage, why does the tribe require it?

I suppose I should just email the Grand Sachem and talk to him about it.
post #29 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by desertpenguin View Post
on my dad's side, and not registered because my paternal grandfather was, how shall we say, born out of wedlock though his mother was married.
This is my situation, as well, on my dad's side. Although his mother wasn't married at all, to my knowledge.
post #30 of 87
Genetics can be a crazy thing. I used to be friends with a woman who had a parent who was 1/8 white, the other parent was full blooded. She had light brown hair and blue-green eyes. Her features were native but anyone looking at her would've guessed she'd be 1/4 or 1/8 blood but the genes she got tossed at conception just happened to get her the blue-green eyes and light hair. My older son was friends with a girl a few years back who I think was over 1/2 Blackfoot. She had light brown hair, blue eyes, and totally northern European features.

I have a different twist of this theme going on. I've had white people be jerks to me because they thought I wasn't white enough. I've had natives give me the look like I wasn't Indian enough. I've also had white people(not the same ones as above) tell me Indian jokes (thinking I'll find them as funny) then the next day have Indians tell me white people jokes so obviously a few natives accepted me. Then I've had 2 different guys on the same night walk up to me and ask "what are you?" I kid you not. I usually take it in stride. The thing I have issues with are family members not talking about my heritage. Clearly there's native blood in my family (or at least me) and this ancestor isn't that far back in the family tree. My mother pulled me aside a few times to tell me I was part Indian but never told my siblings that. My moms a first generation American so this ancestor is not on her side. My mom claims my dads mother is native, my dad said she wasn't and said through my entire childhood he wasn't my dad. My mom said he was. I used to think they mixed me up with another kid at the hospital and gave my parents the wrong kid. I just want some answers and everyone avoids the subject. Obviously someone can tell me something but this must be a taboo subject in my family. My other siblings all looked white and never had any issues. My dad had the 'could be anything' look that sometimes people of Mediterranian descent have but his family claims northern European counties for their ancestry.
post #31 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justthatgirl View Post
Why is there such exclusion? Ok, so PART NA. SO SORRY.

Attitudes of exclusion (like this) make it very hard for me to search for my roots and find my way. It's really rude. I'm not looking to appropriate a culture that is not mine. I am looking to discover a culture that my ancestors belonged to, to see what made them tick, how they lived. I want to feel closer to my roots. I can't do that if other NA's insist upon making sure I know that I'm only PART NA.
Not every Native has this attitude. It's generally the attitude of the last 2 generations or so, though. Elders and Medicine People will generally ask you, if you tell them that you're "part" Native, "Which part? Your foot? Where do you stop being Native and start being something else?"
There is a reason why most treaties were worded in such a manner as to include "all descendants until the sun no longer rises"- though that has been largely forgotten and/or ignored by governments, causing Natives to have to claw and fight and scream to have their rights recognized at all. Tribes which once adopted Europeans into their fold fully as brothers of the People have been told that they can only have people with a certain "blood quantum" in the US and will not receive funding for anyone else they recognize- but all tribal members qualify for any funding available to the Tribe. The genocide of the Native people continues under the watchful eye of governments which set it into motion so long ago, perpetuated by the very People being annihilated- as was the plan, according to the Canadian Prime Minister John A. MacDonald.
There is no other culture in the world which requires you to have a certain amount of <whatever culture> blood in order to be recognized or to look a certain way- except *perhaps* for Africans, I'm pretty sure that lighter skinned people of African descent also face this same issue- in order to participate in cultural functions with full support.
I have done a LOT of research into the genocide of the Native Americans and it's something that speaks to me VERY strongly- which is part of the reason why I was chosen as one of the People to carry the stories, although I was also told I was intended to carry the stories to others who, like us, have been inundated by the white culture and are losing our way. Unfortunately, I don't feel I know the stories well enough to tell them properly and there is no way for me to presently return to my Tribal Elders for further training/learning- although they keep telling me that I need to listen to my dreams and I will learn what I need.
post #32 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by desertpenguin View Post
But since I didn't grow up on the rez, I don't think I could find anyone willing to teach me or anything. I'm just...too white. with white babies. Maybe that isn't what I would find, but I'm really afraid that it is.
It actually may be easier than you think. If you are a tribal member, contact the Band office (is that what it's called in the US?) and they are usually very happy to put you in contact with an Elder who would be willing to teach you. If you're *not* a tribal member, it may be more difficult- requiring documentation etc.
If you just randomly sought someone, well. let's just say good luck. Your best bet would be to go to people you know in the tribe and let them know you're seeking a Medicine Person. Barring that, chances are you're out of luck.
post #33 of 87
My BFF is 1/4 and is the palest person I know, she is actually partially albino (yes, there is such a thing- didn't know that until I met her). Her mom who is 1/2 looks 100% stereotypical Anglo as well. Genetics are very weird.
post #34 of 87
I'm apparently 1/4 native american, but I don't have any proof. My great grandmother is full native american. Everyone approaches me asking me "what are you". I got so annoyed at it that I asked my parents if I was adopted, because everyone says my story doesn't match my looks.

My sister looks more native american than my brother and I do, but I think I am relating to my culture more. I just found out, and so I am a bit overwhelmed knowing that I missed out on knowing about my culture as a young person, so the culture has not assimilated into my brain yet.

Now, when people aske me, "What are you", I respond with 3/4 scottish, and 1/4 native american. People now say, "ah, I see that".

Is there a way to get a blood test to determine where I came from and what my father's history is??? It came from my fathers mothers side. How would that help?

Jyotsna
post #35 of 87
My husband is part Iroquois and part Metis. He doesn't speak of that part of his family history and I (Irish\German\French) know more about his inherited culture than he does. The only two people in his family that were ever able to get "status" cards was his cousin and his uncle (in the past his great grandmother and grandfather, opposite sides of his family were full blooded NA).

Learning about his family history and culture and knowing my own I've come to realize something very important for my children as a lesson. It never matters when it comes to blood - we all bleed red. If people chose to treat you like crap then that is something they must live with but it doesn't mean you have to let them make you live with it.

The only person anyone ever has to prove anything to is themselves. You know what and who you are and your opinion of what and who you are is what matters most. A name is just a name, we call lots of things by names and lots of people by names. Some good, some bad, some very ugly but words should never make you feel less than who you are.

I know that's easy said (or written in this case) than done but sometimes it's what it takes to move past it.
post #36 of 87
As I found out recently, I'm part Choctaw. But, since the only documented person so far is one of my third great-grandmothers, it's quite a ways back. I wouldn't ever be legally recognized or anything since the percentage for Choctaw is no less than 1/2. Funny for a group that interbred with everyone who wandered past the villages.

Supposedly one of my cousins is in contact with our ancestral tribe since he's in that area, but I haven't made contact with him yet.

I get a lot of "what are you?"s. I look "ethnic" but not Native (wrong colouring mostly, I think) -- sort of that vaguely Mediterranean look. It's fun keeping people guessing.
post #37 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jyotsna View Post
I'm apparently 1/4 native american, but I don't have any proof. My great grandmother is full native american. Everyone approaches me asking me "what are you". I got so annoyed at it that I asked my parents if I was adopted, because everyone says my story doesn't match my looks.

My sister looks more native american than my brother and I do, but I think I am relating to my culture more. I just found out, and so I am a bit overwhelmed knowing that I missed out on knowing about my culture as a young person, so the culture has not assimilated into my brain yet.

Now, when people aske me, "What are you", I respond with 3/4 scottish, and 1/4 native american. People now say, "ah, I see that".

Is there a way to get a blood test to determine where I came from and what my father's history is??? It came from my fathers mothers side. How would that help?

Jyotsna
If your great grandmother is the only NA ancestor- that would make you 1/8.
There are blood tests that can shed some like on genetic heritage, but I don't think it'd be exact enough to pin down a tribe.
post #38 of 87
I'm the opposite. I look REALLY native american- people come up to me on the street- but we are not members of a tribe since my grandparents insist they are only Hispanic. We "sound" white. But if you saw us you would know that either we are secretly half Siberian, or Native. But we cannot prove it and cannot join. It's kind of annoying because I wish I could join but due to our grandparents' insistence that they are not native, we cannot.
post #39 of 87
My situation isn't the same, but I can relate. I am a "white" Cherokee, a couple generations married out of close tribal affiliations(but I have my card).
I grew up in Muscogee territory in Ok. So not only was I the whitest kid (red hair) who left class every week for "Indian Education", I wasn't even the same tribe as everyone else.
I was never actively ridiculed, but I certainly wasn't included.
My mom, and her mom never put any effort into a tribal connection, or maintaining traditions. I would love to, but feel very akward even identifying myself as Native among groups of people who face all the social problems that go with dark skin in the States.

My DH is anglo/french/Algonquin. He has the dark hair/skin and the "dramatic" nose, with *shocking* electric blue eyes.
post #40 of 87
My great grandma was Ojibwe and my great grandfather was 1/2 I think. I used to be told all the time when I was younger that I looked NA. My mom is swedish and both my siblings look like her. I went to school with several girls who were full Ojibwe and I swear I looked more NA than one of them. She had this very beautiful blondish hair and I don't think many people would have guessed she was NA. She lived on the reservation for awhile and while I can't say for sure she wasn't teased/excluded but she never mentioned it. She was and is very proud of her family and culture.

I think it is horrible how you are not being fully accepted. Keep your chin up, you do belong!
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