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"White" Native Americans? - Page 3

post #41 of 87
The root of the significance of only being part indian comes from govt policy. You could only register with the tribe if you were full blood, and if you were mixed between tribes, you were still only considered half indian. Basically it was a really convenient way for the government to get out of it's responsibility towards treaties it signed with different tribes and it also was used to take land and parcel it up from the reservations.
post #42 of 87
Genetics can be crazy.

My great-grandma was full-blood NA and my great-grandpa was white (he had NA, but it was 4-5 generations back.) They had four children - 3 boys, 1 girl. My grandfather and great-aunt look full-blood NA, but my two great-uncles have very few NA features (mainly around the nose and eye shape.) They have pale skin, blue eyes, blond hair. In a picture of the four of them together, you would never guess they were all siblings.
post #43 of 87
my great grandmother was Ojibwe & married an irish immigrant. their daughter (my gma) married a german immigrant.... their son (my dad) married a woman who was polish & german?... i have never had contact with my birthmother & my father passed away.


i have red hair, freckles, pale skin.

Its very unsettling though, when you tell someone "i am german, irish, polish & NA" and they say, "but your not "really" NA". its humorous.... its like, "riiiight, by that same standard, im not "really" german, irish or polish.... so technically not anything?"

Im not trying to go on a res or claim tribal rights or ANYTHING.... i am strictly speaking of when i talk with people & ancestry comes up.
post #44 of 87
I picked up a book about Native Americans at Barnes & Noble. Of course, I don't expect it to be thorough, but I'm a little irritated that the Mohegan tribe is never in anything.

Well, unless you count the news when something occurs at Mohegan Sun casino.
post #45 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justthatgirl View Post
I picked up a book about Native Americans at Barnes & Noble. Of course, I don't expect it to be thorough, but I'm a little irritated that the Mohegan tribe is never in anything.

Well, unless you count the news when something occurs at Mohegan Sun casino.
Interestingly, I was listening to the radio the other night and there was a Mohegan music artist on. She was telling traditional Mohegan stories to a jazzy-type music. It was *awesome*.
post #46 of 87
My mom's had similar experiences from the other side -- her parents are about as Germanic in appearance as they could be, blond, fair skin, blue eyes, stocky build. My mother has olive-y dark skin, dark brown eyes, and almost black hair. Completely different build and facial features, too. She was always asked if she was adopted, or better yet, if my gram was fooling around on gramp. :

Turns out, according to some family records, that she has a great-grandmother (great-great?) who was Blackfoot. She's totally a genetic copy of her. My mom's actually got darker hair and eyes than my cousins, who are full Tlingit tribe members.
post #47 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacquelineR View Post
Interestingly, I was listening to the radio the other night and there was a Mohegan music artist on. She was telling traditional Mohegan stories to a jazzy-type music. It was *awesome*.
Oh, I wish I'd heard that! How awesome!
post #48 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by earthmama369 View Post
My mom's had similar experiences from the other side -- her parents are about as Germanic in appearance as they could be, blond, fair skin, blue eyes, stocky build. My mother has olive-y dark skin, dark brown eyes, and almost black hair. Completely different build and facial features, too. She was always asked if she was adopted, or better yet, if my gram was fooling around on gramp. :

Turns out, according to some family records, that she has a great-grandmother (great-great?) who was Blackfoot. She's totally a genetic copy of her. My mom's actually got darker hair and eyes than my cousins, who are full Tlingit tribe members.
Oh, that's neat!

My dd, a blonde, brown-eyed little girl, doesn't look much like me. My sons do, but dd resembles dh more, and even that's sketchy. My fil told me recently that she looks quite a bit like his grandmother, almost identical. Fil is half Scandinavian. I think his mother is from Norway.

My friend's dd is the same way. She has odd features that don't AT ALL resemble her mom or dad. It was so unusual, in my friend's opinion, that she took her dd to a geneticist, among other specialists, to figure out what was up. Turns out her dd also resembles a great-grandmother very closely! (She's also vax damaged, which is why my friend had her at a geneticist & other specialists.)
post #49 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacquelineR View Post
Most of my family, as I said, are "apples"- totally devoid of the culture. I got lucky and found Elders who would teach me- and then finally found a cousin who's a traditionalist on rez.
I am amazed that despite the rejection you've really made an effort to hold on to the culture and keep it going with your kids. Kudos to you. For me, I've been told that I sound "white" and have suffered some rejection from the Latino community because I don't "sound" Hispanic....never mind that I'm fluent in spoken and written Spanish and have actually made an effort to really embrace and learn about larger Latino culture and history. ARGH.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JacquelineR View Post
I suppose it's not as readily apparent to someone who has already lost their culture how incredibly devastating that is to me. And, honestly, even if I were raising my children near my tribe, they'd still be treated like little white kids by the Natives (I know because that's how *I* was treated and still am- until people find out who my family is and then, again, they're like "OH! The little white Indian!").
My heart breaks reading this. It is unfair and you don't have to accept this rejection or use terms like being a "descendant" if it's not who you are. You know who you are and where you come from and you have every right to claim your heritage as someone with darker skin.

As a side note, I remember speaking with a guy here who was Cree and telling him about my heritage and how I also was part "Indian" (forgive the term - it was the 90s) as most Latin Americans are, just Natives from further south...he was furious and told me I was only part "Indian" if I had a treaty card....So now we're defining who we are by the colonial systems put in place. HA!

The funny part, most people here (I'm in Alberta) assume I'm Native, including Native people!!!

HUGS...
post #50 of 87
paperwork and written proofs can be SO upsetting ....
I can relate totally to the HURT feelings in the original post ....

I'm not NA, nor from the US nor Canada ..... I married in Great Britain and on returning to France, the day my ID card came up for renewal (It's our main proof of nationality over here) I was told I had to to the the "Tribunal" (law court) & took me 3 to 4 months to line up all the papers needed so that I could get another piece of paper to PROVE that I was STILL French in spite of having married a foreigner abroad ....

t'was more than 10 years ago .... don't think I've recovered yet ....
+ never found a civil servant that can show me any official text about that law ... yet the minute I produce that last piece of paper they get so relieved that they'll be able to proceed with whatever procedure I'm trying to do on that day ....

We are what we know we are, whatever the papers say ....
(AND .... "children of the earth" anyway !!!)
post #51 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swan3 View Post
I am amazed that despite the rejection you've really made an effort to hold on to the culture and keep it going with your kids. Kudos to you. For me, I've been told that I sound "white" and have suffered some rejection from the Latino community because I don't "sound" Hispanic....never mind that I'm fluent in spoken and written Spanish and have actually made an effort to really embrace and learn about larger Latino culture and history. ARGH.



My heart breaks reading this. It is unfair and you don't have to accept this rejection or use terms like being a "descendant" if it's not who you are. You know who you are and where you come from and you have every right to claim your heritage as someone with darker skin.

As a side note, I remember speaking with a guy here who was Cree and telling him about my heritage and how I also was part "Indian" (forgive the term - it was the 90s) as most Latin Americans are, just Natives from further south...he was furious and told me I was only part "Indian" if I had a treaty card....So now we're defining who we are by the colonial systems put in place. HA!

The funny part, most people here (I'm in Alberta) assume I'm Native, including Native people!!!

HUGS...
Having just moved someplace with a larger Latino (I hope that's not an offensive term?) population (how could it not be larger than Manitoba, where I was raised?), I completely understand people assuming you're Native- and I completely agree that you are. It's often forgotten that most Latin Americans are "descendants" of the Native people from South and Central America- or maybe it's sometimes not acknowledged. Either way, it's a little maddening and I agree that defining ourselves by the colonial systems forced upon us is ridiculous- but that was the entire purpose of the systems, according to John A. McDonald. He said something along the lines of We will divide them eventually and then we will triumph. The Indians will cease to exist.
I don't accept the rejection. I don't use the term "descendant" but, as you can see even here- as well as from your own experiences- it is a constant struggle.
The term Indian doesn't offend me. I often use it myself. As my Gran said, "What I am doesn't change depending on what I'm called and, if the government thinks how I feel about how our people were and are treated will change because of what they call us, they have another thought coming. I've been Indian since I was born and when I die, I will still be Indian."
For me, once I started understanding more about why the rejection was happening, it stopped hurting *as much*. I understand now that it's the colonial system working it's magic and trying to divide The People- and I have changed the attitudes and minds of many of my people by talking to them about this. Why would I sit back and allow the extermination of my people and culture? I realize that some don't see it that way, some have chosen to allow themselves to be "assimilated". I will not go quietly into the night. My ancestors did not fight and die for me to give up everything that meant anything to them. So I fight for recognition and fight to keep the culture which is mine.
post #52 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacquelineR View Post
Having just moved someplace with a larger Latino (I hope that's not an offensive term?) population (how could it not be larger than Manitoba, where I was raised?), I completely understand people assuming you're Native- and I completely agree that you are. It's often forgotten that most Latin Americans are "descendants" of the Native people from South and Central America- or maybe it's sometimes not acknowledged. Either way, it's a little maddening and I agree that defining ourselves by the colonial systems forced upon us is ridiculous- but that was the entire purpose of the systems, according to John A. McDonald. He said something along the lines of We will divide them eventually and then we will triumph. The Indians will cease to exist.
I don't accept the rejection. I don't use the term "descendant" but, as you can see even here- as well as from your own experiences- it is a constant struggle.
The term Indian doesn't offend me. I often use it myself. As my Gran said, "What I am doesn't change depending on what I'm called and, if the government thinks how I feel about how our people were and are treated will change because of what they call us, they have another thought coming. I've been Indian since I was born and when I die, I will still be Indian."
For me, once I started understanding more about why the rejection was happening, it stopped hurting *as much*. I understand now that it's the colonial system working it's magic and trying to divide The People- and I have changed the attitudes and minds of many of my people by talking to them about this. Why would I sit back and allow the extermination of my people and culture? I realize that some don't see it that way, some have chosen to allow themselves to be "assimilated". I will not go quietly into the night. My ancestors did not fight and die for me to give up everything that meant anything to them. So I fight for recognition and fight to keep the culture which is mine.
post #53 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacquelineR View Post
Why would I sit back and allow the extermination of my people and culture? I realize that some don't see it that way, some have chosen to allow themselves to be "assimilated". I will not go quietly into the night. My ancestors did not fight and die for me to give up everything that meant anything to them. So I fight for recognition and fight to keep the culture which is mine.
: Good for you mama, it is your heritage. You know who you are and no one has a right to tell you different. It IS a way to make sure the culture dies...creating division.

I'm so sad that in my mother's country of origin, only 4 or 5 people speak the native language anymore. People were so shamed for speaking it and as bloodlines mixed...it became more and more "convenient" to hide that part of our heritage. I look at pics of my grandma and there's no denying it, I see little trickles in the form of home remedies my mother gave me...and for me, these are the things I hold on to. It's all I've got. I remember growing up and envying the native communities around me and the kids for being brought up to appreciate their culture, I heard a woman speaking to her teen son in Blackfoot and was amazed. I'm glad you're holding on tight, and not letting anyone convince you to let go!
post #54 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swan3 View Post
As a side note, I remember speaking with a guy here who was Cree and telling him about my heritage and how I also was part "Indian" (forgive the term - it was the 90s) as most Latin Americans are, just Natives from further south...he was furious and told me I was only part "Indian" if I had a treaty card....So now we're defining who we are by the colonial systems put in place. HA!
Now I know what really annoyed me about this part of your post.
Bill C-31, I believe it was. When Bill C-31 was passed in 1985, it caused so much division and dissent amongst the Native population of Canada- and with good reason, in some sense.
If you don't know the history of the Natives in Canada, here's a quick rundown. Treaties were signed, you had to be "full blood" to be assigned a Treaty card/number- if your mother was white, she would be considered Indian, since she had married an Indian. If your father was white, you were white and so was your mother. After the initial assignment of treaty numbers and cards, descendants of these people were given a number based on their forefathers' number. You could lose your "Treaty" for any of the following:
1) going to university
2) joining the military
3) you could sell it to the government
4) if you were woman, marry a white (non-Treaty) man

These were all true until 1936, I believe it was, when they overturned the choice of selling your Treaty- but they did not reinstate any Treaty rights to those people who had opted to sell them. Then in the '60s sometime I believe, you could no longer lose it if you went to University or if you joined the military- again, Treaty rights were not reinstated. The only way to lose your "Treaty" now was to be a woman and marry someone without "Treaty".
With regards to "Treaty" rights, your children were better off if you had them out of wedlock if you were a woman and the father was white. If you married and the marriage ended for any reason, your rights were not reinstated- you could not return to the reservation and usually you were shunned by your family. (I saw with regard to Treaty rights- remember that you could not legally leave the reservation if you were Indian without very specific circumstances being met until the 1960s.) But if you were male and married a white woman, she was welcomed into the community with open arms and a Treaty number just for her!
So, the low down basically is this: You're a Native male, you marry a white woman, have kids who're *technically* 1/2 "blood quantum" but, by law, they are full blooded. One of them is a male who marries a white woman resulting in 1/4 "blood quantum" kids- still considered full blooded. One of them is female, she marries a full blooded Native man and her kids are 3/4 "blood quantum". One of the "1/4 blood quantum" grandkids is male and marries yet another white woman, resulting in 1/8 blood quantum great grandkids STILL considered full blooded. Another of the "3/4 blood quantum" grandkids is female and marries a white man resulting in "3/8 blood quantum" great grandkids- but they're not "Indian" since she has married out.
When Bill C-31 was brought in, it reinstated Treaty rights to women who had married out. It did not take away the rights of anyone who was already registered (including the white women who had married into Treaty).
However, what Bill C-31 *did* do is made it so that if a family "married out" twice in 2 generations, they would lose their Treaty rights. So, for the first time since the amendments removing the loss of Treaty through University or military means, men's children could now lose their Treaties. However, since the white women who married into Treaty were still considered full Treaty (and therefor so were their children regardless of actual "blood quantum"), this Bill didn't really effect their kids. It did, however, effect the kids of any woman who had been "reinstated". Their kids (who, remember, were not raised on reserve, were not usually recognized as part of the Tribe their whole lives, etc etc) suddenly were told "Well, yes, you *are* Indian, but if you don't marry an Indian, your kids aren't." In some cases, this already effected the grandkids. Not so for the men.

Sorry. I'll get off my soap box now. This is really just something that makes my head explode. Perhaps my hatred of the term "white Indian" makes a little more sense now- it was generally used to describe white women who had married Native men specifically for the purpose of getting Treaty rights, and the children of these women. Even if the woman left the man, she retained her Treaty rights as long as she didn't marry a man who didn't have Treaty rights. This meant she could have children with any man she chose to, so long as she didn't marry him, and they would still be considered full blooded Indians.
post #55 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by JacquelineR View Post
Now I know what really annoyed me about this part of your post.
Bill C-31, I believe it was. When Bill C-31 was passed in 1985, it caused so much division and dissent amongst the Native population of Canada- and with good reason, in some sense.
If you don't know the history of the Natives in Canada, here's a quick rundown. Treaties were signed, you had to be "full blood" to be assigned a Treaty card/number- if your mother was white, she would be considered Indian, since she had married an Indian. If your father was white, you were white and so was your mother. After the initial assignment of treaty numbers and cards, descendants of these people were given a number based on their forefathers' number. You could lose your "Treaty" for any of the following:
1) going to university
2) joining the military
3) you could sell it to the government
4) if you were woman, marry a white (non-Treaty) man

These were all true until 1936, I believe it was, when they overturned the choice of selling your Treaty- but they did not reinstate any Treaty rights to those people who had opted to sell them. Then in the '60s sometime I believe, you could no longer lose it if you went to University or if you joined the military- again, Treaty rights were not reinstated. The only way to lose your "Treaty" now was to be a woman and marry someone without "Treaty".
With regards to "Treaty" rights, your children were better off if you had them out of wedlock if you were a woman and the father was white. If you married and the marriage ended for any reason, your rights were not reinstated- you could not return to the reservation and usually you were shunned by your family. (I saw with regard to Treaty rights- remember that you could not legally leave the reservation if you were Indian without very specific circumstances being met until the 1960s.) But if you were male and married a white woman, she was welcomed into the community with open arms and a Treaty number just for her!
So, the low down basically is this: You're a Native male, you marry a white woman, have kids who're *technically* 1/2 "blood quantum" but, by law, they are full blooded. One of them is a male who marries a white woman resulting in 1/4 "blood quantum" kids- still considered full blooded. One of them is female, she marries a full blooded Native man and her kids are 3/4 "blood quantum". One of the "1/4 blood quantum" grandkids is male and marries yet another white woman, resulting in 1/8 blood quantum great grandkids STILL considered full blooded. Another of the "3/4 blood quantum" grandkids is female and marries a white man resulting in "3/8 blood quantum" great grandkids- but they're not "Indian" since she has married out.
When Bill C-31 was brought in, it reinstated Treaty rights to women who had married out. It did not take away the rights of anyone who was already registered (including the white women who had married into Treaty).
However, what Bill C-31 *did* do is made it so that if a family "married out" twice in 2 generations, they would lose their Treaty rights. So, for the first time since the amendments removing the loss of Treaty through University or military means, men's children could now lose their Treaties. However, since the white women who married into Treaty were still considered full Treaty (and therefor so were their children regardless of actual "blood quantum"), this Bill didn't really effect their kids. It did, however, effect the kids of any woman who had been "reinstated". Their kids (who, remember, were not raised on reserve, were not usually recognized as part of the Tribe their whole lives, etc etc) suddenly were told "Well, yes, you *are* Indian, but if you don't marry an Indian, your kids aren't." In some cases, this already effected the grandkids. Not so for the men.

Sorry. I'll get off my soap box now. This is really just something that makes my head explode. Perhaps my hatred of the term "white Indian" makes a little more sense now- it was generally used to describe white women who had married Native men specifically for the purpose of getting Treaty rights, and the children of these women. Even if the woman left the man, she retained her Treaty rights as long as she didn't marry a man who didn't have Treaty rights. This meant she could have children with any man she chose to, so long as she didn't marry him, and they would still be considered full blooded Indians.
If it matters to you, I'm revising my opinion of you.
post #56 of 87
I can totally relate to this.

My dad is white- Alsatian and Irish, mostly.

My mom is mutt- on her dad's side, she has heritage from a couple Apalachian tri-racial isolate groups (Melungeon and Lumbee- so Scotch-Irish, Turkish, West African, SE Asian, and several NA tribes, including Cherokee, I've been told, Lakota, although that doesn't make a lot of geographic sense). On her mom's side, she's Welsh and Metis (Anishinaabe and French Canadian, probably with some Finnish and English thrown in).

How do we know this? My mom's cousin, who's mom was at least 1/2 Anashinaabe (again, a child born to a single mom, not much known about the sperm donor, but just to *look* at my Aunt Joyce, you'd guess she was full blood) did about 18 tons of geneology research to get herself registered. Which, happily, she did.

Anyway, I have pale skin and blue eyes. My brother (yes, he's a full brother), on the other hand, doesn't really look white. People often think he's Hispanic, Eurasian, or, you guessed it, Native American. He looks more like my mom, I look more like my dad. I have cousins (children of my mother's full sister; their dad is white- Ashkanazi Jew) who look even less white than my brother does. Nobody can figure out "what" they are though, so they get asked all.the.time.


And now, my own little peanut looks far more like my mom than I do. (My mom looks like a petite, somewhat older, less plastic surgeried Mariah Carey. No, it's not just me. She gets it all the time.)

The good part of all this is that now, where we live, "white Indians" are pretty common. That's because two major ethnic populations here- possibly the largest two, in fact- are Finnish and Anishinaabe. The Indians have been here forever, of course, and the Finnish for close to 300 years. There's been a lot of mixing, and blue eyed, red haired Indians and brown eyed, deeply tanned blondes are relatively common here.
post #57 of 87
I hear ya...
If I would leave my hair it's original color and not color it blonde, people could totally tell my ancestry. I have dark skin (even darker in the summer), the cheekbones, the nose, the eyebrows, the eye shape, etc.

But man, around here, if you don't look it, the NAs who do will be kind of mean about it. I wish it wouldn't be like that.

One of my kids looks NA, one doesn't. I don't know how it will be for them in the coming years.
post #58 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FormerlyKnownAs View Post
My mom is mutt- on her dad's side, she has heritage from a couple Apalachian tri-racial isolate groups (Melungeon and Lumbee- so Scotch-Irish, Turkish, West African, SE Asian, and several NA tribes, including Cherokee, I've been told, Lakota, although that doesn't make a lot of geographic sense). On her mom's side, she's Welsh and Metis (Anishinaabe and French Canadian, probably with some Finnish and English thrown in).
I believe the Cherokee and Lakota were allied, so it doesn't really need to make a lot of geographic sense. You must remember that a great many of the tribes used to be more mobile than they were after the Europeans came.
I have a friend who's Sioux and Ojibwe, which makes NO sense... Until you remember that the two tribes used to have raids on each other and take women as prisoners.
post #59 of 87
Ah! Thank you so much, Jacqueline! I have been wondering about this for some time. Off to email Aunt Sue...
post #60 of 87
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by theretohere View Post
If it matters to you, I'm revising my opinion of you.
What opinion is that? That I have no idea where my people are coming from when they discriminate against me because of the colour of my skin? That I really just have no clue of the trials and tribulations that my people have gone through in the last several centuries? That I'm just an ignorant white girl trying to "play Indian" because it's "in style"?
You wouldn't be the first one to assume those things, and I doubt you will be the last. I understand and I try very hard not to take offense because I *do* know where it's coming from.
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