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#61 of 91 Old 01-20-2009, 12:51 PM
 
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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.
Yeah, those assumptions. In my defense, I've seen far more white people trying to play Indian then I've seen people like you- people who are connected and informed. And as you've said, it something that can't be weeded out by first glance.

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#62 of 91 Old 01-20-2009, 01:32 PM
 
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*cross posted in the "Are those your children?" thread*

To get a good visual of what a bumpy road genes are, look up Alicia and Jasmin Singer, or Remee and Kian Hodgson. These pictures really illuminate the fact that we don't know anybody's heritage just by looking.

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#63 of 91 Old 01-20-2009, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, those assumptions. In my defense, I've seen far more white people trying to play Indian then I've seen people like you- people who are connected and informed. And as you've said, it something that can't be weeded out by first glance.
No offense intended, but has it occurred to you that perhaps you would see more people "like me" if people *like me* didn't come up against such opposition in claiming their heritage and were not stalemated at every turn when they tried to learn about it?
For your information, the things I have posted about so far on here are things that anyone with an interest in Constitutional law and an interest in history could find easily. It's not like I'm talking about the conditions under which children were forcibly detained/arrested for "relocation" to the internment camps known as residential schools.

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#64 of 91 Old 01-20-2009, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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*cross posted in the "Are those your children?" thread*

To get a good visual of what a bumpy road genes are, look up Alicia and Jasmin Singer, or Remee and Kian Hodgson. These pictures really illuminate the fact that we don't know anybody's heritage just by looking.
Yes, the black/white twins are an absolutely perfect reminder to those of us who might judge based on appearances that you just never know.
Thanks for those, FormerlyKnownAs.

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#65 of 91 Old 01-20-2009, 05:33 PM
 
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I'm 1/4 Cherokee and 1/8 Chickasaw. I'm going to school in Washington right now, but I want to get back to Oklahoma as soon as possible. I've heard it said that the five civilized tribes were the closest to white when whites settled here, and that today they've out-whited the whites. I don't know about that, but I'm pretty sure my grandma only married my grandpa because he was the only blond, blue-eyed Indian at Chilocco Indian School.

Growing up, I went to Indian Education and danced with the Indian Dance Troupe at cultural festivals and parades. I went to pow-wows and spoke some limited Cherokee with parts of my family. I went to a lot of funerals and noticed the difference between when someone on my dad's side died (and everyone silently held back tears) and when someone on my mom's side died (and people wailed and held one another).

In context, I never felt out of place. People commented on my eyes (light blue), but I never felt shunned. I didn't truly realize I don't look Indian until I went away to college. A Spokane boy called me white girl, and that really threw me off. Several years later, I saw him in a bar. I was drunk and yelled at him about that. He backed down and apologized (he was probably thinking, "Who is this crazy white girl?"), and I felt really terrible later. I don't drink anymore.

I get student financial aid from the Chickasaw Nation. I graduate in May. I honestly don't think I'll ever feel right until I get back home. Washington is beautiful, but I need my family, and I need that red dirt under my feet. My husband is willing to go along, now we just need to start a company so there will be work there for us.

Anyway, I feel your pain.

Me, DH, and DS (9/18/10), living in a multi-generational household (non-pathetic way of saying we live in my parents' basement).
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#66 of 91 Old 01-20-2009, 05:45 PM
 
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My mom had an old friend who was Cherokee. He had jet black hair, kept in a braid that passed his waist. He was very tall, strong build, and the most pale white skin and shocking blue eyes you'd ever seen. He was very active in local NA organizations, had all kinds of artifacts in his house, wore traditional jewelry, etc... I never doubted that he was NA, but I could see how some might just because of the skin and eyes.
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#67 of 91 Old 01-20-2009, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My mom had an old friend who was Cherokee. He had jet black hair, kept in a braid that passed his waist. He was very tall, strong build, and the most pale white skin and shocking blue eyes you'd ever seen. He was very active in local NA organizations, had all kinds of artifacts in his house, wore traditional jewelry, etc... I never doubted that he was NA, but I could see how some might just because of the skin and eyes.
I have had traditional jewelry (and my feather ) tore off my person. I don't wear it anymore.

ETA: Sorry. I'm a little bitter about some things.
In some fit of karma, later in life, I ran into the 2 girls who did this while my brothers and I were out at a bar. The 2 girls were absolutely drooling all over my twin brothers. My brothers asked if I knew who they were and I said "All I know about them is <this incident- wherein they told me I was "too white for those things">." My brothers exchanged a look and I ended up going home earlier than them. I found out later (from my 3rd brother) that they had had this girls over to the table after I left, etc and when the girls asked for their number, my brothers said "Oh, I'm sorry. Can't do it. You know that girl that was "too white" for Native things? That's my sister. We'd be too white for you."

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#68 of 91 Old 01-20-2009, 07:29 PM
 
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My brothers exchanged a look and I ended up going home earlier than them. I found out later (from my 3rd brother) that they had had this girls over to the table after I left, etc and when the girls asked for their number, my brothers said "Oh, I'm sorry. Can't do it. You know that girl that was "too white" for Native things? That's my sister. We'd be too white for you."
Sweet, sweet karma....

OT has anyone seen the Canadian commercials for Lakota (some sort of pain reliever), they changed the spokesperson from an elderly Native guy to this totally hot young one...wouldn't kick him out of bed for being 1/8 quantum!!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChntEB77-OU
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#69 of 91 Old 01-20-2009, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sweet, sweet karma....

OT has anyone seen the Canadian commercials for Lakota (some sort of pain reliever), they changed the spokesperson from an elderly Native guy to this totally hot young one...wouldn't kick him out of bed for being 1/8 quantum!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ChntEB77-OU
Too funny. It's actually kind of scary how much that guy looks like my twin brothers.

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#70 of 91 Old 01-20-2009, 07:39 PM
 
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Too funny. It's actually kind of scary how much that guy looks like my twin brothers.
When you mentioned the girls drooling, plus the many descriptions of beautiful native men in this discussion made me think of the commercial. SIGH. Pretty dreamy.

And if that guy looks like your brothers...no wonder they get ogled!
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#71 of 91 Old 01-20-2009, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When you mentioned the girls drooling, plus the many descriptions of beautiful native men in this discussion made me think of the commercial. SIGH. Pretty dreamy.

And if that guy looks like your brothers...no wonder they get ogled!
Yeah, I've heard it all my life. It's really sickening to be sitting with a group of your girlfriends, listening to them all drool about your brothers... and "Hey, can you come over?" being responded to with "Are your brothers home?"

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#72 of 91 Old 01-21-2009, 12:23 AM
 
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I have had traditional jewelry (and my feather ) tore off my person. I don't wear it anymore.

ETA: Sorry. I'm a little bitter about some things.
In some fit of karma, later in life, I ran into the 2 girls who did this while my brothers and I were out at a bar. The 2 girls were absolutely drooling all over my twin brothers. My brothers asked if I knew who they were and I said "All I know about them is <this incident- wherein they told me I was "too white for those things">." My brothers exchanged a look and I ended up going home earlier than them. I found out later (from my 3rd brother) that they had had this girls over to the table after I left, etc and when the girls asked for their number, my brothers said "Oh, I'm sorry. Can't do it. You know that girl that was "too white" for Native things? That's my sister. We'd be too white for you."
I'm really sorry that happened to you.

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#73 of 91 Old 01-21-2009, 12:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm really sorry that happened to you.
I both am and am not. It was a turning point in my life. It's the point at which I decided that I could continue to proudly define myself as Native and face the opposition or assimilate and truly become a white Indian. I decided that if I continued to define myself as Native, I had better get myself better acquainted with the true *issues* of being Native, since I don't have to deal with the discrimination in the general world which Natives who look Native do. My family did/does deal with that and I've *seen* it, but I had never understood any of it at all. I mean, we're all just people, right? I still don't really understand it, but I have a better grasp of how to deal with it. I still think people are just people.
I'm deeply proud of my heritage, so for me it was really kind of a no brainer. I *chose* not to wear my traditional jewelry (and especially my feather) because of the respect I have for the meaning of it- I don't want it to be disrespected like that *ever again*. I keep it someplace safe and carry it with me if I go to ceremonies and the like- I will not wear it until I am there and amongst "safe" people who know me- know that I know the meaning behind the pieces.
The thing that honestly made (and still makes) me the most angry about the incident is not that they tore things from my person... It's that they threw my feather on the ground and stomped it. I understand that they truly just didn't understand that I "belonged"- but for them to so disrespect an object which I was taught was to be venerated just made me .

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#74 of 91 Old 01-21-2009, 01:28 AM
 
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Not NA, but don't line up with dh or my kids at a glance. Often been assumed to be a nanny.

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#75 of 91 Old 01-21-2009, 12:45 PM
 
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This is so true. Mom (according to the stuff she found she's Native American) was adopted by my white grandparents in 1952. We'll never know her real past because the records center burned down sometime in the 60's. My father was Irish/Welsh. At any rate.. I look like her, my sister took after my father's side with the ivory skin and strawberry blonde hair and everything on her is pert and perky (grumble) Fast forward to my #1 Son. My ex husband is Irish/Cherokee. We're both kind of medium skinned and have dark hair. DS1 has pale (really almost see-through) skin, green/... I can't say the other color is brown, more of a russet color, or red-brown eyes and flaming, neon red hair. Lucky draw from the genetic grab-bag, I guess. I've met red-haired, green eyed Black people, Asian people with freckles.. the list goes on. It takes more than a glance.
P.S. If you want some interesting reading, there was a study done to see exactly how humnas got to this continent. They can't pin it down. There's genetic markers for every race. I still say screw the land bridge, we were always here.

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#76 of 91 Old 01-21-2009, 01:35 PM
 
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Again, OT, buy WHY is there a pain pill called Lakota? Grumble grumble. People think that Denali is just an SUV. Speaking of, what makes someone a Grand Cherokee? My mom's joke is that she's a Grand Cherokee because her grandma was a Cherokee. Get it?


That guy in the ad looked like a beefier version of my brother... though my brother has much curlier hair. And yeah, "competing" with girls in bars and stuff over your brother gets OLD. FAST. My brother's in a band, so it's really bad...

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#77 of 91 Old 01-21-2009, 03:31 PM
 
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I just got the commercial to load... Yum! He can help me with my back pain any time.

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#78 of 91 Old 01-21-2009, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is so true. Mom (according to the stuff she found she's Native American) was adopted by my white grandparents in 1952. We'll never know her real past because the records center burned down sometime in the 60's.
Excuse me while I go on a little rant again here.
There was an amazingly large number of "records centers" which "burned down" in the 60s- or maybe it was just one. Either way, Native children born and adopted before then have a *very* difficult time getting answers because of these mysterious "fires".
In the 60s, Natives had just been declared actual people. As newly declared people with all the rights of people, they started demanding to know what had happened to the children which were apprehended from them (most often for no reason). Lo and behold, "we can't tell you. That records center burned down." :

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#79 of 91 Old 01-21-2009, 04:13 PM
 
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Excuse me while I go on a little rant again here.
There was an amazingly large number of "records centers" which "burned down" in the 60s- or maybe it was just one. Either way, Native children born and adopted before then have a *very* difficult time getting answers because of these mysterious "fires".
In the 60s, Natives had just been declared actual people. As newly declared people with all the rights of people, they started demanding to know what had happened to the children which were apprehended from them (most often for no reason). Lo and behold, "we can't tell you. That records center burned down." :
We get ads in the paper all the time for people looking for relatives- and if there's any info- guesses at surnames it can be tracked through the tribe, sometimes. I'm glad that the ICWA has straightened that out some at least.

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#80 of 91 Old 01-21-2009, 07:21 PM
 
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Again, OT, buy WHY is there a pain pill called Lakota? Grumble grumble. People think that Denali is just an SUV. Speaking of, what makes someone a Grand Cherokee? My mom's joke is that she's a Grand Cherokee because her grandma was a Cherokee. Get it?
:


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That guy in the ad looked like a beefier version of my brother... though my brother has much curlier hair. And yeah, "competing" with girls in bars and stuff over your brother gets OLD. FAST. My brother's in a band, so it's really bad...
Oh man, double trouble! Never grew up with brothers so I have no idea what that's like!!!
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#81 of 91 Old 01-21-2009, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We get ads in the paper all the time for people looking for relatives- and if there's any info- guesses at surnames it can be tracked through the tribe, sometimes. I'm glad that the ICWA has straightened that out some at least.
Yeah, my Gran was contacted by a cousin through the band. Her aunt and uncle (3 and 1 yo) were "apprehended" as children (her grandparents hid her mom) and adopted out. Somehow her aunt managed to remember the basic sound of her original last name and that she had an older sister named Sarah.

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#82 of 91 Old 01-22-2009, 12:43 PM
 
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Yeah, my Gran was contacted by a cousin through the band. Her aunt and uncle (3 and 1 yo) were "apprehended" as children (her grandparents hid her mom) and adopted out. Somehow her aunt managed to remember the basic sound of her original last name and that she had an older sister named Sarah.
Oh wow. That's amazing.

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#83 of 91 Old 02-15-2009, 01:26 AM
 
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Today we went to see our doctor, Quanah Parker, named for his ancestor, Comanche chief Quanah Parker. He's a neat guy. He was telling me about a Pow-Wow here in town today, that we just didn't have time to get to (kids & I were disappointed), and I said something (don't recall what) and he said, "Oh that's right! You're Mohegan."

I felt a little surge of happiness to hear that, from someone who actually looks the part (and lives it), that I, too, am NA.

He talks about the medicine man sometimes and I WISH I could pick his brain for longer! (As it is, we're there over an hour each time!)

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#84 of 91 Old 05-28-2013, 06:42 PM
 
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Anyone else out there?
I have blond hair, blue/green eyes, pale skin... but I'm Native, raised with the traditions of the Anishinabe.
I think there are some issues that people "like me" face which aren't faced by others- fighting to participate in our own culture, not immediately being associated with our own families and "people", having to *prove* we are what we are.
I'm sure I'm not the only one. Where are the Natives hiding in plain sight?
I think that part of the issue is that there are a lot of white people with "Indian Princess" ancestry who like to attend events and claim the culture. When someone looks white it's hard to know if they are Native by culture and with a large genetic component, or if they decided that a great-great-great ect. grandmother qualifies them. So much of Native culture has been co-opted that it's a protective thing. I do find it interesting that your tribe isn't accepting you- I've seen some people here who look pretty white but if their geneology is known and they were raised here they are accepted.
It boils down to this- what makes something someone culture? I have an Irish ancestor back a ways, but that doesn't make me Irish. I wasn't raised in the culture.

I'm totally resurrecting this thread from four years ago.  LOL 

 

Sooooo, I do have an "Indian Princess" ancestor from the early 1600s.  Curiosity drives me to find out everything I can about her, the tribe (Montauk), the culture, etc.  I'm also interested in other parts of the family tree--the Dutch colonists, later the English who settled in Appalachia, my ggggrandfather was born in the Blue Ridge Mountains!  I located a photo of him with his long beard and quaint hat.  All fascinating. 

 

I had a bad childhood and had to cut contact with my parents for my own mental health and my children's safety.  I felt very rootless and scared for a long time, but I realized that I didn't just come from my parents.  I had grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on, from whom I also came.  Studying genealogy filled the void for a sense of my roots, and even though I know I'm only pretending, because these people are long gone, I could imagine that they would care about me and value me for carrying on with life.  And I have found some really great family stories.

 

I also found that my ancestral tribe has been declared to no longer exist in the eyes of the US government.  Colonialism at it's worst.  However, there are fairly full-blooded survivors who are self-organized and periodically petition the government for recognition.  They continue to be denied, and at first I was aghast at this atrocity, and I still am somewhat, but then I realized that being a descendent of an unrecognized tribe is deeply appealing to my rebel spirit. 

 

I just sent in my application to join the tribe, as I was told they do accept descendents in perpetuity.  I would not feel comfortable claiming NA as a race, but I am very curious to know as much as I can about the tribal culture--historically and what remains of it today.  So much has been lost, I feel a burden to gather up what I can.  But I don't want to be seen as a white woman 'playing' Indian, so I wouldn't go dance at a Pow-wow or anything like that. 


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#85 of 91 Old 06-13-2013, 11:06 AM
 
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Wow, this has been a very interesting thread to read. My family has a lot of native heritage, Cherokee on my mother's side..unknown on my father's as they refuse to talk about it though my relatives all look native...except that my dad and a couple of his sibs have blue eyes from their Scottish mother.

 

My aunt married a Columbian Indian, I was thirteen before I knew that he was somehow "different" than us, since they referred to us as white, even with their dark hair, skin, and eyes, while my uncle had dark hair, skin, and eyes...so we were the same right? wait? no? he's Hispanic and we're white? It was quite confusing for me as a child.

 

I am the palest person in my family, allergic to sun practically in a family who hardly ever ever burns. bahhh

 

My youngest brother's father is mostly Sioux. So Cherokee on his mom's side, Sioux on his dad's. he's at least 3/4 native all told. He has bright light blue eyes, darker skin, and very straight light brown almost blonde hair. Most people do not guess that he's not white unless he tells them.

 

I live and grew up in an area with almost no tribal presence so sadly I know little about that aspect of my heritage. One day I will probably start researching my geneology so I can find out what my paternal grandfather was hiding...though we believe he was not white and passing, so to speak

 

My children's paternal grandmother was adopted so we sadly know nothing of her heritage. I love genealogy and find it all very interesting. I try to pass on all the heritage I can to my children

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yes I have had people ask me over the years if I had native american in me, I didn't think so not until my early 20's I started hearing we had some on my fathers side

 

but when my Grandmother passed away we found out her father was full blooded NA but we don't know anything about his history because he left my grandmother when she was very young

 

My grandmother was a dark golden color of skin with blue eyes .. she was always sensitive about her skin color I never knew why......her bad experience with her real father and love of

 

her step father I guess is what caused her not to talk about it. Now that I know we have these roots I wished I knew more about native americans, I did get a book once on 

 

my fathers side that had to do with a NA princess they said came through The trail of tears and then was made to work for white families and that she is the ancestor of my fathers side

 

I don't think I look native american, I would like to learn how to find out once and for all. I've had so much different things told to me I don't know what to believe, They say we

 

have Cherokee on my fathers side, and I don't know if I'm spelling it right but Kataba or Katawba? I know if I do have NA in my blood I guess it would be a small amount don't know how it works

 

but it is part of who I am, and I would like to learn and grow as a person......

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#87 of 91 Old 11-12-2013, 07:12 PM
 
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You are not alone. There are thousands of us out there who are "white looking" and native, raised on Indian country.

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#88 of 91 Old 04-29-2014, 10:25 AM
 
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I live in a part of the Appalachians, southern West Virginia, that was never actually colonized or settled by Europeans until coal became a desired comoddity.  Litterally, a handful of minsters/settlers in the late 1840s "purchased" large land grants, and then cut them up for the People who already lived in the land.  These people appeared to be "white people"; however, their ancestors were clearly identified by contemporaneous records and writings as Shawnee and Cherokee.  We have lots of blond blue-eyed people.  Historically, when the Europeans first came to the Americas, they found an occasional blond blue-eyed indian, and in fact at a place called Kanawha City, the Europeans found an entire tribe of white indians which they never found again. (I suspect they live there to this day.) There are records of the White Minqas, and contemporaneous Cherokee/Shawnee legends described indians with light colored skin about the Greater Kanawha (aka, the New River). Chances are that given the xenophobia of the late 17th century onwards, "white indians" simply were missed by Europeans, who couldn't tell the difference once immigrants from all of Europe started to flood into North America.    I suspect that folks living in the dense forrests of the Appalachian mountains were lighter colored than folks whose ancestors experience greater exposure to direct sunlight.  Skin color changes fairly quickly in human populations, and over hundreds of years can completely change the 'skin color' of isolated popluations.   Mixing such populations with others would result in the occasional expression of the light skinned, etc., recessive genetic traits, which would result in an occasional blond light skinned blue eyed baby into populations of otherwise darker complexioned people.

 

(Strangely enough, according to modern history, no indigenous people ever lived in the Appalachian mountains covered by the State of WV, and yet contemporaneous records describe in great detail these same territories being occupied by native tribes, some of which were never seen again after their initial discovery (or after 1838).  Although pale skinned indigenous americans exist, they are simply invisible, having vanished in plain sight.

 

As an additional asside, western Virginia (now predominantly West Virginia) is the location in which a huge number of tribes of "Eastern Woodland Indians" of the United States simply vanished, including the bulk of the Powhatan population.  According to the census, West Virginia has the highest 'white' population in the US.  When WV became a state, everyone got to specify their own skin color by choice, which frequently changed from generation to generation, or on different forms for the same person.  The exact same populations in Virginia, for example, were forcefully registered as "colored".)

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#89 of 91 Old 08-05-2014, 01:16 PM
 
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I have people do the same thing to me. It drives me nuts. As far as I can tell I am from the Cusabo people who were in coastal Carolina. At a time when in the U.S. South one did not possess things or eat food outside of one's cultural milieu, the family had Native baskets and was growing squash, sweet potatos and eating other Native stuff per the appropriate season. So, in looking at my past, there is no proof on paper but there are cultural things that the family had which tell me I'm Native. Cusabo became referred to as "Settlement Indians" because the colony of Carolina grew up around them/us. I have always had dark hair (nearly jet black), my beard is sparse, dark brown almost chocolate eyes, I do not burn in the European-American sense but I get red in the sun then I am tan the next day and I almost never peel, I have high cheek bones and my other facial features do not look purely European either. I have people ask me where I am from all the time. I have called myself Latino for years, just so that I can try to pass for some form of "white", but the Native always comes through. I'm part French and I think that may be where some of the features come from too, but on the whole for having such a small part of me be Native, it definitely comes out. I do not know exactly how to deal with this. It is frustrating. I do not feel that I should put myself into pieces. I am Native American and European-American. All of me is a man and a human. Which background do I take out and then loose who I am? Which genetics do I remove and then loose how I look? Until humans are able to do that we can only say what we know of as the truth and be the most honest about our past, present and future. At the end of the day we are all transplanted Africans, it just depends how far we got from Africa. For those of us with ancestors who came to the Americas via the Bering Landbridge from Asia, we apparently wandered farther sooner than the European ancestors we have. I prefer the term "indigenous" or "aboriginal" to being called or calling myself "Native" because I think it is more situation specific to me. To me, everyone born in the Americas is a native born person. Which part of me am I supposed to send back to Europe?

I have been slow to do anything about a tribal card because I am trying to be very careful with this whole thing. I do not feel the need for one in part, because why do I need a piece of paper to prove this when the cultural aspects are there? For me, it would be more of a fulfillment of being a whole person and being able to officially stand up and be counted as a Native American and be quietly proud of that and be able to shake off the shame and stigma that race laws and Jim Crow put on being Native. South Carolina out-lawed being as we were called at the time "Indian" around the 1820's. The 14th Amendment was only passed in 1864/65, and Jim Crow was only gotten rid of in around 1965. Since that is where my Cusabo people were from, how could there be any official paperwork to work through for me? As far as I am concerned they have been trying to take the Native out of me for almost 200 years and they are still failing, while simultaneously laughing at me because they did officially take it out of me and I cannot pass for "white" especially when I am in the South. I tell people I walk with feet in two worlds. My rhythm is both Native and European. I live in Pennsylvania, but feel more myself the closer I get to coastal Carolina. I cannot explain myself to people if I leave out being Native from my list of backgrounds. They always look at me and say stuff like, "You're kind of dark.", or "You don't look like where you say you come from.", I would feel like I am lying but Native and non-Native people have said the same kinds of things to me. So, I just figure it is time to accept who I am and be happy.
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#90 of 91 Old 08-05-2014, 07:44 PM
 
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That's interesting about the cultural aspects that make you wonder. My family lives off the land too, but identify white. I did genealogy and found our indigenous roots. The culture is still there, and the more I learn about indigenous culture, the more I realize where we come from and what is still alive here. My family is naive (not in a bad way) and say that is just how you live in the country. But I know a lot of white families that live in the country that have the same culture as white people who live in town. My family is really different from the mainstream. I love all their big gardens and the wild game that was fed to me. Mmmmmmmmm, I grew up loving rabbit meat. If I wanted anything, I'd have to make it or build it myself, there was no shopping.

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