Inner Struggle Prohibits Outward Manifestation

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This topic contains 84 replies, has 11,567 voices, and was last updated by  sammarroq 12 years, 5 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 85 total)
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  • #25100

    Red Metis
    Participant

    Hi Family,

    I know this is a late post–I’ve been sick!–I wanted to comment anyway.

    Tom wrote:

    In Canada we have a segment of the population called by the French originally as “Metis”, these are people of native and euro descent, and no matter if you only have an inkling of blood quantum you are still Metis, mixed blood has no definition you either are or you are not.!

    So when my relations in the USA and Canada, I mean all of you that read this, and accepts that this position of being mixed is a perhaps where we should be looking and not looking for “NDN” recognition we will be that much closer to building a community of the ESDA.

    Which brings me to my next point, the ESDA, (Eastern Siouan Descendants Assc.) will one day lead the way for a very similar path such as the Metis assc., and the Metis Federation

    My reply:

    Good words, Tom. Metis–more specifically Eastern Siouan metis–is usually my reply when asked what race (seldom–most assume biracial with the red hair and freckles) or what I write in the line beside the ‘other’ box on many forms (for statistical purposes–yeah, right!). I think this is the perfect definition for folks like us–mixed blood Indians. I belong to the Metis Nation of the South. They have created a nation based on international law, have a constitution, etc. Of course, we are not recognized by the USA gov…like that really matters. I would like to see us do something similar. I prefer being here at Saponi Town because we are far more active than MNS in many ways.

    Unlike Canada, though, the majority of people don’t know what a metis is and an explanation is usually required. I get the ‘you don’t look Indian at all’ response like many of us. People ASSume much on appearance. It’s so bad people will ask me what race/tribe my youngest son is and ‘where did I get him’ (rude, crude, rude!! I told one lady that they were having a special kiddie sale next door and that if she hurried she might be able to pick one up just like him before they were gone) He looks like what people perceive as a ‘pureblood’. They are shocked when I tell him he’s mine by blood.

    Sheesh…

    #25120

    Tom
    Participant

    Thanx for this, I know the feeling, my younger sister’s grand children are about 3/4 Native, and when people see them run up to me or her and call me uncle or her Grandma, well you know the rest.

    People can really be very square.! a bad choice of words since anything that is boarder line racist is pretty abstract.

    #25123

    techteach
    Moderator

    My sister and I had the other kids who rode the bus convinced that I was adopted, because I look so different from my sister. I look like my mother’s side of the family, the NA/Irish side, while my sister looks like the German side. She is blond; I have dark hair. But we must look more like one another than I thought, because my daughter reminds me of my sister, and everyone thinks she looks like me.

    Techteach

    #25133

    Red Metis
    Participant

    Hmmm…the two of you show a perfect argument on judging race soley by looks!!! It’s a complete free-for-all genetic grab bag with folks like us–it’s truly amazing.

    None of my children look alike AT ALL. One is very fair skin w/ dark blonde hair; another is honey-skined with chestnut hair; and of course, my youngest which I already described.

    It was assumed that I was adopted, too. “Why don’t your sisters have red hair?” My Dad was dismayed by appearance, too. He’d tell my Mom to put me out in the sun so I could get some color (I’m not that fair-skinned–I have a rather orange complexion). I look more like my mother’s multi-generational mulatto family than the Eastern Siouan/Choctaw of my dad’s family.

    Most of my Mom’s family looked white and some of them left for Conneticutt to escape from the burden of being ‘colored’. Even the darker skinned members had light eyes (my mother’s eyes are gray–I would have preferred the eyes to the hair and freckles!!!!)

    It was sad, too–they faced a great deal of prejudice for being able to pass for white. My Mom was picked on all the time for having a ‘white’ mother. It was also dangerous, too, for anyone to even try to pass as white here. It was vehemently denied. That’s why my uncles left for the north–they’d never have been able to pull that here in the south.

    The Brown/Jenkins had it easier because the whole clan kept to themselves and no one seemed to care that they were Indian. It’s probably because there was no way they could pass for the ‘upper class’–not with their looks.

    I am assuming your families had to face the same sort of prejudice when ‘blood’ told? Even (or especially) within their own family? Sammarroq mentioned this; others have remarked on it as well. My father’s mother had an awful history over practically being thrown out of her own family. Literal stories of being ‘flesh’ in the closet. It’s a terrible thing when our society put s so much pressure to have a ‘favorable’ or ‘typical’ type of appearance that shame, embarassment, or anger shows up when a family member shows up with an undesirable phenotype . The cover is blown.

    This is why I favor being identified as a metis because it is defined as a mixed-blood INDIAN. I think that says it all and whatever our own personal ancestry and physical appearance–black, white, Asian, etc., we are all tied together through our Indian ancestors as mixed-blood Indians. Like a weave, if you will. Somewhere different colored threads were added here and there but the pattern has ALWAYS been there–there’s no changing it no matter how many colorful threads are woven in.

    It feels like home to me.

    #25135

    sammarroq
    Participant

    Red Metis wrote:

    This is why I favor being identified as a metis because it is defined as a mixed-blood INDIAN. I think that says it all and whatever our own personal ancestry and physical appearance–black, white, Asian, etc., we are all tied together through our Indian ancestors as mixed-blood Indians. Like a weave, if you will. Somewhere different colored threads were added here and there but the pattern has ALWAYS been there–there’s no changing it no matter how many colorful threads are woven in.

    It feels like home to me.

    Red Metis,

    Thanks for the meaningful and very timely words.:)

    Shirley

    #25139

    techteach
    Moderator

    I think I have said this before, but my gggrandmother, who looked Indian, was treated badly by her half-Indian husband who favored his Irish father. Her own daughter-in-law would not sit in the same room with her. They moved away from the rest and would not have anything to do with her family. Grandma told us of Indian growing up but my mother had had it so hidden growing up, she didn’t believe it when Grandma said it. I grew up knowing my German second cousins twice removed or something like that. I went to high school and never knew that I had classmates who were more closely related than my German relatives, because my great grandfather would not associate with his Indian family.

    Techteach

    #25152

    sammarroq
    Participant

    techteach wrote: I think I have said this before, but my gggrandmother, who looked Indian, was treated badly by her half-Indian husband who favored his Irish father. Her own daughter-in-law would not sit in the same room with her. They moved away from the rest and would not have anything to do with her family. Grandma told us of Indian growing up but my mother had had it so hidden growing up, she didn’t believe it when Grandma said it. I grew up knowing my German second cousins twice removed or something like that. I went to high school and never knew that I had classmates who were more closely related than my German relatives, because my great grandfather would not associate with his Indian family.

    Techteach

    It is sad when racial biases separate family…I think sometimes, if my mom’s side would have had a favorable view of my father, they may still be together..who knows…but, we can only go forward for here.

    #25154

    techteach
    Moderator

    I have made an effort to learn of my gggrandmother’s people, although I know that she was likely Shawnee, not Sioux. Next Friday, I am leaving for Pine Ridge reservation, to spend a week there learning of the culture and helping to build beds and clean homes as I learn.

    Techteach

    #25157

    sammarroq
    Participant

    techteach wrote: I have made an effort to learn of my gggrandmother’s people, although I know that she was likely Shawnee, not Sioux. Next Friday, I am leaving for Pine Ridge reservation, to spend a week there learning of the culture and helping to build beds and clean homes as I learn.

    Techteach

    I hope you find peace and can learn from the elders…there are so many that know so much…but end of their time is coming and if the younger generation does not show interest in the culture…it will be lost… I am posting a link to our local newspaper, it had a wonderful article at how the Dakota language is being reborn…wonderful news to see the youth return to the roots…I pray for peace and that you will learn with the heart as well as the mind.

    Something I love of the Dakota, Lakota, Nakota is that every tangable thing is connected to the spirit…as it is with most Native ways…

    Shirley

    Link:http://www.republican-eagle.com/articles/index.cfm?id=39406&section=Community&freebie_check&CFID=22939460&CFTOKEN=32553317&jsessionid=8830f4db278021382655

    #25158

    sammarroq
    Participant

    Tried to link…they want a subscription…

    If you go to the homepage:http://www.republican-eagle.com/

    and then use the search and copy and paste this in the search engine:Saving a language

    Jen Cullen The Republican Eagle

    Published Friday, March 02, 2007

    The first hit you will get will be the article.

    The Cherokee started a few years ago and I believe they have a free online language class, you just have to sign up…it is wonderful.

    #25160

    techteach
    Moderator

    Thanks. That was an article up my alley. I write on technology for teaching to students with language problems.

    Techteach

    #25207

    spilleddi
    Moderator

    Next time someone tells you you don’t look Indian, or whatever, just tell them that inheritance is a trickster. My dad is half English and looks it, but you would never tell by looking that he is also Central Asian. Its obvious in his sister though.

    Or if I list off my many different backgrounds, such as English, Irish, etc and mention Indian and they say I don’t look Indian, I remind them about all the other backgrounds I just mentioned. Sometimes it seems like when folks hear me mention Indian aming a bunch of different nationalities, they seem to forgot all the other heritages I have and focus just on Indian.

    #25209

    Linda
    Keymaster

    There were a number of generations on my mom’s side effected by this kind of visual distinction among the cousins. Those who were born looking white had very different futures than those of favored the native side. One cousin went west to SD, became a lawyer and married the judge’s daugher. The other grubbed trees for a living. One sister marred an architect who designed skyscrapers, while the other sister’s husband debated bringing the bathroom into the house. Guess who?

    #25231

    DAJ42
    Participant

    Eastern Siouan Metis? That’s a good description.

    Genetics is funny. My wife is FBI, Full Blooded Indian. Her youngest sister had a different father than the rest of the kids. The youngest, S, is much lighter skinned and has light brown hair.

    When they were all little, mom was trying to get them ready to go to town. C, the next to youngest girl, disappeared with S. A few minutes later there was a big commotion in the kitchen, complete with S screaming loudly.

    When mom and the older kids got there, they saw C attempting to stuff S, who had been covered with Crisco, into the oven. The explanation? “I was trying to brown her up like the rest of us.”

    #25671

    Buffalowm
    Participant

    I think this thread started with the subject of some of us feeling we should not deny the african ancestry….well, I think some of the problem may be we have been told from older generations that we were AA …especially in the 50’s…60’s and 70’s because of our innocent ignorance of what an NDN looks like and what the government labeled us as so many years ago….I think some of us here worry about what others may say because they don’t know that we NDNs come in many shades of color. I feel very strongly about claiming our Native heritage because we have the opportunity to claim the heritage that our ancestors may have had to deny…..As I have stated many times on this forum..in my research I have found that many people who have claim “part indian” heritage have infact been more NDN than they think. The most important thing I have come across is that no matter the skin color most NDNs did marry other NDNs even if they both or one would not claim Native heritage. The government understands who we are better than we do in some cases and they love it when we take claim to any heritage other than who we are because that means no reparation (sp?) for those who do. My point is when you know that all your lines in at least the last 200 years on all sides…grand…gr grand…and their parents and so on married people who are from areas that have been identified as an area with a heavy NDN population then claim to anything else would be wrong….I personally feel that those who have a struggle with being NDN are really more afraid of what others will say when we tell them we are NA…because of the sterotype of what Hollywood and European society has said we look like and of course we know that was their way of committing documental genocide. Let us not keep falling into that trap…Creator has brought us back to a place we can carry on what our ancestors were not able to continue.

    AHO

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 85 total)

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