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 Post subject: What does everyone think of this
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:17 am 

Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 7:12 am
Posts: 95
Many times we hear non natives screaming about being "native at heart" .... when challenged about DNA, the battle starts .... while I myself do not care about blood quantum .... this is a interesting article that speaks loudly .... what do you think?

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Wambli Sina Win: Tribes should protect their Indian bloodline
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Filed Under: Opinion

Since the beginning of time, many species of the Great Mystery’s creation, the two legged and four legged, naturally and aggressively protected their bloodline to ensure that their species would not become extinct. Have you ever seen a wild buffalo on its own, seek out another species with which to mate when there are other wild buffalo around?

If the buffalo have sense enough to stay with its own kind, why is it so difficult for our young Lakota men and women to marry and have children with other Lakota to protect our cultural integrity and to preserve our bloodline from being bred out of us?

Today it’s easy to laugh at tribes who enroll those with ridiculously low blood quantum and it seems that everything is being done to be “accommodating” and to make our tribes non-Indian. It takes courage and leadership to take steps to protect our bloodline. Enrollment based on ancestry or descendancy has to be eliminated to keep us from extinction.

It is only right that economic benefits reflect the blood quantum with full bloods receiving the maximum benefits. One who is 1/100th should receive benefits in accordance with this minimal blood. This was a choice by the minimum blood’s ancestors to breed the Indian blood out and to diminish the bloodline.

Accordingly, these descendents should live with the consequences. Instead of “banishing” tribal members, why not raise the blood quantum? As a sovereign, a tribe is within its authority to increase the blood quantum requirements for enrollment. Any real Indian tribe would seriously consider this to preserve the economic resources of the tribe for Indians and it would also encourage tribal members to marry other Indians.

My Heyoka Grandfather and my Heyoka son have spoken of how precious the Lakota bloodline is. Once the full blood status is mixed, it is a loss from which tribes may never recover. What kind of example has been set when a Lakota marries outside of his or her own race and has children?

It becomes a vicious cycle for the children in turn will likely marry other Non-Indians with children of even lesser Indian blood. How many generations will it take to bring back the 99% level of Indian blood? One bad choice leads to many other bad choices which eventually leads a tribe to extinction.

Have you ever sat in the waiting room of an Indian Health Services (IHS) clinic to observe how many white people sit and obnoxiously complain the loudest about the services? Does this bother anyone to see this attitude of entitlement?

Several years ago, my ex-husband asked me to assist him in drafting a tribal resolution for a Indian preference policy for his tribe, the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. He told me that in researching his tribe, he was distressed to discover that the highest Indian blood quantum was one-half and there were five tribal members, including himself and his sister who were half-bloods.

His family was among those who had the most Indian blood. He was concerned that the tribe had a history of giving employment preference to whites over their own enrolled Eastern Shawnee Tribal members. This is ridiculous considering the minimal blood quantum of their tribal members.

I soon discovered to my dismay that white people had taken over the Eastern Shawnee Tribe. This tribe once had a great legacy and was known as Tecumseh’s band yet now many centuries later, this tribe seems to have become “Custer’s Band.”

One tribal official told me that Native American culture and spirituality was not important to his people. My son asked me to sing a Lakota song which was really a prayer but this Eastern Shawnee tribal official took offense to it though the meeting was “traditionally” opened up with the Lord’s Prayer. I guess somewhere there must be a “traditional” Bible too but I have not seen it.

How many centuries of bad choices produced such minimal blood? My ex-husband requested information as to a breakdown of the amount of blood for each tribal member without their names or dates of birth or other personal information, however the administration was apparently so ashamed of the low blood quantum that they would not release this information.

I went to a council meeting full of angry, seething hostile white people. Approximately 95% of their gaming employees were whites, some with an openly arrogant attitude of entitlement who were allowed to speak vehemently and disrespectfully against my ex-husband who is an elder. When hateful white people and non-tribal members feel so empowered to take over a Business Committee meeting, it is a great injustice and an attack on what is Indian.

Ultimately, the lone Indian won this battle. The Business Committee begrudgingly passed the resolution to adopt an Indian preference policy. As a result, my ex-husband is loved by some and hated by those who fought tooth and nail against this law. My children tell me that they have become the “Indian outcasts” in a white man’s tribe.

If tribes have a ridiculously low blood quantum, an almost all white work force in their gaming and other industries and look down upon Native American culture, language and religion and say they are non- priorities, aren’t these tribes essentially telling Congress that they are business corporations, not Indian tribes? If so, how long will it be before Congress justifiably terminates such tribes?

My own tribe, the Oglala Sioux Tribe, recently opened up its enrollment. I was told that in short order, Indian women who were shacking up with freeloading illegals rushed to Pine Ridge to fill out tribal enrollment applications for these offspring. One Lakota woman told me her Spaola (Mexican) mate refused to let her teach their sons the Lakota language and he insisted that they learn only Spanish. How arrogant! We don’t need parasites who contribute nothing to our people enjoying the benefits of what our ancestors fought and died to protect.

These people did not fight in any battles or sign any treaties yet they have “bred” their way into our tribal rolls. The tribe of my Grandfather and Great-grandfathers will soon be the object of shame and a haven for illegals hiding from the law.

My Heyoka Grandfather spoke out against the diminishment of our precious bloodline. My Heyoka son carries on the legacy and ideals of my Grandfather. He has a beautiful Native American spouse and I’m proud that they have Native American children. I pray that more will do their part to fight against the bastard children of cultural genocide, acculturation and assimilation.

After all these years, I distinctly remember a sign and attitude at the Kadoka Bar in Kadoka, South Dakota, one of most racist states in the union, which read “No Indians or Dogs Allowed.”

I was reminded of this very attitude when I attended the Eastern Shawnee Business Committee meeting where the Indian preference issue was debated not so long ago. Tribes, take notice. How long will it be before your council fires are taken over by a “No Indians Allowed Tribe”?

Wambli Sina Win (Eagle Shawl Woman) is currently an Associate Professor and Director of the Bacone College Criminal Justice Studies Department in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Her grandfather was John Fire, Chief Lame Deer Tahca Uste, a well known Lakota Holy Man from the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota. One of her sons is also a medicine man. She has served as a Tribal Judge for the Oglala Sioux Tribal Court, as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, a Tribal Attorney and as a legal Instructor for the U.S. Indian Police Academy at Artesia, N.M. You may contact Wambli Sina Win, J.D. at wamblisinawin@yahoo.com She can be reached at wamblisinawin@yahoo.com.

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 Post subject: Re: What does everyone think of this
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:39 pm
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Location: Traditional homeland of the Shawnee
It seems like a shameful attitude. I personally believe that in order to recieve any tribal benifits one must live on the rez. I dont know how much blood one should have. There are those full blood and half bloods who have shunned their people. Yet, I dont think it is strictly about how much blood that makes a person "indian".

Myself, I may only have 10-15%, if that much. Yet, if and when I find out what nation I am related to, I could never brfing myself to apply for any benifits. I dont want them. They should go to those living on the rez. I only want to know who and where I come from.

This whole thing is a complicated subject. I dont think there are any easy answers. Clearly, any employement preferences should go to registered tribal members. As far as the benifits go, perhaps a sliding scale could be used to increase participation in cultural and language. Eligible members would see an increase in benifits by learning the culture and language.

I am only a little piss ant and nobody really cares what I think. I only want the best for each of the native nations. I agree 100% with NDN about thte importance of culture and language. Without knowing the language and culture, how could a person know who he/she is?


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 Post subject: Re: What does everyone think of this
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 2:35 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:28 am
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Location: Rome, Italy
Thank a lot, NDN, for this article...some time ago I found the following article about Blood Quantum and posted it on this forum...


Measuring Blood: The American Indian Blood Quantum

Question: What is a "blood quantum," and why do American Indians argue about it so much?

Well, the way the government defines whether someone is a "real" Indian or not is they measure their blood. They have some arcane way of doing this by dividing the number of generations since all your ancestors were pure-blood by the number of marriages with people who aren't pure-blood. By their counting, I think I'm 7/8 Indian. Some of it is Muskogee, but they don't care about that. They're just trying to see how close we are or are not to white. We argue about this so much because nobody likes it. It's a really bad way to define somebody's culture and almost everyone agrees on that, but everyone can't agree on a better way, so there's a lot of complaining and it doesn't change.

Basically, there are four problems with this. One, it puts pressure on Indians not to marry white people or their children will lose their heritage, and that bothers a lot of people. Two, it means that if some of your ancestors aren't in the records, you can be denied being an Indian. Three, it's wrong for outsiders to tell you if you can or can't belong to an ethnic group. Nobody makes African-Americans prove their entire family line and apply for some governmental Certificate of Degree of African Blood before they can get a scholarship from the NAACP or put "Black-owned" on their business if they want to. And four, most disturbingly: it guarantees the extinction of the American Indian. By this standard, white is the default, and everyone is approaching whiteness. Someone who is 1/8 Indian is considered white, and that is the end of their Indianness-- they are white and their children will be white, forever. On the other hand, I am 1/8 white, but that doesn't mean that's the end of whiteness in my line. It keeps sitting there, just as it has since the 19th century when my white ancestors entered my family. Eventually one of my descendants will marry a white person again and hah! We will be 1/4 white. A person can get more white, but not more Indian. Do you see what I mean? Every generation, there are fewer people this system thinks are full-bloods, and all the blood quantums get smaller.

For my part, I think a mixed-blood Indian is just an Indian. Before white people came here, the tribes all mixed around a lot, and it didn't make anyone's culture disappear. You just belonged where your mother belonged, or, maybe some tribes did it where your father belonged. They didn't have to prove who they were. I'd personally like to see it that way again. But there's a problem with that, and it's resources. Indian tribes don't have a lot of resources now. There is hardly enough money for programs for the people we have. If we let in anybody who wanted to come? It would be very difficult practically. And it would be impossible to get federal money if we couldn't prove anything about blood, and few tribes are wealthy enough to get by without that. And, too, there are complaints from Indians that too much intermarriage and 'passing' and leaving the tribe is making us lose our culture. Certainly it is making us lose our languages. So a lot of people don't want a solution that would encourage more of that. That is why there's disagreement on this issue. Personally, I would rather see five non-Indians get Indian status than one Indian be denied it. Not all Indians agree with that, but it's what I think. The white politicians, of course, want just the opposite.
Actually, the more I think about the non-Indians--or people with very, very tenuous Indian ancestry who know nothing about the culture--trying to be Indians, the more I think it's not so bad. I will admit, I can get very annoyed by wanna-be's. Especially, when I was younger they used to think I knew about drugs, and I could get them magic mushrooms or something. Now they just think I can get them a spirit guide. I guess that's progress. But anyway, my point is this: assimilation has devastated us. They took us and sent us to boarding schools as children to rob us of our languages. They made our religions illegal. They turned our culture into something for history class only. Now, some yuppie white girl finds out she had a Cherokee great-great-great-grandmother, or somebody says she did, and she wants to be a Cherokee. Well, why not? In the past, a lot of Indians had rituals where you could take the place of the dead. So if someone killed my son, maybe he could end our families' fighting by giving me one of his sons, to take the place of the one he killed. Maybe these "wannabes" have come to take the place of what we have lost. Why not accept them? Not make them citizens of our nations, perhaps, but let's take them in and teach them our ways and our languages and help them raise their children to be some of us. Maybe they do have a little bit of Indian blood and it's finding its way back to us. That's what I think. White people assimilated us. Why turn away those who want to assimilate back?

Orrin. (http://www.native-languages.org/blood.htm)


Websites on Native American blood issues:
There's a lot of Internet material on Indian blood quantum and mixedblood issues, here are some representative ones illustrating the problems our communities are facing with native identity today: Indians being disenfranchised or oppressed by blood certificate requirements that are too strict, deceitful non-Indians exploiting requirements that are too lax, mixed-blood people caught in the middle. A really good solution isn't going to come until our nations are empowered enough to make these kinds of decisions ourselves without having to answer to the federal government about it, in my opinion, but that doesn't seem likely to happen under a system that keeps splintering away more of us with every passing year. Catch-22.

- Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood: Here's the legalese from the BIA about how Indian identity is officially certified by the government.
- A Relic Of Racism And Termination: Article on the problematic history of the degree-of-blood test.
- Blood Quantum Petition: Online petition to the BIA calling for an end to blood certificates.
- The Crucible of American Indian Identity: Discussion of sovereignty and mixed-blood issues, with a detailed critique of blood quantum rules.
- Blood Quantum Questionnaire: Compiled responses from Native American respondents on the problems posed by various Indian citizenship strategies.
- Why Blood Quantum Matters, and Why It Shouldn't: Article by a mixed-blood Cherokee on the fallacy of equating blood purity with cultural authenticity.
- Denying Assistance to Mixed Bloods Perpetuates Genocide: Article on the problems faced by urban mixed-race Indians.
- Wannabees and Cultural Appropriation: Links to several sites about cultural theft and exploitation and how this hurts Indian communities.
- Metis: Canada has approached this issue by offering a separate aboriginal status to people of both native and non-native ancestry, known as the Métis. Here is our collection of links about these mixed-race Canadian people.


...Also in this case no easy solutions for Natives...I believe there are two different and opposite risk in this subject: on one side, according to Wambli Sina Win, if blood quantum is too low white people can easily become part of a Tribe and look down upon Native Culture, Language, Religion...It could seem a sort of racism but in my opinion measuring blood is a precious way for Natives (not only in USA, indeed) to mantein their own identity and specificity...On the other side, if blood quantum is too high a lot of people risk to 'become white' even if they have Native blood in their veins...Uhmm...An easy and quick way for Gov to 'cancel' in few generations Native People from US...

And again: I ask myself if blood purity coincides with cultural purity... I'm afraid is not so simple...


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 Post subject: Re: What does everyone think of this
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 4:54 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:09 am
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What I think is:The human being who is natural with all the right intentions,open minded to all views and is willing to share without thinking of himself as a first priority,has become today the crazy individual in the world or in a better expression,"What's wrong with you"!To jump in the same boat and become just like the ones who's thoughts are evil will not bring the answers only the same outcome.The beauty in all this is within ourselves to find out considering the heart and mind working together.The Great Mystery always has more input to this than me.I pray not for myself only for others.


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 Post subject: Re: What does everyone think of this
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 9:44 am 
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..With no disrespect for or to anyone...

Re:Since the beginning of time, many species of the Great Mystery’s creation, the two legged and four legged, naturally and aggressively protected their bloodline to ensure that their species would not become extinct. Have you ever seen a wild buffalo on its own, seek out another species with which to mate when there are other wild buffalo around?

Human beings are all the same species...From the beginning...You forget who you are!

Re:If the buffalo have sense enough to stay with its own kind, why is it so difficult for our young Lakota men and women to marry and have children with other Lakota to protect our cultural integrity and to preserve our bloodline from being bred out of us?

Bloodline...This talk is another, white wave..A bloodline is a trail of tears...you have melted your own eyes shut..Forgetting that your selected "CULT"ure is choice..not through blood ..Speaking like this is against One Oyate.

Re:Today it’s easy to laugh at tribes who enroll those with ridiculously low blood quantum and it seems that everything is being done to be “accommodating” and to make our tribes non-Indian. It takes courage and leadership to take steps to protect our bloodline. Enrollment based on ancestry or descendancy has to be eliminated to keep us from extinction.

To enroll is only a census for the government to know who and how many.

Re:It is only right that economic benefits reflect the blood quantum with full bloods receiving the maximum benefits. One who is 1/100th should receive benefits in accordance with this minimal blood. This was a choice by the minimum blood’s ancestors to breed the Indian blood out and to diminish the bloodline.

You can not breed a human out by another human..

I could go on and on with this piece..For the reality of who you truly are has been lost here...
All need move forward with knowledge gained..
..Organized religions which are "cult"ures.. believes in a will of a great Spirit.,,,,Great Spirit is not a Denomination.,,It is mans competition for great Spirits will, that has created the battle for great spirits Identification and "Cult"ures created...You are all One race..Earthlings because this is your home star,where you were created..Do not deny your brothers&sisters who have your cultural hearts...From a great Mother Spirit as she warned YOU..Man can destroy himself by his own thoughts....


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 Post subject: Re: What does everyone think of this
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:43 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:28 am
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Location: Rome, Italy
".....it guarantees the extinction of the American Indian. By this standard, white is the default, and everyone is approaching whiteness. Someone who is 1/8 Indian is considered white, and that is the end of their Indianness-- they are white and their children will be white, forever....."

If this is the future of Humanity, if this is the One Oyate we are talking about...well I will continue to fight against this type of assimilation for the rest of my life......as I have been fighting since I was 15...


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 Post subject: Re: What does everyone think of this
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:26 am 
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Flip asks...."Without knowing the language and culture, how could a person know who he/she is?"


Dear Flip...The core of whom one is..never changes..You know who you are by what is in your heart...Being Indian is not by defined by a bloodline nor by labels..


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 Post subject: Re: What does everyone think of this
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 5:32 am 

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Location: Rome, Italy
Standing Bear said: 'As a child I understood how to live, I have forgotten this grace since I have become civilized.'


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 Post subject: Re: What does everyone think of this
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 7:40 am 

Joined: Mon May 24, 2010 7:12 am
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eloisa .... see what they write .... i know you have come to understand that many of us that are indian by DNA and blood fight against this "romantic" image that dominant society has conjoured up about us. They read to many books and watch to many movies .... we may be human beings as bearpaw says .... but we are still a race of people set aside that are different because we were made different...the same as blacks and hispanics .... wonder why all these people only want to be "indians at heart" .... go figure


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 Post subject: Re: What does everyone think of this
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 8:29 am 
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To:Dear Ones..by:
ndnhorseman wrote:
eloisa .... see what they write .... i know you have come to understand that many of us that are indian by DNA and blood fight against this "romantic" image that dominant society has conjoured up about us. They read to many books and watch to many movies .... we may be human beings as bearpaw says .... but we are still a race of people set aside that are different because we were made different...the same as blacks and hispanics .... wonder why all these people only want to be "indians at heart" .... go figure



We are not made different as all people came from the same beginning..it is proven Science as to why we are of different colors etc..We here are Indian by bloodline,enrollment with not one but two tribes and our hearts will speak not but the truth..The only differences are cultures, that each chooses to live...There are Indians and there are white eyes..color of skin means nothing ..All peoples come from one beginning bloodline..People are living in the illusions they create ..which are nothing but labels.


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 Post subject: Re: What does everyone think of this
PostPosted: Fri Jun 17, 2011 2:50 pm 
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Location: Traditional homeland of the Shawnee
Bearpaw wrote:
Flip asks...."Without knowing the language and culture, how could a person know who he/she is?"


Dear Flip...The core of whom one is..never changes..You know who you are by what is in your heart...Being Indian is not by defined by a bloodline nor by labels..


To a degree I have to agree with that statement. My birth cert says I am white, but my heart is not. The natiion I am related to is a mystery to me but one day I shall find the answer as to which one.

Without knowing the culture and language you are born to, leaves a void in your heart and spirit, this I know all too well. By nature, your culture and language are a big part of defining who and what you are. IF we dont know our culture and languages, then the "fat takers" would have won in every way. That is called assimilation, the same thing as cultural genocide. To make out ancestors more easily assimilated into the white culture, they deprived our children of our religions, languages ane cultures. The children forced into the boarding schools, were beaten for speaking their native languages, practicing their religions, and for acting like indian.

Culture, language and religion is what makes us who and what we are as a whole. The Mandan culture, language and religion
is extinct. Are there still Mandan around? Of course, but as a, people as a culture, they are extinct, because of the loss of language and religion. There are a handfull who can trace their roots to the Mandan, but they are an extinct nation. This is why it is so important to perserve all native languages and traditions. We dont want to be white people in any form.

Here in amerika we know black people are african. Can any of them tell us they are Hutu, Tutsi, Mandinka, or Zulu? No, their cultures and languages and religions were beaten out of them for several generations. They have long ago lost their tribal identy. So now they are amerikan, not the nations they would have been born to. If the many nations who still have tribal identies fail to pass on the languages, cultures and traditions, in another generation or two, we will be no different than the black amerikans. We would be indian in name only, everything else would be lost. Blood is important, but no less important than language, tradition and culture.


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 Post subject: Re: What does everyone think of this
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:36 am 

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African American slaves were brought to America from the modern day countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia. Only the Mandinka are from West The Hutu and Tutsi are from Rwanda and Burundi and that is in Central Africa. Zulus are from South Africa (Sanibonani - hello everyone like "Ha me ta koo wape ...") There's no way African Americans are Zulu. It doesn't matter, the point is they have lost their culture as you are in danger of losing yours.

Nonetheless, this forum is informative as I have much to learn about American Indians and that they are not all the Plains Indians nor do they all have long, flowing black hair.

The "Indianess" of someone is quite a hard thing for outsiders to understand. I suppose it is much more than what one looks like.


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 Post subject: Re: What does everyone think of this
PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 6:40 pm 

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ablg234 wrote:
African American slaves were brought to America from the modern day countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia. Only the Mandinka are from West The Hutu and Tutsi are from Rwanda and Burundi and that is in Central Africa. Zulus are from South Africa (Sanibonani - hello everyone like "Ha me ta koo wape ...") There's no way African Americans are Zulu. It doesn't matter, the point is they have lost their culture as you are in danger of losing yours.

Nonetheless, this forum is informative as I have much to learn about American Indians and that they are not all the Plains Indians nor do they all have long, flowing black hair.

The "Indianess" of someone is quite a hard thing for outsiders to understand. I suppose it is much more than what one looks like.


Being a black man I actually agree with this statement. Our peoples are fundamentally different. How much blood is enough is up to the individual tribes. I do not think that the issue is irrelevant however. Many non-indigenous who have lived among other people and cultures for nearly a hundred years often attempt to return to where they are not wanted. I can see this being a key issue in Native American tribal Rez policy. The painful truth is that many natives who have been separated from their culture for an extended period of time may not be wanted back on the Rez, just like my people are not wanted back in Africa. I consider the Brown-Black man of the Americas to be of a different race than the Blue-Blacks of Africa. I fear this too may be the same fate for many disillusioned natives living off the reservation. I can feel that the indigenous will make a revival, and how exactly the issue of race and blood quantum will be interpreted no one knows.


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 Post subject: Re: What does everyone think of this
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:15 am 

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Location: Rome, Italy
Here below another interesting opinion....


Heart of colonialism bleeds Blood Quantum
By Roy Cook
(http://www.americanindiansource.com)

The question of who's really an American Indian, what with the variation in blood quantum requirements from tribe to tribe, is confusing enough, and it's mostly because the Federal government has a long history of meddling, claiming the right to tell Indian people who they are and who they ought to be.

Blood Quantum is the total percentage of your blood that is tribal native due to bloodline. All of the Nations use Blood Quantum as a requirement for membership. Usually this is detailed on a CDIB (Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood) Card issued by the United States Government. Additionally, many of the Nations have other requirements for Membership.

As to how it affects you, that is a matter of some debate. Some Native Americans will never recognize you as "Indian" unless you are an enrolled member of a Federally Recognized Tribe, Band, or Nation. Others will recognize you as "Indian" if you are making an honest effort to reconnect with your own ancestral culture.

Today over three hundred American Indian tribes (excluding Alaskan villages) in the United States are by treaty or executive order recognized by the federal government and receive services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. There are additionally some 125 to 150 groups seeking federal recognition, and dozens of others that might do so in the future.

Let us look at these issues from a traditional and political viewpoint. Non-federally recognized tribes have been around for a long time. In fact, ALL tribes were non-federally recognized until the Continental Congress began to negotiate treaties with some Native nations in the 1770s. But the new U.S. federal government chose to concentrate its attention upon nations found west of the Appalachians or in Florida, ignoring virtually every tribe located within the core boundaries of the original thirteen states. The eastern tribes were left to flounder in a sea of neglect, racism, and ambiguity, in spite of the new federal Constitution that established federal supremacy over "commerce" with the tribes. Historically this clearly documents that the original Native American traditional culture is to be Non-federally recognized. Ironic how political definitions get turned around to suit current generations?

The issue of sovereignty is at the heart of current disputes over the opening of casinos by Native communities. It is generally conceded that federally recognized tribes possess a residue of sovereignty (self-rulership/government), which enables them to use their land base in self-determined ways not subject to state laws (except in certain cases). However, it is not generally recognized that state-recognized tribes, which possess reserved lands (formerly known as "Indian towns" and later as reservations), also are likely to possess the same degree of sovereignty as federally recognized tribes.

Another factor involves our country's "love affair" with racism and stereotyping, a factor, which very much affects most eastern tribes (though not all). Tragically, non-tribal people have come to believe that Native Americans should physically resemble the Sioux or Navajos seen on television, or the Italians playing Indians in old Western movies. Our contemporary schoolbooks and films do not explain to the public that eastern Native communities were often places of refuge in the colonies and states, places where the laws of racial segregation did not apply.

From New England to Florida most Native tribes provided homes for persons of mixed white and Native, Black and Native, and other combinations of ancestry. As a result many eastern Indians began to partially resemble African-Americans (and, indeed, large numbers of African-Americans have American racial ancestry in any case, from the Caribbean as well as from the United States itself). This presents a challenge, then, for white people obsessed with stereotypes. They might be willing to accept a white-Indian mixed person as an Indian, but their racial sensitivity balks at recognizing a person of part-African appearance. Things have not changed all that much in two centuries!

The 1990 U.S. Census reported the largest number of Native Americans in the states of Oklahoma, California, Arizona, and New Mexico. The census also indicated that slightly over half of Native Americans live in urban areas; cities with the largest Native American populations are New York, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Tulsa, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Anchorage, and Albuquerque. Around one-fourth of American Indians in the United States live on 278 reservations (or pueblos or rancherias) or associated "tribal trust lands," according to the census.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has used a "blood quantum" definition—generally, one-fourth degree of American Indian "blood"—and/or tribal membership to recognize a person as an American Indian. However, each tribe has a particular set of requirements, typically including a blood quantum, for membership (enrollment) in the tribe. Requirements vary widely from tribe to tribe: a few tribes require at least a one-half Indian (or tribal) blood quantum; many others require a one-fourth blood quantum; still others, generally in California and Oklahoma, require a one-eighth, one-sixteenth, or one-thirty-second blood quantum; and some tribes have no minimum blood quantum requirement at all but require an explicitly documented tribal lineage.

Recently, December 16, 2003, a Southwest Tribe made headlines when it announced that 50 Percent Isleta Blood Needed To Stay In Tribe. Dozens of people who spent their whole lives thinking they were members of the Isleta Pueblo are finding out they are not. People on the Pueblo have been getting letters telling them they have to have 50 percent Isleta blood to be part of the tribe. The letters they received say that people can challenge them if they fill out a family tree proving their heritage.

Also in Southern California,2/03/ 2004, Tribal power is exercised to fulfill political goals.

"Tribes — as sovereign nations — are shielded from lawsuits filed against them. Velie, however, contends that individuals are not protected by sovereign immunity when they act outside the authority granted to them by the tribe.

The plaintiffs allege that the committee members violated Pechanga Band law and imposed standards above those required by the Pechanga Constitution by launching disenrollment proceedings against them. The lawsuit also accuses the committee members of trying to increase their own portions of casino profits by diminishing the number of tribal members eligible for profit-sharing payments.

The plaintiffs trace their family line back to Manuel Miranda, granddaughter of Pablo Apish, the Pechanga headman who received a 2,223-acre land grant from California Gov. Pio Pico in 1845.

The committee members maintain that Miranda, who was half Pechanga according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, moved off the reservation and cut her ties to the tribe 80 years ago. As a result, they are now demanding additional documentation of linear descent from the disputed members, most of whom have enjoyed full membership rights for 25 years."

History is being rewritten across the Americas in this new millennium. Native Americans (peoples marginalized by modernity) are perfectly capable of defending themselves; you don't have to do it for them. Written history is a seriously overrated Enlightenment construction. Most peoples have lived without for most times. Written history is used to justify political and social power. Western civilization thought seems to be arguing that mythic histories, epics, folk-knowledge and non-historicized versions of the past open up possibilities for thinking. Utopian thinking is the only response possible when you have destroyed all other possibilities for thinking the past when history has become the only legitimate resource for accessing the past. This situation has come to dominate Western societies experience of the past. The west has destroyed its past outside history.

The post-industrial, Pan-Indian Movement emerged in 1977 when the Haudenosaunee, and Indians from North and South America, presented their Great Law of Peace to the United Nations, with a warning that Western civilization, through the process of colonialism, was destroying the earth's ability to renew her. They recommended the development of liberation technologies, which would be anti-colonial, or self-sustaining, and the development of liberation theologies. A liberation theology will develop in people a consciousness that all life on the earth is sacred and that the sacredness of life is the key to human freedom and survival (Akwesasne Notes 1978: basic call to consciousness). The Peacemaker argued not for the establishment of law and order, but for the full establishment of peace, and universal justice.

In 1978, Indians walked from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., this trek was called The Longest Walk. The outcome of this walk was the Native American Freedom of Religion Act. During this walk participants were taught spiritual wisdom. The spiritual leaders got together and worked out ceremonies that did not conflict with any one Indian Nation's spiritual beliefs. Many Indian Nations are forbidden, by prophecy, to share their specific religious beliefs, even with other Indians, and with members of their own tribe who are less than full bloods. A Lakota spiritual leader had a vision that the colors black, red, yellow and white, our sacred colors, stood for the four races. The Lakota offered their Sweat Lodge ceremony and the Sweat Lodge has become the most widely spread ceremony in Pan- Indians. It was in the Lakota Sweat Lodge that we first learned to pray for all my relations.

After the Longest Walk the Lakota Sun Dance extended to California at D-Q University at Davis. Many of the Indians who had been on the Longest Walk, participated in that Sun Dance. Now, reportedly, there has been another vision of Buffalo Calf Woman turning into buffalo of the four sacred colors. This has served to bolster the idea that the Red Road is for everyone.

The Pan-Indian movement is made up of all four races, but the largest contingency are non-federally recognized Indians, primarily urban, who are desperately clinging to their Indian identity. These people are not white, although some white people do also Sun Dance, they are very much in the minority, and are usually related to or have married into Indian families. Many Mixed Bloods (with less than 1/4 from a single tribe), because the federal government no longer recognizes them as Indians, even though they may have 100% Indian blood, do not come under the jurisdiction of the BIA or Tribal councils, so their rights to the Bill of Rights have not been abrogated. Nationhood implies conformity with international human rights ethics. Ethnic cleansing is a violation of human rights.

Indians ceded their land to the government by Treaty. A Treaty is an international contract. Contracts are the crux of Western civilization. It is unconscionable in today's world to deny a whole group of people the fulfillment of their contracts solely on the basis of race.

To understand the current USA mis-adventure in Iraq, look a little closer to home. Keetowah Cherokee Ward Churchill book Struggle for the Land excerpts lay bare a devastating account of land robbery and genocide against the Native American peoples in North America, from the earliest days of the Republic. Racism, disdain, and greed for Native American lands drove 13 small British colonies to break away from England. In Struggle for the Land, the earlier of these two books, Churchill clarifies that "independence" from England was little more than King George's giving up his "option" to buy native lands which he had by virtue of the "right of discovery." Likewise, the Louisiana Purchase was acquiring from Napoleon the right to purchase land from Indians. As a rogue rebellion looking for Nationhood, our earliest legal documents from the 1820s endeavored to legitimize the United States by treating Indians as sovereign nations with whom we (USA) would enter into treaties. "Legally speaking," quotes Churchill from one such document, "so long as a tribe exists and remains in possession of its lands, its title and possession are sovereign and exclusive."

But of course it was not to be. Chief Justice John Marshall, who had received 10,000 acres in grants west of the Appalachians in return for fighting in the Revolutionary War, declared, invoking an obscure Norman law, that the land was "vacant" and therefore Euro-American deeds were legitimate. By 1832, he was declaring that all natives were "subordinate" to the U.S., a simple statement of colonialism, before the genocide of Western tribes had even begun. Marshall went even further and declared that natives "committed aggression" when they attempted to regain control of their land.

In 1823, the Christian Doctrine of Discovery was quietly adopted into U.S. law by the Supreme Court in the celebrated case, Johnson v. McIntosh (8 Wheat. 543). Writing for a unanimous court, Chief Justice John Marshall observed that Christian European nations had assumed "ultimate dominion" over the lands of America during the Age of Discovery, and that - upon "discovery" - the Indians had lost "their rights to complete sovereignty, as independent nations," and only retained a right of "occupancy" in their lands. In other words, Indians nations were subject to the ultimate authority of the first nation of Christendom to claim possession of a given region of Indian lands. [Johnson:574; Wheaton:270-1]

According to Marshall, the United States - upon winning its independence in 1776 - became a successor nation to the right of "discovery" and acquired the power of "dominion" from Great Britain. [Johnson:587-9] Of course, when Marshall first defined the principle of "discovery," he used language phrased in such a way that it drew attention away from its religious bias, stating that "discovery gave title to the government, by whose subject, or by whose authority, the discovery was made, against all other European governments." [Johnson:573-4] However, when discussing legal precedent to support the court's findings, Marshall specifically cited the English charter issued to the explorer John Cabot, in order to document England's "complete recognition" of the Doctrine of Discovery. [Johnson:576] Then, paraphrasing the language of the charter, Marshall noted that Cabot was authorized to take possession of lands, "notwithstanding the occupancy of the natives, who were heathens, and, at the same time, admitting the prior title of any Christian people who may have made a previous discovery." [Johnson:577]

In other words, the Court affirmed that United States law was based on a fundamental rule of the "Law of Nations" - that it was permissible to virtually ignore the most basic rights of indigenous "heathens," and to claim that the "unoccupied lands" of America rightfully belonged to discovering Christian European nations. Of course, it's important to understand that, as Benjamin Munn Ziegler pointed out in The International Law of John Marshall, the term "unoccupied lands" referred to "the lands in America which, when discovered, were 'occupied by Indians' but 'unoccupied' by Christians." [Ziegler:46]

Ironically, the same year that the Johnson v. McIntosh decision was handed down, founding father James Madison wrote: "Religion is not in the purview of human government. Religion is essentially distinct from civil government, and exempt from its cognizance; a connection between them is injurious to both."

This type of legal history is the foundation for Churchill's devastating critique of U.S. government policies toward indigenous peoples in the United States. Struggle for the Land is a series of precise, factual case studies of, for example, the Iroquois efforts to reclaim their land in upstate New York (the entire city of Syracuse is on native land), and the Lakota refusal to accept any amount of money for the Black Hills. One of the most important facts in the book, though, is that Hitler used the United States treatment of Indians as a model for his genocide. Consequently in 1946, as the United States was preparing to sit in judgment on the Nazis at Nuremberg, the Indian Claims Commission Act was passed in order to provide a new veneer of legal rights to Indians, ostensibly giving them the right to sue for lost land if claims were based on "fraud, duress, unconscionable consideration, mutual or unilateral mistake," which, of course, they were.

In another section, Churchill describes the "radioactive colonization" of native land (i.e., the pursuit of mining rights for uranium (60 percent lies on native reservations), and oil and gas (20 percent on native reservations). Ninety percent of mining takes place on native land. In one concise chart, Churchill outlines 33 different corporations who have leases in areas in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. There are more than 5,000 in the Black Hills alone. Locally, the Hanford plutonium plant leaks toxins from storage tanks into the fishing grounds of the Columbia River Yakima, leading to illness, sickened, malformed and dead fish, and a host of other problems.

The funds from leases are kept in "trust" by the government, and, of course, the tribes see little of them. This Northern Plains Lady, Elouise Cobell, is bringing the issue to the light of day in court. This is an excerpt from an article in 2004 Blackfeet Reservation Development Fund, Inc.

"When I went to Washington on a hot, sultry June day in 1996 to file a lawsuit over the billions of dollars of trust funds that the government had lost, misplaced and otherwise grossly mismanaged for hundreds of thousands of American Indians, I had no idea I would still be in court seven years later.

Yet today, after three Cabinet secretaries have been held in contempt by a federal judge and after four lengthy trials and a successful defense on appeal of our claims on the merits, the federal government has failed to clean up the trust records. It cannot certify the accuracy of a single one of the estimated 500,000 current individual Indian trust accounts.

That's the sad bottom line on how the federal government has continued to treat the nation's first citizens.

All I and three other Indians are asking the government to do is account for the tens of millions of acres of land the government forced into trust and to account for and distribute -- to the proper trust beneficiaries -- the correct amount of funds it received and invested from the leases it arranged for timber sales and for oil, gas, minerals and grazing rights on Indian trust lands in the West.

I may not be a lawyer, but I was a small-town banker in Montana. I know that the most basic of duties of any trustee is to account for all trust assets, including the funds they hold for the beneficiaries.

Unfortunately, the commissioner of the Bureau of Public Debt, a senior Treasury Department official, testified in our case that the United States has used our trust funds to reduce the national debt.

But no one knows how much of our money was used to reduce the debt load of this country or how many years the U.S. government used our trust money for these and other important government purposes, such as building dams and major power projects in the West.

We hope an accounting will finally tell the true story of how the government has used Individual Indian Trust funds for more than 100 years. And, we also hope that we will learn what really happened to 40 million acres of Individual Indian Trust land that simply vanished, according to the testimony of the head of Interior's Office of Historical Accounting.

Seven years later, Interior Secretary Gale Norton, the government's trustee-delegate for the nation's first citizens, has done nothing to provide us answers to this and other important trust accounting issues.

Why the delay? Why the deception? Why the disdain for the obligations Norton owes to hundreds of thousands of Individual Indian Trust beneficiaries, many of whom live in Washington state?

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and others have said it's because Indians lack political clout in the nation's capital. Any other interest group would have had this problem resolved immediately, McCain has said. There is no dispute about the evidence. Study after study has warned Congress that our trust funds were being horribly managed by the Department of Interior. Billions of dollars are missing.

In 1989, the Senate Special Committee on Investigations found that "fraud and corruption pervade" the Interior Department. The General Accounting Office warned both Republican and Democratic administrations for years that this is a very serious problem.

In 1994, Congress ordered Interior to account for the missing funds. Nothing happened.

So we Indians did what others similarly situated would have done. We turned to the courts for help to straighten out an obdurate and dishonest executive and an uninterested Congress.

Since we filed our suit, we have won several significant victories. In 1999, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth declared the government breached its trust responsibilities to us and ordered the interior secretary and the treasury secretary to provide us a complete accounting of all trust assets, including the revenues generated from our trust lands since the creation of the Individual Indian Trust in 1887. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia unanimously agreed with Lamberth and found that the interior secretary had engaged in "malfeasance" and has unduly delayed the accounting, causing irreparable harm to all of us.

The government's record as trustee for Indians is "a long and sorry story," Lamberth declared. "... It is fiscal and governmental irresponsibility in its purest form."

Tough words, to be sure -- but they are utterly meaningless unless Norton is compelled to do what she is required to do by law.

Continuing to rely on the good faith of the interior secretary is an exercise in futility. We can settle this case, but the government first must participate in settlement talks with integrity, something they have refused to do for the seven years this case has been litigated.

It must stop hiding behind disingenuous excuses, defending the indefensible and protecting incompetent and dishonest officials.

Any settlement must be fair and just to make Indians whole for monies that have been collected by the United States for 116 years.

It is, after all, our money. It is our property right." Elouise Cobell is making history.

Churchill explains step by step the attempted genocide of indigenous cultures. Just a few of the techniques were preemptive and deceptive leases: the General Allotment Act, which replaced collective ownership with individual ownership; the forced change in indigenous government to the Tribal Council (modeled like a corporate board); the 1956 Relocation Act, intended to force indigenous peoples to move to slums in cities, etc. In 1953, the United States attempted to unilaterally dissolve 109 indigenous nations in its borders. By 1990, more than half of all Indians were no longer on their land bases. But rather than completely obliterate native entities, the U.S. government decided to keep them alive and restructure their government into an entity which could be a signer to negotiations for mineral leases. "Native nations were cast as always being sovereign enough to legitimate Euro American mineral exploitation on their reservations," writes Churchill, "never sovereign enough to prevent it."

For the purpose of enriching the few, hypocrisy, lies, and lawbreaking have been the basis of United States' policies toward indigenous peoples from its founding years. So of course we are still doing it today. We are simply operating on a different continent.

Native Americans today are distributed unevenly throughout North America, a reflection more of events following European arrival than of aboriginal patterns. The 1990 U.S. Census reported the largest number of Native Americans in the states of Oklahoma, California, Arizona, and New Mexico. The census also indicated that slightly over half of Native Americans live in urban areas; cities with the largest Native American populations are New York, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Tulsa, Los Angeles, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Anchorage, and Albuquerque. Around one-fourth of American Indians in the United States live on 278 reservations (or pueblos or rancherias) or associated "tribal trust lands," according to the census. The largest of these is the Navajo Reservation, with 143,405 Native Americans and 5,046 non-Indians living there in 1990. Around 60 percent of the Native American population of Alaska lives in "Alaska Native Villages."

The twentieth-century population increase for Native Americans reflected in successive U.S. Census figures was also due to changes in the U.S. Census Bureau's definition of Native American. Since 1960 the Census Bureau has relied on self-identification to ascertain a person's race. Much of the increase in the American Indian population—from 523,591 in 1960 to 792,730 in 1970 to 1.37 million in 1980 to 1.9 million (including Eskimos and Aleuts) in 1990—resulted from persons not identifying themselves as American Indian in an earlier census but identifying themselves as such in a later census. It has been estimated, for example, that as much as 60 percent of the apparent population growth of American Indians from 1970 to 1980 may be accounted for by such changing identifications! The political mobilization of American Indians in the 1960s and 1970s, along with other ethnic-pride movements, may have lifted some of the stigma attached to an American Indian racial identity. This would be especially true for persons of mixed ancestry who formerly had declined to disclose their American Indian background. Conversely, persons with minimal American Indian background may have identified as American Indian out of a desire to affirm a "romanticized" notion of being American Indian.

Today over three hundred American Indian tribes (excluding Alaskan villages) in the United States are legally recognized by the federal government and receive services from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. There are additionally some 125 to 150 groups seeking federal recognition, and dozens of others that might do so in the future. The Bureau of Indian Affairs has used a "blood quantum" definition—generally, one-fourth degree of American Indian "blood"—and/or tribal membership to recognize a person as an American Indian. However, each tribe has a particular set of requirements, typically including a blood quantum, for membership (enrollment) in the tribe. Requirements vary widely from tribe to tribe: a few tribes require at least a one-half Indian (or tribal) blood quantum; many others require a one-fourth blood quantum; still others, generally in California and Oklahoma, require a one-eighth, one-sixteenth, or one-thirty-second blood quantum; and some tribes have no minimum blood quantum requirement at all but require an explicitly documented tribal lineage.

Tribes located on reservations have generally required higher degrees of blood quantum for membership than those not located on reservations. This pattern of requiring low percentages of Indian "blood" for tribal membership and relying on federal authorities to certify membership may be seen as a reflection of demographic decline. As the number of American Indians was reduced and American Indians came into increased contact with whites, blacks, and others, American Indian peoples increasingly married non-Indians. As a result, American Indians have had to rely on formal certification from the federal government as proof of their "Indianness."

In the early 1980s the total membership of the three hundred recognized U.S. tribes was about 900,000. Therefore, many of the 1.37 million persons identifying themselves as American Indian in the 1980 census were not actually enrolled members of federally recognized tribes. In fact, only about two-thirds were. In the late 1980s the total tribal membership was around 1 million; hence, only about 53 percent of the 1.9 million people identifying themselves as American Indian in the 1990 census were actually enrolled. Such discrepancies have varied considerably from tribe to tribe. Most of the 158,633 Navajos enumerated in the 1980 census and the 219,198 enumerated in the 1990 census were enrolled in the Navajo Nation; however, only about one-third of the 232,000 Cherokees enumerated in the 1980 census and of the 308,132 enumerated in the 1990 census were actually enrolled in one of the three Cherokee tribes (the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians [of North Carolina], and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians of Oklahoma). Thus the Navajo Nation is the American Indian tribe with the largest number of enrolled members, but more persons identifying themselves as Native American identified themselves as Cherokee in the 1980 and 1990 censuses than did persons of any other tribe. The two other largest groups in the 1990 census were the Chippewas, or Ojibwas, (103,826) and the Sioux (103,255).

Similarities and differences exist in Canada. Officially, to be an Indian in Canada, one must be registered under the Indian Act of Canada; a person with Indian ancestry may or may not be registered. Categories of Canadian Indians include "status" or registered Indians, persons registered under the act; and "non-status" or non-registered Indians, persons who either never registered or gave up their registration and became enfranchised. Status Indians may be further divided into treaty or non-treaty Indians, depending on whether their group ever entered into a treaty relationship with the Canadian government. Of the 575,000 American Indians in Canada in the mid-1980s, some 75,000 were non-registered and some 500,000 were registered.

In conclusion a recent article on Native American colonization by John C. Mohawk in Indian Country Today summarizes these issues best.

Most of the indigenous peoples of the Americas (and all in Canada and the U.S.) faced a very serious reality. In their country, the invaders outnumbered the indigenous, sometimes by hundreds to one. They were not going to go back home. In addition, their stated goal was the eradication of the indigenous nations as nations by eroding all of the elements that make a distinct people a people: their history, their languages, their laws and customs. It took quite a while and a lot of boarding schools, missionaries, and corrupt public officials but the process - being colonized - has had an impact. When an individual loses his or her memory, they cannot recognize other people, they become seriously disoriented, and they don’t know right from wrong. Sometimes they hurt themselves. Something similar happens when a people become colonized. They can’t remember who they are because they are a people without a common history. It’s not that they don’t have a history, it’s just that they don’t know what it is and it’s not shared among them. Colonization is a kind of spiritual collapse of the nation. This is one result of a colonial education based on canonical "great books" texts. Indigenous peoples’ histories and cultures are not in those texts, and the life of the nation is not there, either. Identity is important. The colonists were very successful "radicalizing" indigenous identities such that people talk about being 25 percent of this or 40 percent of that, but one does not belong to a nation based on one’s blood quantum. Belonging to an indigenous nation is a way of being in the world. Holding a membership card is not a way of being and money can’t buy it.

Colonization is the greatest health risk to indigenous peoples as individuals and communities. It produces the anomie - the absence of values and sense of group purpose and identity - that underlies the deadly automobile accidents triggered by alcohol abuse. It creates the conditions of inappropriate diet, which lead to an epidemic of degenerative diseases, and the moral anarchy that leads to child abuse and spousal abuse. Becoming colonized was the worst thing that could happen five centuries ago, and being colonized is the worst thing that can happen now.

De-colonization, on the other hand, means many different things to many different peoples. In principle, however, it means undoing the damage of colonization and involves elements such as living traditions and customs, language retention, and an insistence on the right to BE Lakota or Ganienkehaka or O’otam or Tipai or whatever nation it is that people have a right to be.

Sources:
Cherokee Nation v. Georgia 30 U.S. (5 Pet.) 1, 8 L.Ed. 25 (1831).

Davenport, Frances Gardiner, 19l7, European Treaties bearing on the History of the United States and its Dependencies to 1648, Vol. 1, Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Johnson and Graham's Lessee V McIntosh 21 U.S. (8 Wheat.) 543, 5 L.Ed. 681(1823).

Russell Thornton, American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History since 1492 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987);

Russell Thornton, The Cherokees: A Population History (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990);

Douglas H. Ubelaker, American Journal of Physical Anthropology "North American Indian Population Size, a.d. 1500 to 1985," 77 (1988): 289-94.

Rivera-Pagan, Luis N., 1991, "Cross Preceded Sword in 'Discovery' of the Americas," in Yakima Nation Review, 1991, Oct. 4.

Newcomb, Steve. "Five Hundred Years of Injustice." Shaman's Drum. 1992, p. 18-20.

John C. Mohawk, Ph.D., columnist for, Indian Country Today.

Story, Joseph, 1833, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States Vol. 1 Boston: Little, Brown & Co.

Blackfeet Reservation Development Fund, Inc. Cobell vs Norton, 2004.


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 Post subject: Re: What does everyone think of this
PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:26 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 42
Location: Rome, Italy
A lot of people only want to be 'Indians at heart'...because 'hearts will speak not but the truth'...'color of skin means nothing'...I have cogitated for a very long time about this type of statements, attempting to comprehend their meaning....
But what does 'be Indian at heart' mean if you are loosing your culture, your traditions, your religion, your language, your spirituality, your bloodline?....
Do you know are there schools in USA in which Indians boys are obliged to cut their hair? Do you know are ther schools in USA in which an Indian boy can't wear a t-shirt with the traditional colours and symbols of his tribe?
American Gov is stil attempting to destroy Native Cultures with a perseverance and capillarity that, for me, has no precedents in the Human History. Be Indians means think, feel and LIVE as Indian...if you can't live your culture and traditions you risk to wake up a morning and find your heart has become white, as your skin.....
I don't think color of skin means nothing: I have too much respect for Native People to affirm I'm Indian in my heart...

Probably I'm wrong...please help me to understand.


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 Post subject: Re: What does everyone think of this
PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:54 pm 

Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 2:10 pm
Posts: 81
Eloisa you wrote so much I couldn't even read lol. But my point is, let’s be honest, blood does matter. It matters because it symbolizes the struggles of our past, and the way towards our futures. Do I think there should be a distinct limit on blood? Maybe, I can't determine that. Does purity matter? No, purity and perfection is a myth. Half of the people who killed Jews during WWII had Jewish ancestry that went back further than they could trace, this is a fact. The point is, I don't think Natives in North America can achieve the fanciful purity that their new agers dreamers desire. However, at the same time, if you were born white, then you are white, if you were born black you are black, and if you were born native, be native. People are born with what they have, it is ok to respect a cultural and exchange ideas with that culture, but once the culture becomes such a fixation that ones identity is compromised, then it is time to evaluate ones position in life. That's why I'm saying this Bearpaw, if your white, be white. Stop being ashamed of your culture, learn to respect and correct its downfalls. Be inspired to correct what you see wrong in your culture. That is everyone's purpose, to make sure that their culture and way of life is the best it can be.

This stoic view of perfection you have assigned the natives is not all it seems as well. Just as the past of the white man is complex, so too are the pasts of natives. I am sure natives have their own problems to sort through. Be one less problem and respect your own culture.

Walli


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 Post subject: Re: What does everyone think of this
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:04 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:28 am
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Location: Rome, Italy
Wal, thank you for your answer. I don't like talk about me...I'm not in this forum for this reason...but I have to clarify some points about me:
1 During my life I have spent more than two years in the Rez....So..I haven't any stoic view or romantic view about Natives. Have you ever been in a Rez?....Let me say there is no space for romantic or stoic view just after a little walk of 10 minutes!..And it happened to me when I was just 19. So...I'm not exactly 'a romantic white lady'...!
2 I hate new agers..Nothing to add.
3 I'm proud to be Italian. I'm proud of my ancestors. How could I be ashemed of my culture?....That's very offensive by you.
4 Sorry if I have no the intention to explain here why I'm not christian and why I so deeply love and respect Lakotah Culture: my spiritual path is something so 'private' and difficult that I'd bore a lot of people talking about it...
5 Please, don't tell me 'what I have to be'...


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 Post subject: Re: What does everyone think of this
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 1:32 am 

Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 2:10 pm
Posts: 81
eloisa wrote:
Wal, thank you for your answer. I don't like talk about me...I'm not in this forum for this reason...but I have to clarify some points about me:
1 During my life I have spent more than two years in the Rez....So..I haven't any stoic view or romantic view about Native. Have you ever been in a Rez?....Let me say there is no space for romantic or stoic view just after a little walk of 10 minutes!..And it happened to me when I was just 19. So...I'm not exactly 'a romantic white lady'...!
2 I hate new agers..Nothing to add.
3 I'm proud to be Italian. I'm proud of my ancestors. Ashemed of my culture? That's very funny...
4 Sorry if I have no the intention to explain here why I'm not christian and why I so deeply love and respect Lakotah Culture: my spiritual path is something so 'private' and difficult that I'd bore a lot of people talking about it...
5 Please, don't tell me 'what I have to be'...



Eloisa my statement wasn't even directed towards you. The only thing in my commentary that has to deal with you was how long your previous statement was :lol: . The rest was for Mr. Bearpaw who impersonates a native. I know that you are proud of your culture. Learn to read in between the lines before rallying up for an attack. I've done similar things on the forum. It can't be healthy for a good conversation to occur. It's my fault for not clarifying at the beginning of the statement who I was directing my argument towards. Before this situation escalates any further I have decided to disarm this issue.

And I haven't walked the Rez but I have walked some of the nastiest slums America has to offer. I know a thing or two about living in government created hell holes. I've heard the Rez is even worse than black projects. Which is why I am motivated to go to a reservation and check out everything for my self.


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 Post subject: Re: What does everyone think of this
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:09 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:28 am
Posts: 42
Location: Rome, Italy
Sorry, Wal, for the 'attack'...apparently I should read in between the lines better :)


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 Post subject: Re: What does everyone think of this
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:03 am
Posts: 27
Location: Earth
WalLiDruDumA wrote:
Eloisa you wrote so much I couldn't even read lol. But my point is, let’s be honest, blood does matter. It matters because it symbolizes the struggles of our past, and the way towards our futures. Do I think there should be a distinct limit on blood? Maybe, I can't determine that. Does purity matter? No, purity and perfection is a myth. Half of the people who killed Jews during WWII had Jewish ancestry that went back further than they could trace, this is a fact. The point is, I don't think Natives in North America can achieve the fanciful purity that their new agers dreamers desire. However, at the same time, if you were born white, then you are white, if you were born black you are black, and if you were born native, be native. People are born with what they have, it is ok to respect a cultural and exchange ideas with that culture, but once the culture becomes such a fixation that ones identity is compromised, then it is time to evaluate ones position in life. That's why I'm saying this Bearpaw, if your white, be white. Stop being ashamed of your culture, learn to respect and correct its downfalls. Be inspired to correct what you see wrong in your culture. That is everyone's purpose, to make sure that their culture and way of life is the best it can be.

This stoic view of perfection you have assigned the natives is not all it seems as well. Just as the past of the white man is complex, so too are the pasts of natives. I am sure natives have their own problems to sort through. Be one less problem and respect your own culture.

Walli


First off Wali..We are American Indians..not natives, that name belongs to the blacks in Africa..hows that for how labeling works..For that is what people live by ..isn't it.."Labels".."I AM"..travels around the world doesn't it?...And respect is a given..until it is trodden,by pompous judgmental people..and RE:" Be inspired to correct what you see wrong in your culture"..Live by your own words Wali..Go correct what is wrong in your culture..You were born white weren't you??


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