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Old 10-07-2014, 10:36 PM   #2
banglahopinese
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I feel this needs further clarification. I don't mean to imply that all Native people are unfairly suspicious of others, but this is something that has affected me a lot during my life. For example, at the most recent powwow I went to with my father, I was sitting on the sidelines watching him dance when I noticed an old Native woman glaring at me and shaking her head in disapproval. She whispered to some of the men seated beside her, who looked like elders, then gestured at me. The men looked over at me and narrowed their eyes. I wasn't even dancing or wearing Native regalia; I was just sitting there politely watching my father perform. I felt very embarrassed and turned away.

I wanted to go over and tell them that I had a legitimate reason to be there, that I wasn't just posing or hobbying or trying to steal someone else's traditions, that in fact I have a considerable amount of Hopi blood and was raised in Hopi culture. I also wanted to point out that although I look a bit more Asian than other Native people, all indigenous people of the Americas descended from Central Asia. But I was too shy. This is the type of situation I am referring to when I say, "What can I do to honor my heritage without being immediately shunned and mistrusted by Native people because of the way I look?"
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