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Old 02-05-2018, 10:13 AM   #10
OLChemist
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I think for some American Natives, the issues with some descendants of Central and South American tribes is the same problem they have with some descendants of North American tribes. It is problematic when folks -- no matter which side the Rio Grande their Native ancestry originates -- invent a culture. Especially when that invention traffics in stereotypes.

Over the years, being a powwow -- uh -- wannabe magnet, I've gotten to know, even like, some these rather lost souls who find or imagine a Native ancestor in the family wood pile. It is really very sad, they don't have any connection their ancestor's culture. Indeed they may not know even what tribe. But, for widely varied reasons they desperately want to be Indian. The problem is they haven't the slightest idea how "be Indian" or even what exactly they are claiming.

Some of these people go on to do the hard work of finding their way back. They become the quiet, humble "white" girl with the mop cleaning the floor after the powwow and driving hundreds of miles a year with Meals on Wheels. Or the electrician that vacations with Habitat for Humanity and helps build desperately needed housing. Or the woman who goes to school and specializes in tribal law, and goes to work for the Dinébe’iiná Náhiiłna be Agha’diit’ahii. They try to serve their people, and thus honor their ancestors.

But a larger fraction of these seize hold of a colorful tribal identity, usually one with lots of movies and library books, and proceed to then invent a culture. Too often what they create is a fun house mirror version of a Native culture. They make themselves medicine people, chiefs, pathfinders, whatever takes their fancy.

Usually their antics are amusing. But, they become anything but funny, when they push their way into the public eye. They misrepresent Native people, which inflicts damaging setback on peoples struggling to emerge from centuries of stereotyping and distortion. Sometimes they pose a direct threat the tribal sovereignty.
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