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Old 08-26-2019, 07:42 PM   #334
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joythirstpop is an unknown quantity at this point
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Thank you for your reply! I guess I am really interested in this whole question of where belief and where identity intersect. I can see the importance of identifying as part of a people- for solidarity, strength, responsibility, education, connection. But, and I'm just speaking for conversation's sake- does one have to be part of a people or identify (because of blood?) as part of a people (and, in some cases, be accepted by that people?) in order to feel that they have any place in actually believing any of the beliefs of that people? And if they share in those beliefs, what should discourage them from wanting to participate in a celebration of those beliefs? Again, I'm sure everyone will have a different answer like you said!

I guess maybe using fractions is more traditional, 1/16 is what I know of as my native ancestry from my great great grandfather. My great grandmother, his daughter, is still alive, and I've spent a lot of time with her over my life and she is clearly very native, but doesn't have any tribal membership and has never really shown too much prerogative to want to investigate or participate in anything native more deeply. He said he was cherokee even though he was adopted and I don't think remembered his parents- and I may or may not have actually found his name on the dawes roll but I also know that some people really react negatively out of hand when you mention being cherokee from someone way way back. I guess I've been struggling with this, whether or not to even consider it worth it to pursue a tribal membership, or whether that is necessary or important. Sadly I've lost a lot of ties with that side of the family and I would need birth certificate down the generations etc. And if I were to go all through that and be denied anyways, I think I would feel pretty crappy about it.

I suppose it's a well known struggle! Part of me feels like I don't even deserve to know or participate, I feel very out of place. That's one place where I'm coming from, but I also know there are a lot of fully white people that are desperate to learn and are desperate for any kind of authentic spiritual celebration or community. Maybe in the future there can be more crossover or universality of celebration of the deeper parts / worldview of ALL of the worlds indigenous cultures, in some way that can be accessible to as many people as possible yet still allow for individual diversity and identities to remain and be retained. I think it could potentially be a really great thing for the world if people had a way to celebrate those values and connect with other people who felt the same.

I know there are people trying to revive the older european pagan stuff, but that is really few and far between and most of it doesn't really seem or feel authentic. I try to find celebrations nationally of those types of gatherings and there is really not much to be seen at all, or it'll be mixed with some completely ridiculous stuff (like "steampunk" aficionados?). Powwows on the other hand are all over the place, so more easily attend-able.

I'm not suggesting powwows in and of themselves should ever be repurposed. It just seems like the native peoples would be the strongest and already existing spring board for something like that to ever grow. But, maybe that's totally pipe dreams. I just know people are more isolated than ever, people are starved of authentic spirituality/community, and the environment of our planet is REALLY taking a beating (which for the most part the dominant culture seems to want to ignore) - and people's isolation only contributes to their weakness and inability to properly confront or do something about these problems.

Anyways, thanks again for reading, and thank you for your replies
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