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Old 10-27-2003, 12:07 PM   #15
Dezgn8veDriver
Pork chopsh n appleshaush
 
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Silicon, not siliCONE, Valley
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In my opinion, California, although we are the state with the largest Native population with over 300,000, the majority are not from the California tribal communities. Many are relations from the Relocation Program of 1952 and bringing and sharing the pw way of life.

I'm sure you know this already, but in the eyes of US government, some 80 tribes with more than 70,000 California Indians are considered "non-Indians", even though our ancestors roamed California centuries and centuries before the non-Indians arrived. Currently, California has 36 tribes, mind you more than any other state, struggling and fighting for federal recognition, an incredibly slow, costly and very often a futile process for all involved. (Currently, one of my tribes is struggling with this process).

Then we have the issue of tribal identity, who decides who is going to be accepted into the tribe. Who'se "more" Indian? Does going to pws make a person more Indian? Does living on the rez/rancheria make one tribal member more Indian? Some bands of certain tribes are federally recognized, but another band in the SAME tribe is not....does this make them more Indian? What of the 104 recognized tribes not enrolling any new members because they fear it will mean less federal Indian dollars to go around?

I guess what I'm trying to say is, there are handfuls of California Indians but many are secretive in sharing the traditions with 'outsiders', or we do share but only for 'invited guests', or in many cases there's a large group that are Indian by blood but so lost in today's society of "what their Indian identity" is, that all they really have is the pw way of life.

Then you have many who've even been adopted and are learning on their own initiative of "who they may be" and until one can reunite with their birth families, pws are sometimes the only connection. Some are fortunate and blessed to find their families and hopefully learn their traditions and the like, but sadly, many won't.

Sure, I'd like to see more California dances, songs, and even games being shared at the pws, but many times the committees are reluctant to 'change' things. I think this is why "Big Times" work so well for the CA tribes...;)
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