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Old 08-01-2006, 11:02 PM   #22
DarbyWeaver
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Hmm...

Allow me to speak, if you will...

I'm from Mount Vernon and my family is one of the ones from the "MOWA" Band of Choctaw Indians.

I think a lot of people have been told a lot of things they think based on the information they have received.

124 of us... You have not been to my home lately. My own family just from my own grandfather numbers in the hundreds alone.

My family is joined from 2 of the 4 main families that are mentioned in the book "They Say The Wind is Red".

Not Indian? Perhaps you have not seen a few of the pictures of the my family and kinfolk.

Mixed - I can say a lot are these days. After all a couple of hundered years is a couple of hundred years.

Most of the older generations had large families often with 7 or more children reaching adulthood. My family was one of them.

White or Black or just something in between?

Hmmm...

Let me speak for those in Mount Vernon since I am from there and a bit better versed in our situation.

1. We are not black and have a distinct community that is not black.

2. We are not white and have a distinct community that is not white.

3. Those is neighboring areas call us cajuns, indians, or just "you people or your people".

4. We have suffered and continue to suffer from neglect.

5. We are not from the town of Mount Vernon.

6. We are not from the town of Citronelle.

7. Our community stands alone.

If there is a domestic dispute or any dispute involving weapons or violence. The police quietly wait typically over 30-60 minutes for the gunpowder to settle before they decide to visit and usually call it a simple "family dispute".

I've been there and watched it happen.

We are less than loved by our neighbors. We are impoverished.

I've seen where some people have asked for formal records...

Hahahahah!

We are in the 21st century and we are just now numbering a more than a score of our people who even have a college degree.

30 years ago, there were only a handful.

In 1900 - 1950 or so, most of our folks had to walk more than 5 miles to attend school and as a result many only had a poor 3rd thru 6th grade education.

But it was ok, since we were just poor indians who belonged to a white man and whose only input to society was to get our land stolen for the value less than .50 per acre and for groceries needed to survive at a "Company Store".

But then we did gather turpentine and gather pulp wood etc. as well.

We raised our own crops and animals, drank water from a spring and lived in our own fashion.

We had a few a juke joints and we used them. I guess it kept our minds off of the education we did not have.

Or worrying about our lands being stolen acre by acre from us as we needed a little money to feed the little ones.

I went home this past week.

I listened as a mother told me the story of how a high school principal performed a "cavity search" on her child (a MOWA of dark complexion and straight black hair) and how this child was continuously chastised until he dropped out of school.

She did not finish her own high school education (the only child from her family that did not) and felt her word not as good as a white man's to the school district.

Our people live though this daily and you try to tell us that we are not what we are.

We've paid for our geneology for over 200 years of this type of treatment which continues today.

My own niece who happens to be of a fair complexion and brown eyes, a nice girl of 16 years recently suffered as well from this malice towards our people.

It is a crime.

When I attended high school there, we also had our problems and once had a race riot. There was some blood and there were write-ups about how the indians went on some kind of rampage and scalped the white man. Written by the kindly white folk from Citronelle, no doubt.

Why are we indians when it comes to receiving all of the benefits of racial hatred, malice, and evil?

Why are we not in other cases?

Can someone explain this to me, because I do not understand it so well?

We have not asked for much. This Federal Recognition thing seems to be something that might allow us to get decent medical care, provide education which might lead to better job opportunities.

Today we have a small volunteer fire department. We have no EMS services - many of our people die as a result. That is correct die. Read the obituaries.

The land that was stolen from us, was given to chemical companies. They have poisoned us. We are now dying at the rate of about 1 person per month due to some form carcinogenic.

We have had over a dozen stillbirths, We have at least 4
"waterhead babies" (statistically 1 in 200,000 or so - we only have about 6000 people in our communities).

We have been told about the mercury in our water. We have toxins in our air less than 3-5 miles away from us.

We are in a time of drastic need for something.

So if you want to call us something, call us wretched.

We need the ability to defend ourselves.

We have issues with drugs and alcohol in our community. We need the ability to police ourselves and protect our childern.

We need a lot of the same things, most other communities take for granted.

We've recently been told about the toxins in our drinking water provided by the government.

I heard a lot of things aout the Jena Band and I would advise you look at their story a little closer.

They were not that much different than the MOWA Band.

They just got recongnised a bit quicker than the MOWA Band.

If you need to contact me feel free to do so. I am going to take pictures of some of my folks and it might be worth it to create the family trees of some of them and put it on the Internet so others might get a chance to see firsthand what they are being told and then make their own educated opinion.

We are a handful of communities that are pretty much isolated from the White Folks and the Black Folks. It has always been this way.

To now say we are not what we have always been, is truly a travesty.

Especially from others who would otherwise share our lineage and history.

We are those who did not sign papers and simply walk away. We've stayed and it has not been easy, but we have stayed.

Today, it is difficult to buy any land from our peoples, they simply will not sell to outsiders. It's all we have left and we try to keep it on our families.

Comment if you like.

Darby Weaver
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