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Old 09-10-2011, 03:52 AM   #101
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Hi Natalie. Welcome to the board.

I'm not here to argue your point. I would like to ask your opinion of all the French, Polish, German, Norwegian, (insert country here) who have no ties to NDN blood, but still partake in the Native American culture.

Would you consider these groups 'Native Americans'?

Hope to see you keep posting.
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Why must I feel like that..why must I chase the cat?


"When I was young man I did some dumb things and the elders would talk to me. Sometimes I listened. Time went by and as I looked around...I was the elder".

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Old 09-10-2011, 05:14 AM   #102
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Hello Joe's Dad. Thank you for the welcome. I am very happy to be here. That's a thought provoking question and I hope I can do it justice. I don't have any opinion of the people you mentioned as I don't personally know them but I do have an opinion on the concept of taking part.


I believe a culture is not something you are born with but born into. For that reason I don't believe that taking part in a culture is something that you are or are not "entitled" to on the basis of DNA alone.

No one is born with a complete understanding of the belief systems or moral codes of their community or their region. As we progress through childhood into adulthood we are taught (or we learn the hard way) the cultural expectations that surround us. For that reason I believe that, while most anyone of Anglo Saxon, African or Asian decent can adapt and fit into any culture, whether or not they can fully assimilate is limited by the individual or by the level of acceptance they experience from the natives of the region(no pun intended).
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Old 09-10-2011, 05:25 AM   #103
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Sorry, to your second question, I suppose it depends on the definition of "Native American".

If defined by DNA, then the answer is no. No amount of teaching can change your bloodline magically to erase your DNA and replace it with Native American DNA.

If defined by place of birth, the only way to be "Native American" is to be born on American soil. North or South.

If defined by the ability to embody the wisdom, teachings and belief systems of the Ancestors with purity, then very few who try would be able to call themselves "Native American", not even many of us who currently carry the DNA. So, while it's rare, yes I believe it is possible for someone of non Native American bloodline to earn enough respect to be given the "honorary" title.

I think it's also important to mention the beauty of balance at work here. There are those who follow their hearts and marry outside their bloodlines and there are those who combine love with tradition and stoically refuse to. Love and Tradition are both honorable values. I don't think there is a right or wrong choice since neither appears to have a negative impact on the earth or on humanity as a whole. I admire the respect that you have shown one another on this thread.

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Old 09-10-2011, 11:18 AM   #104
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Do you think 'Native at heart' can be learned from a book, or now, from the internet?
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Why must I feel like that..why must I chase the cat?


"When I was young man I did some dumb things and the elders would talk to me. Sometimes I listened. Time went by and as I looked around...I was the elder".

Mr. Rossie Freeman
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Old 09-10-2011, 11:30 AM   #105
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To lazy to read back lol Ms Blackwood are you native?
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:17 PM   #106
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Joe's Dad, No. I don't believe true enlightenment of any kind can be achieved by anything as passive as reading or Google-ing. While I do believe there is a great deal of value in reading, in my humble opinion, nothing short of action can help a person become "more than" who they have come to be thus far.

In my own journey I have had to spend a lot of time outside of my comfort zone. Even when I've failed to achieve my goals, I have learned lessons from the efforts. The small bits of wisdom I have acquired would not have fallen into my lap by simply reading or researching. My own learning has come through prayer, meditation, and tuning out of my own selfish desires and attempting to tune into the unity that exists among all creation. Unfortunately, I am only human and I fail at that task miserably most of the time.

Eagle Plume, that blessed blood does run through my veins.
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:36 PM   #107
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Hi Natalie.

Do you think it's possible to become a Shaolin priest by being self-taught, or even reading a book, watching a movie or surfing the internet?
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Why must I feel like that..why must I chase the cat?


"When I was young man I did some dumb things and the elders would talk to me. Sometimes I listened. Time went by and as I looked around...I was the elder".

Mr. Rossie Freeman
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:43 PM   #108
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I forgot to say thank you for your perspective on such a contested topic.

I'm headed out to ride my bicycle to be healthy n stuff.

Starbucks, here I come!

See u in a couple of hours!
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Why must I feel like that..why must I chase the cat?


"When I was young man I did some dumb things and the elders would talk to me. Sometimes I listened. Time went by and as I looked around...I was the elder".

Mr. Rossie Freeman
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Old 09-10-2011, 01:47 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatalieBlackwood View Post
Sorry, to your second question, I suppose it depends on the definition of "Native American".

If defined by DNA, then the answer is no. No amount of teaching can change your bloodline magically to erase your DNA and replace it with Native American DNA.

If defined by place of birth, the only way to be "Native American" is to be born on American soil. North or South.

If defined by the ability to embody the wisdom, teachings and belief systems of the Ancestors with purity, then very few who try would be able to call themselves "Native American", not even many of us who currently carry the DNA. So, while it's rare, yes I believe it is possible for someone of non Native American bloodline to earn enough respect to be given the "honorary" title.

I think it's also important to mention the beauty of balance at work here. There are those who follow their hearts and marry outside their bloodlines and there are those who combine love with tradition and stoically refuse to. Love and Tradition are both honorable values. I don't think there is a right or wrong choice since neither appears to have a negative impact on the earth or on humanity as a whole. I admire the respect that you have shown one another on this thread.
Hi Natialie, welcome to the boards.

I've a few issues with your comments that begin on the premise that culture is not something you are born with. I would argue that your premise stems from a person who wants to belong but can't. It is all too easy to dismiss what a dominant culture can not/will not accept and your very assertion that blood is not necessary negates what many First Nations have been trying to tell non-natives for years.

I would offer the notion that because the dominant culture has been and is still under the impression and belief that First Nation culture is up for grabs because our forced assimilation has left it available. Our culture, as we see it, is not a case of "finders keepers" as convenient laws of bailment have provided for those who "discover" us again and again. The flaw in your premise is that you have assumed the position that it is morally and ethically correct to wade into our culture and use it as it were a lost item that you found. I hear quite a lot, ..."as long as one is respectful then it's ok." Really? The respect I would argue, would have been to show an interest in ensuring that the very people whose culture your are wading into weren't asked to "accept you". Why is it so bizarre for the dominant culture to simply be spectators instead of always wanting to be in the centre? I go to friend's church services, I watch, I listen, I stand up when they ask and I sit when they tell me. You don't see me busting a move when the hallelujahs break out. At the same time, I see non-natives dressing up as Pocahontas and doing the blue bird on the shoulder back to nature song and dance and thinking that they are being respectful.

I think, that one of our biggest mistakes was attempting to place our culture firmly in the realm of religious practises in order for us to be able to live in our culture legally. Law after law was enacted by both the American and Canadian governments that outlawed our simply day-to-day events. I think at one time it might have been a prudent way to go to regain our culture and have laws that criminalized us for these very practises repealed. However, by placing it in the realm of the religious, it opened it up to allowing anyone to come along and act respectful to be accepted. There are those who believe it is their right to encroach upon our cultures and claim them as their own also use the acts of religious freedoms to do so. For as long as we have been decriminalized, the dominant culture still thinks of us as wards of the state and things (yes I said things) that are purely for show as a tourist attraction.

You see Natalie, your premise is based upon decades of lobbying by our people to stop being criminalized for who we were and what we believed. Prior to 1960, there was no appeal by the dominant society to wade into our cultures because to be honest, most of the practises were illegal. My own grandparents and parents didn't get a chance to vote in a federal election until 1960 but worse, until then they couldn't even bury their dead according to what we believe. All folks from your culture wanted back then was for us to hurry up and finish the assimilation and cease to exist.

What burns my butt personally is that folks who wade into our culture that have no family ties to it hide behind the rights and freedoms of religious practice that we Indian folk were denied for decades, so that you can say things like, "as long as it's respectful (whatever the heck that means) we will be accepted".

In my own culture, we believe that every person is a re-incarnation of a former relative. When we are born, we possess all of that person's traits and knowledge. I have never seen a child born who is the re-incarnation of a wannabe whether they were accepted by being respectful or not. Your premise that we are not born with our culture is erroneous as you have not considered that what the dominant society considers as a pan-Indianess of culture is in reality not even close to the level we understand it to be.

Consider this Natalie, the Canadian Indian Act of 1878 was expressly written for a distinct group of people that were not given an "honourary place" in the tribe, it was brutally directed at folks who were connected by blood who the ensuing governments wanted to see relegated to the bottom drawers of museums. No where in any other segment of the Canadian population was there evidence of similar legislation enacted to wipe out an entire segment of the population - only Indians. How could anyone who benefits from the dominant society's other laws and disregards that piece of history consider themselves respectful of our culture?

If you really want to believe that participating in a culture makes you part of it, then I'll see you at the next series of meetings that I have with the museums to get my people out of their drawers and repatriated for proper burials. Want to participate more? Come with me when we meet to discuss why out of 15,000 plus federal inmates, 60% of them are Indian when we only make up 5% of the whole Canadian population. Want to shake that booty at a pow-wow, come with me when head to the Supreme Court to fight for our children to be considered Indian because we women went off to university, joined the military, the clergy or simply married a non-status Indian and were made into instant white women. See you at the decades long negotiations to sign a self government agreement so we as a people might look to never being killed off for a gold mine again. Participating in a culture isn't just about the fun stuff, it's about the nitty-gritty, soul sucking work that is required just to keep on existing. I seem to never see the non-native folks at those meetings (well except on the other side of the table)... what gives with that? Is it because you can't wear the cool buckskin or feathers or is it because you consider it none of your business and not your politics?

ETA, have a read of this garbled mess and tell me having the heart in the right place was all it took for these women... then we'll talk... http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/Re...ns/bp410-e.htm

Just my two elks teeth...

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Old 09-10-2011, 06:30 PM   #110
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:35 PM   #111
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Quote:
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Hi Natialie, welcome to the boards.

I've a few issues with your comments that begin on the premise that culture is not something you are born with. I would argue that your premise stems from a person who wants to belong but can't. It is all too easy to dismiss what a dominant culture can not/will not accept and your very assertion that blood is not necessary negates what many First Nations have been trying to tell non-natives for years.

I would offer the notion that because the dominant culture has been and is still under the impression and belief that First Nation culture is up for grabs because our forced assimilation has left it available. Our culture, as we see it, is not a case of "finders keepers" as convenient laws of bailment have provided for those who "discover" us again and again. The flaw in your premise is that you have assumed the position that it is morally and ethically correct to wade into our culture and use it as it were a lost item that you found. I hear quite a lot, ..."as long as one is respectful then it's ok." Really? The respect I would argue, would have been to show an interest in ensuring that the very people whose culture your are wading into weren't asked to "accept you". Why is it so bizarre for the dominant culture to simply be spectators instead of always wanting to be in the centre? I go to friend's church services, I watch, I listen, I stand up when they ask and I sit when they tell me. You don't see me busting a move when the hallelujahs break out. At the same time, I see non-natives dressing up as Pocahontas and doing the blue bird on the shoulder back to nature song and dance and thinking that they are being respectful.

I think, that one of our biggest mistakes was attempting to place our culture firmly in the realm of religious practises in order for us to be able to live in our culture legally. Law after law was enacted by both the American and Canadian governments that outlawed our simply day-to-day events. I think at one time it might have been a prudent way to go to regain our culture and have laws that criminalized us for these very practises repealed. However, by placing it in the realm of the religious, it opened it up to allowing anyone to come along and act respectful to be accepted. There are those who believe it is their right to encroach upon our cultures and claim them as their own also use the acts of religious freedoms to do so. For as long as we have been decriminalized, the dominant culture still thinks of us as wards of the state and things (yes I said things) that are purely for show as a tourist attraction.

You see Natalie, your premise is based upon decades of lobbying by our people to stop being criminalized for who we were and what we believed. Prior to 1960, there was no appeal by the dominant society to wade into our cultures because to be honest, most of the practises were illegal. My own grandparents and parents didn't get a chance to vote in a federal election until 1960 but worse, until then they couldn't even bury their dead according to what we believe. All folks from your culture wanted back then was for us to hurry up and finish the assimilation and cease to exist.

What burns my butt personally is that folks who wade into our culture that have no family ties to it hide behind the rights and freedoms of religious practice that we Indian folk were denied for decades, so that you can say things like, "as long as it's respectful (whatever the heck that means) we will be accepted".

In my own culture, we believe that every person is a re-incarnation of a former relative. When we are born, we possess all of that person's traits and knowledge. I have never seen a child born who is the re-incarnation of a wannabe whether they were accepted by being respectful or not. Your premise that we are not born with our culture is erroneous as you have not considered that what the dominant society considers as a pan-Indianess of culture is in reality not even close to the level we understand it to be.

Consider this Natalie, the Canadian Indian Act of 1878 was expressly written for a distinct group of people that were not given an "honourary place" in the tribe, it was brutally directed at folks who were connected by blood who the ensuing governments wanted to see relegated to the bottom drawers of museums. No where in any other segment of the Canadian population was there evidence of similar legislation enacted to wipe out an entire segment of the population - only Indians. How could anyone who benefits from the dominant society's other laws and disregards that piece of history consider themselves respectful of our culture?

If you really want to believe that participating in a culture makes you part of it, then I'll see you at the next series of meetings that I have with the museums to get my people out of their drawers and repatriated for proper burials. Want to participate more? Come with me when we meet to discuss why out of 15,000 plus federal inmates, 60% of them are Indian when we only make up 5% of the whole Canadian population. Want to shake that booty at a pow-wow, come with me when head to the Supreme Court to fight for our children to be considered Indian because we women went off to university, joined the military, the clergy or simply married a non-status Indian and were made into instant white women. See you at the decades long negotiations to sign a self government agreement so we as a people might look to never being killed off for a gold mine again. Participating in a culture isn't just about the fun stuff, it's about the nitty-gritty, soul sucking work that is required just to keep on existing. I seem to never see the non-native folks at those meetings (well except on the other side of the table)... what gives with that? Is it because you can't wear the cool buckskin or feathers or is it because you consider it none of your business and not your politics?

ETA, have a read of this garbled mess and tell me having the heart in the right place was all it took for these women... then we'll talk... http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/LOP/Re...ns/bp410-e.htm

Just my two elks teeth...


"I've a few issues with your comments that begin on the premise that culture is not something you are born with. I would argue that your premise stems from a person who wants to belong but can't. It is all too easy to dismiss what a dominant culture can not/will not accept and your very assertion that blood is not necessary negates what many First Nations have been trying to tell non-natives for years":.


History is full of people who weren't born into a culture, but adopted it and rose to positions (within their adopted culture) of prominence - even leadership.


"I would offer the notion that because the dominant culture has been and is still under the impression and belief that First Nation culture is up for grabs because our forced assimilation has left it available. Our culture, as we see it, is not a case of "finders keepers" as convenient laws of bailment have provided for those who "discover" us again and again. The flaw in your premise is that you have assumed the position that it is morally and ethically correct to wade into our culture and use it as it were a lost item that you found."


"Culture" has always been up for "grabs" throughout recorded history, be it Egyptian, Chinese, Greek, Roman or whatnot...be it in the form of dress, Shakespeare writing a play, cuisine, warefare, etc.

Morals and ethics? Someone may want to put on a fringed buckskin dress simply because they like it (or a cheongsam dress, or a sari, or a kilt....).


"In my own culture, we believe that every person is a re-incarnation of a former relative."


You may speak for yousef, or even a majority of Indians, but you do not speak for all Indians.

Many cultures believe in reincarnation.


"I have never seen a child born who is the re-incarnation of a wannabe"


I have never seen a child born who is the re-incarnation of anything other than his parents DNA.


"Your premise that we are not born with our culture is erroneous as you have not considered that what the dominant society considers as a pan-Indianess of culture is in reality not even close to the level we understand it to be."


"Pan-Indianess of culture" is something practiced by Indians, ie : pow-wows. Indians dancing and dressing in regalia that has nothing to do with their own culture.


" Law after law was enacted by both the American and Canadian governments that outlawed our simply day-to-day events"


For one, the Pawnee "tradition/culture" of the Morning Star ritual : ie : child abduction and sacrifice in order to appease the crop "gods".

"If you really want to believe that participating in a culture makes you part of it"


Go no further than Canada.


"Come with me when we meet to discuss why out of 15,000 plus federal inmates, 60% of them are Indian when we only make up 5% of the whole Canadian population"


I assume they are in jail because they committed a crime. Or should Indians be exempt from jail? Ohhh, right, poor me, loss of culture....I can't help but........so on and so forth.



"I seem to never see the non-native folks at those meetings (well except on the other side of the table)... what gives with that? Is it because you can't wear the cool buckskin or feathers or is it because you consider it none of your business and not your politics?"


And just how many Indians (who wear the cool buckskins or feathers) do you see at your meetings?


"Just my two elks teeth..."


Yup.
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Old 09-10-2011, 07:19 PM   #112
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"I've a few issues with your comments that begin on the premise that culture is not something you are born with. I would argue that your premise stems from a person who wants to belong but can't. It is all too easy to dismiss what a dominant culture can not/will not accept and your very assertion that blood is not necessary negates what many First Nations have been trying to tell non-natives for years":.


History is full of people who weren't born into a culture, but adopted it and rose to positions (within their adopted culture) of prominence - even leadership.

And there are many people who have read a book and took it upon themselves to become what they could never be. You only have to go as far as Sedona, Arizona to see that.


"I would offer the notion that because the dominant culture has been and is still under the impression and belief that First Nation culture is up for grabs because our forced assimilation has left it available. Our culture, as we see it, is not a case of "finders keepers" as convenient laws of bailment have provided for those who "discover" us again and again. The flaw in your premise is that you have assumed the position that it is morally and ethically correct to wade into our culture and use it as it were a lost item that you found."


"Culture" has always been up for "grabs" throughout recorded history, be it Egyptian, Chinese, Greek, Roman or whatnot...be it in the form of dress, Shakespeare writing a play, cuisine, warefare, etc.

Morals and ethics? Someone may want to put on a fringed buckskin dress simply because they like it (or a cheongsam dress, or a sari, or a kilt....).

They are still only a person in another's culture. How many white people do you see wearing dreads, 'practicing' Rastafarianism while eating at the organic place without ever having an earthly clue what a true Rasta is?

"In my own culture, we believe that every person is a re-incarnation of a former relative."
You may speak for yousef, or even a majority of Indians, but you do not speak for all Indians.
Many cultures believe in reincarnation.
"I have never seen a child born who is the re-incarnation of a wannabe"



I have never seen a child born who is the re-incarnation of anything other than his parents DNA.

The author stated she was talking about HER culture. Many tribes have different beliefs. What is in one's cultural belief may not be in another's. You can't generalize.


"Your premise that we are not born with our culture is erroneous as you have not considered that what the dominant society considers as a pan-Indianess of culture is in reality not even close to the level we understand it to be."


"Pan-Indianess of culture" is something practiced by Indians, ie : pow-wows. Indians dancing and dressing in regalia that has nothing to do with their own culture.

'Pan' encompasses many. It's when an outsider tries to emulate a unique part of one's culture and beliefs where the issue arises.


" Law after law was enacted by both the American and Canadian governments that outlawed our simply day-to-day events"


For one, the Pawnee "tradition/culture" of the Morning Star ritual : ie : child abduction and sacrifice in order to appease the crop "gods".

"If you really want to believe that participating in a culture makes you part of it"


Go no further than Canada.


"Come with me when we meet to discuss why out of 15,000 plus federal inmates, 60% of them are Indian when we only make up 5% of the whole Canadian population"


I assume they are in jail because they committed a crime. Or should Indians be exempt from jail? Ohhh, right, poor me, loss of culture....I can't help but........so on and so forth.

Again. I believe the author was not asking for pity, but making a point that many of the culture thieves have no idea what is involved in the said culture.



"I seem to never see the non-native folks at those meetings (well except on the other side of the table)... what gives with that? Is it because you can't wear the cool buckskin or feathers or is it because you consider it none of your business and not your politics?"


And just how many Indians (who wear the cool buckskins or feathers) do you see at your meetings?

Cool buckskin and feathers. OK. This is the romanticism of the outside participants have of the Native culture. In reality, while Native people have evolved with time (computers are a powerful tool, eh?), the outside enthusiast still think 'Indians' wear buckskin fringe to bed at night. How romantic.

"Just my two elks teeth..."


Yup.
Yup.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:28 PM   #113
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Joe's Dad, (do you go by any other name here?)

I like your questions. They make me dig deep. Your last question made me smile. I was a child of the 70's and I never missed an episode of Kung Fu. Once in an attempt to emulate David Carridine I unraveled 20 or so 10 foot lengths of my grandmothers toilet paper and laid it on the floor in long overlapping rows. Then I tried to walk the length of my "rice paper, without tearing it" so my footsteps would not be heard. Well, I failed and I did spend a few hours in my room for wasting the precious pink TP. Thanks for the memory and the chuckle.

In my late 30's I studied Isshinryu Karate. Part of the training was to read about Bodhidharma, the man and his teachings. I studied many years and while I did earn a 3rd degree brown belt, I never did become a Shaolin Priest no matter how much I read.

BTW, I still can't walk on TP without it sticking. :-)

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Old 09-10-2011, 08:41 PM   #114
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Hello Yaahl.

Thank you for the welcome. I am very happy to be here.

Thank you, also, for taking the time out of your day to share so much of your heart with me. As a newcomer I am humbled by the gift.

I just wanted to add that I completely agree that we are born with "instinctive" memories passed on by our ancestors. Some of us have just "forgotten to remember them" after living among those who embrace only matters of the mind or neglect matters of the spirit.

Also, if you are extending an invitation to sit by your side anywhere I would be proud to do so.

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Old 09-10-2011, 08:43 PM   #115
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Joe's Dad, (do you go by any other name here?)

I like your questions. They make me dig deep. Your last question made me smile. I was a child of the 70's and I never missed an episode of Kung Fu. Once in an attempt to emulate David Carridine I unraveled 20 or so 10 foot lengths of my grandmothers toilet paper and laid it on the floor in long overlapping rows. Then I tred to walk the length of my "rice paper, without tearing it" so my footsteps would not be heard. Well, I failed and I did spend a few hours in my room for wasting the precious pink TP. Thanks for the memory and the chuckle.

In my late 30's I studied Isshinryu Karate. Part of the training was to read about Bodhidharma, the man and his teachings. I studied many years and while I did earn a 3rd degree brown belt, I never did become a Shaolin Priest no matter how much I read.

BTW, I still can't walk on TP without it sticking. :-)
I've been called other names, but the only one I acknowledge in public is Joe's Dad.

When my son was small (his first powwow was at 13 months), he would be given or win money. I would take him to the vendors and let him buy whatever he wanted. Mostly it was the usual bow and arrow, those pops you throw on the ground, those kinds of things. My biggest laugh was when he would buy the colored feathers headband and a rubber drum. He'd put on his 'feathers', place the 'tom tom' on the ground and dance to it like an Aztec dancer. Later, he would have the opportunity to dance with a group at the cathedral in Mexico City for the Virgin's Day. He has an open invitation to return when he wants and dance.

Imagine that...An NDN emulating and NDN!!! LOL
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:10 PM   #116
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Being surrounded by a family who loves you and by solid tradition.

No, David Carradine doesn't come close to a blessing like that.

Thank you for sharing that. Do you have pictures of him dancing posted here?
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Old 09-10-2011, 09:18 PM   #117
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http://www.powwows.com/galleries/sho...cat=500&page=1

This is my gallery here. I've been too lazy to post any more.

Do me a favor, Natalie (and I'm not being rude). Will you come back and point out which one of those pics has an 'Indian at heart' in it.
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Old 09-10-2011, 10:15 PM   #118
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I will Joe's Dad. Promise. I'm chatting with my fiance right now. He comes first :-)
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:58 AM   #119
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Talking

I totally agree! Its not like I planned it or anything! But I'm a mutt(Navajo, Pojoaque, Mexican) married to a Mexican\White guy. 10 years in two months! So far its a very beautiful family!

Quote:
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Well, I can see how it would be important...keepin the native heritage strong! I grew up in white suburbia and Im pretty sure my mom wants me to marry some nice euro-mutt white guy,.,.but since I have been living in diverse Chicago, I now don't care to date white guys,.,.,most of my friends here are Mexican. Plus my sister in law is Indian(from India ;)) So now I embrace multi-racial couples, tis a beautiful thing in my book.
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:05 AM   #120
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I totally agree! Its not like I planned it or anything! But I'm a mutt(Navajo, Pojoaque, Mexican) married to a Mexican\White guy. 10 years in two months! So far its a very beautiful family!
And may you have another 10 years times 6!!!!
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