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Old 02-21-2013, 10:21 AM   #1
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Looking Like a Native

Okay, this has been bugging me for sometime now, and some of our fellow Native need educating.
We all don't look like those native portraid in the old western movies. Most of those actors are either Italians, playing indians, or white people painted up to look like indians. We Natives, come in many shapes, sizes, and skin tones.
A lot of our appearences depend on the genetic makeup, and what we eat, and the part of the country we are in, and our environment.
I'm tired of people, telling me I don't look like and Indian, just because of I don't have darker skin. And yet others look at me, and ask if I have Native blood. Most of the negative stuff comes from Rez Natives, but only a small portion.
I'm not a Rez-Indian, I am what has become known as an Urban-Indian. And because I don't live on the Rez, it doesn't mean I don't have the "Native Heart".

Blue Eagle Feathers.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:20 AM   #2
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why do you care , as long as you know ?
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I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !


They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

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Old 02-21-2013, 11:47 AM   #3
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Actually, I do understand this. Back in my days as a postdoc and college instructor, I used to get: "Yeah, but what do *real* Indians think?" As near as I could tell, real was code for "you know, like ones the ones in the movies." But that was from non-Indians.

While phenotype is about as reliable an indicator of cultural orientation as shoe-size, cut our darker skinned kin some slack. Phenotype does have significant implications for your interactions with the dominant culture. I remember how my obviously Native-looking (according to domninant culture standards) cousins got treated. We who, by virtue of fair skin etc., can pass don't partake to that particular downside of Native identity. We don't get followed in stores or stopped for being the wrong color in the wrong place. We need to understand that this naturally creates resentments. Consider the blow back an insight into what they experience and move on.

You is who you is. As long as your family and community acknowledges you, the rest is just the usual irritations of life.
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:17 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BlueEagle_Feathers View Post
I'm tired of people, telling me I don't look like and Indian, just because of I don't have darker skin. And yet others look at me, and ask if I have Native blood. Most of the negative stuff comes from Rez Natives, but only a small portion.
I'm not a Rez-Indian, I am what has become known as an Urban-Indian. And because I don't live on the Rez, it doesn't mean I don't have the "Native Heart".

Blue Eagle Feathers.
Hi Blue Eagle Feathers,
I grew up off rez too, and I'm really dark. I couldn't pass if my life depended on it. Being off rez, maybe you don't recognize it much, but there really is a wide variety of shades of skin.

And that doesn't come from mere admixture either. I read a journal written by an explorer that had met with Indians whom had not seen a white person before. He remarked that the skin colors of these people were much more diverse than in white skinned people, some lighter skinned and some very very dark and all shades in between.

Chemist is right, being lighter skinned means you aren't going to be watched in stores or profiled.

And as far as what other people think and their preconceived notions as to what is Indian or not, so what. It is the blood that runs through you...not your skin color. You know who you are and the people who count know too.

It bothers me to see pix of my grandfather wearing regalia that was not typical of his tribe...because when he dressed up for the county fair (which earned him much needed money), they wanted him to look like THEIR idea of what an Indian looked like!

Full feathered headdress of weird feathers and poorly made clothes and slipshod generic beadwork made up his "Indian Costume" --which was a shame because he had better regalia at home...but the public wanted the stereotypical type Indian, not a real one.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:03 PM   #5
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I prefer "free range Indian" to "Urban Indian".
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:10 PM   #6
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I prefer "free range Indian" to "Urban Indian".
I like it!
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:24 PM   #7
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I prefer "free range Indian" to "Urban Indian".
That quite "section8"like !
__________________
I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !


They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





There's a chance you might not like me ,

but there's a bigger

chance I won't care
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:57 PM   #8
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I prefer "free range Indian" to "Urban Indian".


As for the OP's issue, it's just an aspect of yourself that you'll have to learn to live with. How are you gonna educate people en masse? The best we can do is some one-on-one educatin'.

I always thought I looked "totally white", growing up on and off the rez, with my very dark older brother, and my mocha complected mother....UNTIL I saw a video taken of a class I was in, and I was looking around trying to see who was the only NDN girl in the class, until I realized it was me.

So yeah, in a group of natives, I'm the white girl, and in a group of whites, I'm the NDN.

As OLC states, I was fortunate to grow up with the perc of not being blatantly discriminated against, unlike my dark complected brother. But geez, I probably COULD NOT HANDLE what I saw my brother go thru and would have ended up being a hateful person.
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Old 02-21-2013, 07:36 PM   #9
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Being of a medium/dark complexion myself, I got hassled by every ethnic group and called every derogatory name in the book. My family and I constantly get profiled when we go out, especially the males in my family, and we're constantly met with the question of "Wtf are you, anyway" or "Where are you from" or "go back to your country". We're exactly the wrong shade to pass for any ethnicity by color. Far too dark to fit in with the white crowd (though some of those white girls tan so much they're darker than me!),got beaten up by the black kids for looking 'too white', too 'proper' and grew up off-rez to be indian, too 'plains' to hang with the east coast ndns round here...

It's all rather funny, really. To some, we'll always be too 'something' for them, and to others we'll always be 'not native enough'.

A cousin of mine used to compare being native in society to being like being a woman's shoe in the mall. They'll scope you out and talk about how much they love you (or your indian-ness); look you over and try you out, waste your time criticizing you, and you'll always be too 'something' to find a place. "Window shopping for indians", he'd call it.
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:06 PM   #10
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As for the OP's issue, it's just an aspect of yourself that you'll have to learn to live with. How are you gonna educate people en masse? The best we can do is some one-on-one educatin'.

I always thought I looked "totally white", growing up on and off the rez, with my very dark older brother, and my mocha complected mother....UNTIL I saw a video taken of a class I was in, and I was looking around trying to see who was the only NDN girl in the class, until I realized it was me.

So yeah, in a group of natives, I'm the white girl, and in a group of whites, I'm the NDN.

As OLC states, I was fortunate to grow up with the perc of not being blatantly discriminated against, unlike my dark complected brother. But geez, I probably COULD NOT HANDLE what I saw my brother go thru and would have ended up being a hateful person.
You look too NDN to look like a white girl, wyo! lol
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Why must I feel like that..why must I chase the cat?


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Old 02-21-2013, 10:20 PM   #11
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And "what" am I? Not being typically german. Not italian, greek or whatever, not NDN either. Just a person I guess. Being born in a country which is named Germany, a piece of paper that says - you are german - ancestors also are german but I don't feel german.

So who or what am I? Where do I belong? The only person I belong to right now is my b/f, he's german "too". Okay - him and aside from that - I always felt - since childhood - drawn to the NDN's. So, what am I? Looking white ofc.
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:03 PM   #12
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:40 PM   #13
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And "what" am I? Not being typically german. Not italian, greek or whatever, not NDN either. Just a person I guess. Being born in a country which is named Germany, a piece of paper that says - you are german - ancestors also are german but I don't feel german.

So who or what am I? Where do I belong? The only person I belong to right now is my b/f, he's german "too". Okay - him and aside from that - I always felt - since childhood - drawn to the NDN's. So, what am I? Looking white ofc.
you posted on my threads before....i never answer....i know pow-wow are for everybody and so is powwows.com and you been here longer than me....but when i see you post i see you dont "get" what us natives are talking about usually.....and on the other hand we dont "get" what you are talking about........and much of it seems you try to relate being german as somehow part of the indian experience..........im not being rude but i would like to hear it from someone.....what exactly is it that makes euros and american anglos want to immerse in our cultures so bad? what is wrong with being german? germany has a rich history that maybe you should look into
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:28 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by RestlessN8iv View Post
I prefer "free range Indian" to "Urban Indian".


Growing up in Fl., always being outside when I was a kid, and then surfing,(back before sunblock), I was always "dark". People always pegged me for Indian right off the bat. When I asked them what made them say that, they would usually respond with something about my coloring or my high cheekbones. Even when I'm not outside, I'm kind of a golden brown. LOL! I know who I am, so what they thought never mattered to me.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:05 AM   #15
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I too have fair skin. For some reason my sister came out looking like Sacajawea, and I came out looking like Kevin Smith.
I'd be lying if I said it never bothered me.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:33 AM   #16
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I look like a big Mexican or a small Samoan.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:58 AM   #17
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I look like a big Mexican or a small Samoan.
wounded bear thought you were black !
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I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !


They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





There's a chance you might not like me ,

but there's a bigger

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Old 02-22-2013, 12:02 PM   #18
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I look like a big Mexican or a small Samoan.
I have a cousin in Nevada with that same problem. People will try to speak Spanish to him.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:12 PM   #19
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I look like a big Mexican or a small Samoan.
That always cracks me up!! ...small Samoan... I see the resemblance to The Rock!


I guess I must look kinda Mexican nowadays, because lately I've had more people trying to speak Spanish to me.
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:13 PM   #20
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you posted on my threads before....i never answer....i know pow-wow are for everybody and so is powwows.com and you been here longer than me....but when i see you post i see you dont "get" what us natives are talking about usually.....and on the other hand we dont "get" what you are talking about........and much of it seems you try to relate being german as somehow part of the indian experience..........im not being rude but i would like to hear it from someone.....what exactly is it that makes euros and american anglos want to immerse in our cultures so bad? what is wrong with being german? germany has a rich history that maybe you should look into
I don't know what the answer is to what europeans and anglo americans want to immerse your culture. I can only speak for myself and this I do not want to right now, it's too personal. I do have NDN friends in real life, I lived with them.
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