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Old 10-11-2016, 02:06 PM   #1
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How should I feel about this?

I have a question, my name is Danica, I'm a young, female filmmaker and I'm not sure how this will come across but I'm asking it. I discovered a few years back that my father and grandfather was cherokee and half white, my grandmother was 5% black and Native American. So I have Native American blood. Since then, I've been following the ways of my Native American heritage and a few months ago I discovered that even though the VAWA has been passed for Native American females, it doesn't cover stranger rape or children. So I decided to do a film based around the story of rape and sexual assault of Native American children, with the hopes that it will bring awareness that there needs to be better protections for Native American children and if the film is successful, I plan to donate a portion of the proceeds to Pine Ridge Reservation for those in need.

Upon me telling this guy on my job about all of this (a guy who is full blooded Native American), he told me I shouldn't do such a film on Native Americans because I'm an outsider and if anyone should do a film on Native Americans, it should be those within the Native American community, not some "half-blood" outsider because despite me having Native American blood, I'm not 100% Native American, I'm just a black outsider and will never be accepted by the Native American community and that really hurt my feelings because I feel a close love and bond with Native Americans and I feel like even though I'm not full blooded, I stand with them and behind them and for them and I feel it's unfair that Native American children and even females don't have the full protection that they need within the VAWA, furthermore, I think it's an even greater idea to donate a portion of proceeds to Pine Ridge, as I read, some there don't have food, heat, hot water or even blankets and so I had planned to donate proceeds not only from this film but from every film I do - a portion of proceeds would go to Pine Ridge, to those in need.


So my question is, is this the right thing to do? Should I not be doing this because according to the guy on my job, I'm some "outsider" who would never be accepted by Native Americans because I'm not full blooded?
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:21 PM   #2
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Welcome to powwows.com, Danica.

I would caution you to go slowly. Sexual assault is a delicate subject. Unless you are fully conversant with cultural norms about sexuality, gender, modesty, healing and justice, it is very likely you will unintentionally step on toes. These are things learn only through extended interaction with and enculturation within a community. I suspect that this is what your colleague was attempting to tell you.

Further many Native communities are weary of being viewed only through a lens of dysfunction. Pine Ridge, in particular, gets repeatedly singled out when the subjects of substance abuse, gangs, sexual violence, and poverty in Indian Country come up in dominant culture media. The sad reality is we have had many people come to our community to shine a spotlight on some painful aspects of life. They leave, do a TED Talk or two, write a book, send some checks... Unintentionally, they reenforce the dominant culture perception of Native people and Native Nations as debased remnants. To often they do not in fact see us, but just victims.

As for the hurt feelings. I hardly have to tell you, a black woman in American, that phenotype isn't identity but it is perception. We do it like everyone else.

Take some advice from a fellow mixed-blood and an old lady: Us vs them is a fact of mixed blood life. The boundaries between us and them are redrawn at need and whim. You're going to be in and out, over and over again, all your life. Anger is a waste. You know who you are and your family knows who you are. Humbly serve, respect and honor your relations. That's enough.

And if he really ticks you off again, remind him he's only half male, since his mother was a woman. :)
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OLChemist View Post
Welcome to powwows.com, Danica.

I would caution you to go slowly. Sexual assault is a delicate subject. Unless you are fully conversant with cultural norms about sexuality, gender, modesty, healing and justice, it is very likely you will unintentionally step on toes. These are things learn only through extended interaction with and enculturation within a community. I suspect that this is what your colleague was attempting to tell you.

Further many Native communities are weary of being viewed only through a lens of dysfunction. Pine Ridge, in particular, gets repeatedly singled out when the subjects of substance abuse, gangs, sexual violence, and poverty in Indian Country come up in dominant culture media. The sad reality is we have had many people come to our community to shine a spotlight on some painful aspects of life. They leave, do a TED Talk or two, write a book, send some checks... Unintentionally, they reenforce the dominant culture perception of Native people and Native Nations as debased remnants. To often they do not in fact see us, but just victims.

As for the hurt feelings. I hardly have to tell you, a black woman in American, that phenotype isn't identity but it is perception. We do it like everyone else.

Take some advice from a fellow mixed-blood and an old lady: Us vs them is a fact of mixed blood life. The boundaries between us and them are redrawn at need and whim. You're going to be in and out, over and over again, all your life. Anger is a waste. You know who you are and your family knows who you are. Humbly serve, respect and honor your relations. That's enough.

And if he really ticks you off again, remind him he's only half male, since his mother was a woman. :)

Thanks for the welcome and the reply. Yeah I spent two years researching how a huge majority of sexual assaults and rapes on not only Pine Ridge but other reservations goes unnoticed because there are no protections for Native American children and females when the perps are strangers and so this is why I wanted to do this film, because I felt it wasn't fair to Native Americans. Also this film - I had planned for this to just be the beginning.

Eventually I'd like to create a Native American television network (kind of like how blacks have BET and Oprah has OWN) because there are a lot of great, talented Native american actors and actresses and comedians with great show ideas and films and sitcoms and they should be broadcasted mainstream just like films and shows by those of other races and that would then shine the light on the positive side of Native Americans as well, instead of just showing Native Americans as victims. I basically want to be like the - Tyler Perry of and for Native Americans but as I said, I'm sure his comments meant well, just the way he said it was really harsh because my intentions are good.
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Old 10-11-2016, 10:54 PM   #4
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I'm not Indian, but just a comment: in general, that's a really sensitive subject and probably difficult for an "outsider" to approach (not because of being black, or white, or even another tribe, but just in the sense of not being born into that community). I would think you'd have to be pretty careful about it. Maybe the best thing to do would be to ask the Lakota tribe at Pine Ridge if it's something they want a film on. It's certainly an admirable idea and that's great that you have that passion for your heritage.

There is a PBS documentary (I think...least that's where I saw it) about Robin Poor Bear, who is a Dakota. It touches on some of these same subjects. Might be worth looking at as a starting point. I can't remember the name of it, but a search should turn it up.
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Old 10-11-2016, 11:06 PM   #5
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You are an outsider. You can see it in your writings. You talk about being a 'percentage' while the native guy talks in fractions. You say you will donate money, but you say nothing of going g to help the elders who will soon be cold. I would shy away from you. Your mentality is of, as a great scholar phrases, the dominant culture.

You say you are 5% native and black. That means you are 90-95% something else. You will not be rejected for the color (or lack of) your color. You will be rejected because you don't think NDN.
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Old 10-12-2016, 01:07 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by usernumber2016 View Post
Eventually I'd like to create a Native American television network (kind of like how blacks have BET and Oprah has OWN) because there are a lot of great, talented Native american actors and actresses and comedians with great show ideas and films and sitcoms and they should be broadcasted mainstream just like films and shows by those of other races and that would then shine the light on the positive side of Native Americans as well, instead of just showing Native Americans as victims. I basically want to be like the - Tyler Perry of and for Native Americans but as I said, I'm sure his comments meant well, just the way he said it was really harsh because my intentions are good.
Red Nation Television Network has beat you to it, sorry.

In your first post, you say you have been following the ways of your NA heritage. If you don't mind my asking, who is teaching you these ways? Cherokee elders?
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Old 10-12-2016, 10:09 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Joe's Dad View Post
You are an outsider. You can see it in your writings. You talk about being a 'percentage' while the native guy talks in fractions. You say you will donate money, but you say nothing of going g to help the elders who will soon be cold. I would shy away from you. Your mentality is of, as a great scholar phrases, the dominant culture.

You say you are 5% native and black. That means you are 90-95% something else. You will not be rejected for the color (or lack of) your color. You will be rejected because you don't think NDN.

So you say I should help the elders NOW who will soon be cold? But I wonder how I can do that when I don't even have money myself right now to even buy food for my mother and I, when I don't even have money for next month's rent. And what the heck does me being a percentage or a fraction have to do with it? At least someone is TRYING to make a difference and help. What the hell are YOU doing?


You know this sickens me right now. So because I'm not FULL BLOODED, my help is looked at as wrong or not even accepted?? It seems to me like the Native Americans who think like you do are the ones who are RACIST? Have you ever seen black people say "no we don't want your help because you aren't 100% black?"

Well thanks for making my choice easy for me. Maybe I should withdraw ANY kind of help I planned to give towards Native Americans because after all, I'm NOT 100% Native American, I'm just an outsider and since I am, why help? Forget it, thanks Joe's Dad for the racism.


And who taught me my ways was my grandfather, who spent LOTS of time with his fellow FULL BLOODED Cherokee Native Americans....but wait, that could be a lie right because I'm not full blooded, I'm just some outsider....
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Old 10-12-2016, 10:12 AM   #8
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...I basically want to be like the - Tyler Perry of and for Native Americans but as I said, I'm sure his comments meant well, just the way he said it was really harsh because my intentions are good.
Obviously, you want to do something about a terrible situation. That is admirable. I can see you have good intentions. However, there is a famous dominant culture expression about the road to hell being paved with something...

Let me give you one woman's viewpoint on your words and what others are telling you. I'm going to say some harsh things; but, I hope they might protect you from much harsher experiences.

The dominant culture trains people to seize the reins, take charge. That tends to lead outsiders -- you're an outsider, heck I'm an outsider because I didn't grow up within the community -- to charge in to what they perceive as a vacuum. They take center stage in the struggle. I call it the Lt. Dunbar Syndrome. "I basically want to be like the - Tyler Perry of and for Native Americans..." suggests you see yourself in a central role.

Never does it occur to LDS (not the Mormons, LOL) victims that, being outside the community, their role is a supporting actor's part. They should -- at least metaphorically -- be pushing the broom, washing the dishes, or chopping the wood. But, rather than submit to the will of the community, they act from their own will. No matter how good their intentions might be, they are blindly acting as another agent of colonization.

If you want to begin to "think NDN" about this, trying thinking about these: Would you be willing to place your talents at the disposal of a tribal community to address the problem of sexual assault? Even if they didn't address it the way you think they ought to? Even if they say no thanks to the sharing of your skills? Would you being willing the give the community's Tyler Perry a leg up and then step back into the shadows?

Last edited by OLChemist; 10-12-2016 at 10:15 AM..
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Old 10-12-2016, 10:30 AM   #9
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Please, breathe between invectives :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by usernumber2016 View Post
...At least someone is TRYING to make a difference and help. What the hell are YOU doing?
I caution you; you know the people on this board no better than they know you. You have no idea what he does for his people.

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Originally Posted by usernumber2016 View Post
You know this sickens me right now. So because I'm not FULL BLOODED, my help is looked at as wrong or not even accepted?? It seems to me like the Native Americans who think like you do are the ones who are RACIST? Have you ever seen black people say "no we don't want your help because you aren't 100% black?"
This isn't about race. It isn't about blood quanta. It's about ethos.

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Originally Posted by usernumber2016 View Post
Well thanks for making my choice easy for me. Maybe I should withdraw ANY kind of help I planned to give towards Native Americans because after all, I'm NOT 100% Native American, I'm just an outsider and since I am, why help? Forget it, thanks Joe's Dad for the racism.
Again, not about race.


You planned. You try. You do. You. When you see they not you in this, you'll be ready to serve those women and children while they tell their story and affect their changes.

Native voices can be very quiet. Listen. Then decide whether or not you wish to help them do what they ask.

Last edited by OLChemist; 10-12-2016 at 10:32 AM.. Reason: They and them are not interchangeable.
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Old 10-12-2016, 12:15 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by usernumber2016 View Post
So you say I should help the elders NOW who will soon be cold? But I wonder how I can do that when I don't even have money myself right now to even buy food for my mother and I, when I don't even have money for next month's rent. And what the heck does me being a percentage or a fraction have to do with it? At least someone is TRYING to make a difference and help. What the hell are YOU doing?


You know this sickens me right now. So because I'm not FULL BLOODED, my help is looked at as wrong or not even accepted?? It seems to me like the Native Americans who think like you do are the ones who are RACIST? Have you ever seen black people say "no we don't want your help because you aren't 100% black?"

Well thanks for making my choice easy for me. Maybe I should withdraw ANY kind of help I planned to give towards Native Americans because after all, I'm NOT 100% Native American, I'm just an outsider and since I am, why help? Forget it, thanks Joe's Dad for the racism.


And who taught me my ways was my grandfather, who spent LOTS of time with his fellow FULL BLOODED Cherokee Native Americans....but wait, that could be a lie right because I'm not full blooded, I'm just some outsider....
And NOW we see that you absolutely act as an outsider ! My friend Joe'sDad IS an Elder ! He has always participated in his culture. He HAS helped The Elders and less fortunate ON and OFF the rez !
I admit I am a racist , I've said it before , I don't even like other ndns ! I'm also NOT a full Blood. But when I started learning about who I was and where I came from , I did it with respect and humility.I didn't demand to be accepted , I offered to help where ever it was needed. From the way you speak , your grandfather didn't do a very good job ! Get mad and lash out at who & what you perceive as ndn people because they don't readily accept you and your ideas.....that's the wannabe ways , unfortunately we see that here a lot ! You were given the benefit of the doubt and welcomed until someone didn't agree with you or Ooo-Ahh this girls gonna help us poor ndns......you want to blame it on racism and blood , but really it's just attitude !
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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 !





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Old 10-12-2016, 12:23 PM   #11
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As usual , OlChemist has once again been so overly diplomatic ! LOL She always does it with way more patience than I ! LOL

To the OP.....Go back , start again , find the path. Listen for a bit Good luck
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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

chance I won't care
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Old 10-12-2016, 12:30 PM   #12
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And NOW we see that you absolutely act as an outsider ! My friend Joe'sDad IS an Elder ! He has always participated in his culture. He HAS helped The Elders and less fortunate ON and OFF the rez !
I admit I am a racist , I've said it before , I don't even like other ndns ! I'm also NOT a full Blood. But when I started learning about who I was and where I came from , I did it with respect and humility.I didn't demand to be accepted , I offered to help where ever it was needed. From the way you speak , your grandfather didn't do a very good job ! Get mad and lash out at who & what you perceive as ndn people because they don't readily accept you and your ideas.....that's the wannabe ways , unfortunately we see that here a lot ! You were given the benefit of the doubt and welcomed until someone didn't agree with you or Ooo-Ahh this girls gonna help us poor ndns......you want to blame it on racism and blood , but really it's just attitude !

I'M demanding to be accepted?? I'm NOT TRYING to be accepted. I was trying to help YOU all and then when I offer help, I get criticized for it, because I'm an outsider?! YES not ALL of you native americans but a HUGE majority of you all ARE RACIST as a MF. It shouldn't matter if I am as white as the driven snow or a outsider outlander or whatever. If I am offering help, why not be thankful and take it?! It's not about someone agreeing with me, it's about someone INSULTING me! Don't criticize me for trying to help YOU all. But since you all want to criticize me offering help **** it! I don't get this **** from the black race! A race that ALSO has been equally been victimized but they probably don't matter because they're ******* right.

**** it. and **** my trying to help. Maybe if a majority of you all weren't so ****ing racist, people of OTHER races would be privileged to want to help you BUT WE WILL NOT because as you and the ELDER up there said we are just outsiders!

Last edited by OLChemist; 10-12-2016 at 04:56 PM.. Reason: Offensive language
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Old 10-12-2016, 02:07 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by usernumber2016 View Post
So you say I should help the elders NOW who will soon be cold? But I wonder how I can do that when I don't even have money myself right now to even buy food for my mother and I, when I don't even have money for next month's rent. And what the heck does me being a percentage or a fraction have to do with it? At least someone is TRYING to make a difference and help. What the hell are YOU doing?


You know this sickens me right now. So because I'm not FULL BLOODED, my help is looked at as wrong or not even accepted?? It seems to me like the Native Americans who think like you do are the ones who are RACIST? Have you ever seen black people say "no we don't want your help because you aren't 100% black?"

Well thanks for making my choice easy for me. Maybe I should withdraw ANY kind of help I planned to give towards Native Americans because after all, I'm NOT 100% Native American, I'm just an outsider and since I am, why help? Forget it, thanks Joe's Dad for the racism.


And who taught me my ways was my grandfather, who spent LOTS of time with his fellow FULL BLOODED Cherokee Native Americans....but wait, that could be a lie right because I'm not full blooded, I'm just some outsider....
You even sound like the dominant culture. They rant and rave...but it doesn't change the persective.

I once had a black preacher say to me, "James (my name), black is not a color, but an attitude. And James (my name)...I have reason to believe you are black.

So you see. What you call racism, is actually attitude.

You will have to change yours if you want to walk in Indian Country.
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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 10-12-2016, 03:02 PM   #14
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So you say I should help the elders NOW who will soon be cold? But I wonder how I can do that when I don't even have money myself right now to even buy food for my mother and I, when I don't even have money for next month's rent. And what the heck does me being a percentage or a fraction have to do with it? At least someone is TRYING to make a difference and help. What the hell are YOU doing?


You know this sickens me right now. So because I'm not FULL BLOODED, my help is looked at as wrong or not even accepted?? It seems to me like the Native Americans who think like you do are the ones who are RACIST? Have you ever seen black people say "no we don't want your help because you aren't 100% black?"

Well thanks for making my choice easy for me. Maybe I should withdraw ANY kind of help I planned to give towards Native Americans because after all, I'm NOT 100% Native American, I'm just an outsider and since I am, why help? Forget it, thanks Joe's Dad for the racism.


And who taught me my ways was my grandfather, who spent LOTS of time with his fellow FULL BLOODED Cherokee Native Americans....but wait, that could be a lie right because I'm not full blooded, I'm just some outsider....
I feel a lot anger in your words and in your reaction to the guidance & good advice you've received here.

The way I was taught is to first start out with a good heart & then ask others, "What can I do to help out?" & then do it & be useful...whatever is needed. To think of & put others first & what they need. Not me.

Every day we're given the opportunity to do something good for someone else. Not someday way off in the future, but little things I can do today & give of myself, my time, & my effort; I shouldn't let the chance pass.

This has nothing to do with how you or I were born into this world.
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Old 10-12-2016, 04:52 PM   #15
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Denica, we're not the ones using the n-word or screaming profanities. Listen closely; this isn't about race. It's about an approach that is arising from differences in worldview and behavioral norms.

@wardancer, you know me always lecturing away like I was still in my classroom. Yet again, I'm going to try for a teachable moment.

Denica, I won't begin to claim to know about the black experience or what it is like to carry that history. I won't compare my people's pain to yours. My creation stories and sacred places were not lost in the Middle Passage. But you do not know know what it is like to be fully enfolded in NDN life -- nor do I. The experiences are different. The experience of colonization and domination are different.

Mr Swift Bird says it so much better than I:

Decolonizing the Saviors

Or 1491:

Wounded Warrior Savior

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Old 10-12-2016, 05:05 PM   #16
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I really doubt she even tries ! We're bad and she's the noble savior , making rez/ndn problems known to all ! I do admire your patience OlC !
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Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
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Old 10-13-2016, 01:16 AM   #17
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I'M demanding to be accepted?? I'm NOT TRYING to be accepted. I was trying to help YOU all and then when I offer help, I get criticized for it, because I'm an outsider?! YES not ALL of you native americans but a HUGE majority of you all ARE RACIST as a MF. It shouldn't matter if I am as white as the driven snow or a outsider outlander or whatever. If I am offering help, why not be thankful and take it?! It's not about someone agreeing with me, it's about someone INSULTING me! Don't criticize me for trying to help YOU all. But since you all want to criticize me offering help **** it! I don't get this **** from the black race! A race that ALSO has been equally been victimized but they probably don't matter because they're ******* right.

**** it. and **** my trying to help. Maybe if a majority of you all weren't so ****ing racist, people of OTHER races would be privileged to want to help you BUT WE WILL NOT because as you and the ELDER up there said we are just outsiders!
"If I am offering to help, why not be thankful and take it?" Wow, just wow. You have no idea how offensive that sounds. Non-natives have been "helping" us for centuries, and look where that's gotten us. As for asking you who taught you the ways, that is a common question to ask someone who says they are following the ways of their heritage. In other words, did you learn them from an elder, someone like James Ray or online.

You come to the forum offering what to you, is help, and then, when you don't hear what you want to hear, you get your knickers in a knot. You don't have to be full blood to follow NDN ways, you have to be open to what they are. As my cuz WD said "Go back, start again, find the path and listen for a bit." It's almost like you expected us to fall over you in gratitude for wanting to help us and when we didn't, it made you mad. No one has criticized you for wanting to help. We have criticized you for your attitude.
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Old 10-14-2016, 12:43 PM   #18
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My Turn

Why does it always have to be Cherokee...

LoL

Either your are a Citizen of our great Nation (Cherokee Nation) or you are not. But even citizenship doesn't provide you with that Card that say: "Native American Heritage" I know what I am talking about just ask me.

Just reading this thread brings up several questions in my Head:

1) Wouldn't a Cherokee go back to Oklahoma or North Carolina to see if they need help there?
2) What about us NON Reservation NDN's we own our land but still live in Communities.
3) Why does it always have to be Pine Ridge? I mean I bought those blankets already what about Eveningshade or Wolftown don't they need blankets??
4) Why Native American? I never call myself that, usually its Kituah or in very formal settings Tsilagi. Is this politically correct instead of saying Indian or NDN??
5) Who are your Folks? that is what a proper introduction starts maybe we are kin, maybe we have common connections.

Just off the top of my head Carry on
lol
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Old 10-18-2016, 01:40 AM   #19
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I'm guessing she's not coming back. Oh well. Another one bites the dust. LOL!

You know, Josiah, I've wondered about that, too, sometimes. It's always Cherokee, nobody ever wants to be Cheyenne, or Apache. :)
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Old 10-18-2016, 11:11 AM   #20
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I'm guessing she's not coming back. Oh well. Another one bites the dust. LOL!

You know, Josiah, I've wondered about that, too, sometimes. It's always Cherokee, nobody ever wants to be Cheyenne, or Apache. :)
Hey , I wanna be Cheyenne .....can I be Cheyenne , huh huh can I huh ???
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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

chance I won't care
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