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Old 03-23-2008, 05:33 PM   #1
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Help please guys i need a shoulder to cry on.

Ok I must start this thread with a sob story...

For 15 years of my 17 year life I thought my mom was mexican..we were raised pretty close to the mexican culture and me and my sibblings ;earned spanish from the communities we were raised in.

WhenI was 17 one of the elders in my family (my gramndmothers aunt died aged 97) My familly then got together and were talking about land and CDIB Cards....

Well after researching I realised that my mother was actually Choctaw Indian from Louisiana. When I askde her why she never mentioned it before this land thing she said because she was raised to not be ndn because of the prejudices that were going around...I was in complete shock.....

I ran away adn found my father asked him about everything adn he said yes your mother is indian....now my dad being black i was like ok so you really are black right lol he said no and pulled out a photo album and i saw his mother white as snow....he said your grandmother is caddo indian your grandfather is black..so im half......

ok so i found outr now my moms choctaw and my das half caddo....so ever since that day ive been non stop researching my roots and i am finally going to attend my first powwow.

I feel cheated out teh experience of knowing who i was before this...all of the stories from the elders...traditions passed on...(im sad)......

I need to adopt an elder to show me the ways but how do i approahc an elder and say teach me...name me????

You guys help me...please.....I weill be at the Gathering of Nations this year it will be so moving to me to be around my own people i just hope im accepted. Help you guys...pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeee.....

Love April........I need all the help I can get....
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Old 03-23-2008, 06:18 PM   #2
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ok as you see im a bit disheartened so i mispelled alot lol and im 27 not 17....sorry ok carry on.....

please reply anyone with advise..i know youre all wise.
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Old 03-23-2008, 09:10 PM   #3
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boozhoo...aniin....hi...i'll be at GON...i dont know too much bout anything...but it will be my first time there also...im from canaduh....say hello if you see me there...everythings gonna be ok....i hope ...
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Old 03-23-2008, 09:19 PM   #4
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Only some advice based on what I've seen, in many parts of the world, among many cultures. If you are honest, polite, and respectful, you will be more than welcome anywhere. If you are rude, pushy, and too quick to be an expert on THEIR culture, you will not be welcome. Just be yourself, and don't stress your ethnicity, most people don't really care, it's more about your character and actions than anything. Hope you have a great time over here.
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Old 03-23-2008, 09:30 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by APRILCHOCTAW View Post

I need to adopt an elder to show me the ways but how do i approahc an elder and say teach me...name me????
I know nothing about choctaw traditions and all. I do know according to how I was taught that if you want a name you find out who possess the gift to do so, a genuine medicine person as far as I know.

Tell them you want a name and hand them a bag of tabbaco, the tobacco is a sign of respect and an offering. Being given a name by an elder takes time, so you might want to give them your number or some way to contact you. When you are invited to go to the naming ceremony bring more tobbaco and another offering, a good blanket should do. Whatever you do don't give money, the offering is not a payment for the name.

As far as teaching goes I'm not sure. I would just tell you to get involved, go to Sweats, Pow Wows, and maybe contact someone that can get you invited to a Sun Dance. You can learn a lot at a Sun Dance, although I think it's a Lakota, sioux tradition anyone with an invite can participate or spectate as far as I know so long as you respect certain things that apply to being there.

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Old 03-24-2008, 01:46 AM   #6
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I know nothing about choctaw traditions and all. I do know according to how I was taught that if you want a name you find out who possess the gift to do so, a genuine medicine person as far as I know.

Tell them you want a name and hand them a bag of tabbaco, the tobacco is a sign of respect and an offering. Being given a name by an elder takes time, so you might want to give them your number or some way to contact you. When you are invited to go to the naming ceremony bring more tobbaco and another offering, a good blanket should do. Whatever you do don't give money, the offering is not a payment for the name.

As far as teaching goes I'm not sure. I would just tell you to get involved, go to Sweats, Pow Wows, and maybe contact someone that can get you invited to a Sun Dance. You can learn a lot at a Sun Dance, although I think it's a Lakota, sioux tradition anyone can participate or spectate as far as I know so long as you respect certain things that apply to being there.
I'm not one to step on any toes...
but don't put the cart before the horse.

The young lady said she was Choctaw and Caddo.

April, learn the ways of your people before you start delving into other tribal ceremonies. While you have a lot to learn, you seem to have a good heart. Take your time. If it took you this long to find out what you are, then it's going to take you a while to find out who you are.

although I think it's a Lakota, sioux tradition anyone can participate or spectate as far as I know so long as you respect certain things that apply to being there.

Jay Five...this is absolutely incorrect information. When you see guards at the entrance to ceremony , they are there to allow only the ones who are supposed to be there to enter. I'm not sure where you went to ceremony where they allowed spectators to a sundance. Most tribes will not allow Joe off the street to participate in tribal ceremonies.

If you're going to share information on the internet, make sure it is correct.
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:12 AM   #7
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THANKS GUYS...

I feel like a new born baby...I always felt that all cultured should hold on to their traditions so that they are not lost......and i feel that i must learn thoes traditions so that my future children can be fortunate enough to know there culture properly adn not by some book as im having to do.....as for pow wows i dont really look to ever compete in them but i would like to go to them as a way to meet more native people......i cant wait to be gifted a name its almost to me like being reborn....:)

im enjoying the advise so far :0
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Old 03-24-2008, 10:57 AM   #8
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So can u make tortillas?

And future babies, eh?

j/k
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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 03-24-2008, 03:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Joe's Dad View Post
I'm not one to step on any toes...
but don't put the cart before the horse.

The young lady said she was Choctaw and Caddo.

April, learn the ways of your people before you start delving into other tribal ceremonies. While you have a lot to learn, you seem to have a good heart. Take your time. If it took you this long to find out what you are, then it's going to take you a while to find out who you are.

although I think it's a Lakota, sioux tradition anyone can participate or spectate as far as I know so long as you respect certain things that apply to being there.

Jay Five...this is absolutely incorrect information. When you see guards at the entrance to ceremony , they are there to allow only the ones who are supposed to be there to enter. I'm not sure where you went to ceremony where they allowed spectators to a sundance. Most tribes will not allow Joe off the street to participate in tribal ceremonies.

If you're going to share information on the internet, make sure it is correct.
maybe contact someone that can get you invited to a Sun Dance

Read that part of my reference to a sun dance? I've been to many sun dances where I was a spectator, but only because my mother or grandmother was "invited". My reference to being "invited" meant that it's invite only, sorry I should have been more clear on that part. In general reffering to invites means you shouldn't attend unless you are invited.

There is absolutly nothing wrong with learning traditions of other Tribes. As native people we share a common way of living. I understand it would be better to learn the ways of her own tribal roots though. This can be hard for some people because of the lack of cultural traditions and people who practice them today.

I was raised in an large Ojibway family from the cities and my grandmother married a Lakota man. Thats why I refer to sun dance. My grandma's family hadn't had much for Ojibwe traditions in the family since we were distanced from the Rez.

We are taught that no matter what tribe your from you should grasp any and all Native traditions that you come across, like I said they are all one in the same goal. Traditional ceremonial events are hard to come by for people who weren't raised around it, so one should embrace whatever comes across their path.

To say "learn the way of your own people before you delve into other tribal ceremonies" is a bit of incorrect information if you ask me. That somehow implies she should pass up offers or chances to be curious about or participate in other traditions. I do understand where you are coming from, but something in that statement seems wrong.

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Old 03-24-2008, 04:59 PM   #10
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Going to the GON is a good first step it's one of the largest powwows around and there are alot of ppl there that know what their talking about. I will tell you that one place to go for what your looking for is the Choctaw rez in Mississippi. I know a guy from there that could barely even speak english when he left from there. If you go to my myspace page there is a guy on there that is Choctaw and goes out there alot he could probable hook you up with someone.

Over all yes being respectful and humble is the best why to get to know ppl, if come in acting like you know everything ppl will like the other way. When you find someone that meets what your looking tobacco and sage are good things to give. Do alot of watching and most importantly LISTEN you can learn so much more if you listen first then ask questions.

I've been where you are it's hard getting started but it's so worth the effort to learn. Good luck in your search and I hope you find everything your looking for.
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Old 03-24-2008, 05:36 PM   #11
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The thing about advice you have to choose for yourself what is good advice and go with it

May I make a couple of suggestions
Slow down
Deep Breath

Ok

Research your Family first it may be possible to get into contact with a Family member (Who by the way would be the best for giving you advice)

I say this because my younger brother had a child when he was young
The Mother decided that she did not want to live here anymore and took the child when she was about 2 to Ohio. Never telling him where she was poof basically disappeared.

When she was 18 her mother told her that she was Ndn and that her Father lived somewhere in Oklahoma
She only knew her fathers name and contacted one by one each person in various towns here in Oklahoma and through that found my sister (Through the Internet)
Persistence pays off but she is in contact with us and we have included her within our family
Traditions start with the family the teachings are there
That will be where your best and accurate information will come from

The Internet is a wonderful Tool but it does not give the ability to Sort through the tons of information that is good, bad or inaccurate...

Find other members of your Tribe
Determine which band or tribe alot of tribes have websites get in contact with them!
Through the research you may find what area they are from
This may lead to others from your Tribe that can also give you more information
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Old 03-24-2008, 06:05 PM   #12
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I would say slow down. I don't want to sound mean, but you can't be rushing around asking elders to name you.

Why don't you start by contacting people back in Louisiana to see if you have some Indian relatives back there? Then let things progress naturally from there.

Oh duh...did Josiah say all that. I wrote it but didn't submit right away.
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Old 03-24-2008, 08:10 PM   #13
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I would say slow down. I don't want to sound mean, but you can't be rushing around asking elders to name you.

Why don't you start by contacting people back in Louisiana to see if you have some Indian relatives back there? Then let things progress naturally from there.

Oh duh...did Josiah say all that. I wrote it but didn't submit right away.
Great Minds think alike
LOL
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Old 03-25-2008, 12:05 AM   #14
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maybe contact someone that can get you invited to a Sun Dance

Read that part of my reference to a sun dance? I've been to many sun dances where I was a spectator, but only because my mother or grandmother was "invited". My reference to being "invited" meant that it's invite only, sorry I should have been more clear on that part. In general reffering to invites means you shouldn't attend unless you are invited.

There is absolutly nothing wrong with learning traditions of other Tribes. As native people we share a common way of living. I understand it would be better to learn the ways of her own tribal roots though. This can be hard for some people because of the lack of cultural traditions and people who practice them today.

I was raised in an large Ojibway family from the cities and my grandmother married a Lakota man. Thats why I refer to sun dance. My grandma's family hadn't had much for Ojibwe traditions in the family since we were distanced from the Rez.

We are taught that no matter what tribe your from you should grasp any and all Native traditions that you come across, like I said they are all one in the same goal. Traditional ceremonial events are hard to come by for people who weren't raised around it, so one should embrace whatever comes across their path.

To say "learn the way of your own people before you delve into other tribal ceremonies" is a bit of incorrect information if you ask me. That somehow implies she should pass up offers or chances to be curious about or participate in other traditions. I do understand where you are coming from, but something in that statement seems wrong.
I just read where you wrote it's a Lakota tradition and ANYONE can participate. Somebody may get hold of this and try go go to a sundance and they can say "Jay Five said ANYBODY could participate on powwows.com!" I agree, if you're invited to ceremony, then I would think you are welcomed there. I know I have.

I also think it's good to learn other tribes. By invite, not the internet or books.
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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 03-25-2008, 01:06 AM   #15
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I just read where you wrote it's a Lakota tradition and ANYONE can participate. Somebody may get hold of this and try go go to a sundance and they can say "Jay Five said ANYBODY could participate on powwows.com!" I agree, if you're invited to ceremony, then I would think you are welcomed there. I know I have.

I also think it's good to learn other tribes. By invite, not the internet or books.
My meaning is not in one sentence but speaking as a whole. I sometimes forget that when I say stuff it can be interprited wrong due to the lack of the non-verbal nature on the net. I'm sorry if I offended you and my bad for wording that wrong. I forget that I'm sometimes high context.

To be clear, my meaning behind "anybody" means Non-Natives as well as Natives.

Ishould ahve done it earlier but I'll edit it out.
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Old 03-25-2008, 01:11 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by JayFive View Post
My meaning is not in one sentence but speaking as a whole. I sometimes forget that when I say stuff it can be interprited wrong due to the lack of the non-verbal nature on the net. I'm sorry if I offended you and my bad for wording that wrong. I forget that I'm sometimes high context.

To be clear, my meaning behind "anybody" means Non-Natives as well as Natives.

Ishould ahve done it earlier but I'll edit it out.
That's the power of the internet. You don't have to edit. Just take a minute to think ur thoughts before you hit the keyboard.lol

Us old men don't let alot slip by!
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Old 03-25-2008, 04:36 AM   #17
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Thank you guys so much...Well I went to Bunkie louisiana where my grandmother was from she told me that they couldnt practice anything native or they would have their land taken and they would be killed..so they pretended to be mulatto and learned french to blend in...people just thought they were mexican or mixed race..so she knows nothing about our ways except for remedies and sayings.....all of the elders in that family are dead except for my grandmother and one remaining auntt of hers who is dying and cant remmeber much of the day.........I found my dad by running away and calling everyone in dallas with his last name until i found him but the same goes for him......because his father is dark they got away with being a differnt race and used it to their advantage mostly because his mother was ashamed of being indian.......my grandpa whos died his grandparents were both full blood choctaws and refused to live on any reservation so theyre not on the dawes rolls (dosent help with enrollment)....his grandpa was murdered for being indian (funny we can find newspaper articles on that but ni census so i cant trace that family) and his grandmother only had a first name but at age 50 died from grief........

ive gone to louisiana, as well as all over the place looking up marriage records and census papers (ancestry.com, this is where i noticed pen genocide was taking place..for example it says my gr-grandmother was mexican but i have pictures of her in choctaw dress given to me by my grandpa),,,lousiana is one of the hardest places to find info since alot of it was destroyed by floods..

Thats why Im seeking help from you guys..i respect and honor all things in life ive neve been a violent person and i always offer advice and prayers for everyone in this world as my grandmother taugt me but i hit a brick wall when it came to my heritage...

I didnt mean anydisrespect when i commented on the elders....i dont mean adopt one like steal one lol i meant like to show me the ways ....since a lil girl ive had great admmiration for elders and love to hear stories and advice from them.....i just uused naming as one of the things i would love to gain from them in time......

now that i live in england i make trips back to the states every year for at least a month just to research which i have done for the pas 8 years...but i hit a blank...cant find any relatives or anything past the ones i already know.........im making a special trip this year to GON hoping for a blessing.......It moves me to see how helpful you guys are ...May Our Creators Mercy shine through you all for generations and generations to come....Thank you....

ps...you guys are great im loving the advice!!!!
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Old 04-14-2008, 02:44 PM   #18
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Hey April! Welcome! I know exactly how you feel, I found out a while ago that I am also Choctaw! Excitted, but still have a lot of unanswered questions. Yeah, any research you can do on your family would be great. Good luck, and let us know what you find out:)
Peace!
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:32 AM   #19
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April, I first want to say welcome to Powwows.com. I hope and pray that you are well.

You may want to befriend some of the Mississippi Poarch Band folks. I have many friends and family who are Choctaw. Mostly all OK Choctaw. Sounds to me that you can e-mail the different Choctaw Tribes and request information about your family, if there is any info. You can look up family info on Google by typing in your name then the word "family". Go to family name "forum". You can learn much about your families. Google Mississippi Choctaw Tribe and find out all of the info you can about these people. You can do the same thing with the Caddo's.

Good luck, in your hunt. Take it slow, learn all you can, make many friends, and be very careful with strange info and people(new agers). Don't expect to be invited to a sun dance soon, I don't know of Choctaws Sun Dancing, at least not the way the Lakota peoples do. I know that they do Stomp Dance as my people do. If you learn and able to meet the right people you may be given the priveledge to be named if it is appropriate. Have fun and great hunting.
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:12 PM   #20
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hey..

was reading this thread and thought I'd respond a little..
have u checked out any powwows that the choctaws put on?? gon is so multitribal that I think a powwow on choctaw res would be the place to go..
I used to live in oklahoma and know that they have some there as well as in mississippi.. so that's a good place to find out about things that u maybe curious about..
also, dont knock reading up in books about traditions, because unfortunately a lot is lost with different tribes and there is some good reading and information to be found. I know I have researched info from archeological records and found first hand accounts of certain things so that is a good source as well... above all with this.. let ur spirit and heart do the guiding and it will be cool..
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