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  • So what do you do when your family is not recognized?

    So what do you do when your familys tribes are not recognized, and those who have recognized tribes within your nation have established units that do not accept membership applications from people who were outside of their geographic boundaries?

    My moms family is Wompanoag nation, Nauset Tribe and Monomoyick/ Potenumecot bands. We've done our lineage work, we participate in our local community, my son is an aspiring Chicken Dancer and I'm in the process of building his Regalia.

    It's frustrating to see that federally recognized tribes - and the standards for what makes those tribes, from the outside seem to have a validation that we either can't or won't be able to achieve. Because we don't have a contiguous cultural unit as the descendants of those who were part of a recognized cultural unit, then we are 'without culture' regardless of our knowledge of the languages of our family, our appearance, our lineage or our involvement with culture as it stands today.

    Do you just accept that as far as recognition in the eyes of the government, you have to check the 'mixed race or other' box on the EEO surveys that employers hand out, and the school population surveys circulate - or throw them away as we do because while it seems petty, that validation of your existence means something.

    What do you do when you're tired of feeling like a rogue Indian?

    Randomly. I'm not all that serious in anticipating a surge of replies, but at the same time I'm curious as to whether others have issues with the same thing, a feeling perhaps of invalidity because of living in world that says you don't exist and wanting to jump up and down and go heeeeey! over here. We are here. Ahem! Yo!

    Yanno?

  • #2
    So what do you do when your familys tribes are not recognized, and those who have recognized tribes within your nation have established units that do not accept membership applications from people who were outside of their geographic boundaries?
    I'm a bit confused about what you mean here. Are you talking about being enrolled in tribes within your state as opposed to your own? If you're Wampanoag why don't you enroll with the Wampanoag? As far as I know they are federally recognized.
    Cariblanguage.org

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    • #3
      Geez, do what's possible, then get over it. Join the club. Lots of times enrollment is so political.
      ...it is what it is...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by kgirl7 View Post
        I'm a bit confused about what you mean here. Are you talking about being enrolled in tribes within your state as opposed to your own? If you're Wampanoag why don't you enroll with the Wampanoag? As far as I know they are federally recognized.
        The Mashpee and the Aquinnah are the only bands that are recognized within the Wampanoag nation. The others aren't.
        Don't ever stop dancing

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MayChe View Post
          The Mashpee and the Aquinnah are the only bands that are recognized within the Wampanoag nation. The others aren't.
          Sorry it's taken me so long to get back. Yahoo spam filter has gotten all over effective and while they still want to sell me free credit reports, they're having issues getting the stuff I want through!

          This. and as others have said, I don't per se disagree, it only comes to mind a couple times a year. I mean, yeah. Get over it. Story of the known universe, and yeah it's absolutely political, but having been born on Cape Cod and spending my youth there, I am concerned with the politics of the local even though I no longer live there.

          We have a couple groups near Austin that only accept kids into their programs that have federal recognition and that's another frustration. I would love to see my boys get to participate in programs that are geared towards helping them bridge the gap from ethnicity to culture.

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          • #6
            My moms family is Wompanoag nation, Nauset Tribe and Monomoyick/ Potenumecot bands. We've done our lineage work, we participate in our local community, my son is an aspiring Chicken Dancer and I'm in the process of building his Regalia.

            It's frustrating to see that federally recognized tribes - and the standards for what makes those tribes, from the outside seem to have a validation that we either can't or won't be able to achieve. Because we don't have a contiguous cultural unit as the descendants of those who were part of a recognized cultural unit, then we are 'without culture' regardless of our knowledge of the languages of our family, our appearance, our lineage or our involvement with culture as it stands today.



            Not sure what you are having problems with...
            if you and your family already participate in the community and involved with the life... what difference will being enrolled get you? Who are you looking for acceptance from? if its the community - apparently you already have it as you and yours are invovled
            if its the Fed Govt - forget it!!! the only thing they do is decide which are federally recognized tribes... the tribes then decide who they enroll.....So can you not go enroll with the Wampanoags?
            Last edited by Okwataga; 11-11-2009, 06:47 PM. Reason: added
            Well will wonders never cease.....

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Okwataga View Post
              My moms family is Wompanoag nation, Nauset Tribe and Monomoyick/ Potenumecot bands. We've done our lineage work, we participate in our local community, my son is an aspiring Chicken Dancer and I'm in the process of building his Regalia.

              It's frustrating to see that federally recognized tribes - and the standards for what makes those tribes, from the outside seem to have a validation that we either can't or won't be able to achieve. Because we don't have a contiguous cultural unit as the descendants of those who were part of a recognized cultural unit, then we are 'without culture' regardless of our knowledge of the languages of our family, our appearance, our lineage or our involvement with culture as it stands today.



              Not sure what you are having problems with...
              if you and your family already participate in the community and involved with the life... what difference will being enrolled get you? Who are you looking for acceptance from? if its the community - apparently you already have it as you and yours are invovled
              if its the Fed Govt - forget it!!! the only thing they do is decide which are federally recognized tribes... the tribes then decide who they enroll.....So can you not go enroll with the Wampanoags?
              I tried to reply to this lat night but it didn't go through, so I'll try again today.

              The enrollment is at a band/'tribe' level rather than the nation level. We are from what it now called Harwich in Ma. We weren't from Marthas Vineyard, or Mashpee, so the groups out of these towns do not take enrollments from people who were not on the census for these towns. I believe 1811 was the cutoff as far as these groups are concerned.

              While we participate in open events where one doesn't need a #, there are a couple programs locally that don't take kids without a registered family member. The programs are through the school system and focus on dance, regalia making, story telling, history and culture.

              My main goal. I'd like my boys to be able to participate in this.

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              • #8
                Not to be mean or anything but if you are in TX how are you participating in MA with the Wampanoag's?
                If you are trying to stay in touch with Native Culture, then would it not be best to be involved with a Tribe that is closest to you?
                Well will wonders never cease.....

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Okwataga View Post
                  Not to be mean or anything but if you are in TX how are you participating in MA with the Wampanoag's?
                  If you are trying to stay in touch with Native Culture, then would it not be best to be involved with a Tribe that is closest to you?
                  I'm not participating in Wompanoag 'culture' in Massachusetts -and as Wompanoag culture goes it is a case of ethnicity and passed down lineage rather than living culture, outside of the evolved customs of independent family units - - hence it would be an uphill battle getting the Monomoyick or Potenumecot recognized.

                  We get to the cape maybe once a year to check out events, it is local Texas culture that we are involved with - powwows as far as a reasonable drive, storytelling, workshops and whatever we can get in touch with aklthough I am particular and teach my boys what I know of language, customs, faith and lifestyle. No eels or quahogs to be had in Austin I'm afraid. Up until recently I was doing an outreach program with our local schools but have since stopped pursuing it in frustration at the reception of the material. :-( I got tired of hearing *did you live in tee pees!*

                  Back to point, I wouldn't seek enrollment with the local tribes because we are not of the same ancestry or family.

                  We are in the midst of tribes that did not live as our ancestors did, do not have the same stories or in some cases culture as our family did; regardless certain events they are particular and want paperwork - whether your family is a coastal tribe in north eastern America, or a plains tribe.

                  I guess my primary beef i that I want my kiddos in on a group that has particular requirements that we cannot meet. I want my boys to have access to the same help and resources in becoming who they are going to be, and having a venue to show their pride in that. Even if life has taken us across the country a few times. I was born and raised in Ma. but employment and family has moved me and my family around a bit.

                  Who they are has been affected by our travels, and they have embraced the local culture, and if that's what's available, I want them to have as much access to that as possible.

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                  • #10
                    I'm not sure what it's called in all states, but some have this thing called Title IX. Helps indigenous children to stay involved with their culture. Usually, what is taught is regional. Because much of the funds are marked for cultural learning, the funds are aimed at ethnic identified children. If a child cannot meet the requirements, it is not usually allowed to participate. Many of the programs don't require tribal enrollment, just validity. To play the devil's advocate, what if an Asian (y'all know some NDNs look Chinese or Korean! LOL) claimed to be NDN and wanted to participate? Would you let them participate?

                    This is good and this is bad. It's good in there are funds to assist in cultural identification for children. It is not good if a child (and parents) cannot participate due to not being able to meet the criteria set in the rules.

                    Don't give up. If you know who you are, instill it in your child.


                    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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                    • #11
                      I hear ya on that, although I can't imagine myself wanting to from the other direction participate in Asian culture, or learn Chinese without being very sure I wasn't claiming the wrong ancestors.

                      I suppose the name of the game is he who funds the program makes the rules.

                      ty for your responses :)

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                      • #12
                        i wouldn't be too concerned about being recognized. its not the end of the world ya know?
                        i mean even there's tons of full bloods on different reservations who aren't recognized. everyone just lives their lives. sure you have those who think its thee most important thing but its not. just do what you do and make sure you participate in your tribes community then everything will work out. frankly, it's just a paper you know who your son is and he is safe and happy and you have your health and that's all that should matter. people who think it's important usually some of them talk just to talk because their bored. besides if you are living off the reservation what would you need it for? people don't go around flashing their papers. don't worry .

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