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  • Identity Confusion

    Hello,

    I apologize for making one of these types of threads, but I would really appreciate advice in this anonymous setting.

    Lately I am feeling like I should give up everything regarding my native identity. I have done these things since I was seven, learning languages, powwowing and beading. I keep getting invited to ceremonies by my friends but I never go, and keep trying to bead again, but never do, as I feel like its time to move on because I am low quantum (under 1/8) and do not fit in whatsoever. I find this new phenomenon of me questioning my identity odd because I was really bullied about it in school, was called all manner of names, but always held to it.

    I have ancestors on Dawes list and ancestors from Decora/Grignon family in Wisconsin, and the DNA test showed native, so what gives? Imposter syndrome, or really just another pretendian fake? Overexaggerating this aspect of my identity, and not paying attention to "who I really am?" When I win contests, I feel very bad because I feel so fake.

    I know the other aspects of my heritage, and try to keep to those things, but it is very hard as dancing brings me health and the elders in my community have come to me saying how good it is to see.

    I am trying to give these things up and learn how to be more American, but it is difficult as this is not the community or culture I am familiar with. I am not entirely familiar with their values and ways, and don't know how to separate myself from what I know.

    I hope I am not overinflating myself in any way or stepping out of line. If it seems this way I apologize. I am just very lost and its difficult to seek help or advice these past years due to everything being shut down, being away from my friends, and my worries that people might view me as even more fake than they probably already see me.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this, and if you reply, thank you for your feedback, which I will greatly consider

  • #2
    Have you considered that this might just be a response to the stress of the last year and a half?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by OLChemist View Post
      Have you considered that this might just be a response to the stress of the last year and a half?
      I am not sure if this is the case. I have been reading many articles, many comments online which have fundamentally changed my idea of myself. I am sure that recent separations have contributed to this, though, due to my subsequent immersion into social media.

      "An active pretendian has crafted a whole history and ancestry designed to pass themselves off as a Native or “Native descent” individual. The active pretendian knows that they are not Native, yet will adamantly adhere to their claims" (source: https://ntvtwt.com/2021/06/13/who-made-the-pretendian/)

      Basically, what I have been taught recently by reading other things online: I do not believe I have the right to this identity anymore simply because four or five generations ago, several *ancestors* (as in people I never met) were native.

      What right does this incredibly distant ancestry give me to pretend to be something I am not? What right does it give me to dance in powwows? By continuing, I am simply making a mockery of myself.

      I simply decided one day, at age seven as a child, that I would learn as much as possible about this. The relevant ancestry, cultures, languages, so forth, and participate as much as I can so that I may learn. My parents never pulled me aside, telling me that this is wrong, this is not my culture, that I am not of this race, that I cannot do this, so I continued until recently, when I became aware of how wrong my actions are.

      Again, "decided": this differs entirely from someone born into the culture or language. By all means, it was a "choice", something which is crafted. As a result, this is a clear marker of a wannabe.

      I am sorry for posting all of this to you, I just felt that I should try to clarify the situation a bit better.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well , Greetings and welcome to powwows.calm ! LOL

        I'll introduce myself , I'm 1/2 Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho and I guess if you go by your source I'm borderline pretendian ! LMAO Did you see your "source's twitter page ? She has no right telling anyone whether they are ndn or no.....sad source !
        My grandmother was full blooded and this is what she use to say about this issue: "If you have 1 drop of Cheyenne blood , then you are Cheyenne. " , She also said:" You either are ndn or you are not ndn , there is no in between." I tell you this because my mother and my father divorced when I was 4. My mother took me and moved to central Missouri and I was raised just like any other "white farm kid". I knew nothing of my ancestry until my teens. When I moved away from home I started researching my ndn side. I met my "Pop" when I was 22 , reconnected with my ndn family. Studied a lot on my own , learned some from relatives , learned more from Elders as well as other ndns.Started dancing when I was 24.My sister was well known in the powwow world, even to this day and she's been gone over a decade. Her husband's best friend is a Sac and Fox holy man that was also a Champion dancer. He became my mentor and he made me who I am.
        When it comes to "pretendians" "wanabees" hobbiests" How am I any different that them ? I worked a real job , in the real world (not the rez), bought a house , raised a family got divorced , remarried (quite happily I might add)and have a life that is equal to about any non-ndn out there ! So am I a "pretendian" ? No , I'm not. I know who I am and nobody can ever tell me I'm not who I am ! I can tell them who my family is , I can show my connections and I don't give a crap what "they"(those who question)think about it ! I am me , blood quantum be damned !
        I think you should decide who you are and stop worrying what anybody else thinks ! Especially that twit...ter person with a stupid opinion. Begging for someone to buy her crap so she can pay rent , buy school books , eat. Tell her to get a real job and earn !
        Sorry I'm ranting a bit , I'm retired now and we have a lot going on , but the younger generations need to get over this butt hurt attitude and just do something except whine about what someone thinks about them !
        I've retired from work , and the powwow circuit , but I can guarantee that if I was to go to a powwow or any native gathering , even if I wasn't known , I'd be respected as an elder , even though I'm just old !
        Last edited by wardancer; 08-01-2021, 01:44 AM.
        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 !


        sigpic


        There's a chance you might not like me ,

        but there's a bigger

        chance I won't care

        Comment


        • #5
          As a "thin-blooded" i'eska I have to echo what WD said. Listen to him. He's not just old; he's wise.

          We who were born from the caldron of colonization's genetic exchange can be prone to an excess of navel gazing. As my mother would say, look long enough and you're likely to find some really nasty lint. The solution to this is to take your eyes off yourself. Hechel lena oyate kin nipi kte (That the people may live)! Get off social media. Bead a gift for someone, mask up and take an elder some groceries, mow a shut-in's lawn, offer your prayers....

          You are as the Creator made you, with all the unique gifts he gave you. You are as intended -- child of the colonized and colonizer. Make peace with it and move on.

          I sound unsympathetic but honestly I'm not. I'm old now and wasted too many years trying to get people to approve of me. Indians and non- can be like buckets of crabs, pulling each other under, so they can climb over. Not everyone is going to like you. Most are going to be indifferent, too consumed with their own lives to even give you a second thought. What matters is how you stand before the Creator and what you do for your communities.
          Last edited by OLChemist; 08-01-2021, 12:34 PM. Reason: Honest, there wasn't a buy one get one sale on "but" s today.

          Comment


          • #6
            Don't worry about what envy think about you.

            Listen to WD an OL.

            Listen to your heart and be what you are and belong too where you are welcome.

            When your ndn people invite you, you have a greater family and that is much more than what I see nowadays around me.
            Those who know do not write and those who write may not know. Frank W. Louis, No such Agency

            True peace between nations will only happen when there is true peace within people’s souls.
            Black Elk

            “Tell me, and I will listen.
            Show me, and I will understand.
            Involve me, and I will learn.”
            Lakota Proverb

            God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
            Courage to change the things I can,
            And wisdom to know the difference.
            Living one day at a time,
            Enjoying one moment at a time,
            Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace.
            (Reinhold Niebuhr, but the origin is debated)

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by wardancer View Post
              Well , Greetings and welcome to powwows.calm ! LOL

              I'll introduce myself , I'm 1/2 Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho and I guess if you go by your source I'm borderline pretendian ! LMAO Did you see your "source's twitter page ? She has no right telling anyone whether they are ndn or no.....sad source !
              My grandmother was full blooded and this is what she use to say about this issue: "If you have 1 drop of Cheyenne blood , then you are Cheyenne. " , She also said:" You either are ndn or you are not ndn , there is no in between." I tell you this because my mother and my father divorced when I was 4. My mother took me and moved to central Missouri and I was raised just like any other "white farm kid". I knew nothing of my ancestry until my teens. When I moved away from home I started researching my ndn side. I met my "Pop" when I was 22 , reconnected with my ndn family. Studied a lot on my own , learned some from relatives , learned more from Elders as well as other ndns.Started dancing when I was 24.My sister was well known in the powwow world, even to this day and she's been gone over a decade. Her husband's best friend is a Sac and Fox holy man that was also a Champion dancer. He became my mentor and he made me who I am.
              When it comes to "pretendians" "wanabees" hobbiests" How am I any different that them ? I worked a real job , in the real world (not the rez), bought a house , raised a family got divorced , remarried (quite happily I might add)and have a life that is equal to about any non-ndn out there ! So am I a "pretendian" ? No , I'm not. I know who I am and nobody can ever tell me I'm not who I am ! I can tell them who my family is , I can show my connections and I don't give a crap what "they"(those who question)think about it ! I am me , blood quantum be damned !
              I think you should decide who you are and stop worrying what anybody else thinks ! Especially that twit...ter person with a stupid opinion. Begging for someone to buy her crap so she can pay rent , buy school books , eat. Tell her to get a real job and earn !
              Sorry I'm ranting a bit , I'm retired now and we have a lot going on , but the younger generations need to get over this butt hurt attitude and just do something except whine about what someone thinks about them !
              I've retired from work , and the powwow circuit , but I can guarantee that if I was to go to a powwow or any native gathering , even if I wasn't known , I'd be respected as an elder , even though I'm just old !
              Thank you for your welcome and thank you for sharing, I appreciate this and I will refer back if I ever feel doubts again.

              Definitely, the people on social media are always quite eager to police in how others should feel/identify likely with all the new time on their hands. I find that the policing can be a damaging phenomenon to people with credible, traceable claims, especially when "doxxing" is occasionally involved, that is the primary concern with these types. I imagine that staying mostly offline will be beneficial for me then.

              I believe that I will continue to be who I am, and not pretend to be something I'm not as was my earlier plan. If I had done that, I would truly be a "wannabe", but of a different sort, haha.

              Thanks again for your perspective, and I hope you have a great day.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by OLChemist View Post
                As a "thin-blooded" i'eska I have to echo what WD said. Listen to him. He's not just old; he's wise.

                We who were born from the caldron of colonization's genetic exchange can be prone to an excess of navel gazing. As my mother would say, look long enough and you're likely to find some really nasty lint. The solution to this is to take your eyes off yourself. Hechel lena oyate kin nipi kte (That the people may live)! Get off social media. Bead a gift for someone, mask up and take an elder some groceries, mow a shut-in's lawn, offer your prayers....

                You are as the Creator made you, with all the unique gifts he gave you. You are as intended -- child of the colonized and colonizer. Make peace with it and move on.

                I sound unsympathetic but honestly I'm not. I'm old now and wasted too many years trying to get people to approve of me. Indians and non- can be like buckets of crabs, pulling each other under, so they can climb over. Not everyone is going to like you. Most are going to be indifferent, too consumed with their own lives to even give you a second thought. What matters is how you stand before the Creator and what you do for your communities.
                Thank you for your perspective as well.

                It's good to hear that most will be indifferent. I will try to stick to who I am, and continue dancing and participating as I always have. I will try to remember the people who have approached me with good words at the local powwows while growing up. It would definitely be a shame to abandon the skills, teachings, and friends that I have had along the way, as well as forget the encouragement of others.

                Currently, I am working on growing a garden full of medicines to help others with ceremonies, so I will try to focus my attention more on this. I am also getting help with getting some new beading supplies as well, which I am grateful for.

                I hope you have a great day, and thanks once again!

                Comment

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