Sumo

Collapse

Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

A Question on Elders

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • A Question on Elders

    My family didn't embrace our NDN heritage and I learned very little about it growing up. Now that I have children of my own, I am trying to learn for myself and for them. My grandfather was 1/2 Chickasaw, but he passed away 22 years ago. My mother doesn't know the Chickasaw ways and isn't interested in learning. I live in Wisconsin, and the Chickasaw lands are over 1000 miles away. I know we're to seek out elders to learn the hows and whys of our traditions, but what do you do when you live so far afield from your elders? I'd be interested in hearing from anyone else who has been through similar circumstances.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    This is a good question. My family has faced a similar problem in their past. My great grandma was one of the indian kids who was raised on a mission and therefore she was somewhat unloving to her children so they rejected her ways. My mom learned some though from my great grandma before she died but then my mother went back to college after we were born and quickly learn that being an indian in her program meant she was a target for hate, and she too began to shy away from her heritage. Each generation it seems less and less knowledge gets passed. However, when I lived in Wichita, we were lucky enough to have an indian center that was doing well at the time. The center helped connect us to others of our tribe so that we could learn from them and even had connections to elders of our tribe. Unfortunately, I live out in rural Kansas now and I'm hours away from big cities with indian centers. I too would be interested in other ways of contacting elders now. But if you're near Milwaukee, it has an indian center, I think. Here's some contact info off google:

    American Indian Center
    6083 S 20th St, Milwaukee, WI
    (414) 383-8209

    If that info doesn't work, try looking around google a bit... I may of missed something (blasted short attention span of mine! lol)

    I also think powwow dancing is a great way to not only learn your tribe's ways from fellow tribal members at the powwows, but just too learn what it is to be indigenous! I've been dancing since I was 4-5 years old at powwows and I think it is what has kept me and my family from losing everything completely. I think the powwows.com article puts it best... "(a powwow) is a time to renew thought of the old ways and to preserve a rich heritage."

    Lastly, ask around on this site! We're all willing to share what we know! Sharing is why most everyone is here! This forum is a good start. Hopefully, someone who knows your ways will find it and assist you.

    Wanting to learn the correct ways is the first step to finding out! I meet so many people who don't care and just do whatever they want without respect to their culture. I commend you for your effort and hope you can find what you are looking for!
    ~*The only thing we know for sure is that we believe.*~

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't have an answer for you, but I share the problem. There are quite a few people here in the East who have Indian ancestors lost as the generations passed. What I find frustrating out here, though, is that as soon as I try to learn more about those ancestors, there are modern Indians who pounce on me under the assumption that I'm just some new-ager or white woman who discovered a "Cherokee princess" in the family tree. I'm not saying all modern Indians pounce, because that isn't true (and many of the non-pouncers are on this board) but there is a certain "proving yourself" that you have to go through before Indians take you even semi-seriously, and some never will. Understandable, given American history, but too bad.

      Comment


      • #4
        Boozhoo niji,

        I am Anishinaabe and living in Florida. My ancestral homelands are 1800 miles away. For me to learn stuff, I would do it any way I possibly could. I read books and talk to anyone I could, finally going to a pow wow up in White Earth Minnesota and meeting people up there.

        There are problems with this as it took me a few years to find out. Even within one tribe, every person has their own certain "tilt" on traditions. You can learn very different and conflicting things from different people. I was told by an Elder up north that you need to pick ONE person to learn from. I had chosen someone who passed away about a year ago.

        For me, its time for drastic changes in my life. I am planning on moving up north a year from now or so. When I get reestablished I will find that ONE person and learn what I need to learn from them. The upside is I will be closer to some good pow wows up there, meet new friends and perhaps get a drum group started up. All of these are things almost impossible down here in Florida.

        This is a drastic change, but perhaps its something you would consider as well, faced with the same problems I am.

        Derek
        I believe in something I want to believe, not what someone wants me to believe.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thank you all for your kind input. I've been doing some reading of books, online information (including family histories), etc., but you're right - that personal interaction with an elder would be key. I will check into the NDN center around here and see what I can learn. I am planning on attending powwows locally, starting next month. I would love to spend some time in Chickasaw country in OK - whether I would be able to move there, or not, who knows?

          So far, on this site I feel that most folks have pretty much taken me at face value and accept me as a novice when it comes to tradition and cultural issues, but I haven't felt pressured to prove myself. If there are those who don't accept me, then I would hope they would at least give me credit for being sincere in my desire to learn to do things the "right way," rather than just taking the ball and running with it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by NorthofAda View Post
            Thank you all for your kind input. I've been doing some reading of books, online information (including family histories), etc., but you're right - that personal interaction with an elder would be key. I will check into the NDN center around here and see what I can learn. I am planning on attending powwows locally, starting next month. I would love to spend some time in Chickasaw country in OK - whether I would be able to move there, or not, who knows?

            So far, on this site I feel that most folks have pretty much taken me at face value and accept me as a novice when it comes to tradition and cultural issues, but I haven't felt pressured to prove myself. If there are those who don't accept me, then I would hope they would at least give me credit for being sincere in my desire to learn to do things the "right way," rather than just taking the ball and running with it.
            I hope you can take your kids down to where the Chickasaw live, also to the ancestral homeland. Whether or not you move, it would be good for you and your kids to spend some time there and see where they are now, where they've come from.

            Comment

            Join the online community forum celebrating Native American Culture, Pow Wows, tribes, music, art, and history.

            Related Topics

            Collapse

            • Alli3
              Musings-Warning: Long
              by Alli3
              I've had this question rolling around in my head for a couple weeks now so bear with me. See, I am at a wall with my family research, wherein it's so long ago that records aren't much help. There are conflicting accounts of one ancestor's heritage (Ojibwe? Menominee? Odawa? All of the above) among her...
              03-31-2018, 02:33 AM
            • Little Caribou
              Looking for teachers, ceremonies near west KY
              by Little Caribou
              Hi everyone,
              I've been lurking around here for a year now, chicken to post because there seems to be so much contention among some people involving those who are not full native or raised native being put down as "wannabe's". This is my first post.

              Well, I'm writing...
              06-15-2008, 03:17 AM
            • Niigig
              Father refused to acknowledge tribe, can I still join?
              by Niigig
              Hi all. I am new. I will spare you the entire sob story, but I have to give a little of it in order for it to make sense, but the bottom line is that everyone on my dad's side of the family was extremely racist, white supremacist almost, back to one who was resentful of his father who was full-blooded...
              04-25-2016, 06:38 PM
            • hywalker
              How white is your native world?
              by hywalker
              To those who may ask, Who the hell does this guy think he is?, after reading this, i very quickly wrote that in another thread "craft contest sponsors" so I don't have to bore readers with a second round of it :) http://www.powwows.com/gathering/sho...965#post707965
              ...
              01-28-2006, 12:25 PM
            • crazywolf
              Obsolete Reservations???
              by crazywolf
              Boozhoo niji,

              I know this one is gonna start some fires, so be it. This have been bugging me for a couple of months and now I am bringing it out into the open for everyone to attack, flame, ridicule and possibly even get banned over.

              I was at work a couple of days ago,...
              03-12-2009, 02:11 PM

            Trending

            Collapse

            Sidebar Ad

            Collapse
            Working...
            X