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Where Were These “Wannabe Tribes” 20 Years Ago?

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  • Where Were These “Wannabe Tribes” 20 Years Ago?

    ************************************************** ******
    This Message Is Reprinted Under The Fair Use
    Doctrine of International Copyright Law:
    http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html
    ************************************************** ******

    FROM: THE NATIVE AMERICAN TIMES NEWSPAPER

    http://www.nativetimes.com/index.asp...rticle_id=6460

    Where Were These “Wannabe Tribes” 20 Years Ago?

    Notes from Indian Country


    Tim Giago (Nanwica Kciji) 5/16/2005

    © 2005, Native American Journalists Foundation, Inc.


    With untold millions of dollars waiting in the wings it should go without
    saying that many groups of people identifying themselves as “Indian” are filing
    for federal recognition as Indian tribes. It’s getting kind of scary out
    there.

    There is no doubt that some of these groups have legitimate reasons to file.
    Others have sought out financial backers with deep pockets willing to take a
    chance on them with the knowledge that if successful, the financial returns
    would more than make up for any outlay when the new tribe builds a casino.

    Most Indians know that tribes such as the Lumbee of North Carolina have been
    seeking federal recognition for more than 30 years. They believe they have
    qualified according to the required criteria, but they still have not been
    allowed to enter that magic door. Why not?

    What are some of the requirements in order for the Bureau of Indian Affairs
    to give a group of people federal recognition? According to Jeff Benedict in
    his book “Without Reservation,” the one sure way is to go through the BIA. His
    book indicates that the Mashantucket Pequot Indians did not go this route but
    instead became a tribe through congressional action. I encourage all Indians
    to read this book.

    Benedict wrote, “With the rise in lawsuits being filed by groups claiming to
    be Indian tribes, the BIA established procedures to judge the merits of such
    groups. As an alternative to going to court to prove tribal status, groups
    could subject themselves to a review process before the BIA. If the BIA found them
    worthy of being called a tribe, then the group did not need to litigate that
    issue before a judge or jury.

    Here are the procedures as established by the BIA to gain federal
    recognition:

    Proof that the petitioner had been identified as a tribe from historic times
    to the present.

    Proof that a majority of the members of the tribe, as well as their
    ancestors, inhabited the area in or around the reservation.

    Proof that the petitioner had been recognized as an Indian community distinct
    from other populations.

    Evidence that the tribe had maintained political influence over its members.

    The existence of a written governing document such as a constitution.

    Current membership roles that established a genealogical link to a
    historically recognized tribe.

    It is estimated that there are now as many as 150 groups seeking federal
    recognition through the BIA. As I said, some have legitimate claims, but many do
    not.

    Another source of anger and pain to many would-be Indians is their inability
    to gain membership into an Indian nation. Since the Santa Clara Pueblo case
    several years ago the determination of tribal membership has been relegated to
    the individual tribal governments.

    Every Indian nation has its own set of rules about membership. Some will
    enroll a new member if that person can prove that one or more of their parents
    were enrolled members of their tribe. Blood quantum would not matter in this
    case. Others set a blood quantum standard of one-fourth or more. One tribe uses
    the one half or more standard for admittance. Nearly all tribes require a family
    history connecting them to the tribe.

    It is clearly possible for legitimate Indians to slip through the cracks. For
    instance, if they were adopted into a white family as and infant and they
    have lost all connections with their tribe, including contact with family
    members, they have a very difficult time re-establishing tribal membership.

    And then there are those who claim to be Indians simply to advance their own
    careers or to profit. Many artists, artisans and college professors have
    claimed Indian blood in order to sell their wares or to gain jobs set aside for
    Indians. Others have formed high profile Indian organizations and received
    countless monetary grants because they claimed to be Indians.

    The sad part is that so many art shows, colleges or grant givers fail to
    check out the legitimacy of the claimants. When I wrote a column in 1988 that
    questioned the Indian claims of Jamake Highwater, Ward Churchill and Roxanne
    Dunbar (to name a few), Churchill viciously attacked me and accused me of being a
    Mexican pretending to be an Indian.

    All that aside, a Mexican is an Indian. But anyone wishing to check my
    legitimacy only needs to call the enrollment office on the Pine Ridge Reservation to
    discover that I was born at the Indian Health Service Hospital on the
    reservation and I was raised and educated on the reservation.

    Whenever Indians get together at conventions they always ask about each other’
    s family. I know that I am always asked about my brothers, Billy Joe and
    Bobby Giago, both graduates of Haskell Indian Institute, or about Bobby’s ex-wife
    Millie. A wannabe does not have these family connections.

    Suzanne Shown Harjo, a lady who wrote columns for me when I owned Indian
    Country Today, bore the brunt of Churchill’s viciousness because she related a
    story about asking him about his relatives and of being taken aback when he just
    sat there in silence refusing to answer her question. This is usually a dead
    giveaway.

    I encourage the BIA to include the one criteria I have suggested for many
    years; if they approve a group as an Indian tribe, make it a stipulation that
    they not be allowed to open a casino for at least 10 years after recognition.
    This would cut down on a number of the phony applicants. Where were all of these
    wannabe tribes 20 years ago?

    (Tim Giago is the founder and former editor and publisher of The Lakota
    Times, Indian Country Today, and the Lakota, Dakota and Pueblo Journals. He can be
    reached at [email protected])



    NTN Article#: 6460
    Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic

  • #2
    I am from Canada and have friends from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

    I read of people from the east coast of the U.S.A. that they have lost most of their culture and language because the native people of the east encountered the white people first. That they have taken the brunt of the immigrant peoples genocidal actions longer than any other native groups inland.

    If that is true, how do they explain the Miq maw of Nova Scotia (the most eastern part of North America) still speaking the language and having their ceremonies intact. I have visited there and have seen this personally.

    Does anybody have a logical explanation for this?

    Comment


    • #3
      The French colonization of the area known as L'Acadie (Acadia New France or Nova Scotia-pick one) in 1606 occurred seven months before English colonists would depart for Jamestown in Virginia; the climate and maritime conditions could be brutal. In the early days, fishing, was what kept the local economy going, with exchanges of European goods for animal pelts from the Mikmaq (the plural form of Mikmaw). Historically, Nova Scotia was recognized as a maritime province by both the French and English. Until French colonists settled in and intermarried with the Mikmaq, the survival of the French relied on an annual supply vessel. Unlike their Puritan counterparts in the American colonies, the French Catholics (primarily farmers) that arrived in the second wave of migration proved more interested in establishing amicable relations with the local tribesmen. According to John Mack Faragher in his book "A Great and Noble Scheme" pg 47, "A number of factors help explain the difference." [--i.e. French to English relations with their respective Native peoples.] "One is the contrasting material circumstances. Unlike the Mikmaq, who were principally hunters and gatherers, the native peoples of coastal New England were farmers, which put them in direct conflict with English colonists, who were more interested in agriculture than the fur trade. But contrasting policies and attitudes were of equal importance. French colonial doctrine was that baptized natives would be considered French subjects. Speaking to one group of natives, Champlain promised that 'our sons will marry your daughters and we will be a single people.' No Puritan ever said anything vaguely similar. And for the most part the Puritans were uninterested in the kind of missionary work to which the Catholics, and particularly the Jesuits, were so dedicated. The Catholic missionary effort created a bond of sympathy between native and colonist in l'Acadie, and made possible genuinely intimate personal relations. It is likely that many of the colonists who chose to remain in l'Acadie rather than return to France had reasons to feel alienated from their homeland, and they may have been open to close relationships with the native peoples of the new land. As a result, METISSAGE played a prominent part in the prevailing climate of cooperation during the early years of the settlement."

      I think it would be interesting to ponder what would have happened here in the U.S. if the French had not been driven out by the British... Anybody remember the 'French-Indian Wars'? The English didn't just hammer American colonists, they attacked 'Acadian' (French/Mikmaq or Metis, if yo9u will) settlements to the north in Canada. First, they merely tried to force those peoples to take an 'oath of allegiance'. The Acadians, no longer considered themselves French, and tried to remain neutral but the English wouldn't allow it. The English eventually rounded up over 7,000 of the French speaking, Catholic Acadians they felt were a threat to English Sovereignty and shipped them out of North America or to the French colony of Louisiana, where the Acadians evolved into the Cajun people.

      Back in Nova Scotia, by the 1760s, the English forced the Mikmaq to vacate their coastal communities and relocate to the interior to allow for control of the fishing industry by English colonists.

      I don't think the Mikmaq remained untouched; either by the French or the English. But, perhaps, with their more healthy relationship with the French colonists, even when the French were given the boot by the English, the Mikmaq were able to go back to their primary culture; thus having the advantage over many of the native peoples along the east coast of America who were harassed and brutalized from the getgo by Puritan colonists and the English Crown.

      Just my two cents.
      Last edited by Soohkiisimsstaan; 05-17-2005, 11:43 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Well, geez, that was a great explanation. Who woulda guessed that French people were more humane than English.

        They should've been like that to the inland Indians. They kinda shoved their religion down the throats of the native people by putting them in residential schools.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Kiwehnzii
          Well, geez, that was a great explanation. Who woulda guessed that French people were more humane than English.

          They should've been like that to the inland Indians. They kinda shoved their religion down the throats of the native people by putting them in residential schools.
          Don't you think the Church and Governments (when established) are responsible for the prevailing attitudes in all these situations? I mean, if they have a divide and conquer mentality like the English did by sending the Scots into Ireland to give the Crown a political advantage In Ireland, you are going to see the hostilities we still see to this day. If I understand my history correctly (and I'm not saying I do, necessarily) and what is written above, many of the French who ended up in Canada were fleeing persecution in their own country. But as you stated in your last sentence: "shoved their religion down the throats of the native people by putting them in residential schools"; when this happened, as we know it did, the outcome was bad for our people. When it didn't, when there wasn't the judgmental mentality that we were 'savages' and there was nothing the settlers could learn from us, there seemed to be more harmonious relations between the two. I know this is bound to rile a whole lot of fellow Skins, the whole 'assimilation' business, as any 'cooperation' will be seen as 'collaborating with the enemy', but even our people did what they had to, to survive. Some Apache cooperated and signed treaties with the US Government, those that didn't are no longer federally recognized and their numbers small by comparison. The Crow, and others, were criticized for signing on as scouts with the US government. I, for one, won't stand in judgment of my brothers. I wasn't alive back then; I can't begin to appreciate the conditions they lived under. They did what they had to do. Anyway, back to the topic at hand, I'm not that surprised by what I read--it jives with my understanding of history. I am reluctant to lump all 'French' or all 'English' into one category. I've seen that happen to our people, with disastrous implications.
          Damme ape’semmai, "Andabichidaiboonee’ gimmadu’i.Wihyu memme hainjinee’ nahandu’i. Enne wizha sudei’ tsaangu mabizhiahkande," mai.

          The Creator said, "A foreign race of white people will come, who will become your friends. You should treat them well."

          The Creator sure had a strange sense of humor!

          Comment


          • #6
            Once free money comes into play, all the dirt comes out of the cracks.

            Some are legit some arent. 1/32 blood is kinda pushing it tho. We can thank politicians for that. Anything for a vote.

            But I must admit, since there are so many dishonest people already involved, if I fould out I was 1/32, I would be in line too. Im sick of having to work so my tax dollars go to bums who are bleeding the system. And I still cant afford a home of my own, Im not poor enough for govt help and not rich enough to buy.
            There are 2 types of people in the world...
            Really stupid people who think they are smart
            and
            Really smart people who think they are smart.

            Comment


            • #7
              I know in many southern states it was illegal to even be an indian for a long time you either had to put black or mullato down. There are still a number of identifiable indian communities throughout the south even today even for a western indian. However they generally dont give a rats *** about applying for federal recognition usually the ones that are are whites trying to make a buck because 400 years ago their ancestor stole an indian bride.

              Comment


              • #8
                Where were they 20 years ago?

                Good question. How about 30 - 40 years ago when it wasn't "cool" to be an Indian? Care to answer Echota Cherokee, Northeast Alabama Cherokee, Cherokee Confederacy?
                Fish eyed fool!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Years ago.

                  Very good point there Badmutha and excellent history there Tipi Tender!

                  As mentioned before some of these groups truly are Native and have been around, but they were not organized and they were not aware of being able to do something about their own plight.

                  Over population, wars, drought etc. spread people out. Then the govenment added more population, wars and forced removal. We know that many pockets survied all across the country during these times before White Contact and after White Contact. But, the concern now is who is and who is the real deal.

                  The biggest prolem with this concept is the same problem we have with many things - fraud. For every ligitimate thing that exsist there is a way to take advantage of it by somebody that is not ligitimate. An the cause for that is usually just plain GREED.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I liked what Gache had to say. There are many native ppls still in and around the southern states. I've met a few while visiting family. But when the non natives come out of the wood work for a powwow in the summer, you don't see any of the real ones going. They stay to themselfs and families. My grandmother has never powwowed that I know of, as for ceremony I have no clue I've never asked her. But when it comes to family she knows everything. She can put names with faces and dates of births and who's children they are and everything else about them. I've never met any other person that can name and date and know exactly who her neices and nephews and their childrens births, and as well as her own cousins childrens children and dates, etc... she is like a walking book that has over 60 years of names and dates wrote down within the pages. Her and my family don't worry about powwows, government grants, or anything else, that doesn't involve just living life. They farm their fruits and vegetables and buy what meat they may need and continue on with their daily lives as they have since they've been born. They only thing that we worry about is family...and if one might need assistance there are usually more then enough of us there to help with anything that is needed. Speaking of my grandmother.. With the population growing throughout the mountain regions in the south many mountains are being logged and topped to make way for residential and commercial properties. Last time I spoke with her she told me that she owns 60 acres of land about a half of a mountain or so, and she has never once thought of selling it, as it goes, when she dies it will be passed along down to, along with the rest of her belongings, to my aunt, who will more than likely pass it down to her daughter. The matriarchial system seems to still hold tight within my family. Even off the rez as far back as I can remember it's been the women who have owned the houses. My grandmother owned her's, the same with my gr.grandmother who passed in 2000, and my gr.gr.grandmothers house which is just a few steps up the mountain. So many of those who aren't enrolled or keep ties to the nation, still live their lives in accordance to the traditional ways, and without having to have any governmental assistance.
                    There should be a law against stupid people being able to breed!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      when do the real indians start getting money?....**** all the real indians still living with wood stoves , oil lamps & and no running water.!!!! and why the hell do all these tribes who are only about 1/4 or less indian get all the $$$$$?????..........oh yeah and where was the" Iroquois Confederacy" 50 years ago??.....LOL j/k my people
                      -[]-[ ]-/\-[ ]-[]-

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jammer
                        I liked what Gache had to say. There are many native ppls still in and around the southern states. I've met a few while visiting family. But when the non natives come out of the wood work for a powwow in the summer, you don't see any of the real ones going. They stay to themselfs and families. My grandmother has never powwowed that I know of, as for ceremony I have no clue I've never asked her. But when it comes to family she knows everything. She can put names with faces and dates of births and who's children they are and everything else about them. I've never met any other person that can name and date and know exactly who her neices and nephews and their childrens births, and as well as her own cousins childrens children and dates, etc... she is like a walking book that has over 60 years of names and dates wrote down within the pages. Her and my family don't worry about powwows, government grants, or anything else, that doesn't involve just living life. They farm their fruits and vegetables and buy what meat they may need and continue on with their daily lives as they have since they've been born. They only thing that we worry about is family...and if one might need assistance there are usually more then enough of us there to help with anything that is needed. Speaking of my grandmother.. With the population growing throughout the mountain regions in the south many mountains are being logged and topped to make way for residential and commercial properties. Last time I spoke with her she told me that she owns 60 acres of land about a half of a mountain or so, and she has never once thought of selling it, as it goes, when she dies it will be passed along down to, along with the rest of her belongings, to my aunt, who will more than likely pass it down to her daughter. The matriarchial system seems to still hold tight within my family. Even off the rez as far back as I can remember it's been the women who have owned the houses. My grandmother owned her's, the same with my gr.grandmother who passed in 2000, and my gr.gr.grandmothers house which is just a few steps up the mountain. So many of those who aren't enrolled or keep ties to the nation, still live their lives in accordance to the traditional ways, and without having to have any governmental assistance.

                        this rings very true with my experience growing up lumbee. i may not attend every powwow but i was taught the importance of knowing family generations back, knowing about the land & its gifts to us through the river & the soil & knowing how communities and families are kin & tied together & how we sustain our people through that ...as well as how we continue to pass "our" land down to our own to keep it within indian families/people....to me, that's my indianness, not a contemporary powwow -- although, i love a powwow too!
                        No one can make you feel inferior w/o your consent-Eleanor Roosevelt

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jammer
                          I liked what Gache had to say. There are many native ppls still in and around the southern states. I've met a few while visiting family. But when the non natives come out of the wood work for a powwow in the summer, you don't see any of the real ones going. They stay to themselfs and families. My grandmother has never powwowed that I know of, as for ceremony I have no clue I've never asked her. But when it comes to family she knows everything. She can put names with faces and dates of births and who's children they are and everything else about them. I've never met any other person that can name and date and know exactly who her neices and nephews and their childrens births, and as well as her own cousins childrens children and dates, etc... she is like a walking book that has over 60 years of names and dates wrote down within the pages. Her and my family don't worry about powwows, government grants, or anything else, that doesn't involve just living life. They farm their fruits and vegetables and buy what meat they may need and continue on with their daily lives as they have since they've been born. They only thing that we worry about is family...and if one might need assistance there are usually more then enough of us there to help with anything that is needed. Speaking of my grandmother.. With the population growing throughout the mountain regions in the south many mountains are being logged and topped to make way for residential and commercial properties. Last time I spoke with her she told me that she owns 60 acres of land about a half of a mountain or so, and she has never once thought of selling it, as it goes, when she dies it will be passed along down to, along with the rest of her belongings, to my aunt, who will more than likely pass it down to her daughter. The matriarchial system seems to still hold tight within my family. Even off the rez as far back as I can remember it's been the women who have owned the houses. My grandmother owned her's, the same with my gr.grandmother who passed in 2000, and my gr.gr.grandmothers house which is just a few steps up the mountain. So many of those who aren't enrolled or keep ties to the nation, still live their lives in accordance to the traditional ways, and without having to have any governmental assistance.
                          This is a bit off topic but Jammer is really blessed. He has a gem in his grandmother. One day our 'wisdomkeepers' will all be gone. We should cherish them while they are here. Part of that is making sure that the oral history is recorded for generations to come that won't hear it first hand. I urge everyone to find an opportunity with your Old One, ask respectfully if you can record their memories for the future generations and do so. Mention at the beginning of each tape the date you are recording, who you are, who you are recording, their date of birth if you have it and your relationship to them if any; record.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tipi Tender
                            This is a bit off topic but Jammer is really blessed. He has a gem in his grandmother. One day our 'wisdomkeepers' will all be gone. We should cherish them while they are here. Part of that is making sure that the oral history is recorded for generations to come that won't hear it first hand. I urge everyone to find an opportunity with your Old One, ask respectfully if you can record their memories for the future generations and do so. Mention at the beginning of each tape the date you are recording, who you are, who you are recording, their date of birth if you have it and your relationship to them if any; record.
                            .........off topic too but .......if we don't record our wisdomkeepers of today then in 50 years from now....it could cause a few fights among our people in what is right and what is wrong......ceremonies can get changed in 50 years from now if we don't record those who know how they (the ceremonies) went and are done today. so if you have a recording of some one 50 years ago talking about a ceremony and how it went .........then you can pass it on to your kids and show them that 50 years ago this ceremony was done this way.......way off topic but in a good way...lol
                            -[]-[ ]-/\-[ ]-[]-

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              None of you mention Prince Maddog Gwynedd, who actually saled from Ireland to what is now know as Mobile Bay, Alabama in 1107.

                              He left behind with the Indians, the Welsh language...
                              Pete...

                              You're just jealous because the voices only speak to me...

                              Comment

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