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    It's not usually my way to go to others about concerns for my tribe but on this on I need your input. For those of you who don't know about the Tunica-Biloxi were a small tribe in central Louisiana. Some years back it was decided to open a casino on Reservation land. It was a big success to both the tribe and the parish. Money for health care and economic growth is pouring in. My concern is that my people are seeming to care more about the money than their own culture. Our language, stories, and traditions are falling by the wayside. We lost so much when we started to assimilate with other races. Our tribe was so small with so few members that we decided to go with the decendent approach. All of our members are enrolled but most of us, myself included, are mostly white or black. I believe skin color and enrollment do not necessarily make you an indian. Culture, language, and traditions do. But what I see is a bunch of people who care more about the money than their culture. So much was lost and our elders are passing on with no one to pass on our heritage to. Maybe I am wrong but that is what I see. When there are times scheduled for learning our language or dances most don't show up and those who do are the same ones everytime and there aren't many of us. What do you think? Are casino's a help or a hinderance. I think both but not at the loss of our culture.

  • #2
    Bummer
    sigpic

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    • #3
      They are both...

      But if you are worried about the culture being lost.. get in there, talk with the elders... make recordings and take video.. learn all you can and teach what you know. Someone needs to do it and even if you are the only one, another generation will come along who will be looking to those like you who would have that knowledge. Casinos don't force people to forget their culture... that responsibility is laid on the people themselves.
      Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear... just sing, sing a song.sigpic

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      • #4
        I found that it is sometimes necessary for a "take the bull by the horns approach". For example, I lead a youth drum group so that the songs and traditions will pass to the next generation, even though none of the boys on the drum are directly related to me, because some of the kids on the drum are from families who aren't really into powwows or their own tribe's culture (meaning their tribe adopted the powwow ways but maintains its own traditions as well). Pestering the people about keeping the traditions and teaching them to their young is sometimes like preaching to a fence post. You just gotta do it yourself, and hopefully some of them'll catch on and help out.

        Ditto what Blackbear said. Recordings and videos of your elders speaking about your tribe's history will be immediately invaluable.
        "Friends don't let friends drink decaf..."
        Wakalapi's $49 unlimited phone service www.49deal.com

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        • #5
          .

          Originally posted by ashleypierite View Post
          It's not usually my way to go to others about concerns for my tribe but on this on I need your input. For those of you who don't know about the Tunica-Biloxi were a small tribe in central Louisiana. Some years back it was decided to open a casino on Reservation land. It was a big success to both the tribe and the parish. Money for health care and economic growth is pouring in. My concern is that my people are seeming to care more about the money than their own culture. Our language, stories, and traditions are falling by the wayside. We lost so much when we started to assimilate with other races. Our tribe was so small with so few members that we decided to go with the decendent approach. All of our members are enrolled but most of us, myself included, are mostly white or black. I believe skin color and enrollment do not necessarily make you an indian. Culture, language, and traditions do. But what I see is a bunch of people who care more about the money than their culture. So much was lost and our elders are passing on with no one to pass on our heritage to. Maybe I am wrong but that is what I see. When there are times scheduled for learning our language or dances most don't show up and those who do are the same ones everytime and there aren't many of us. What do you think? Are casino's a help or a hinderance. I think both but not at the loss of our culture.
          At a young age I attended a doing with my Uncle and older brothers. I was 12 or 13....It dissapointed me to see such a small group of people attend what I anticipated to be a grand event. Eventually I expressed my dismay to my relatives....My Uncle simply said; "its always been this way...." He went on to explain....Size or numbers is not what matters, but how we conduct and appreciate and respect our ways....Congregations don't necessarily work.....The traditional thinking people have always been the "minority" (I don't like using that word...). Of course times have gone in an entirely new direction, but as long as you remember and ackowledge those orignal principles you won't go wrong. There are indeed a number of different circumstances that apply to a number of Tribes....Each grouping of peoples has a similar, yet different experience to convey....This contributes to the state of different peoples today.....Keep in mind that their is nothing wrong with diversity....Instead of looking at it as a hinderance, embrace it and respect it for what it is....Know the reason why and carry on in positive way, because we can't change the past....Be proud of who and what you are, don't slight yourself or those around you....Sacrifices were made for you to be just who you are, that experience is yours and no one including yourself should judge you for it.
          Unfortuantely many people keep a measuring stick in their back pocket and evaluate or even assume who and what you are....Could it be due to their ignorance of your unique history? I consider it to be something to be proud of.... Casinos you ask....Are they good or bad? Well....As with anything they have pros and cons....As with life in general....The choice is up to you....It is unfortunate that some people are motivated by the dollar and don't understand or
          respect our lifestyles, but keep in mind when the money is gone and the casinos are gone....The Indian people who have been, will continue to be, and as I said earlier the numbers will be few.....And the Cycle just continues....
          "She also has a very soft skin. The only trouble with snake women is they copulate with horses, which makes them strange to me. She say's she doesn't. That's why I call her "Doesn't Like Horses". But, of course, she's lying."

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          • #6
            Be the change you want to see! :)
            The only time its too late to start dancing is when you're dead.

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            • #7
              I agree

              I agree with those that say the casino comes with pros and cons. My husband's tribe has been able to build roads and senior center etc. My son has a trust for his education - all from the casino. But I have also seen that for other tribes it has not been so good. And I agree with those that encourage you to go out and make videos and recordings to preserve - it is important. Also, your tribe could start if the already haven't, a language department within the tribal offices. There are now many grants available to tribes for language preservation. Our tribe has teamed up with a local community college to offer language intensives. Maybe you could organize this with the help of others. And do not worry about the small numbers like Coyote says - just do your work, your part and you can't go wrong.

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              • #8
                thanks

                Thanks for your great answers. Blackbear the video and recording idea is a really good idea. I would love to have our songs, dances, and stories preserved for the future. Coyot thanks for the encouragement. I know I should not judge myself or others but sometimes I can't help but wonder if we are just selling out. Once we were a strong and proud people and now all I see are people who care more about the almighty dollar than who they are. I just have to accept that not everyone thinks like me. But thank you all for helping me out. You have given me hope for the future of my people.

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                • #9
                  Repel....

                  When one repels down the side of a building. They need a good anchor to prevent a fall..... They also improvise as they go....This is the same with knowing your ways....You need that anchor to the past to make it thru the present and the future...To be Indian is to adapt as as well....'Injun" uity....is a pharse I like to coin....So a combination of those two principles sure helps....No need as I said to drag and dog yourself..There's enough "haters" out there waiting to take a shot or two....Both Indian and non....Ignorance knows no boundaries....

                  Just a lil more.....Audio and video is a strong medium and much can be preserved. However sitting down spending time and talking to those "vessels" of information will help you appreciate it more....
                  "She also has a very soft skin. The only trouble with snake women is they copulate with horses, which makes them strange to me. She say's she doesn't. That's why I call her "Doesn't Like Horses". But, of course, she's lying."

                  Comment

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