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Will you Judge me?

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  • Will you Judge me?

    Greetings to all that will take the time to read my story. This story may touch you or make you upset, but I wanted to share a little about me and my life.
    My story starts when I was a very young girl. I went up to my mother and asked her one day why she is brown and I am not. She explained to me this was the way The Creator made me. I have been dancing in the arena since I was very young, and being that young you really don't notice things. As I got older this is when I started noticing people making sly remarks and staring.
    My mother is full blooded Registered Northern Cree. My Father was full blooded German. This makes me 1/2 Registered Northern Cree. I am very proud of my Native Heritage and have always been. My father also took it upon himself to follow in the Native ways as well being married to my mother. He was very proud to see my mother and myself dance in the circle.
    As the years went by and as I got older, (of course) my mother's side of the family are all native, I was taught and developed proper powwow etiquettte, presented myself with pride and danced hard. Learned from my elders the old ways, went to peyote meetings, beaded, did craft work, made regalia, listened, learned and walked Native.
    I wanted to join organizations, in hopefullness one day I would become a princess and have the honor of wearing their crown. This day never came. I tried joining native youth groups, tried going to native schools. I was never allowed to participate, even after I showed my registration. And this is why.....
    I was shunned away by my apprearance. I have light skin, blue eyes, and reddish blonde hair naturally. Even though I could prove in more ways than one who I was related to and what tribe I was from, I was still looked upon as a "white girl, trying to be native."

    Well I am Native American through and through, I am 25 yrs. old now, I still dance in the arena, I still carry with me the teachings of my family, I am proud of who I am.

    I really felt this was important to share with all my Native people out there because, now a days I have seen so many people so judgemental of others.

    I love each and everyone of you. May the Creator walk beside you always. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

  • #2
    I do not know your situation and cannot speak on it, but I can speak on a similar one from my experience. [I am guessing that there have been a number of 'white girls trying to be native' type of thing in the past that perhaps created the atmosphere that you experience?]

    When I was a Drill Sgt, I found myself to be a very different type of Drill Sgt. Some went into it for the power and authority - I went into it due to a sincere desire to teach. I felt I was more of a "Drill Instructor" than a "Drill Sergeant"... I knew there were many around me who would give our students pushups, harsh discipline, etc... My way of being "hard" was to expect and demand that people learn and THINK. [Most of my time was spent at the Drill Sgt Academy teaching NCOs how to *be* Drill Sergeants. They were required to think - and I appealed to their sense of pride in the NCO core to correct behavioral issues.] By the time I left the Academy, things had changed drastically. Privates seemed to have more authority and rights than any Drill and you had to avoid even the appearance of insult to the trainees' integrity, whereas Drills had to *prove* their integrity beyond a shadow of a doubt. Much of this came about because of past abuses of Drill Sergeant power and authority. There were abuses. It was unfortunate. But the backlash against the entire group was just as unfortunate. It created many problems and made our tough jobs even tougher. But there was nothing we could do except BE, KNOW and DO. We had to BE the person with the integrity, we had to BE the person who had sufficient proof and documentation. Fair or not, it's what we had to do. We had to KNOW everything - we had to KNOW the material we were teaching and KNOW its purpose in the larger picture. And we had to DO the right thing - always ... no matter how much time it took or how difficult it was. It wasn't fair, but it *was* and we had to deal with that the best we could. Yes, we paid the price for our fellow Drills, but they were our fellow Drills - and only WE could make it right by showing time and again that we were doing the right thing.

    That may not be your situation and may not be what your situation calls for, but it may comfort you to know that somewhat similar things have happened in other realms. It's what we did about it and was all we could do. Your mileage (and mode of transportation) may vary.

    The other thing that I would like to mention is that you have something very precious. You have learned. That is something that no one can take from you - ever. Learning is the most precious gift anyone can give.

    Good luck in your quest to make your environment more comfortable for you. I wish you well.
    For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf
    And the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.
    ~ Rudyard Kipling


    • #3
      Hi, Maskwa, and welcome. I understand your problem a little - I don't look like my mother's side, either. Mom was German-French-Indian and very brown and I am more like my German-Irish father, who in fact was pretty brown in the summer too, but I am pretty white. But I have never lived as Indian, only white, so I don't have your situation. I think you will find, though, that here there are a lot of Indian people who look like you, who dance in the circle and are accepted as Indian. Some will not, but many, many will.


      • #4
        You speak of alot of us

        I'm 52 cherokee and german. I to have the fair skin light hair and blue eyes. I am not registered and therefore am unseen by many as a native american.


        • #5
          Will you Judge me?

          People do judge you no matter! You know who you are, you know what path you've taken and you know how you live!
          The Creator is the Judge you need to worry about, let others live as they want, they will answer to the Creator. I am 56 years and have danced and live my life to the best of my abilities as American Indian. I even went as far as getting my DNA done to show that I am of American Indian blood. I had been told by word of mouth that I am of Apache/Cherokee blood but because of how I look "eyes would roll". It use to be that when one spoke.. "the words were listen to". Now even proof isn't good enough. But my DNA proved that I am of Tribal blood #3 times....
          Native American Indian
          Sub Saharan African
          So am I better than anyone or worse than anyone "NO". I am just me doing the best I can and not judging anyone. Just treating everyone as brothers and sisters!

          Peace be to all


          • #6
            Of course, from what you described of yourself, I would judge you. However, that thought would be kept in the back of my mind. If you looked like a kind or approachable person, I might get to know you first, to see what kind of native person you are. Would you be a nice, giving and knowledgeable native. OR... would you be the kind of native is acting, who is mean, or is making judgements yourself. If you know who you are, don't sweat the little stuff. It would be wise to move forward with your life, and if you find that to be difficult, go to your family and have a heart to heart talk with them, they will most likely show you the unconditional love and support that you are seeking.


            • #7
              Hi Maskwa and welcome to the site! Yeah there's alot of people who are going to judge you by looks, but you just gotta do you and don't worry about them.
              Don't ever stop dancing


              • #8
                Be proud of who you are and what you have done with your life.... we all are judged in one or another- that is a fact of life.
                Maybe one day we will learn to see people for who they are - not who we think that they are- but I guess that means wanting to know a persons life journey and trying to understand.

                Instead feel compassion in your heart for those who do not accept one who is true of heart and soul- for there is great value in that!
                Walk tall and proud- but always keep your heart open for those who will believe in you....given time you will find us all!

                I deeply admire what you are doing with your life- and your father for having such respect for his wifes heritage and culture- that is a gift!



                • #9
                  Although, you seem to have had some problems being excepted, it does not sound like you were not excepted by your family. Sounds like you have had a strong family who loved you and nutered you. A mother who taught you, and a father who respected that. my problem is the opposite, mostly it is whites who go oh you are indian, wow you do not look indian. although I must cause never had to prove myself to anyone that was "brown" I keep hearing of people running around showing cards and what not taking DNA tests and such. I am trying to belittle such actions as I am not in your shoes, but stop trying to prove yourself, your actions in your community will do that for you as WW said very honestly there would be judgment in her head that would be reserved until she knew what kind of Indian you are. being Indian is not a competition or a race, it just is, you are or you are not. It sounds like you feel like you got the short end of the stick in the looks department, and you know if I was your father I would be really hurt and downright offended. and trust me there are lots of girls who want to be princess of the powwow or center or school or this site, and it just does not happen for all of them. it does make me sad and a little angry all the prejudice that is out there, and we do have to fight to change that, but not by being angry and pointing fingers, (indians do not point lol) i am pretty sure I gone off into rambling at this point. what I want to drive home is this....
                  be who you are and be proud of it, all of it. you are going to be judged because of your skin color and the way you look, but you know what we all are. store clerks teachers cops you name it, it is no easier being brown.


                  • #10
                    Native Pride

                    Just remember that Native Pride comes from within our heart and soul. No matter what anyone else might think. Our creator knows who belongs to our circle and who does not. As long as u believe in who u are then no one can take that away from you. Just represent us out there in the white man's world the best u can. Use your looks to get into places we can not enter because of our color. NATIVE PRIDE IS ALIVE. BE PROUD TO BELONG.
                    Remember, it's MIND OVER MATTER!!! cuz
                    If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.....


                    • #11
                      sounds like you need a hug! Cheyenne_lizard give her a hug.
                      The only time its too late to start dancing is when you're dead.


                      • #12
                        Being Indian is mainly in your heart.

                        No one should ever judge another, for those that judge, the Creator, is the only one who can judge, he is the only one, that condemns those who judges others.
                        It is very sad, that today's society judge only what is on the outside, and not what is on the inside. The Beautiful Inside of a Truly Wonderful Person's.
                        The Native American Hoop, The Medicine Wheel, they represent the 4 Races of Mankind, Not just One Color, but ALL FOUR. Until everyone can get along, the Hoop, the Medicine Wheel, will remain broken, until everyone gets along. When everyone gets along, the Hoop, the Medicine Wheel, will heal and be ALL One Again....
                        Be proud of who you are, what you are. It doesn't matter what others think, because You are You. If they don't like it, it's their loss, not yours.
                        These 2 sayings, speak the truth:
                        Being Indian is mainly in your heart. It's a way of walking with the earth instead of upon it. A lot of the history books talk about us Indians in the past tense, but we don't plan on going anywhere... We have lost so much, but the thing that holds us together is that we all belong to and are protectors of the earth; that's the reason for us being here. Mother Earth is not a resource, she is an heirloom."Our fathers gave us many laws which they had learned from their fathers. They told us to treat all men as they treated us. That we should never be the first to break a bargain. That it was a disgrace to tell a lie. That we should speak only the truth. We were taught to believe that the Great Spirit sees and hears everything and that he never forgets. This I believe and all my people believe the same."
                        Thunder Rolling in the Mountains-Chief Joseph, Nez Perce

                        We who are clay blended by the Master Potter, come from the kiln of Creation in many hues. How can people say one skin is colored, when each has its own coloration? What should it matter that one bowl is dark and the other pale, if each is of good design and serves its purpose well."
                        Polingaysi Qoyawayma, Hopi

                        Three Ways To Follow The Red Road
                        The Red Road

                        When someone is rude enough to ask about your blood connection, this is an appropriate answer.

                        A Medicine Man and Sun Dancer once said,

                        "There are three ways in which one is called to
                        follow the Red Road:"

                        "One can be claimed by blood. Native blood is so
                        strong that even a
                        single drop is enough to cause one to be called to
                        follow the Red Road."

                        "One can be claimed by the land. A truly deep
                        connection and commitment to Mother Earth also is strong enough to also cause one to
                        be called to follow the Red Road."

                        "One can be claimed by Spirit. When Creator makes us his own, this too is strong enough to cause one to be called to follow the Red Road."

                        "Who among us has the wisdom to judge which claim is more valid?"

                        "Being Indian is not in the bloodline, but in the
                        way of life.
                        Being Indian is mainly in your heart.
                        It's a way of walking with the Earth instead upon it."

                        Long road winding began in the stars,
                        spilled onto the mountain tops,
                        was carried in the snow to the streams
                        to the rivers, to the ocean..
                        It covers Canada, Alaska, America,
                        Mecico to Guatamala,
                        and keeps winding around the indigenous.,

                        The Red Road is a circle of people
                        standing hand in hand,
                        people in this world, people between
                        people in the Spirit World.
                        star people, animal people, stone people,
                        river people, tree people...
                        The Sacred Hoop.

                        To walk the read road
                        is to know sacrifice, suffering.
                        It is to understand humility.
                        It is the ability to stand naked before God
                        in all things for your wrong doings,
                        for your lack of strength,
                        for your discompassionate way,
                        for your arrogance - because to walk
                        the Red Road, you always know
                        you can do better. And you know,
                        when you do good things,
                        it is through the Creator, and you are grateful.

                        To walk the Red Road
                        is to know you stand on equal ground
                        with all living things. It is to know that
                        because you were born human,
                        it gives you superiority over nothing.
                        It is to know that every creation carries a Spirit,
                        and the river knows more than you do,
                        the mountains know more than you do,
                        the stone people know mroe than you do,
                        the tree know more than you do,
                        the wind is wiser than you are,
                        and animal people carry wisdom.
                        You can learn from every one of them,
                        because they have something you don't:

                        They are viod of evil thoughts.

                        They wish vengence on no one, they seek Justice.

                        To Walk The Red Road,
                        you have God given rights,
                        you have the right to pray,
                        you have the right to dance,
                        you have the right to think,
                        you have the right to protect,
                        you have the right to kno Mother,
                        you have the right to dream,
                        you have the right to vision,
                        you have the right to teach,
                        you have the right to learn,
                        you have a right to grieve,
                        you have a right to happiness,
                        you have the right to fix the wrongs,
                        you have the right to truth,
                        you have a right to the Spirit World.

                        To Walk the Red Road
                        is to know your Ancestors,
                        to call to them for assistance...
                        It is to know that there is good medicine,
                        and there is bad medicine...
                        It is to know that Evil exists,
                        but is cowardly as it is often in disquise.

                        It is to know there are evil spirits
                        who are in constant watch
                        for a way to gain strength for themselves
                        at the expense of you.

                        To Walk the Red Road,
                        you have less fear of being wrong,
                        because you know that life is a journey,
                        a continuous circle, a sacred hoop.
                        Mistakes will be made,
                        and mistakes can be corrected-
                        if you will be humble,
                        for if you cannot be humble,
                        you will never know
                        when you have made a mistake.

                        If you walk the Red Road,
                        you know that every sorrow
                        leads to a better understanding,
                        every horror cannot be explained,
                        but can offer growth.

                        To Walk the Red Road
                        is to look for beauty in all things.

                        To Walk the Red Road
                        is to know you will one day
                        cross to the Spirit World,
                        and you will not be afraid...


                        • #13
                          I wouldn't judge, I'd get to know you & ask where your from. I'm not dark, my skin is light brown. most NDN people know I'm NDN, some arn't sure, but yeah it's white people who say I don't look NDN because my skin isn't dark & my hair isn't black, but then again my one friend, she is dark and has brown curly hair & we've run into white people who thought she didn't look NDN because her hair wasn't straight & black. Part of it is probably your own fear of being lumped in with the wannabes, maybe you come off as desperate to prove your not & therefore give off the wannabe vibe, you woulnd't be the first NDN to worry that people will judge you & then try to over comensate... Oh to look holywood....
                          My youngest girl has white skin & hair that is dark blond to light brown...she is half (cause my husband & I both are). My husband has brown skin, thick straight black hair & his TWIN brother is blond. I also got a friend who is full blood Cree & has light brown skin. The problem is to many people think we all gotta look the same & we don't, some of us are dark & some are light, some got curly brown hair some got green eyes...genetics is a tricky thing. The other problem is to many of us are wary when we see blue eyes...I bet you've met a person or two that you wondered's hard not to with all the wannabes but generally I find that you can look at a persons face & get a good idea of thier orgins
                          Try traveling with your friends & family, dance local again where people know you & when you need a laugh read Drew Hayden Taylor's books starting with "Funny you don't look like one; tales from a blue eyed Ojibway" I think you may realize that there are plenty out there that know exactly how you feel


                          • #14
                            Just like 'LB1' said, BE PROUD OF WHO U R. I have cousins and friends who are half or less. And most of my family is light skin-ed with light hair. It all started with my grandfather. He passed into the next world when my mother was about 5-6 yrs old. And Grandma doesn't talk about him. Other family members say he had light skin, almost anglo looking. And hair that was very light. That's where our Family name came from 'Yellowman'. So every now and they, my cousins get 'looks' when we go somewhere. The kind of look that I translate as, "what are u doing w/ those indians". And i'm brown skin w/ black hair.

                            My friend who is half white doesn't let it bother him. His mother is white and father native. The mothers side doesn't like that fact that the kids are half indian. He dont care one bit about what they say. He turns around and tells them, "Im pround of who I am. Im Native, and there ain't na'in u can do about it." I love him for that.

                            thats what u get 4 breaking my heart...


                            • #15
                              i understand your story but just forget those that look at you like that n do your thing i got lots of native friends that look white and they just go out their and do what they do and never look back



                              ..Estayapi..Mandaree..BLACKSTONE ..HIGHNOON..


                              LynxClan..N0rtheRnCree..Tatae`Topaw..MeskwakiNatio n..

                              Eva-Hey Nakota
                              NorthernWInd ojibwe plainz
                              RIP lil brother


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