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  • White Cherokee, out of place??

    I'm half Cherokee (father) and half Irish (mother). That's a huge contrast.... my mother had extremely fair skin and firey red hair. Unfortunately, I got mostly mom's genes. I have light olive-toned skin (not as fair as hers), and light brown hair. I've been hassled for years by people whenever I say I'm Cherokee.

    Ten years ago I was separated from my parents and my father soon passed away. We were always very involved in our heritage, but it took me ten years to be able to find my tribe and be reunited. My tribal membership had been (for lack of a better word,) suspended, b/c we hadn't been heard from. I've regained my membership and have recorded proof of my ancestry.

    So here's the problem: I'm afraid than when I try to get back into the powwows, dancing, etc. of my people, that other Natives may not believe that I'm Cherokee b/c of my appearance and shun me. I feel my heritage in my heart and know it from my past, but I'm worried about this.

    Any opinions, please? Do you think other tribal members will take me seriously and accept me, even though I don't look much Indian at all?
    Last edited by Agaliha Tsiwodi; 03-25-2012, 10:39 PM.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Agaliha Tsiwodi View Post
    I'm half Cherokee (father) and half Irish (mother). . . I've regained my membership and have recorded proof of my ancestry.

    ... I feel my heritage in my heart and know it from my past, but I'm worried about this.

    Any opinions, please? Do you think other tribal members will take me seriously and accept me, even though I don't look much Indian at all?


    Heeeeeeeeeere we go again folks~!


    Agali,

    Whatever is posted after this may or may not be what you want to hear. But since you asked ...


    Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by WhoMe View Post
      Heeeeeeeeeere we go again folks~!


      Agali,

      Whatever is posted after this may or may not be what you want to hear. But since you asked ...


      okay *sniffs*....okay yeah ... popcorn !!!

      Comment


      • #4
        The reason I ask this is not to fuel another debate similar to the one about whites trying to act Indian when they aren't... I asked so that seasoned, serious, veteran Natives like my late father could give a serious opinion. I'm not just some crazy white who claims to be Indian and wants to do it for the sake of "being cool"... it's a long-lost part of who I am. Thanks :)

        Comment


        • #5
          You are going to get a wide spectrum of answers.... As a pigment challenged Cherokee myself, i get everything from you are ndn you don.t have dark skin to that's cool my grandmother was a Cherokee princess.....

          Good luck.... and someone pass me some of that popcorn, I brought tea and soda....
          Thankful for the blessing from the Creator in my life!!!!

          Life should not be measured by the number of things that we aquire on our journey but by the number of lives that we touch along that road.

          I am a bridge on the red path between my ancestors and the future. I am a bridge between my white heritage and my native heritage. A bridge joins two sides together and provides a way to move on..... A.K. O'Pry-Reynolds

          Comment


          • #6
            There have been other threads posted on this topic. Some people are welcoming and some aren't. If you know the traditions and you know your history and you are comfortable with who you are then the negative comments will roll off your back. But anyway welcome!

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by steelemagnolia63 View Post
              You are going to get a wide spectrum of answers.... As a pigment challenged Cherokee myself, i get everything from you are ndn you don.t have dark skin to that's cool my grandmother was a Cherokee princess.....

              I've the "you're not ndn b/c you don't look it" my whole life. But is it not the same when a black person and a white person have a kid, and say the kid looks more black but chooses to say they're white? LOL Thanks :)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by walelaGA View Post
                There have been other threads posted on this topic. Some people are welcoming and some aren't. If you know the traditions and you know your history and you are comfortable with who you are then the negative comments will roll off your back. But anyway welcome!


                Thanks! And you're right, I have just always tried to let the negativity roll off my back b/c I know I'm Cherokee and I love my people, and to me that's all that matters. Everyone should know that there are going to be a ton of "half-bloods", as long as whites have been in this country. And it's simply the fact that one parent's genes took dominance over the other.

                I appreciate the support!!

                Comment


                • #9
                  If your father was a full blood then you're 1/2 Cherokee and that makes you a heck of a lot more than a lot of enrolled members of the Cherokee Nation...many of whom are "white-looking" as you put it.

                  One thing doesn't make sense though...how was your membership suspended? I've never heard of any tribe suspending a person's membership because they hadn't been heard from or checked in...doesn't make sense. Tribes aren't like a club where you have to pay yearly dues and attend a certain amount of meetings...well, real tribes aren't like that.

                  My opinion on your skin issues is to get over it. If you're Indian, then be Indian. Why do you need other people's endorsements to be Indian?
                  I think everyone on this rez is addicted to Harry Potter...lol...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Wojapi4Me, THANK YOU. Your last comment ["My opinion on your skin issues is to get over it. If you're Indian, then be Indian. Why do you need other people's endorsements to be Indian?"] kinda snapped me out of my worries. You're right, there are a lot of members who look less Cherokee than I do. I've never really been one to worry about what others think until now, but you are absoloutely right! Again, thanks!

                    And about your question... my membership wasn't really suspended, I just couldn't think of a better word... basically because we hadn't been seen, heard from, heard of, nothing for nearly eleven years, I was on a list of people that hadn't been heard from, i.e. ones that could have moved away without noticed, joined another tribe, passed away, etc. So not suspended, I should have made that clearer...

                    Again, thanks for your encouraging and uplifting words!!!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just keep holding your head up and letting the comments roll off your back... You seem to know who you are and are in a good place with it....
                      Thankful for the blessing from the Creator in my life!!!!

                      Life should not be measured by the number of things that we aquire on our journey but by the number of lives that we touch along that road.

                      I am a bridge on the red path between my ancestors and the future. I am a bridge between my white heritage and my native heritage. A bridge joins two sides together and provides a way to move on..... A.K. O'Pry-Reynolds

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Seriously, don't ask us, get out there. If you are what you say you are, then go out there and meet people, earn their respect, learn by watching. The answers/advice you seek are not here, they are with your people. The best thing for you to do is to take your "membership card" and be who you are. Acceptance may take time, but it can be earned by respectful behavior and appropriate actions. Find people who knew your father, find distance relatives, don't get involved in the online world of powwows until you get involved in the real world of powwows.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Agaliha Tsiwodi View Post
                          Wojapi4Me, THANK YOU. Your last comment ["My opinion on your skin issues is to get over it. If you're Indian, then be Indian. Why do you need other people's endorsements to be Indian?"] kinda snapped me out of my worries. You're right, there are a lot of members who look less Cherokee than I do. I've never really been one to worry about what others think until now, but you are absolutely right! Again, thanks!

                          And about your question... my membership wasn't really suspended, I just couldn't think of a better word... basically because we hadn't been seen, heard from, heard of, nothing for nearly eleven years, I was on a list of people that hadn't been heard from, i.e. ones that could have moved away without noticed, joined another tribe, passed away, etc. So not suspended, I should have made that clearer...

                          Again, thanks for your encouraging and uplifting words!!!

                          :Indian_ch
                          I take it your eastern enrolled, because CNO's do not have a list like that, once enrolled always enrolled no list no worries

                          I am half also and have heard the Ohh your Cherokee all my life
                          As if I could change that or belong to another "accepted" Tribe You are what you are.
                          Truly you are judged by your actions and Deeds after they meet you and get to know you
                          That is totally up to you

                          Cherokees are not Powwow people and it only has been in the past few decades that a few have even went to powwows.
                          Good example of that is The Powwow in Tahlequah during Cherokee Holiday 99% are other tribes or Tourists...

                          To worry about skin color or that you dont look Indian enough is something that you cant change and so dont need to worry about
                          They will either accept you or wont accept you that is totally up to them.
                          I would pay more attention to dancing and whether or not you look good dancing
                          I would pay more attention to being polite and Helpful, those go alot further to what skin color you have.
                          I would get involved with the committees that are putting on the powwow
                          And pretty soon all that worry about skin color disappears.

                          You First have to accept your self as being Ndn, if that dont happen how can you expect someone else to...

                          Are you trying to say Brown Ambition?
                          ᎠᏂᎩᏚᏩᎩ - Anigiduwagi
                          Till I Die!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Agaliha Tsiwodi View Post
                            Wojapi4Me, THANK YOU. Your last comment ["My opinion on your skin issues is to get over it. If you're Indian, then be Indian. Why do you need other people's endorsements to be Indian?"] kinda snapped me out of my worries. You're right, there are a lot of members who look less Cherokee than I do. I've never really been one to worry about what others think until now, but you are absoloutely right! Again, thanks!

                            And about your question... my membership wasn't really suspended, I just couldn't think of a better word... basically because we hadn't been seen, heard from, heard of, nothing for nearly eleven years, I was on a list of people that hadn't been heard from, i.e. ones that could have moved away without noticed, joined another tribe, passed away, etc. So not suspended, I should have made this clear

                            Again, thanks for your encouraging and uplifting words!!!

                            "People dream of who they will become, you have dream't well"
                            Floyd Crow Westerman
                            Greyowl (2000)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Agaliha Tsiwodi View Post
                              I'm half Cherokee (father) and half Irish (mother). That's a huge contrast.... my mother had extremely fair skin and firey red hair. Unfortunately, I got mostly mom's genes. I have light olive-toned skin (not as fair as hers), and light brown hair. I've been hassled for years by people whenever I say I'm Cherokee.

                              Ten years ago I was separated from my parents and my father soon passed away. We were always very involved in our heritage, but it took me ten years to be able to find my tribe and be reunited. My tribal membership had been (for lack of a better word,) suspended, b/c we hadn't been heard from. I've regained my membership and have recorded proof of my ancestry.

                              So here's the problem: I'm afraid than when I try to get back into the powwows, dancing, etc. of my people, that other Natives may not believe that I'm Cherokee b/c of my appearance and shun me. I feel my heritage in my heart and know it from my past, but I'm worried about this.

                              Any opinions, please? Do you think other tribal members will take me seriously and accept me, even though I don't look much Indian at all?
                              Okay, this confuses me too. I agree with Wojapi, I've never heard of a such a thing either. And I've never heard of the EBC having any kind of list like that either and I was just there visiting. So which Cherokee Nation do you belong to? May I ask?

                              And skin color has nothing to do with who you are or where you come from. I know many "light skinned" people who know more about their traditions and the language then some of the more "Dark Skinned" (as you might say).

                              Originally posted by WhoMe View Post
                              Heeeeeeeeeere we go again folks~!


                              Agali,

                              Whatever is posted after this may or may not be what you want to hear. But since you asked ...


                              LOL

                              Comment

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