Daily Archives: Friday, June 27, 2008

What is white on the outside and red, white, black and brown on the inside?

That, my dears, would be me.

It is based on a Native American comment to other Native Americans who “try” to be white… they are called apples because they are red on the outside but white on the inside.

But the point of this post is not to give a mediocre dialog on my ethnicity… as in I tell you why I hate those questions on things like surveys and forms… I do, I hesitate each and every single time I am asked “What is your Racial/Ethnic background?”

Honestly, I do not know how to answer this. But we can save that for another time… except that I will be addressing the red in me today.

It is a family tale on both my maternal and paternal side that we have Native American blood, not tribally recognized, but acknowledged by ourselves… and honored and respected. We have tried to see about being added to the roles, but that brings in those sad tales of ancestors being ashamed of their ties and not enrolling… little knowing that in doing so their descendants would be sad by that… (more proof in argument for my mother‘s rule of ten thousand years) because their desire to recognize that part of their heritage is left in a deadlock, in which we are only able to say My great grandmother was Native and we cannot say “I am part Native American” because our government and the tribal government says we aren’t.

I am sure it must be that I am an anthropologist that causes this desire to be able to recognize ALL my ancestors… I do, and largely based on my mothers rule of ten thousand years (Mom, write a post on this please) which in part says that our very being here on earth is the direct result on all our Ancestors having babies and making sure they grew up and were able to raise babies that grew up and had more babies… and on… and on. Not all that profound, perhaps a simple tale of sex through the ages… but think about this… they brought those babies up through wars, through famine, drought, pain, misery… life is just not all that easy and all of our ancestors had to survive this… all of them, or we would not be here. I have to honor that.

But, I digress.

Yesterday, a Choctaw friend of mine did a blessing on a building I am affiliated with. I was allowed to participate and actually help. It was a pleasant experience, profound too… when we went outside we were able to see a bright red sun (we have some wild fires in the area), which gives that extra special touch to the whole thing…we all had an emotional moment. I wish I felt like I could write more about the “ceremonial”, but I just don’t have it in me to do it justice… other than to say it was nice, and I felt a tie to my Native American ancestors. I mentioned this as a part of my prayer, something along the lines of “Thank you for allowing Bear (my friend) to see that in me which so many others had denied me the ability to acknowledge” and Bear started crying. That simple gesture, meant so much to me… and in turn I hope to my Cherokee and Delaware ancestors as well.