March 19, 2007

Freedmen play the race card?

Cherokee Nation Vote:  No Such Thing as a Black or White IndianDropping the Freedman group and Intermarried Whites as tribal members puts them on equal footing with millions of other American Indian descendants that have to prove their Indian heritage by blood and tribal roll number linkage. Something to think about: "What If Indian Nation leaders open up their tribal membership to anyone? If this happened it would change the political and economic structure of America. This action by Indian Nations would open up a Pandora's box the federal government never thought it would have to deal with again, after it's "for real holocaust" against American Indian Nations.

Today, some African Americans claiming Indian heritage are calling themselves Black Indians. There is no such thing as a Black American Indian or White American Indian! You're American Indian or you're not! If you're Black or White and have Indian heritage, that is all you can and should claim. It's an insult to the American Indian community for people of another race to claim their Indian heritage while doing so through their dominant race color.


Blair said...

"Pure blood" Indians probably no longer exists. Qualifications for tribal membership are closely linked to economic conditions. Back when most reservations relied virtually 100 percent on government aid proscribed by treaty obligations, tribes were eager to expand their memberships. Virtually anyone willing to sign documentation claiming that, accoring to family mthology, an ancestor was part Indian was welcomed. Aid increased as tribal membership increased.

Tribes who live on revervations with natural resources, such as producing oil wells, tend to be more exacting. The fewer the tribal members, the more money in each individual tribal member's pocket. In the Southwest, the opening of gambling casinos on reservations adjacent to large population centers almost invariably produces some ethnic cleansing.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Rob! Your whole blog is amazing.

Rob said...

Good points, Blair. Of course, gaming tribes usually deny they're disenrolling people to enrich themselves. See Indian Gaming—Disenrollment for more on the subject.

Thanks, Jenny. But don't assume I agree with everything I post. I tend to favor an inclusive standard of tribal membership over an exclusive one.

I haven't seen much evidence that you're an expert on Chickahominy history, Russ. As far as I can tell, your position amounts to this: Anyone with black "blood" (as opposed to white "blood") can't be an Indian. If this isn't your position, tell us which tribes you consider legitimate even though they have black as well as Indian ancestors

As far as I know, the Chickasaw and Kickapoo tribes didn't pull any tricks to gain federal recognition. The feds recognized them because they met the stringent criteria for recognition, including a continuous history as a self-governing tribe. Again, if you think you know something we don't, please provide the evidence.

Unknown said...

I have to comment on as statement "...tribes were eager to expand their memberships". I am sure everyone was eager to sign up for the Trail of Tears or the 1830's, the Indian Boarding schools from then to the 1960's, and the relocation efforts of the Federal government in the 1920's through the 1960's.

Yep, I can see that tribes just signed up anybody and everyone was rushing to the roster.

This is a stereotypical misconception regarding the relationship with the Federal and State governments. Tribes never just signed people up.

Unknown said...

And you are incorrect again. The Chickasaw also ONLY provides citizenship to those listed on the same DAWES Rolls. You cannot apply for citizenship into the Chickasaw Nation without a CDIB which must link to an ancestor on those rolls.

Tribes do not simply sign people up without that ancestral link to gain more money for the tribe through the Federal government. It is clear that you do not know how Federal funding works. Tribes do not get (and never has gotten) funding based on the ‘number of heads’ the tribe has in their citizenship. Granted, during allotment immediately following the trail of tears, land was allotted on a per family basis but there was no mad dash to sign up on the rolls, especially when the census taken before the trail of tears led to those same families being forced from their homes. The tribes were not “signing up” anybody randomly during that time either, although there were intermarriage into the tribe, even those intermarried people were not signed up into the tribe…only their descendents.

As for tribal citizens “looking Indian”, you also do not see those people who are of higher degree of Indian blood who actually live in the communities. A very good example would be the Eastern Band Cherokee. If you ever visit North Carolina, all you see is light skinned people dressing in tourist garb (head dress in front of a teepee) for visitors to take a picture with when the true Native American’s are living in their communities and working at “normal jobs” because they don’t want to be center of attention with visitors. The same goes with most of the tribal casino’s, public tribal events, and publicly perused tribally owned businesses.

You are mistaken in thinking that there is no “pure blood” or those of higher blood quantum Indians in existence but that is only because you do not see them. They are the ones that get sick of “ooo look at that Indian over there…can I touch your hair…where is your costume…what is your Indian name…etc.”. If you participated or visited the Indian communities, you would see that the “Indian looking” people do exist, who speak their native language at church, at home, and at the local store.

Tribes never have gorged their roll numbers with anyone that would sign up. This is not the case for fake tribes who try to claim they are official tribes of some sort. In those cases, if you are willing to pay the $30 membership fee you can be a member without any proof. They do attempt to fool local and state governments as well as federal grant opportunities in giving them money based on the fictitious Native American status and membership enrollment.

With this, I would ask that you actually show proof or at least factual examples where tribes (Federal tribes, not wannabe tribes) actually have signed up anyone willing to sign up. Otherwise it is another example of hearsay, misinformation, and stereo typing that is prevalent with non Native Americans.

Rob said...

I don't need to ask to know you can't provide a reliable source for your inventive version of Chickahominy history, Russ.

Here's the actual history of the Chickahominy Tribe from a website:

The Chickahominy Indian Tribe was among those which witnessed the coming of the colonists in 1607. At that time the Chickahominy lived in villages along the Chickahominy River from the James River to the middle of the current county of New Kent. The tribe, governed by a council of elders, was considered an ally of Powhatan and his paramount chiefdom. The Treaty of 1614 between the Chickahominy and the colonists provided that the Chickahominy would supply 300-400 bowmen to fight the Spanish if necessary.

When the Indians were sent by the English colonists to "Pamunkey Neck" in what is now King William County, the Chickahominy joined the other tribes. After 1718, the Indians were forced off that land, and over the next century, the tribal families migrated back to their ancestral land in Charles City and New Kent counties. In 1900, the tribal government was reorganized, and is now led by a chief, two assistant chiefs, and a tribal council of both men and women.

Today this tribe has approximately 750 Chickahominy people living within a five-mile radius of the tribal center in Charles City County, and several hundred more living in other parts of the United States. Its 25,000-acre enclave includes a tract on state Route 602 that holds the Samaria Baptist Church, the former Samaria Indian school that has been remodeled and is now part of the Church, and a tribal center for meetings and recreation. The tribe hosts an annual fall festival in late September, as well as several other public events. Politically active, the tribe has placed members on the county school board, the planning commission, and in local government offices. The tribe was recognized by the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1983.

Rob said...

This statement

writerfella personally cannot make the legal distinction whether a particular "tribe" truly is Native American or not.

seems to be true. But why limit it to legal distinctions? You can't make any distinctions between those who are Indians and those who aren't, Russ. You can't tell us why Robert Forster is an Indian in your mind but Arigon Starr isn't. Or why non-Native John Fusco understands Native people but Tony Hillerman doesn't.

The only explanation you've offered is your creative concepts of a "genetic racial memory" or an "awareness granted by heredity." You know, the concepts you invented on 10/14/06 and have since refused to repeat or acknowledge? Presumably because they show an embarrassing naivete about Native history and culture?

Feel free to follow the link, everyone. Read Russ's assertions in black and white. And see Russ's foolish claim that old postings and comments are no longer available disproved before your eyes.

Rob said...

Writerfella wrote, "[T]he Chickasaws continued on welcoming non-Natives into their ranks because it meant increased funding from the Federal Government based on the numbers of people in their 'tribe'."

Sam replied, "I would ask that you actually show proof or at least factual examples where tribes (Federal tribes, not wannabe tribes) actually have signed up anyone willing to sign up."

Writerfella responded by criticizing Sam's grammar, a blatant and pathetic dodge if there ever was one. Answer Sam's challenge, Russ, or admit you can't. Put up or shut up.

Sorry, Sam, but don't hold your breath waiting for Russ to document his claims. As far as I can tell, he invents many of his "facts" out of thin air. When you confront him on them, he turns tail and runs from his own statements. (See above for a prime example.)

I sent Russ's previous comments on the Chickasaw and Kickapoo to two correspondents from Oklahoma tribes. Here's how they responded:

"Where to start with the ignorance?"


"I went to college in Ada and there are many fine [Chickasaw] tribal members from full-bloods to less. They have a proud history and a shiny future and I would consider them accountable in just about any measure of Indian-ness you want to set up. And I wouldn't make them mad if I were your correspondent [Russ]."

So one correspondent knows many full-blooded Chickasaws, while Russ thinks they're as rare as purple cows. Someone here is woefully ignorant of Chickasaw history and culture. Readers can determine who that is for themselves.

Unknown said...

If the only real response I can get to my comment is that my grammar sucks, then I am not doing to bad for a 15 year old! I guess debate class has really paid off (no wonder I got a B in English)! LOL

Unknown said...

Correction... B-


Unknown said...

Honestly, I was only interested in the subject matter and have absolutely no interest in analyzing my writing or trying to read yours. I can already tell you that my attention span is not that long... So don’t waste the effort.

Rob said...

"If the only real response I can get to my comment is that my grammar sucks, then I am not doing to bad for a 15 year old!" Exactly.

Even a 15-year-old can out-debate Russ on the issues. I love it.

Who played the legal card first wasn't one of the questions, Russ. Let us know when you can answer any of the questions asked.

Rob said...

Re "'Casinoes' or 'casinos' do not have an apostrophe 's'":

The correct spelling is "casinos," not "casinoes." Since you linked the two nouns with "or," the correct verb is "does." Your use of single rather than double quotes is non-standard if not incorrect, and the period goes inside the quotes.

Here's how your sentence should've read:

"Casinoes" [sic] or "casinos" does not have an apostrophe "s."

And you say you've taught writing, Russ? Wow. I wouldn't give you more than a B+ or A- for most of your postings.