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.

20 comments:

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.

Jenny Dreadful said...

Great post, Rob! Your whole blog is amazing.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Thank you, Blair, for reaffirming something writerfella has posted here, that some tribes actually included anyone who was willing to claim tribal descent in order to swell their ranks in order to claim more government aid and appropriations. But the Native economic picture and climate has changed, and so tribes such as the Cherokee and Seminole now see that precipitate actions are necessary to reduce their artificially increased rolls in light of those changes. The particular "tribes" that will not be taking any such actions are the Chickasaw, the Pequot, the Chickahominy, the Kickapoo, and the Lumbee, as these are groups that possess few blood-descended members of the original tribes, if at all, and that managed by hook or crook to become (or are becoming) acknowledged as Native tribes by the Federal Government. It is likely that Rob Schmidt could kiss a Chickahominy person and then fully would be qualified to seek membership in that "tribe"...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

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.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Nonsense, specifically as defined in the Oxford Dictionary of the English language. writerfella first encountered Chickahominy people in 1960 while we all attended Bacone College in Muskogee, OK. They principally were Blacks and they themselves acknowledged that fact at the time. Their attendance at Bacone was because Baptist missionaries among them selected the college, which was a Baptist-sponsored sectarian school. Their history as told to writerfella was that their ancestors were Black slaves who survived a shipwreck off the North Carolina coast, escaping to find shelter and succor among Native tribes there. Intermarriage strictly was not allowed and later they were permitted to form their own cultural group and "tribe", one that has existed as the group it was all the way into recent times.
As stated before, writerfella personally cannot make the legal distinction whether a particular "tribe" truly is Native American or not. He simply is one person who operates from the knowledge he has accumulated to this time and, as a Native American himself, it MUST be more than a EuroMan dilletante such as yourself ever can accrue. Try these: who are the San Blas, what are they and where are they? Who were the Tonkawa and where were they? Who are the Nadarko and where were they? Why are the Absentee Shawnee so named? Who are the Taeguoe and where are they? Who are the Kit-ti-ki-tish and where are they? Or the Andoloqui, or the Lantansokay, or the Na-Ish-Sha?
writerfella sits waiting...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella

Sam 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.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Play it again, Sam. And writerfella invites you to attend the Riverwind Casino run by the Chickasaws near Goldsby, Oklahoma, and thence to find yourself a single Chickasaw there who is less Caucasian-looking than is Rob Schmidt. You won't, you cannot, and you shall not, simply because the Chickasaws had traded away their Native selves in the 19th Century to mix with whites so their towns and plantations in the south would be safe from American dissolution. That move was a spectacular failure and the Chickasaws were uprooted by whites, divested of their towns and land holdings by whites, and then moved over The Trail of Tears to Oklahoma by whites. Just as Black Kettle could not escape white attack by placing an American flag above his teepee at Sand Creek, Colorado, the Chickasaws were undone by their own complacency. Even in Indian Territory, the Chickasaw holdings were not exempted from the machinations of white America, and like the Cherokee, lost what they thought had become their own due to American whim. In modern Oklahoma, Chickasaws resent the Plains tribes of Kiowa and Comanche and Wichita because those tribes were captured and then interned on Chickasaw lands that then were removed from Chickasaw purview. After such a time, the 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'. It now is the case that if anyone ever finds a real Chickasaw, you'd better catch them and paint them blue because it's a bit like the 'purple cow' of limerick fame...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Sam 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.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Find the word 'apply' in writerfella's posting, Sam, and you win a cookie. Plus, your command of the written form of the English language is weak, at best. Consider this exanmple: "

writerfella said...

"Tribes do not get (and never HAS gotten)... The subject is a plural, and the verb is a singular. To say nothing of the previous phrase, "The Chickasaw only provides..." Again, plural subject and singular verb. Then there is that magnificent phrase, "There were intermarriage..." 'Americans' does not have an apostrophe 's'. 'Casinoes' or 'casinos' do not have an apostrophe 's'. 'Gorged' is a transitive verb that means "to swallow greedily". Stereotyping is a single word. On the basis of your disjointed and ill-constructed posting, writerfella gives it a 75. It had a nice beat and was easy to dance to, but it betrayed a less-than-nominal education and a much-lacking sense of contemporary realities...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

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:

http://indians.vipnet.org/tribes/chickahominy.cfm

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?"

and

"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.

Sam 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

Sam said...

Correction... B-

:-D

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
But it is you, Rob, who played the "legal card" first and foremost, that being Native more is defined by laws AND politics in the 21st Century.
And writerfella not only is a writer fella but also is a longtime teacher of writing. Thus he evaluates ANYONE'S writing as the very same time that he reads it. The very same analytical benchmarks also allow writerfella to evaluate long, longer, and longest postings to see they usually are 'Johnny-One-Note' responses, dressing a single idea in several versions of the Emperor's New Clothes...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'
POSTSCRIPTUM: writerfella holds it against no one that they only are 15, but rather waxes analytical in any case to measure that individual's attention span...
R

Sam 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.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
But, Sam, what you do not understand is that writerfella also recognizes POTENTIAL! In the posts you recorded are enough POSSIBILITIES that writerfella recognizes, as he must as a writing teacher, acknowledge. As was said in the film THE PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS, "Never let anyone, not even me, tell you that you can't do it!" If you look in a mirror, and only see yourself as when you were 12, then 15 never will mean that much. You will become 20, and 25, and 30, and hopefully when you look back at those times, you will see the incomplete person you were then. Even at 30, you still will be looking back at those times and hopefully seeing incompletion of who you are at 30. writerfella would not be saying so, if it were not true...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

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.