Tell me more about this amazing adoption power that turns non-Indians into Indians.
Is it unique to LaDonna Harris? Do all Comanches have this power? Do all Indians have it?
If you're an average Navajo, Cherokee, or Lakota, can you make me a member of your tribe just by performing a ceremony? And the tribal government, as well as every tribal member, will recognize me as a member? After I become a Navajo, Cherokee, or Lakota, do I have to wait, or can I start collecting my government/casino checks immediately? (Just kidding, sort of.)
Please elucidate, someone. Inquiring minds want to know.
Thoughts on the subject
These comments led to a discussion with various Facebook friends:
A tribe's recognition of this process is what made non-Indians into Indians. Getting approved in a tribal ceremony was equivalent to a positive vote in a tribal government. In short, membership was up to the tribe, not to individuals.
Tribes continue to have the power to recognize adoptions, I think, but that power would be invested in the tribal government. I don't see LaDonna Harris having the power to add members on her own. To her family, yes, but not to the tribe's membership rolls.
On the flip side, there are some tribal members who marry outside the tribe (tribal or not) and their spouse eventually knows more traditional knowledge than most tribal members...recognized by the community yes indeed, given the same political rights nope....over time the notion of 4/4 tribal members will be obsolete (fed gov't calls it statistical genocide)...acceptance is a part of this notion of enrollment...good stuff rob.
P.S. There's absolutely no truth to the rumor that Elizabeth Warren and Ward Churchill are trying to meet with LaDonna Harris.
Via Twitter I tried again to find someone with the magical power of adoption:
Do any of you have the power to turn me into an Indian just by saying so? Like LaDonna Harris did with Johnny Depp? If so, give me a holler.
I'm not a wannabe, but it might be fun to be an Indian for a while. Just for kicks, you know. I trust I can go back to being an Anglo if being an Indian becomes inconvenient.
For more on the subject, see Questioning Depp's Comanche Adoption and Depp's Intent Doesn't Excuse Stereotypes.