"Part" Indian?


taken in its entirety by request of website: http://www.nativecircle.com/pppartindian.html

half-breed quarter breed one sixteen.... what do fractions really mean?

could you imagine having to carry a card to 'prove' you are

white? or imagine that, in order to truly be acknowledged

as an african american, you had to be an 'enrolled member'!

this having to carry a white and/or blue cdib (certificate of

degree of indian blood) card is, in my understanding, the very

definition of institutionalized racism. good people frequently

share with me that they are 'part indian', or 'only a precentage

indian'. this is a sad testament to the legacy of their beautiful

indian ancestors. you see, the u.s. government is responsible

for the invention of the 'indian blood quantum' lie. it turns out

that this is quite a convenient way to 'kill indians on paper'.

and what saddens me, is that most of our tribal governments

have bought into the 'blood quantum' system which so divides

and separates us from who we are and has deeply damaged

the integrity of our ancient cultures. we are people, not

fractions. to those of you reading this who are of indian

ancestry, i offer you some interesting thoughts...............

in lakota tradition, we have a ceremony called hunkapi, or,

the making of relatives. in this ceremony, a person who is

not lakota is brought in. after the ceremony is complete it

was fully understood that this person was 100% completely

lakota. this was, and still is, the power of this ancient rite.

somehow, many of us have forgotten the truth and wisdom

of this ceremony. many indians today think the 'amount' of

indian blood is what matters, when according to our own

sacred rites, it is clear that it is not only blood, but spirit

which defines the essence of a human being.................

so.... to those of you with distant indian ancestry who do

not quite know how to define it.... you need not identify

yourself as 'part-indian'. know that you are 'of indian

ancestry', or that you are 'descended from the (insert

tribe name here)'. you are 100% descendant of all your

ancestors. learn all you can, become who you are.

you are beautiful! you are indian..............................

written by john two-hawks

Thunderwolf, MSN, RN

6 Articles; 6,621 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatric, Behavioral Health. Has 32 years experience.

John Two-Hawks is most correct.

It is not your percentage that makes you Indian....it is the spirit that is within your heart that makes you Indian. A very poignant lesson for us all.


65 Posts

Very true Thunderwolf, my Brother. My heart beats with the beat of the drums, and I follow the Native ways.


Long Term Care Columnist / Guide

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

142 Articles; 9,982 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 26 years experience.

That makes me feel so much more 'in tune' with my distant Native American ancestry.......I never really believed I had a right to call myself Cherokee, but this has taught me to think differently. Thank you so much for sharing it, Thunderwolf!


57 Posts

Specializes in CCU,SICU,CVICU,Burn Unit.

My family ancestory is Indian and I am very proud of it. You made an awesome contribution that makes people aware.


Specializes in NICU.

Wow, Wolfie, thank you. I also have some distant Blackfoot heritage, but when people ask "So, what are you?" I answer Irish, because for a pale, green-eyed, redheaded girl to claim to be Indian always struck me as disingenuous. I'm going to start being true to my blood, I believe.


6,620 Posts

Isn't everyone nowadays part something, part something else? If you identify more with one heritage than the other, I don't see how that's a problem. Personally, I usually answer with a long list because I identify with all of them:)

twinmommy+2, ADN, BSN, MSN

1 Article; 1,289 Posts

Specializes in ED. Has 18 years experience.

Thank you so much for posting that! Very true..very true.

Tweety, BSN, RN

33,005 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 31 years experience.

I'm part Cherokee, Part German, Part mutt..............100% American.

It's smacks of political correctness rhetoric to say "I'm descended from......" rather than "I'm part.....".

I'm not sure I'm supportive of this idea. I'm not sure how it's insulting to N.A's to acknowledge I'm not 100% of their tribe.



4,491 Posts

My uncle is a full elder of the tribe. He is African American and European by ancestry. My aunt is officially Cherokee. She grew up on a wheat farm and was raised Methodist.

He participates in ceremonies and had his children and their cousins visit the reservation and learn a from elders.

Yes, there is an advantage to the legal status. My cousins attended Oklahoma University tuition free on "Indian" scholarships and got preference in low cost student housing.


4,491 Posts

I feel as residents of this land we may all feel a kinship with those who were here.

I feel it when singing the songs, dancing at a Pow Wow, or growing corn.

I can't speak or read cherokee like my uncle did. I don't have the sence of direction my aunt does.

Nevertheless we have much to gain by experiencing all we can.

Specializes in Home Health Care. Has 8 years experience.

I'm proud to say I'm a descendant of the MIC MAC indian.

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