I don't know anything about tribal affiliations. Coming across all of this as a newcomer, it seems strange that in order to be considered as a Native American, you need to be officially signed up with a particular tribe. Imagine other races and ethnic groups having to prove themselves on paper that way. It just seems very unusual. I am surprised that other paperwork (historical documentation) wouldn't suffice. I wonder if anyone has ever tried that. Isn't it possible that a person could be very Native American in their heritage, yet as a free person decide not to be signed up with a tribe? Just thinking out loud here...
I am Irish (among other things) - for real. But I am not in any way affiliated with Irish culture or with Ireland (and that doesn't make me any less Irish). I am very proud of my heritage and the history of my Irish ancestors. While I am not underprivileged in any way, or a victim of ethnic discrimination, the tremendous pain and suffering of my Irish ancestors bears an effect on my family to this day. If Irish Americans were underrepresented on college campuses, and if for some reason adcoms were recruiting them to diversify their incoming classes. I would feel very comforable declaring myself as Irish-American. If that helped me in some way, then great. The big picture would be that colleges would be getting thier needs met (not that I would be given a leg-up in admission).
Jag, get out your photographs of your Native American family members and learn everything you can about them. All that they were is a part of you today, whether or not you look Native American, and whatever traditions your family chooses to celebrate. All of their suffering, and all of their hope, is in you. Don't let anyone discourage you from owning that.
Last edited by spideygirl; 11-01-2007 at 09:34 PM.