- Aug 9, 2003
Wado, Brother Blackbird, Wado!
Ooneh Brother Chuck... Hopefully, I answered your request sufficiently. Here's a question. What really viable Black Indian resources are available that you know of? Some years back, I connected with a sister who is Black Comanche like myself. Is there much organizing going on among Black Indian people or we still yet to come out of the woodworks more publicly? Alot of times, I am but only one of the couple Black faces found at powwows, especially out West. I stopped dancing because I wanted to see more people like me at these functions. I know they exist. I am unabashly Black and Indian - proud of both heritages - committed and devoted to propagating the cultural understanding of both.Wado, Brother Blackbird, Wado!
This is the little I know from what was told to me by my maternal great unk. It comes from the Haudenosaunee. My maternal great grandfather was a member of the Longhouse. Uncle Richard told me it was said that after 7 generations of living among the whites and after many years of loss, tragedy and sorrow, a new generation would rise up to renew the covenant and restore the Longhouse. This generation would be fearless and brave, demanding to the whites what is rightfully theirs and what should not be adulterated.
That does explain the re-occupation of treaty granted lands in my my neighboring province of Ontario etc.
Some elders have used the Dawes Act of 1887 as the starting point of living among the whites.
But as was and is the hypocrisy and deceit related to how the one party (whites) had their own take as opposed to the other (indigenous folk),
both during the forced removals of the late 1830's, based on their own self interests etc., the whites dared to redefine who was or as not an indian, as in basing it on physical appearance etc., not via the same means and ways indigenous folk did (or do)...
Also do remember that the Dawes Act was meant to terminate the existence of indigenous people as distinct and recognized original inhabitants of this continent:
Ironically enough, so much corruption and graft about the process got exposed, so outright termination got halted by the U. S. Congress,
though some indigenous nations exist in name only , being more or less funnels for welfare like support systems, etc.
I take the stance more symbolic than literal, in the fact that I see the 7th generation already moving, beginning with the American Indian Movement, and still evident by the traditionalists and warrior societies sprouting up among the Kanienkehaka (People of the Flint - Mohawk people of the Haudenosaunee). I see us as the 7th generation and those after us. Our elders did well with what they had - nurturing us, striving to keep as many of the old ways alive as possible and just keeping that heartbeat going.
So indigenous means/ways of sustaining who they are and are about went on regardless of the aformentioned crap...
Here's where it gets a little personal now. My family, like most Haudenosaunee influenced families, place big stock on dreams. As a child, one of the first things we would do upon waking was every family member would recite their dreams. Then other members would attempt to determine if a message was involved and try to decipher them. We say if you dream of a deceased person, that means its going to rain. We would never tell, however, our dreams before sunrise for fear if it was an unwanted dream that doing so would make it come true. So here is my dream(s).
I must admit being far less qualified to write or speak of things only those who grew up in the midst of indigenous folk know and understand far more about than I dare to claim to know or understand even a little bit about...
I walked inside the longhouse of a Turtle clan mother. Sitting around this clan mother were little children and when she saw me she invited me to sit down among them. She was also fixing corn soup to serve us. She told the children "look here is one that is of us, but not one of us." She talked about the migrations the Skarure had endured and the different cultural heroes. Then she grew grave and said, "Soon the time comes, my little ones, when we old eyes must only watch. You must act - you must do - you must build the sticks. I have fetched the wood for you. You have good cedar, but most importantly you have the pine. Listen to Father Pine and learn his message." Afterwards she served us corn soup, which she cooked the traditional way. My mind shot and I saw Skarure warriors peering behind mountains, looking down on captive Skarure people about to be sent to slavery. They were waiting for their time to strike... which I never saw.
On another occasion, I saw hooves and painted legs of galloping horses, dust kicking up in their trail. I saw lances and rifles, bullhide shields and quivers... They were rushing to fight white cavalry men camped underneath a grove of trees. These were ghost warriors rushing in, my people and my heart swelled up with pride. The message I was getting is that the fight was not over. The war still rages. These were my people, Numunuu warriors.... The 7th generation.
Chuck:Ooneh Brother Chuck... Hopefully, I answered your request sufficiently.
Good morning, Blackbird...
And, yes, your further comments are bound to help more than just me, when it comes to clearing the air about who is who, as well as who else were and are aware of the people and organizations etc. I've come across too...
But on the other hand, and none of you who did or do post about black indian relations etc. are to blame for that, what has been and is being revealed by you and others far more familiar with our segment of the indigenous related folk in this nation/on this continent actually are leading me to have more questions that I need and want to answer...
Here's a question. What really viable Black Indian resources are available that you know of?
Do know and understand the very idea of us identifying ourselves as 'black indians' is a real turn off for some (if not all) other indigenous folk...
Add that that the enemies of all indigenous folk (who did try to shut down my own beloved BLACK INDIAN ACTIVIST ALLIANCE board awhile back too)...
Even others that meant well, their take isn't shared by me, either, aka Jerry Eaglefeather's, etc.
Also, it's my observation even other folks notable efforts--like the WEYANOKE ASSOCIATION's website etc-- aren't being supported as others should be, either...
But good or bad: It's all real...
Some years back, I connected with a sister who is Black Comanche like myself. Is there much organizing going on among Black Indian people or we still yet to come out of the woodworks more publicly?
You might be writing and talking about sister Angela-- who kinda sorta bailed from the aformentioned other fella's organization-- kinda sorta for the same reasons I eventually did-- too...
A lot of times, I am but only one of the couple Black faces found at powwows, especially out West. I stopped dancing because I wanted to see more people like me at these functions. I know they exist. I am unabashly Black and Indian - proud of both heritages - committed and devoted to propagating the cultural understanding of both.
That's been a continuing lament via a couple of other (former) mainstays of my own group (which itself has seen better days too)?
Though one of them continues to work with indigenous folk in general, the other had or has plans to put out cd's with black dineh sister Radmilla Cody...
Though on the other hand:
Among other things plaguing indian country are high public school dropout rates etc.
I.e., so no telling who knows nothing or little-- above and beyond whatever some elder or family member were and are able and willing to just tell them about their own peoples history etc.-- in general...
Some others tend to avoid the subject of black/indian relations and others are heavily into denial about it all, aka the so called five 'civilized' nations, etc.
Also as is also the norm about indigenous folk in general:
Most (if not all) folk who are obviously the mixed race descendants of black and indigenous ancestors tend to just take care of home, i. e., only seem or sound like their concerns are just about their particular indigenous folk, not seeming or sounding like --they go out of their way to seek out folk of the same mixed ancestry elsewhere...
And --I have yet to hear or read what the Northeastern nations-- or the Western ones in your neck of the woods-- feel or think one way or another about the continuing plight of the Freedmen Descendants, as in the descendants of formerly enslaved --whose ancestors and/or who were the unpaid laborers of white/indian mixed bloods--and whose ancestors were freed after the U. S. Civil War as well as given the right to become part of those indigenous nations by treaty-- though some of the descendants of their ancestors enslavers dare to dispute what their own ancestors had agreed to-- aka the Cherokee Freedmen vs the CNO clique's present day b. s., etc.
Though these are not easy-- and awfully difficult issues and problems-- to just engage in discussions and debates about:
Also I wasn't aware of just how many more folks--like you--were and out there--in Indian Country--either!
At least I know I'm hardly 'alone' now!
I would gladly participate in a serious group of individuals that candidly and solemnly discuss and act on issues important to Black Indian people and who work to greater connect the bridges between Black and Red cultures. I'm about promoting knowledge and understanding and not stereotypes and quackery.
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