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Old 04-08-13   #1
Atehequa

 
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Default Stereotyping and Misrepresentation

Since the 'Native American Spirituality' forum has become such a lonely and almost vacant place here of late having hardly a mention of even a dream catcher or wolf spirit animal, I've taken it upon myself to offer an Indian's perspective and post some informative videos

When I was a child this is how the much of the world saw us -


Yes history is written by the winners and continues as such -

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Old 04-08-13   #2
Atehequa

 
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Default Re: Stereotyping and Misrepresentation

Yes now a lonely almost vacant place, but clearly reflecting minority and majority as well as segregation. Once somewhat alive with conversations concerning what popular culture has embraced, trappings, adornments and other objects along with modified interpretations of ceremonies and ancient beliefs, but barely touching upon the people associated with them. A limited knowledge and understanding unless it regards a few of the more talked about tribes or nations, but still barely touching upon the origins and Ďpre-contactí history of those people. Origins and history that are extremely important to NDN people. The diverse origins, history and spirituality of many different tribal groups. Oddly enough there is some information that is available anyone can research, but many choose to forego what has been offered, instead they see us in a fanciful reinvented manner. Reinvented by those who did some research, but chose to scrub out what did not appeal to them. Erase what could not benefit them. The popular, the pretty the appealingly mystical instead of the scary, harsh, painful and overly complicated. Some going as far as to stereotype us all into flowery great plains-like Indians sporting the full regalia of that culture fraught with dream catchers and symbolic renditions of mystical spirit animals like the buffalo, eagle or wolf, but rarely if ever a snapping turtle, cricket frog, wren, cedar waxwing, or even a yellow jacket wasp. I guess in the minds of some, itís only the big animals that are associated with power.

All too often when someone decides to touch upon reality at such venues regarding what is seemingly devoted to the spirituality of Americaís indigenous people, he or she experiences just how vacant and segregated that venue of communication swiftly becomes. Segregated or stooping in degrading pandering to anotherís misrepresentations of who we are. Pretty sad state of affairs when an NDN has to resort to such in order to be a welcomed as a friend. If an NDN decides to share information regarding Muskogee Busk festivals, bloody and painful self mutilations associated with the Mandan Okipa ceremony, or the mustering of Haudenosaunee warrior ghosts from burial grounds to assist in battle, it all seems to fall short within the shadow of a stereotypical plains war bonnet and millions of massed produced chicken feather and plastic bead adorned dream catchers. Coming to age ceremonies like the southeastern Algonquian Huskenaw are obscured by new age smudge smoke. Non-NDN created íNative American 10 commandments and code of ethics seem more important than passed down ancient oral traditions.



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Old 04-08-13   #3
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Default Re: Stereotyping and Misrepresentation

I can only speak for myself but I find I really do not go into it so much due to the fact I do not feel qualified to speak on it with any sense of authority or credibility. I can make observations and what I have deduced from that or convey things I've been told but that is it at best.

My own blood lineage is so far in the distant past that it would not be applicable or truthful against what is ongoing in any capacity today.

I find I do not speak upon many other nations outside of the Lakota and Tsagli as those are the main ones exploited so they are the most utilized. In the past when I have tried to speak upon other less well known nations it quickly gets turned to the primary two so I stopped trying unless others brought it up.
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Old 04-08-13   #4
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Originally Posted by MonSno_LeeDra View Post
I can only speak for myself but I find I really do not go into it so much due to the fact I do not feel qualified to speak on it with any sense of authority or credibility. I can make observations and what I have deduced from that or convey things I've been told but that is it at best.

My own blood lineage is so far in the distant past that it would not be applicable or truthful against what is ongoing in any capacity today.

I find I do not speak upon many other nations outside of the Lakota and Tsagli as those are the main ones exploited so they are the most utilized. In the past when I have tried to speak upon other less well known nations it quickly gets turned to the primary two so I stopped trying unless others brought it up.
Greetings MonSno_LeeDra. I've brought it up this time

I'm probably not considered qualified to speak of many subjects other than those few I completely understand, but that would make for limited conversation upon my part.

I do know that at one time, the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota along with most others who speak a Siouan dialect, as far flung as the Catawba, Manahoac, Saponi and Tutelo were considered an enemy to Algonquian people earning these Siouan the wide spread names NadoŁessioŁak, Naadowesiwag, Nadoweisiw Nadowessioux or Nadouessioux which all translate to snake,viper and enemy who speaks a different language. As far as I know the Tsagli and all their Minqua kin, they were at times enemies to their Algonquian neighbors and other times friends.

Those days have long passed and now I have Lakota and Cherokee friends, but can also be sometimes somewhat at odds with a fellow Shawnee.

Sometimes I think it is some NDNS themselves who stereotype us all in order to gain recognition, or make a stack of buckskins off of selling their own individual selves as what the non-NDNs expect us all to be. I wonder how many Golden Eagles and other birds of prey are killed just to sell more powwow tickets? Personally, I do not agree with plains regalia being symbolic of how we all are suppose to appear at such events.
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Old 04-08-13   #5
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It is quite refreshing to see the Haudenosaunee from Canada dancing at an open event not clad in plains style eagle feather bustles, war bonnets and buckskins.

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Old 04-08-13   #6
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Originally Posted by Atehequa View Post
Greetings MonSno_LeeDra. I've brought it up this time
Probably one of the main reasons i've responded actually.

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I'm probably not considered qualified to speak of many subjects other than those few I completely understand, but that would make for limited conversation upon my part.
For me a lot of times I view it in the same light as trying to puts words in a persons mouth. I enjoy discussions, even speculations as to the why or why not of a thing. Many times it seems if you bring up or create a topic then you have to be an authority on it or a complete newby.

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I do know that at one time, the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota along with most others who speak a Siouan dialect, as far flung as the Catawba, Manahoac, Saponi and Tutelo were considered an enemy to Algonquian people earning these Siouan the wide spread names NadoŁessioŁak, Naadowesiwag, Nadoweisiw Nadowessioux or Nadouessioux which all translate to snake,viper and enemy who speaks a different language. As far as I know the Tsagli and all their Minqua kin, they were at times enemies to their Algonquian neighbors and other times friends.
I know the Sioux at one time where located more to the east than the plains area so that makes a lot of sense to me. I have always found it interesting that some nations had on again off again wars / peace with their neighbors. Then the unions of some nations that settled upon peace treaties of a sort to ban against a common foe.

Where I get into trouble is I always have a difficult time remembering the exact language and word usage for things so have to resort to the more common names and such. It's like I am really surprised that I remember Tsagli for the Cherokee as that is one I find hard to recall for some reason. On a side note I wonder if the Eastern Nation in the Carolina's and Western Nation in Oklahoma area use the same word today or not?


Quote:
Those days have long passed and now I have Lakota and Cherokee friends, but can also be sometimes somewhat at odds with a fellow Shawnee.
Sadly many of the people I knew have long since walked from my life. All I have left is stories and analogies of things we spoke upon or a few scattered chants or such.

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Sometimes I think it is some NDNS themselves who stereotype us all in order to gain recognition, or make a stack of buckskins off of selling their own individual selves as what the non-NDNs expect us all to be. I wonder how many Golden Eagles and other birds of prey are killed just to sell more powwow tickets? Personally, I do not agree with plains regalia being symbolic of how we all are suppose to appear at such events.
That was a complaint I was starting to hear a lot of some years ago. Especially those who sold "Shamanism" and "Shaman" as NA aspects. So many who claimed a lineage to some nation yet members of that nation either not knowing who they were or they were outcasts from the nation and looked down upon. Especially those that were assisting the many weekend retreats that pushed NA practices into a three or four day seminar. Especially the notion of a sweet lodge or vision quest was frequently cited as examples.

I've heard of a few incidents where people where asked to leave because they were not wearing the regalia of a Plains Nation or the more colorful dress of a supposed bride or chieftan of some sort. I knew a person of Apache lineage when I went to bootcamp back in the late 70's who spoke about some of his people being asked to leave as they didn't have the regalia of the central plains nations. But I think a lot of that was before percentage of blood became a really big factor and having ones name on the Indian lists to prove ones ancestry and percentage of blood.

What's sad from a family aspect is I have cousins who are trying desperately to get recognized so they can have access to the supposed benies of being recognized as a member of a given nation. Makes it hard for the rest of us who may try to speak to a nation simply to find out about our ancestry. I honestly think that is one of the reasons I've never been able to speak to the Seneca nation (Great-grandmother supposedly) as the names I use are the same as what they've used so we get lumped into the same mix. The rest is back in the late 1700's so that is simply to far back to connect to regardless of the Dawes Rolls.
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Old 04-08-13   #7
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I hope you won't mind a non NA person posting in your thread. If it's not OK, please accept my sincere apologies. I just wanted to share some thoughts and experiences.

Many years ago I found a radio station run by NA's. It was online, and probably still is. I heard the most wonderful music, often blending traditional with modern styles.
The songs taught me a LOT. Many sang in their own language, and, though of course I couldn't understand them, I could feel the spirit of it. Along with the music, was a program that people could call in to. The people who called, mostly NA, spoke of the issues that affect them, which us white folks have no idea about. There I learned the painful truth about how our government treated them, and still does. Although I knew a little about that, what I heard was many times worse. I told as many people about it as I could, because I wanted them to know the truth.

Because of the station, I went to a Powwow and I saw something I'll always remember- the Ceremony for veterans. There were some active duty people, too, I'm sure. I met one of the last surviving CodeTalkers there. My heart beat with pride as I saw how the soldiers were honored. Considering how our government treats our warriors, I was deeply moved, and glad to see them treated respectfully for a change.

The energy there was so peaceful. A couple of times I saw when they blessed the area before the event. I could feel the change. When I left, I held onto the memory of the feeling.

The station is called AIROS, (American Indian Radio On Satellite). At one event, I met a Native musician, who I told about the station, and he got his music on there.

Many years after, I saw a tv series that depicted a lot of the truth of what I heard about the harsh treatment our First Peoples endured. It matched so much of what the people on that station said. I was surprised to see such a program. Though it was off the air by the time I saw it, I got to see things I never thought I would. It was "Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman," about a while lady doctor in the 1800's I think, who became friends with a local tribe.

A couple of years after meeting the CodeTalker for the first time, I saw him again and he told me something about them finally getting the recognition for their efforts. I'll always remember what happened next, as I said, "It's about time." He got up from his chair and extended his hand to me. I was deeply honored.

It's still amazing to me how a People who had the land, customs, and language stolen from them, would even consider helping those who tried to conquer them. Somewhere deep in my memory is the explanation of why; it goes deeper than who thinks they own the land, (I like the idea that no one can own the land). My memory for details escapes me, but it kinda made sense what they said when I heard it so many years ago.

One saying that stuck with me is, "The land doesn't belong to us, we belong to it."

I truly believe we're all here to share the land, take care of it, and each other. If people would treat each other even half as respectfully as NA people treat the soldiers, this world would be a much better place.
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Old 04-08-13   #8
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I hope you won't mind a non NA person posting in your thread. If it's not OK, please accept my sincere apologies. I just wanted to share some thoughts and experiences.
I hope its not a dis-qualifier for if it is then surely I shouldn't be posting here either.

..

Quote:
Because of the station, I went to a Powwow and I saw something I'll always remember- the Ceremony for veterans. There were some active duty people, too, I'm sure. I met one of the last surviving CodeTalkers there. My heart beat with pride as I saw how the soldiers were honored. Considering how our government treats our warriors, I was deeply moved, and glad to see them treated respectfully for a change.
The one woman I knew who was of Piute ancestry told me her husband had to dance for her in a recognition ceremony for those who served. She had been to The mid-east and served for a number of years but could not dance before her own people.

It was a difficult thing to understand her pride in being recognized for her deeds and awards the military gave her but her inability to dance before her own people. What made it even stranger to me was that her Tribal elders gave her a different ceremony for her bravery and such and acknowledged it.

One thing that has always intrigued me is that the Navajo Code Talkers did receive some recognition for their code talking in WWII but you seldom hear about the earlier code talkers. I can't think of the nation but there was a group in WWI and possibly earlier.

Quote:
The energy there was so peaceful. A couple of times I saw when they blessed the area before the event. I could feel the change. When I left, I held onto the memory of the feeling.
I haven't had the fortune to attend many events that were hosted by some nation but I know it is a very detailed ritual used by many for purification of the sacred spot or spot to be used.

Quote:
The station is called AIROS, (American Indian Radio On Satellite). At one event, I met a Native musician, who I told about the station, and he got his music on there.
Do you know if it's on the net?

Quote:
A couple of years after meeting the CodeTalker for the first time, I saw him again and he told me something about them finally getting the recognition for their efforts. I'll always remember what happened next, as I said, "It's about time." He got up from his chair and extended his hand to me. I was deeply honored.
That's a hand that i'd be honored to shake as well.
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Old 04-08-13   #9
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Default Re: Stereotyping and Misrepresentation

When I heard AIROS, I heard it online, though it also does have some airplay on the radio is some areas, but I don't recall anything more. Yes it's still online: http://www.airos.org/
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Old 04-11-13   #10
Atehequa

 
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It's still amazing to me how a People who had the land, customs, and language stolen from them, would even consider helping those who tried to conquer them. Somewhere deep in my memory is the explanation of why; it goes deeper than who thinks they own the land, (I like the idea that no one can own the land). My memory for details escapes me, but it kinda made sense what they said when I heard it so many years ago.

One saying that stuck with me is, "The land doesn't belong to us, we belong to it."

I truly believe we're all here to share the land, take care of it, and each other. If people would treat each other even half as respectfully as NA people treat the soldiers, this world would be a much better place.
By the time I was almost finished with high school my father who served in the military and had fought in WWII wanted me to join up as well. During that time shortly after the Wounded Knee stand off in 1973, I had already been heavily influenced by A.I.M. and much to my father's dismay, would not join the United States armed forces, those along with a government who just about wiped out our people in a war that lasted almost four decades 1776-1814. Also I had seen what the Vietnam War had did to my brother. I wasn't the only one as in this area there were a lot of other different NDN kids of military families who would not join up like their fathers had. We grew our hair long and having been inspired by people like Russell Means and Dennis Banks some of us began learning more about our heritages, something our assimilated into white society parents strove to keep from us.
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