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A Matter of Controversy
~ Joelle Clark
Recently I was told by a gentleman ( I use the term loosely )
that because back like four generations on my paternal side
there is a Scotsman, my Indigenous blood had been white
washed and I had no right to my Indigenous culture,
language, or spiritual beliefs.
Needless to say I was somewhat shocked and offended
since I have never hidden being Iyeska (mixed blood), nor
have I ever considered myself anything but Lakota.
The only people who have ever treated me badly because of my having a bit of European blood among my ancestors have usually eventually been shown to either have less Indigenous blood than I do or had little experience with their people's spiritual teachings.
Now the other side of this debate is what is known as Paper Genocide.
This is the belief that the government's decision to push the Tribes to only recognize as native tribal members those with a certain blood degree of Indigenous blood has reduced Tribal populations; some so badly as to reduce them to no longer being large enough to be recognized by the government. Which in itself is a form of genocide.
I remember as a child my Elders cutting up their C.I.B.D. cards while stating emphatically they they would no longer accept the U. S. Government counting them and tracking their pedigree like they were horses or dogs. That they were not B.I.A. Indians!
I believe that when you start hating people because of the color of their skin or pedigree that then you are showing yourself to be completely assimilated because now you are behaving just like your oppressors. Racism isn't Indigenous.
We should all be hating the governments that practice oppression and a difference in justice for those of darker complexions or any minority, including active abuse of those caught in poverty caused and enforced by the same government.
With all the damage being done to Unci Maka, the water and air, I believe that we need to set racism aside. I think we all should realize that we have bigger problems than blood quantum.
That doesn't mean I think it's alright for non-Indigenous people to help themselves to our culture and spirituality. I don't .
However I believe that we need to be cleaning up our own messes.
Corrupt Tribal Leaders and Councils, those "Full Bloods" who are supposed to be our Spiritual leaders who are selling Ceremony. Those are the ones "White Washing" our people, not the Iyeska or even the Half Breeds that I hear many bemoaning.
Among many tribes those mixed bloods are the ones speaking out the loudest for truth and justice for their people. They are also the ones doing the most part in feeding, providing heat and clean water, clothing and other things that the Elders and children need.
The things that traditionally the warriors did.
Perhaps instead of attacking those who have a European ancestor, you should get off of social media and start working to better the world for the next generations. It's needed much more than showing the world that you learned the ways of the Colonizers well and now behave and think with a colonized brain.