Saturday, March 6, 2010

Tribal survival at stake

Indian Country Today
by
Carol Berry

5 part series

For the tribes children and grandchildren - tribal enrollment can mean inclusion or exclusion to ones cultural heritage.  Every tribe is just one generation away from extinction, according to Maylinn Smith, a Native American law professor. 

Plenty of Native Americans will survive because of their ability to be part of a tribe.  In Rapid City Iowa one such women exists, she has searched her lifetime for her relatives, she knows that she is Native American but she has to prove it, so she searchers in churches, friends and strangers, groups and bars.  She even searches on the streets,

Like so many Native Americans raised in non-Native American families, she feels both a closeness and distance to her adoptive family.  She was raised non Native American and now searches for her culture, her bloodline, for her true identity.  For whatever the reason may be, Indian child laws were not involved in her adoption like so many Native American children.


  

1 comment:

Liggy said...

I sympathize with your plight. It saddens me to think of how much Native Americans have lost over time. Even the Hawaiians have lost so much of what was once theirs. I lived in Hawaii for about 10+ years and have seen how the Native Hawaiian culture has become so commercialized. The true Hawaiians who want to live their traditional cultural ways are pretty much banished to another island away from everyone else. I hope that we as a society can educate more of the younger generations so that they can learn to appreciate the rich history behind Native America.