I want to learn the Lakota language but there are no Lakota tribes in my state. Any ideas on where I could learn it?
So, I’m Lakota Sioux. And for a while I wanted to learn really badly.
What I did was google “learn Lakota language.” And I got all sorts of useful results. There were pages with useful phrases/words. There were pages on how to address other people. There were even a few tapes and books on Amazon on how to speak Lakota.
There is also this school called St. Joseph’s Indian School in South Dakota. I donate to them once a month because they’re a poor school for Indian children. They have a website with a bunch of information. And I bet if you called them, they might even offer a class over the internet or something. It never hurts to ask. You could donate a couple bucks while you’re on there, too. They’ll send you cool stuff in the mail for every donation as incentive. Like return address stickers and tote bags and ornaments and stuff. They also include handwritten thank-you letters from kids at the school. It’s for a great cause.
But it's not because of the Native American. People sometimes ask me if I use "Indians" as my inspiration, and I always say no. I've never thought about it, I've been only wearing these things because I find them pretty and never associated them with any sort of culture, I never tried to be Native American. But lately I realized that maybe with my style, I am offending somebody's culture. My question is: what do you think of that? Of having that sort of style without even knowing?
I think that you are showing signs of being unknowingly racist. It’s not your fault, don’t worry. We live in a racist world.
I once read a list of 21 common racist behaviors and number one is what I believe you are experiencing. It is the attitude that “I don’t associate this with a certain race or culture. I don’t see people as their race. I see us all as equals.” Which is essentially denying anyone who is non-white of their experiences as a minority. You are denying that having feathers in your hair is a culturally native american icon. You are denying the heritage of the moccasins on your feet. You are actually stripping native americans of their culture by claiming it as your own, quirky “style.”
The fact of the matter is, if our ancestry wasn’t dehumanized to the point of being a “style,” if our culture wasn’t stolen from us by the Europeans when they entered our country, white people wouldn’t have access to moccasins or regalia or anything that can be identified as culturally american indian. If our culture wasn’t so objectified, you wouldn’t even know what moccasins are.
My advice isn’t to stop dressing the way you do. It is to recognize the things you are dressing yourself with BELONG to a certain heritage, a certain group of people that you are not affiliated with. Recognize that this could be categorized as racist behavior and instead of arguing that you are not being offensive because the intent isn’t there, realize that you ARE being offensive, regardless of intent, and accept that. Sit down and say to yourself “My name is ____ and this is a racist behavior that I exhibit. I am not a bad person because of this, but I understand that some people may be offended by it. I respect them for their experiences and realize that I will never know what it’s like to be them.”
Hello, I have a slightly complicated question for you. I see that you are strongly against using the Native American culture as a trend. I understand it, I really do. However, my "problem" is: this is my style. As long as I can remember, I've been loving using feathers and beads as accessories, boots and dresses, I've been dyeing my hair blackish for quite a while, etc. (to be continued in next question)
Hey! Im not native at all, I'm from Europe, and I just saw your opinion about native american wannabes. Do you think I am one, if I'm in love with their cultures, the stories about them, I just can't get off my eyes of indian pictures and symbols, and I try to be a little like them (in clothing, and in my inner features)? I mean, since when I was about 10, and now I'm 17 and I'm more and more into them! What's your opinion?
I think you need to read this article about yellowface and blackface.
It’s wrong to dehumanize or claim a culture that isn’t yours. As an American Indian, it’s really offensive when white people wear headdresses or put feathers in their hair. It’s even worse when white teenagers buy moccasins or fringe bags from places like American Eagle or Urban Outfitters. Because those places claim legitimacy and authenticity in their products, but are really cheaply made bag and moccasin look-a-likes. I mean, do you even know why indians put fringe on their shoes? If you want to respect the culture, go to a pow wow. Donate to indian schools. Don’t try to be like one of us because you aren’t. Embrace your own culture and let us embrace and celebrate ours. We’ve earned it.
And for the love of god, do not get a tribal tattoo.
Hi I love your Tumblr! Our law firm recently posted a video of the respected Russell Means as a tribute to his life. I'd really appreciate it if you reblogged it so we can get more views on the video. Thank you so much!
I love your blog! I work @ Lakota People's Law Project, a non-profit law firm who is currently working with the Indian Child Welfare Act directors in South Dakota to make the Bureau of Indian Affairs keep its pledge to hold a summit on Lakota foster care. The summit is 9 months overdue! We have a petition going around on our Facebook. I've posted the link on my tumblr page. If you could reblog it, we could really make a difference! Thank you so much.
Hi! I was wondering if you could help me with something. I grew up with my mother's side of the family, which is Cajun, and I'm well educated on that aspect, but my dad's side is American Indian, and sadly, I know nothing of my heritage from them. My grandfather died when my dad was young, so he never was able to get any information, and neither were his other siblings, not even the name of the tribe. I really want to trace back my ancestry, but I don't know where to start. Any suggestions?:)
I'm about as Native American as a plastic dayglo dreamcatcher, but I do have a minuscule bit Cherokee ancestry (not the 'Indian princess' nonsense, actual records and photos) and have spent time doing community service on a rez. People keep expecting me not to care when they make prejudiced remarks against Native Americans. How can I justify my aggravation without sounding like an asshole?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with telling something that racist remarks are offensive. Even if society doesn’t consider you that race, there’s nothing wrong with sticking up for an entire race of people. I’m native and white, but I still shut people down when they make black jokes. You won’t sound like an asshole, you’ll sound like a decent human being. Good luck!
Where'd you get that IHOF REZTURANT hoodie? I love ittttt
Thanks!! I got it at a pow wow from a lovely lady vendor! There were so many NDN shirts she’d made, it was amazing. She’d even made shirts that had Disney characters in regalia. Gosh, it was awesome. My mom still has the lady’s card. I will see if I can get her contact information and post it on here. :)
Statistics on sexual assault and suicide in Native communities aren’t something that you should flippantly throw around. Not to win an argument. Not even if you’re Native. Not even if you think you’re being supportive. Those are real problems that certain communities actually, truly face. It’s really painful and infuriating to see them thrown around as some sort of gotcha in an internet argument. I guess the same could be said for other issues that hit Native communities especially hard.
"This is not a post hating on Mariah Watchman, America’s Next Top Model’s very first Native contestant. At all. I’m so excited she’s on the show, and proud that she’s representing for all of Indian Country. Mariah is from the Umatilla rez in Oregon, but is also Ojibwe, Modoc, and Mandan, and seems pretty down-to-earth and awesome. This is much more about the show itself, and the messages it sends us about society at large."
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A federal government decision to allow a Wyoming tribe to kill two bald eagles for a religious ceremony is a victory for American Indian sovereignty as well as for long-suppressed religious freedoms, the tribe says.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service granted a permit March 9 to the Northern Arapaho Tribe allowing it either to kill or capture and release two bald eagles this year.
OMG, your answer = me! I'm always a little afraid to show up at powwows with my hair in braids - even though that's how I wear it often. Don't want to look like a try-hard or, you know, a "Cherokee Princess," haha. I also get "Are you Mexican?" and "What are you?" :/ So, thank you (ALL) for your answers. :)
No problem. Glad to be of assistance. You inspired me to wear my good mocassins just for fun today. :)
It's the same way for me, shonagon-chan. I completely understand. For awhile it was hard for me to choose which race I identified with, but after awhile I realized I was only struggling to identify because it was what everyone else wanted, not how I viewed myself. I am white and native, and I don't have to choose. I won't disrespect my ancestors by putting one over the other - everything they did, everything they were, has led to me. The same goes for you.
Need advice from real Natives. Both parents were part Native -ancestors on the rolls (Cherokee and Choctaw.) So, I self-identify as part Native (and look pretty stereotypical; get asked a lot which "tribe" I'm from and if I have "Indian $$" UGH.) But I still have white privilege- though was assaulted quite badly "for looking like a squaw bitch" :( I didn't grow up on the rez (though visit lots of powwows.) I'm never sure how to self-identify w/out being a wannabe. Oh,& I don't play NDN dress-up!
Ahaha, thank you for not playing indian dress up. Your story sounds quite similar to mine. My mom is mostly Native and German. And my dad is Norwegian and English. I wasn’t raised on the rez. And I still get white privilege, though I’m often asked “What are you?” or, the terrible, “Are you Mexican?”
Sometimes I feel like a wannabe also. Especially when I show up to pow wows with my hair braided and my mocs on. No one wants the rez indians to look at them and think “wow, stupid white girl trying to look native.”
Personally, I think you should be proud of who you are and don’t be afraid to display it. Because as long as you are respectful to other natives and seem knowledgeable about the culture, no one is going to hate on you.
Your blog is amazing. I love Native Americans.I love that everything to them is sacred from the biggest mountain to the smallest plant and animal. People always ask me if i'm Native American. I know for a fact that i'm not fully Native but I always tell people there some Aztec and Inca blood running inside me. Maybe not a lot but enough and i'm proud of it. I see that you need some idea for some post well i think you should put up some stories Native American tribes use to tell a long time ago.
Thank you so much!
That’s a good idea. I wrote a story in the style of a traditional native legend. I might have to type it up and post it to see what you guys think! If there’s anything else you guys would like to see on the blog, please, send me links and stuff! I will be happy to post them! :)
The Navajo Nation has sued Urban Outfitters months after the tribe sent a cease and desist letter to the clothing retailer demanding it pull the “Navajo” name from its products.
The lawsuit filed late Tuesday in U.S. District Court in New Mexico alleges trademark violations and violations of the federal Indian Arts and Crafts Act, which makes it illegal to sell arts or crafts in a way to falsely suggest they’re made by American Indians when they’re not.
The tribe has at least 10 registered trademarks on the Navajo name that cover clothing, footwear, online retail sales, household products and textiles. Tribal justice officials said they’re intent on protecting what they believe are among the tribe’s most valuable assets. Read more here.