Ok, Mr Ramirez, let me explain how this Native American thing works. Federally recognized Indian tribes are allowed to determine who is a member of their tribe. Some tribes use only blood degree and some use descendancy, that is, if someone can prove that they are descended from a person who was on the tribal rolls as of a certain date, they are eligible for membership. The trouble with blood degree is that it is a completely non-scientific way of determining a person’s ancestry, based solely on an uneducated guess by an white agent depending on the color of your skin. That doesn’t even allow for members who were adopted by the tribe, or slaves owned by tribal members, who were also considered members of the tribe, So someone does not necessarily have to be a “person of color” to be a member of a tribe. While there are certain advantages to being a tribal member these days, it was not always the case. Until 1926 most Native Americans were not citizens, but wards of the state. The government controlled almost every aspect of their lives and could even take their children away. Because of this, many Native Americans refused to enroll themselves or their children when they were no longer required to do so. Those of mixed blood who could “pass for white”, but still kept up their tribal membership did so out of a strong sense of their heritage. So yes, there are people like Elizabeth Warren and myself who “don’t look Indian,” but are still very aware and very proud of our ancestry.
May 31, 2016
May 24, 2016