Ok! Hello! My name's Ace and I initially made this thread to help my father out (My father was conducting a panel called 'ABM Uncensored'. Gives nice white businessmen a crash course on All Things Native™. And one of the goals is to answer any questions white people may have but never ask for fear of offending.) BUT! Now I'm doing it because it's fun and I like talking to you guys. So! What I am asking from you is to ask anything about my race. Absolutely anything. Or even to just have a conversation with a First Nations person. I will remain patient and calm, I can promise you that. No matter how """dumb""" the question may seem to someone who lives on a reservation. Please, please do not worry about offending me. I won't fault you for simply not knowing. Just go for it and I'll answer to the best of my ability.
I can't speak for prairie natives but we don't have anything really crazy on the west coast. Salmon is a really big thing here, we get like huge buckets of fish from the hatchery every year. For free. Because we get stuff for free. Uhh. Depending on the season but usually a lot of deer, sometimes bear, herring, clams (butter clams, Manila clams were introduced from Japan, along with oysters), seagull eggs (sometimes), and BERRIES. Boi, so many berries. Salmonberries, blackberries, huckleberries mainly. Also fish egg soup which sounds sketchy but honestly it's the best thing. Bannock is also the best thing. It's pretty much just bread, I don't know what makes it so much better than normal bread. Flour, sugar, baking powder. And water. Y'know.
I was always told by family that whatever native americans didn't decide to run casinos or high end business lived in poor slummy reservations with little to no education other than tribe elders.
I never thought that could have been anything close to the truth but I also neglected to ever consider finding out myself, despite that i am part cherokee. I never looked into that side of my family history much. Though now this thread has piqued my interest.
I was also told that if a native american decided to not be a part of the traditions of the tribe they were thrown out and shunned in the community as white-sympathizers. Something I also have a hard time believing.
Man k so. The sad thing about that first assumption is that it's not totally untrue. Now it's not nearly as bad as it could be where I am and it really depends on the location. In some reservations, mainly up north, some teens have to leave home, somewhere they've been their entire life, and travel hundreds of miles away to go to high school, where they face extreme racism and loneliness. Not to mention the homesickness. Those are the extreme cases. But where I live (I'm Tla'amin), this isn't the case at all. While we're not technically a part of the city, the nearest elementary school is a five minute drive away and the high school, fifteen minutes. School buses bring us to and fro and city buses come at least once every hour. Honestly, natives just have different thought processes than white people. Because this system was not our idea. White people came and forced us to assimilate, but the thing is they never finished. Residential schools were shut down before the process was complete, which means we're all stuck in this weird state of limbo. Not the full-blooded natives we used to be and not white people either. The entire idea of taxes and voting and money, it doesn't make sense to a lot of us, even now. It sounds silly but we're not meant for it and we're still not trained for it. Whether we like it or not, and it genuinely hurts me to say this, but we would've been better off getting entirely assimilated. Because it's a white world anyway. If my great grandparents were never taught how to do their taxes and the government gave them a pass by saying 'I need this from you but I'm not going to tell you why in terms you can understand', then my great grandparents just fork the money over and still don't know how to do it on their own. Which means then that my grandparents therefore weren't taught how to do their taxes either. So the government also gives them an intellectual pass. You see how it all collapses, right? Then nobody knows how to do their taxes. Then natives are told 'you're lazy and stupid because you don't get it' when in reality, we can't progress in an alien world if we're not given the tools to do so. The government gives us money but doesn't tell us how to use it. In the words of the great Trevor Noah: "People love to say, “Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” What they don’t say is, “And it would be nice if you gave him a fishing rod.” That’s the part of the analogy that’s missing."
And as for your second situation, I don't think that has never happened, no. White-sympathizers, that's not something I've ever heard of.
Sand Back then, just to list a few, we had traditional naming ceremonies, coming-of-age traditions, potlatches, births (obviously, but I don't have specifics), summer celebrations, funerals. I'll just go down the list... Traditional Names: I'm not sure how they named, like the specific process, but I know you had to earn your name. You had to demonstrate bravery and hard-work. They weren't just given out when you were born, like I got mine ^^ But they were how they policed each other. There were witnesses when you were named and they could call on those witnesses if you brought shame to your family and your traditional name. Because traditional names were derived from previous people, ancestors. If you shamed your name, you shamed your ancestor and you had to be dealt with. Come-Of-Age Traditions: When any child reached the age of twelve/thirteen, boy or girl or other (we have these things called two-spirits, very cool), they were sent away from the community. They were told a location, quite a distance aways, like a lake, and they had to fend for themselves for a year. An initiation, a challenge, whatever you wanna call it. Brutal. We don't do that anymore. Potlatches: A demonstration of wealth. You could really tell who had wealth. People collected and distributed wealth. They saved up for years, these things took years to plan. Basically just gave away gifts. Blankets, food, carvings, totems, canoes, weapons, music. The hosting family that gave wealth could expect much more in return when the receiving family had their turn to host. It's how our economy worked. Summer Celebrations: In which allied tribes got together and strategized, intermarried, playfully competed, shared, etc. Mainly intermarried. Because unlike England, natives understood that if you had a kid with your cousin then bad things happened. There was also a sense of security. Because enemy tribes wouldn't attack such a large group. And war was very evident. Today, we've found these things called rock shelters which are basically look-outs, where people from different families would stand guard for days and days. Tla'amin's main enemies were the Haida and Kwaikuitl. Those guys were aggressive jerks. Funerals: We never buried our dead. We'd put the dead in cedar bentwood boxes and either put them in the trees or in burial caves (which were on specific burial islands). We associated dead people with spirits, which we did not associate with good times. Contrary to popular belief, we don't like spirits.
Oh dear. It's actually literally terrifying to know that's not far from true. I never liked how we (as in just this civilization in general) pushed you out of lands and into that kind of situation. But I thought they would have at least made things tolerable.
I'm not sure what else to say. But something needs to desperately change.
Post by spottedstar3137 on Feb 2, 2017 23:17:24 GMT -5
So are Native American tribes similar to Amish or do you guys use all regular technology? How do your tribes work exactly, like do you guys live in the same area/house/etc or just meet once in a while?
I'm partially Native American myself, not exactly sure which tribe, just know that I have Native ancestry.
@slothfood Hundred percent, yes, everything's changed. Like I mentioned above, we've been assimilated only partially. Enough to lose a truly heartbreaking amount of our culture and language but not enough to actually settle in beside the white man. So our customs aren't even really existent anymore.
And I'll just use my family as an example of how people change. My grandfather's focuses were on work. He was in the forestry industry and the fishing industry. Very work orientated. Extremely work orientated. And you can see it in the hands. My grandfather was hand-logging since he was eleven, and his hands were just massive. And scarred. I mean you read things about workers with big hands but I mean, this man was another breed of tough. You could tell he'd worked his entire life. Definitely nursing an alcohol problem whenever he wasn't working though.
Now, my father owns his own business and has never logged a day in his life. He goes to Vegas every once in a while, is 1416 days sober and working towards an undergraduate, a former chief and was recently appointed to a review and appeal panel for the band, and knows how to do his damn taxes.
april lasaga I don't think we've ever cared too much. I mean, we must've cared at least a little bit, due to reproduction and carrying on the family and all. But my ancestors seemed pretty chill. We even had a name for transgendered people. Two-spirit. Some people felt they were both male and female and switched between living/dressing as males/females. They were accepted entirely. Revered even. Any issues natives have nowadays definitely have something to do with white interference telling us gay/trans people are wrong. Actually I'm not sure about gay people and how accepted they were. Again with reproduction and how marriages represented the alliances between communities. If a daughter went up to her parents and said, "I want to marry a girl", the answer would probably be, "absolutely not". But not because 'that's disgusting' or 'that's wrong' but because 'you need to carry on our blood and marrying a girl just isn't. Y'know. Practical.'
april lasaga Part 2 I guess Traditional religion. I don't think it was ever a religion. Everything was just very spiritual. Like we read signs of nature and all, had creation stories. We had the concept of a entity named 'the Great Spirit' but we didn't worship him. We may or may not have done sacrifices but I don't think so. Like I said before, our culture has been completely obliterated. So there's nothing left of our spirituality to follow but most natives are catholic now. Due to uh. White interference and partial assimilation and all.
The Amish have a much different history. There isn't much of a comparison. They're structured and religion-orientated and developed at their own pace. Our development was forced on us. We use technology like anyone else. We don't have rules. Our kids move freely among religion and spirituality, whereas Amish children are forced to remain loyal and are shunned if they don't. I'm not saying one is better than the other, just pointing out that we're very different.
We're not really in tribes anymore. Like yes, my ancestors were Tla'amin and they were a tribe and hosted potlatches and naming ceremonies, but my family doesn't do any of that anymore. We are just descendants and carry on their name, which is the case for every other single aboriginal group. And we do not have a particular want/need to be close to the rest of the community. Because we were torn from our original setting and placed on a reservation, with no real connection to each other anymore. We're friendly but we're no longer family. We only live close because white people put us on a certain stretch of land and said, "stay there and do not move unless I tell you to". We do occasionally get together for things like Christmas, soccer tournaments (soccer is a very huge thing here, our kids are very good at it), funerals, treaty signings, etc. That's usually held at our rec hall, where we have speeches and eat together and such.
whoa, i didn't know about most of that; i remember when i was younger i found native american culture & history to be interesting, but they never went into detail about it in school, as we only learned about it fully once.
it's amazing how you answer all of these questions so easily ~
@mongrel - We are a sovereign nation. Which means we have freedom over our own decisions and where we lead ourselves. This isn't just something for white people to know, even native people need to realize this. We were never conquered. We were forced to assimilate but we're going to become strong again. And we are a nation, because we have our own languages and customs that worked, much better for us than today's systems. - We've been here for thousands of years. And you nod along and agree but not anyone, not even I, can truly fathom that. Our practices are thousands of years old. Preserving salmon, perfecting canoes, developing medicines, names, especially our songs and stories. An inch of shell midden takes about three hundred years to form and some of our local shell middens are ten feet deep and stretch out ten yards in every direction. We've made our mark here and no one is denying that, but no one's really acknowledging it either. We had a criminal justice system, an education system, a system of wealth, it worked. We were rich. We're poor now but we were rich and we're catching up. - We, as a nation, have been to hell and back. We've survived through residential schools, diseases, alcohol, brand new languages, everything thrown at us. And yes, we're behind but we're healing. Just give us time to catch our breath and I swear.
Taking something from any different culture and disrespecting it. Or at least not giving it the respect it demands. The problem with adopting another culture is that people do it and do it improperly. Some people do it respectfully and I'm not talking to those people. I'm talking about the people who do it carelessly and then fight the original owners when they call them out on it. And these types of people usually don't accept voices of reason and basic empathy, which can make it really frustrating. Like headdresses. Yeah. I see this a lot. White people wearing headdresses. Not okay. This isn't just limited to white people though. If you're not a chief, don't bloody wear one. Even natives.
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