Re: STATISTICS 101 (was: Iroquois and the Constitution)

Mr. E (jackechs@EROLS.COM)
Fri, 9 Feb 1996 18:20:13 -0500

At 10:18 AM 02/09/96 -0600, Jana Fortier wrote:
>Hi Mr. E :-} I haven't been following this thread, but did notice &
>contribute a comment when it got started a few weeks ago. In my classes
>where I teach North Amer Indians, we discussed what Skins like to call
>themselves. We decided that identities are best when people use the actual
>name of a person's ancestry, such as "Ho-Chunk" "Menominee" "Anishinabe"
>etc. This can tell alot more about a person than just saying the inherently
>perjorative, though politically unifying, term, "Indian." It can teach
>non-natives, too, that we value the uniqueness of each type of native

Your absolutely right when you are referring to an individual or a tribe
that you know of, but if you don't know or if you are referring to the
pre-Columbus natives of this continent as a whole then I feel terms like
Native American fit. Kevin Costner recently narrated a long documentary
called the 500 Nations ... 500 Nations People/Person seems a bit much to say
to me. Native American is a bit misleading as well for each Nation is
unique in it's own right and doesn't truly fit under an umbrella title. My
mother defended Native American in this way ... we are the original Natives
of this land and now we are Americans as well.

>Even when dealing w/ people on othr continents, its helpful to identify by
>ancestry like this. For example, the Cree sent a delegate to the 11th U.N.
>conference of Indigenous Peoples. The rep doesn't say "I'm Native American"
>but "I'm Cree from the United States". Its solid, real, w/ real traditions.

>By the way, while were doing the ethnic identity thing, I should state that
>I'm of Saami ancestry. THis does help me understand indigenous peoples'
>basic human rights in the USA, I think. But I also honor my other
>ancestors too, the Norwegian and the French. Its extremely important to
>recognize all of our ancestors, even if society labels us by only one
>political category or racial category (Black, White, Native American, etc.)
>which doesn't acknowledge all of our roots.

I'm of Choctaw ancestry. No, I am not full blooded either. I do not ignore
my German heritage, it just wasn't relative for this discussion. Yes, your
Saami ancestry does help you understand indigenous people. It appears no
one finished reading the sentence where I stated the only Native American to
speak so far. Now WE are the only Native Americans to speak so far. That
in no way states nor infers that there are no other Native American's on
this list of full or partial heritage besides ourselves.