Less Than Blood Quantum – Guest Commentary – Native News Network

* Note: The racist idea of "blood quantum" is echoed throughout Zemanawak by the racist concepts of "mestizaje" and the "mestizo." These ideas were created in order to deny us our right to assert our identities as Nikan Titlakah / Timazewaltin by destroying our cultural identities.
We know the statement "blood quantum" was made and defined for us. There are many of us who are fortunate enough to have stayed connected or reconnected with our people, but there are those who have not and who are drifting through this physical experience trying to find their way home; trying to find their identity; and trying to find their people. Because of an invasion, most of us are not full bloods. I view the mixed races now as a strength. Many, who stayed on the reservations, are fluent in our language and have known nothing but Native culture and tradition.

Among those, who have not been as fortunate, there is a movement to find their origins as Indian people. Their hearts are crying out to their people. What they are experiencing is the residuals of the racism created by obeying the dictates of the federal government in defining who is acceptable and who isn’t by “blood quantum.”

Tribes have created tribal constitutions similar to the US Constitution. However, most tribal constitutions have wording defining “blood quantum,” which makes it difficult for those who approach tribes seeking their refuge who look too white, yellow, or black, yet can prove lineal descent.

There was a time, long ago, when “blood quantum” would not have been an issue. If we were approached by a Frenchman or an Irishman who asked to live among us and married one of our women, he was adopted into the Tribe. As long as this foreigner conducted himself sensitive to the culture and traditions, honored the ethics and values of our people they were accepted and included.

Now we have learned how to exclude, which is not traditional, nor cultural.

The same prayers our ancestors made impacting our lives are the same prayers that affect the lives of those who are an eighth blood, a sixteenth blood, or more who want to come home. Do we enforce the mannerisms and legalism defined and dictated to us or do we, as Sovereign Nations, define and dictate and dictate our own existence and who our relatives are? If we don’t, then are we really sovereign entities?

FULL ARTICLE: Less Than Blood Quantum – Guest Commentary – Native News Network.

About Kurly Tlapoyawa (1010 Articles)

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