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Thread: The phrase "My People"

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    #1

    The phrase "My People"

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    I use the phrase "My People" when referring to my Indian tribe. More specific in my bloodline. My mom was 100% Lumbee and the first in her blood line to marry outside the tribe. So my family is all Lumbee on her side. They use the term "My People" to refer to the tribe. We spent our summers there. We took her back "home" to be buried after she died. I know most of them very closely. I actually met a girl on facebook who was Lumbee. My mom said to ask her who her people were. She knew what it meant instantly when I said it. And we wound up being related from way up the tree so to speak. I had a friend tell me that it was disrespectful for me to refer to my tribe as my people if we dont live on their land and are 100%. We dont have a Dawes number because she wouldnt add us. So where is the line drawn at in your personal opinion?
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    #2
    For me, the line is drawn at a place that gives me no right to say where the line should be drawn.

    I have no Native heritage, and I don't feel it would be my place to set any definitions for a culture that isn't mine. Is your friend part of your tribe?
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    He said he has some Cherokee that goes way back. He said that if we were to walk into a reservation and call them My People that they would kick our butts and rightfully so. If they are in your bloodline then to me that is family. It shocked me to hear him say that. I was wondering how others felt about it.
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Icryinbaseball View Post
    He said he has some Cherokee that goes way back. He said that if we were to walk into a reservation and call them My People that they would kick our butts and rightfully so. If they are in your bloodline then to me that is family. It shocked me to hear him say that. I was wondering how others felt about it.
    I just kind of feel like he has no right to tell you how to refer to your own heritage. Especially if he's not a member of your tribe. Who is he to say how other people would feel... to someone who IS actually part of the group? I figure you have much more place than he does to call your tribe whatever you feel comfortable with!
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    #5
    I think you should use it however you are comfortable with. IF people from your tribe continually corrected you or asked you not to, I would reconsider.

    In a different scenario, I am in a facebook group about paper planning that does not censor the content very much (no trolls, but you can swear, post off topic, have internet fights, etc...) and often someone will join and their first post will say "I have found my people!" and I didn't even relate it to being native American (Or Canadian or any form of native to the land people) but it still always rubs me the wrong way. So...context is important. And the way you're using it seems fine with me if you and your family are comfortable with it.
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    It has always been how we address our bloodline and/or tribe. I didnt know it was frowned until this incident. The people who liked his comment shows me that he isnt the only one. Thanks for the outsider perspective. I tagged my brother (who is full blood) and all my Aunts, Cousins, and second cousins and asked them how they felt. They said it was fine and we are welcome with open arms.

    I can see it being offensive in the context mentioned above. Honestly I wouldnt bat an eye at someone calling their family of any sort Their People.
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    #7
    1) the dawes act - a policy based on racism and segregation by white people, adopted by Indians and used by them on their own people for the same purpose. Blood sanguinuity.
    2) your friend is a snob, ignore him. They are your people if you identify with them as such.
    3) the Cherokee have a problem of their own based on reverse racism - and this is purely my opinion, and offensive to some, and explained best byou a "joke" I heard many years ago: how many Oklahoman does it take to make a cherokee? 64. Because just about everyone from the Midwest claims to be a cherokee, because one relative 10 generations ago may have been a cherokee. But there is a huge difference here, in my opinion. Your mom's side of the family are "practicing" lumbee. But using either example, I would never say anything to either type. It's not my place. I might roll my eyes at the other person if their only connection to the tribe was a few drops of Indian blood, but it's not my place to control others, besides:
    4) that other person could be a trans-indian. If someone self identifies as a member of an Indian tribe, shouldn't that be his or her right?
    5) on the legal end, calling them your peeps is fine, but, if the lumbee require registration, then you should not be calling yourself a member of the tribe, because you are not. Each tribe is entitled to decider the qualification of its membership. Though I think once you become an adult, you may not need your mother to sign you up. Talk to your enrollment office about that....but before you c o, and I am curious as well, why won't your mother enroll you?
    If you want my opinion on your relationship or life issues, just ask Villanelle!
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    #8
    Yes, everyone is 1/64 Cherokee by there Cousin's uncle who married an Indian Princess. Yes I just giggle when I see stuff like that. I grew up outside of Cherokee and Choctaw country and it is every where.

    The Lumbee roll is complicated. They are no longer a Nationally recognized tribe. She claimed she never had a roll number. I dont know enough info about my extended family to trace them back. I know names and faces. But there is only a handful of last names within the tribe. All my grandparents and now my mom are deceased. She was a very secretive person. And there are parts of her childhood she wants to forget. That is why she set out to marry outside the tribe. Me and my brother asked her several times when she was alive to do it for us. My cousin has a number. But his mom and dad are both Lumbee.
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    #9
    I mean you're 50% Lumbee & only one generation removed I'm pretty sure you're a-okay to do what you've been doing. It's your heritage after all, no one else can tell you how to relate to your own heritage.
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by [his] lobster View Post
    I think you should use it however you are comfortable with. IF people from your tribe continually corrected you or asked you not to, I would reconsider.

    In a different scenario, I am in a facebook group about paper planning that does not censor the content very much (no trolls, but you can swear, post off topic, have internet fights, etc...) and often someone will join and their first post will say "I have found my people!" and I didn't even relate it to being native American (Or Canadian or any form of native to the land people) but it still always rubs me the wrong way. So...context is important. And the way you're using it seems fine with me if you and your family are comfortable with it.
    Except there is no reason to limit "my people" to natives, or any other cultural group. None of them invented the p hrase, nor c I inedible it nor have an exclusive on it.
    The people who come into your group are using the phrase absolutely correctly.

    "My people" are any group for which I identify myself with. The commonamity among them is what makes them a group, a culture, and, some would say, an extendedfamily.
    People need to stop being so artificially sensitive over multiple uses of phrases or words.

    the people who are telling OP that she is not "their people" are actually being racist and exclusive.
    If you want my opinion on your relationship or life issues, just ask Villanelle!
    Quote Originally Posted by LittleMsSunshine View Post
    I think it's really funny when people come on here, and automatically assume that everyone here is a gung-ho, hoo-rah, i-bleed-red-white-and-blue, kiss-my-military-ass, people-in-uniform-can-do-no-wrong, and i'm-entitled-to-everything bitch.
    "RIP Blackie, and Whitey, New Whitey. Goodbye Poopers and Momma Beige and Lady Grey. New Blackie and the Whitey Sisters rule the roost now!"
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