Heritage

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Do you know your ancestory? Many of us are of mixed blood. It seems like when I talk to most people, especially younger people, they really don’t know. I really enjoy meeting a full blood of any race. It fascinates me in a way. No branches, no confusion or conflict in my mind. I am Chinese. I am Swedish. I am Cree. I was at a spiritual retreat this fall and the speaker asked how many generations back people could name their Grandfathers. Most could only go to their Grandfather. One or two cold name Great Grandfather. My former Father in law can trace his Swedish heritage and that of his wife’s so far back it would make your head spin !. I think we lose alot when we don’t know that. Native peoples keep their relatives alive in constant stories, about when he or she did this or that. Handing down beliefs and traditions. Handing down mental and verbal images of that person. Western culture is more inclined to say ” well, he was born here in about 1831 and I think dies about 1888 somewhere out west”. That’s about all you can get. Maybe new technology will help change that. To think that my Grandchildren, Great and Great great Grandchildren can have really good video, pictures, my words in song and blogs to learn about me is fascinating. It’s not that I’m so important or have so much to say, but that we are in the same line. A family continuum. To know where you are going it helps to know where you came from.

4GENERATIONS PNS91

When I was a child the only book I can ever remember reading was a book on Geronimo. For reasons now known to me, I understand why I had a connection. My Maternal side is English/ Chezkloslovakian and my Paternal side is English, and Native American, both Cherokee and Muscogee Creek. I had heard stuff through the years about Creek blood, but it took until I was 21 or so to drag it out of my Grandmother. For you see, when she was growing up people didn’t want to claim their Native heritage. It was considered a very negative thing. I don’t know how they hid it because her family started and ran the Chavers-Kennedy Indian School in Wildfork, Al.

Chavers School modified

I think we can tap into our bloods, maybe each of us has DNA characteristics that are closer to one heritage than the next. What do you think about your lineage? Is it important to you? Does it make any difference? Does it ground you or do you take pride in any of it? I have a lot of relatives that just don’t care. A lot that still, here in 2009, dismiss Native blood, despite legal documents proving otherwise. If I wasn’t into this and then tomorrow I woke up and said I’m going to connect with my heritage more, it wouldn’t change my outward life, but I believe it would ground me more.

Frank.Ann Smith.Chavers

Knowing my past helps me know where to go. To me it honors those that came before. It fascinates me. They were just as important as current generations. They lived and struggled. Loved and lost. They were excited and filled with hope for the young ones and saddened when they buried the elders. So the circles keep going, generations come and go, love and life keep right on happening with God on the middle of it all. You may look English, Native American, or Chinese, but you have a line and that line goes forward as well as into the past. I urge you to check that out. It may surprise you and it may shed some light on why you are the way you are.

WITH JC CHAVERS AND WILLIAM FLOMATON AL84dega with pipe

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