Just because you are a DESCENDANT of a tribal nation & culture does not mean that you are a MEMBER of that Tribal Nation or culture, being of mixed descent is NOT your 'fault'....but UNLESS you have always been or have become - an ACTIVE participant in that Tribal Nation & culture - YOU ARE NOT A TRUE MEMBER OF IT.....Ask yourself these 6 questions and see how you score:
#1 - Do you live in the tribe on Tribal Lands or do you plan to?
# 2 - Did you marry in the tribe or do you plan to?
# 3 - Do you speak your tribes language or are you trying to learn it?
# 4 - Do you practice the ancestral tribal spirituality or are you learning it?
# 5 - Do you practice the ancestral tribal cultural traditions or are you learning them?
# 6 - Do you volunteer to do ANYTHING to help members of the tribe less fortunate than you?
If you have DNA of the tribe in you but you answer NO to ALL SIX of these questions - you are NOT a member of the tribe - you are JUST A DESCENDANT OF THE TRIBE - BIG DIFFERENCE!
At an honest minimum - you need to be able to say YES to a at least 4 of these questions to be credible when you go around claiming to be a member of your tribe. I am mixed myself - but everyone knows (just by google searching my full name 'Damon Gerard Corrie' yourself independently - don't just take my word for it) I can say yes to all 6 of the criteria above.
I have several mixed race native American friends who no longer have the phenotype - but they can say yes to at least 4 of the criteria above, so their native identities are NOT in question...for their ACTIONS attest to their genuineness (talk is ALWAYS cheap - and anyone can claim anything - but not everyone can PROVE it).
Think about it BOTH logically & spiritually....IF you honestly believe - as the great Apache Chief Geronimo said that: 'EVERYTHING has power'...how could you possibly NOT also then conclude that our DNA - the very building blocks of our physical bodies with its ability to transmit inter-generational information (even trauma) - would 'not be as important as every other aspect of our heritage'?
Therefore if you are 1/16 native american (that is 6.25%) - that means your are 15/16th (93.75%) SOMETHING ELSE....and don't you think that all of your NON-native American DNA encoded info in your body would ALSO be effecting how you think and act and NOT allowing for any pure & unfiltered native biologically inherited 'power' to come through and be expressed in you! I suspect this is why we have such problems with heavily mixed native descendants NOT wanting to follow the advice and instructions of their less mixed or even un-mixed elders....who do YOU think would have a better understanding of what it is to be an 'Indian' except one who fully IS an Indian in EVERY way...if you let your mostly non-native ego govern your 'identity' you will naturally resist humbling yourself before your TRADITIONALIST more fully native (physically, mentally & spiritually) teachers....and this is EXACTLY what we see today....'part natives' wanting to argue with 'full natives' about what it 'really means' to be native....what utter rubbish and hypocrisy!
I deliberately stressed TRADITIONALIST - because a pro-ASSIMILATIONIST 'full blood' is no damn better at teaching you anything of traditional value than a non-native...so don't just go by external appearance alone...if you want authentic native heritage - find an authentic native TRADITIONALIST to teach you.
Again, if even 1% is in your DNA you CAN say you are a 'PART DESCENDANT OF'...but to say that you 'ARE' (which connotes that you have a 'current active membership status') is a quite different matter indeed (unless you pass at least 4 of the 6 criteria listed in the opening paragraph).
So in summation, my humble advice is if you ARE a genetic descendant but no longer look like your mongoloid-looking native American ancestors did (you MUST own a mirror so you should know) be sure to state THAT fact when you introduce yourself to people....I introduce myself as a Lokono-Arawak of mixed ancestry....thereby letting you know which native tribe of people I have the DNA of & belong to, and proudly identify with (LOKONO-ARAWAK) - but I ALSO let you know the unmixed ones do NOT look exactly as I do...and I do not say broadly 'I am a Lokono-Arawak' as if I am unmixed...because this will confuse people who are uneducated, I remember once a man who looked northern European (even had white skin, blond hair & blue eyes) telling a group of non-native people that he was 'an Apache Indian' (he claimed he was some tiny percentage)...and after he left those same people were talking among themselves and saying that they 'never knew Indians looked just like Nordic Europeans' - and about how 'Hollywood has people mistakenly thinking real Indians have straight black hair and brown skins when in fact 'real' Indians looked white'...so you see how your ONE genetic misrepresentation can cause CONFUSION. Be honest with your own damn self and EVERYONE ELSE - and let them know the FACT that you are NOT an example of a 'racially unmixed' member of your tribe, but are in fact a racially mixed one (so they don't get confused)....for the TRUTH shall set you free my brother!
Here is another example of what dangers of unscientific opinions can cause - if you believe this - no scientific evidence/proof provided article - you will be led to believe that un-mixed Amerindians have curly hair - all because this author ASSUMES this to be so based on ONE photograph of ONE uncontacted indian in Brazil:
Now let me - as I am betting my life that the author does NOT know as many un-mixed Amerindians from this Hemisphere as I do, nor visited as many of their tribal communities in person in as many countries as I have, so let ME share what I posted as a comment to this on FB on 7 February 2016:
" I was hoping this author had some dna evidence from the Awa man to present an ironclad case, her counter argument is itself conjecture...we need more scientific proof, all I can tell you from my own personal experience is that every Amerindian I have ever met from South America to Central America that had curly hair had some known admixture (come visit my Lokono-Arawak tribe - we have never lost our tribal structure and territorial habitation) and ask all the curly haired ones yourself).....and we are talking a period of potential dna admixture that goes back almost 500 years in Brazil, many tribes fled into the wilderness long ago and became 'uncontacted', others were never contacted till now (a few still out there free to this day), and I have a friend in FUNAI (the Brazil government agency that deals with the Awa and others, and they say the tribe took in members from other tribes that were fleeing persecution...so until this one man's DNA is revealed and shows no admixture whatsoever....this is not a 'closed case' yet....and still is just what this author wants to believe. A quick google image search of non-assimilated Amerindian peoples - even if you just look at all the pics of uncontacted tribes alone - will turn up a minimum of 99% straight hair persons....check for yourself. To use ONE photo of one person as 'proof' is not convincing at all...my father-in-law is pure, but even he remembers his father telling him that runaway African slaves in South America - living just as naked as our people - used to live in the jungles near our lands and others tribes and take their food at times, sometimes their girls too. So I can see how that man could look as he does today....but not just based on my own opinion. If someone posted a pic of a blue eyed Amerindian (several of them now, but all I know have some European dna) would we accept that as 'proof' that pure Amerindians don't really have brown irises as a general rule?"
Watch these clowns in Europe make a mockery of our culture - but they will tell you they are 'honoring us'.....I see only 2 real natives joining them in their buffoonery....if they were traditionalists they would not participate in this comedy show. How impoverished in spirit must you be to do such things?
REAL natives do not even need to wear traditional regalia to do certain tribal dances (but you will never see anyone being 'twirled' by their partner):