My latest think piece at Red Rising Magazine, featuring a photo of our graphic artist Natasha John, from our documentary Forget Winnetou!. Please visit RRM for the full article.
The definitions of “real Indian” as opposed to “not authentic” Indian, based on ancestry or blood quantum level, or additionally on physical appearance, dress, behavior and attitude, can be compared to deciding what is a traditional or non-traditional profession as a means to judge dedication or connection to heritage and culture. This all being distinctly aside and separate from non-natives claiming to be natives, or those with distinctly questionable native heritage appropriating and then benefiting from being “Native” in non-native circles, mind you.
In whatever indigenous tribe, people or group, for the majority the reality and understanding maybe that there isn’t (or shouldn’t be) division between anything done, spoken, achieved or studied so as to be considered non-traditional or traditional. It is all connected. There is no compartmentalization of belief, activity or work. In everything you do, whether recognizable to others as “native”, it is Native because you as a Native did it, accomplished it, and added to it from who and what you are.”
Update: Currently, Red Rising Magazine website is under reconstruction. Some issues are available in print.