Where Do Native Americans Live
Where Do Native Americans Live – This summer, Joe Whittle decided to document the experiences of some of the 140,000 Native Americans who call the Bay Area home.
As I left my small, remote hometown of Joseph, Oregon, and drove two hours to the nearest airport to fly south, I thought of my father, a Caddo/Delaware Native American who had spent most of his life in the Bay Area.
Where Do Native Americans Live
The father came to California as a child because of the US government’s assimilation policy of the 1950s, which forcibly relocated Native Americans from their lands to the cities to become “productive” members of society. He also deliberately placed Indian orphans in the homes of white families. Today, 78% of Native Americans live on reservations and 72% live in cities or suburbs.
Native American Families
This policy had devastating consequences. Displaced tribal members became isolated from their communities. Low-paying jobs and higher costs, combined with the inability to return to frequently canceled bookings, put many in a precarious position.
In my father’s case, this meant that he grew up on the rough streets of Richmond, California and spent most of his life hiding his trauma in the bottom of a bottle. Orphaned twice; first when my aboriginal grandmother died on our tribal land, then when his white adoptive mother died when he was 16. Dad never knew who his real father was and his adoptive father was also an alcoholic who died a few years after him from a woman.
My father’s love for his children was deep, but so was his pain. As a result, my father was almost never physically present in my life, let alone economically. He was terrible with money: if there was any, he spent it.
Native people should not have money. We were never meant to be. Without her, my tribes occupied our homelands continuously for 13,000 years, and we were rich beyond imagination. We had developed seasonal permaculture, hunting and fishing, and vast amounts of free time. However, we have had about 150 years to turn 13,000 years of a natural way of life into total dependence on money. For us, this is an incredibly weakened state.
California Has The #2 Largest Native American Population In The U.s
However, self-determination was revived with the civil rights movement. Groups such as the American Indian Movement were formed to exert political pressure on the federal government. Many urbanites found ways to rise above the challenges they faced and eventually formed a “native middle class.” They began to return to their original communities.
This summer I decided to document the experiences of some of the 140,000 Native Americans who call the Bay Area home. There, 18.50% of the indigenous population live below the poverty line compared to 10.4% of the white population. Among those living below the poverty line, 24% are in “deep poverty.”
According to Janine Comenote, executive director of the National Coalition of Urban Indian Families, “poverty remains one of the most challenging aspects of urban Indian life today. While I recognize that a large portion of our population is firmly middle class, every Aboriginal person I know has either experienced poverty or had someone in their family who did. Housing and homelessness remain at the top of the list of issues.”
Cha-ta Gould, the director, is currently making a film about an urban Native American superhero who breaks stereotypes about Native Americans. Photo: Joe Whittle for The Guardian
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Cha-ta Gould stands in front of a banner with the names of the companies that have set up shop at his tribe’s burial site. Today it is known as the Bay Street Mall in Emeryville. He will not go further into the square because it is a violation of his tribe’s sacred protocol: the buildings desecrate the graves of his ancestors.
Sometimes his friends go to the mall and forget about his relationship with the land – he always asks them to stop so he can get out of the car.
Chah-tah, a lifelong resident of Oakland, is one of the few remaining members of the Ohlone tribe. The Olones were nearly extinct after generations of slavery and colonization by Spain, Mexico, and the United States; they are now applying for federal recognition.
His mother, Corrina Gould, was one of the main organizers against the construction of the mall. Although some graves have been filled in, many believe that hundreds of graves and human remains still lie beneath the development. Every year on Black Friday, indigenous people gather to protest outside the mall and tell shoppers about the history of the place.
Thought Jot How Can Where Native Americans Lived Tell Us About How They Lived? Hint: How Can Location Effect The Kind Of Clothes They Wore, Houses They.
“Many of the city’s natives grow up in foster care,” Chah-tah says. “When they’re growing up, they’re trying to fit in, and fitting in in Oakland means getting into gangs and fighting and all that.” This happens often, even with people from the city.”
“I feel like I’m on a reservation, that’s a different story. They grow around their culture. But when they come here, it’s a whole different game. To accommodate, they begin to act and think differently, and it gets to the point where it’s almost like a disease. You know, to be cool, you start drinking, you start smoking, all these other things. I got into things like that. Fortunately, I escaped from all this. I realized, “It’s not me.”
However, there is hope. “Even people who like gangs and stuff still go to powwows,” Chah-tah says. “I like that many indigenous people know their culture.
I ask him how he avoids negative influence. “There are many centers and programs,” he says. “But I feel you should try to stay in the indigenous community. You have to deal with life here—you know, the American way of life; taxes, labor, etc. So it comes to the point where you have to choose. Materialistic things can become a priority and you lose all experience of what your people are doing.”
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Michelle Lot in the protest camp. Her grandmother always told her she was of Cherokee and Delaware/Dutch ancestry, and her son’s father was Haudenosaunee. Photo: Joe Whittle for The Guardian
In the photo above, Michelle Lott, wearing a large “No DAPL” pin on her hat, cleans “bear root medicine” for her son, who suffers from lung disease. He sits under a towel in the background, steaming a root in a coffee pot to inhale the root’s healing fumes.
I met Michelle and her son at a homeless protest camp in Berkeley, under the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) line, which can be seen screeching above it. It resembled a miniature Standing Rock camp with signs protesting corporate greed, complete with an upside-down American flag and a Veterans for Peace flag. Michelle is a former nurse who serves as a camp medic and “aunt.”
Michelle is the leader of the homeless activist group First They Came For The Homeless, which describes itself as “a group of homeless people organized on the streets of Berkeley to support each other and spread a political message about homelessness, homelessness, income inequality, and the privatization of the commons in the US.” .
American Indian Tribes Today
“My happiness is to use the wind, water and sun to meet my needs, but I can’t find a place where the government tells me not to interfere. But I’m a country girl,” says Michelle.
Michael Horse, who is from Sonora, is a famous artist who is currently appearing in the television series Twin Peaks. He was recently at the Oakland Planning Commission to speak on behalf of a recurring sweat lodge ceremony — a local spiritual tradition — that was banned by the city after a group of neighbors complained about smoke from fires that twice heated the lodge’s stones. month (some complainants are visible in the first and second rows behind him).
Many other residents and neighbors came forward to testify that they were not concerned about the smoke, comparing it to the smoke from the countless barbeques that no doubt take place in the neighborhood or fires in other people’s yards.
More than 100 supporters showed up to testify that the ceremony was allowed, citing the American Indian Religious Freedom Act. The Planning Commission overturned the ban.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day, As Explained By Native Americans
“I’m still amazed at the lack of knowledge about indigenous culture,” says Michael. “It’s been a struggle for years trying to educate people, especially elected officials, about our rights under US law to practice our religions and ceremonies and pray in our own way.”
Patricia St. Onge owns the property on which the disputed house is built. He is of Iroquois descent as well as adopted Lakota. I visited Patricia in her home, which also serves as a spiritual community space for local spiritual practitioners.
“I grew up in New Hampshire in a small French-Canadian enclave,” says Patricia. “Because I have white privilege and I lived in a community where there were no Native Americans.
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