Kaylin Jorgensen, St.Paul, MN. I chose these words on more of a personal level but, a lot of people do not believe me when I tell them I am Native American. People assume that the color tone of your skin defines you. When in reality you are who you are no matter what your skin [...]
Gianna Gonzalez Roland, OK ………………excuse me? I was talking to a guy I liked when he asked me if I was Native American. I told him that I’m actually Mexican, White, Italian, and Philippino but I could only get the first one out before he interrupted and said “oh you’re Mexican? That’s ok I’d still [...]
Lewis Pascal Bowling Lexington, KY
An Indigenous Native American’s with Curly Hair USA Western Hemisphere Indigenous Natives The “straight hair myth” started by The English Settlers in North American, and spread like a nasty virus throughout our entire hemisphere. Anyone else tired of this lie. THE PENCIL TEST: In the past Whites had a test which was used to define [...]
Justice Littlejohn Cherokee, NC Being Cherokee and living on a reservation you don’t grow up white, even if you are only half cherokee and half white. Tourists that come to the reservation always claim they are part cherokee. They are so proud of it. I don’t understand why they kinda get offended when I say [...]
Marion Reid Kee Redmond, WA Some of my ancestors went through a lot so that I could be “white” and not have to know about them as African, Native American, Eastern Mediterranean. Others who were considered white may not have been free. Some of my Celtic ancestors were forcibly resettled by the English. Others were [...]
Laurie Mitchell Dunn Taos, NM In my northern NM community, Native Americans have been here for over 1,000 years and Hispanics for 400 years. Anglos are both minorities and relative newcomers (first arriving about 150 years ago). Even native born Anglos aren’t really accepted as “locals”. The Hispanics here have a saying: “Just because your [...]
Alyssa Cartee New York City, NY Queens Every time race and culture comes up, when I mention that I am a registered Cherokee I get the same response. My grandmother was born on the reservation and we are dual citizens with the Cherokee Nation. But apparently I’m just as native as every single other person.
Nicole Collins Bronzan Rahway, NJ I’m a mutt — black, Native America, Irish, you name it — raised all over the world as a military brat. I consider myself black, but depending on where I am (and how tan), I get all kinds of questions, though substantially less so in a diverse city like NYC.
Gill Moore Fishers, IN Ask a Native American–IF you can find one.
Rebekah Day Vinita, OK As the only brown complected person in my large family, I stand out against the pale white. I am constantly asked if I am adopted, or a “half-sister” in relation to my siblings. I am a woman of mixed heritage of various European and Native American blood, along with the rest [...]
Meghan Morris Virginia Beach, VA I am Native American (Cherokee Nation), and it is frustrating to see people appropriating ceremonial or traditional Native American accessories as fashion statements without knowing the historical background that they have. With that being said, it shows a lack of respect towards my race. It can be seen as harmless [...]
Danielle Silver Forest Park, OH A white guy I liked told me this. I am white( German, Irish, Penn. Dutch), Hispanic, Native American. I used to get asked where I was from in school. I said, “I’m an American.” My ancestors have been here for generations. My full brother has never been asked where he [...]
Leah Pepion Kaysville, UT Slowly, generation by generation my Blackfeet culture is being lost, stolen, given up, handed over. Will the Native American culture be buried beneath the earth, beneath the rivers, lost in the sea of suburbs and tv? Can I fill my bones, skin and body up with enough of my delicate culture [...]
Jessica Elaine Matz LaVergne, TN I look white and I was raised white, but when we were kids, we went to the occasional pow wow and were told “this is part of your heritage.” My uncle recently joined one of the Cherokee tribes, but I haven’t yet. I feel weird about it because there’s so [...]
Melanie Randolph Longview, WA I really knew nothing about my heritage until I was 44 and chose to research my birth family. It’s weird to know nothing at all in a world that is so hung up on where they come from. I look so generic. Brown hair, brown eyes, average height. I assumed Italian [...]
Crystal Korth Des Moines, IA I’m the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Indian girl who was the butt of jokes from city kids and threatened from skinz on the rez. Where do I fit in?
Lateshia Locklear-Theroux Rock Hill, SC All my life I have called white. Even growing up in my tribal community (Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina) I was teased because I was lighter than most of the other kids. My parents (both of whom are Lumbee) always told me that it doesn’t matter what color my skin [...]
Johnny Vae South Korea Sometimes it sucks to be a “white” male. Especially when you’re ethnically 1/4 Native American, which I’m told means I’m more Native American than most. My life was hard growing up, so much so that even my closest friends don’t know about it. My father was a criminal who hid under [...]
Jamie Ann Kerestes Albuquerque, NM There are so many instances when I hear people say the craziest things about others, mainly immigrants. It’s like they’ve forgotten their families immigrated here themselves.
Ginee Scarbough St. Johns, AZ In this crazy world where being white is a bad thing, my mix raced hubby and mix race children mark only Navajo or Native. I hate that we can’t be proud of being my heritage of Scottish, English, and French, but can be “Navajo Proud”. I feel left out. A [...]
Bari Goodblood Lehn Wetzel County, WV Born to a Santee Sioux mother and a German father in the Midwest. They met and married when she was relocated to the city as part of termination policy for reservation Indians in the 1950’s. Four babies later, for reasons I never knew, she left us, taking with her [...]
Roger Hernandez Angleton, TX 48% Native American 22% Mediterranean 14% Northern European 8% Southwest Asian 4% Northeast Asian 2% South African but my wife says I’m a 100% Caveman.
Courtney Randolph Norfolk, VA I’m actually Native American. I hate this phrase. So generalizing.
Mary Thompson Happy Valley, OR I heard this from first and second grade teachers. White women. I was proud to be Native American, but in their “kindness” they let me know I was not okay. Was the 1960’s.
Katherine Porter San Leandro, CA I grew up disowned by my racial cultures…too different from White, too different from Chinese. Talked about by cousins, wondered about by strangers, eroticized by college boys, and discounted by the census. Always had to check “other” on the surveys. Felt like I had to be the best example of [...]
Tess Escoto Citrus Heights, CA My roots are in Texas and Mexico. While some may look at me and say that I appear to be Latina, often they aren’t sure. My father’s last name is of Italian origin and my grandmother and grandfather (paternal) both had blue eyes and black curly hair. My mother’s family [...]
Mary Zeitner Edmonds, WA I had just moved back to Seattle in late April from Arizona where I worked nights and spent most of the day outdoors, so my skin tone was quite a bit darker than people in the neighborhood, many of whom were of Scandinavian or Native background. It was twilight and as [...]
Andrew V. Chavanak Falls City, NE When companies choose to make diversity a priority in hiring, or universities seek to create a more diverse student body and white people miss out, it’s not racism. Racism is about power, and no one can claim that power is shared equally in this country. Hearing other white people [...]
Constance Morton Henderson, NV I am multi-racial, but what you see when you look at me is my connection to Africa. But my ancestors came from the British Isles as well as walked tall and proud on their Native American soil. Why cannot I celebrate my rick heritage with pride in your presence? If we [...]
Lisa Craig Washington, DC It’s a bit complicated. My father’s family consists of Scottish, Swedish, French, German, English, Mexican, and two different Native American tribes. My mother’s family consists of French-Canadian, English, Inquit (Alaskan Native Americans), and some other ethnicities that I am not aware of (I am not close to them). All of my [...]
Raven Cincinnati, OH In parts of Eastern North Carolina the lines between black, bi-racial and Native American is blurry and sometimes nonexistent. I went to school with the great(x3) grandchildren of my family’s slaveholders. Our families share the same last name. Upon leaving I learned that my green eyes, light skin and curly hair were [...]
Dennis Searcy, AR I know a man, a white man, who is upset lately about the possibility of the Redskins changing their name. He thinks it’s silly for Native Americans to complain about it, that they should feel honored, that he would feel honored if he were in their position. I tried explaining to him [...]
Elizabeth Norris Taylor Fernandina Beach, FL I have lived my entire life with people coming up to me and asking, “what are you?” For a while in college, I had some very clever comebacks… now days I simply shrug and say, “American, and you?” I have had people come up to me and speak Spanish [...]
Eddy Bowen Madison, WI I chose these words because It’s my cultural anthropology. most people when they “see” me they just see a normal black guy but little do they know I’m Puerto Rican and Native American. I don’t think its right to judge me based off of how I look on the outside that’s [...]
Katie McDonald Ronan, MT Curious couplings of North America’s early settlers and smoke screens hiding the unspoken US “Cowboys vs Indians” history create unique and difficult problems for today’s “Generation X” Native Americans
Adrienne Zimiga Minneapolis, MN I was born and raised on the Pine Ridge reservation my first 12 years. Upon moving from Batesland, SD to Castlewood, SD my caucasian grandmother was concerned that my brothers, sister, and I could face social problems being part Native American (iyeska: mixed blood/race) in an all white community. She told [...]
Ronald Hill Grove Hill, PA My biological father was Mexican and split before I was born. The man I call my dad is white. My mother is Native American (Indian), but doesn’t know any of her culture, as my grandmother moved off of the reservation when she was 18. I was raised to look past [...]
Vamori Burgheim Anchorage, AK Survivors of genocide, we are still here.
Swapnil Deopurkar Seattle, WA I moved from India to Ann Arbor, Michigan; age 26, male, long hair, parted down the middle and with a pony tail. My first day at the bus stop, started a conversation with an African American undergrad. The conversation abruptly halted with me saying “I am Indian..” and he interrupting “..you [...]
Nancy Jane Grimes Smith Pittsfield, IL After being asked most of my life if I was any Indian (Native American) and saying no, mostly Irish, some Scot, And English my mom recently found that she is part Cherokee. I’m thrilled and would welcome DNA testing to find out what else may be part of me.
Christopher Byrd Sacramento, CA
Lily Nadal Asheville, NC I’m one quarter Irish, one quarter Greek, one quarter Puerto Rican, and one quarter Native American. And even though I have encountered many forms of racism from people, I keep my head up because I love who I am and I love the heritage I have. I know I’m beautiful and [...]
Breanna Garcia Bellflower, CA Growing up with people asking what my ethnicity was and just replying I’m Indian. The next question was almost always “forehead dot Indian or feather Indian?”. I would say “neither I’m Native American”.
Lucy Flanders Allen Denver, CO
Jill Shortreed Maplewood, MN My nephew is half Native American. He was kicked out of school for carrying a box cutter in his pocket that he used at work. There is a zero tolerance policy, so even though he had only a few months left before graduation, he wasn’t just suspended, he was kicked out. [...]
Lenzy KB Tulsa, OK Like many Native Americans, I’m mixed and frankly, don’t look like the stereotypical “Hollywood” Native. I have to balance the Native world — both its contemporary and traditional components — daily with life in modern society.
Joseph San Diego, CA There is no box for me. I am lumped in with all others who are not Asian, African-American, Latino, Native American, etc. This categorization process strips me of my identity. When it comes to opportunity, what about the fact that I grew up poor, never knew my father, and never finished [...]
Grace Ostrum PA Didn’t know I was Native American Indian until I was 38 years old. My family still won’t talk about it.
Lantien Chu Lander, WY I am Chinese and get profiled as Native American, followed in stores, refused for rentals. Kids have asked me if I wear a coolie hat or when I’m going home (to China). I’ve lived in my small Wyoming town for 30 years and my kids (Eurasian) were born here. I try [...]
BKNYla Submitted via Twitter: @bknyla #TheRaceCardProject
Wayne Siebenaler Portland, OR Submitted via: NPR’s Talk of the Nation
Rusty Creed Brown Anchorage, AL