Walkingfox and me
Like many Americans, my ancestors were of
Scottish, Prussian and American Native.
Brummage, Deal, Driscoll, Donahue,
Weintraut and Skirvin families all traveled
great distances, for a variety
of reasons, to make new
Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania,
Virginia, Kentucky and Illinois before finally settling
in my home state of
Indiana in the early 1800's.
grandmother Bertha Nugent was of mixed blood,
with ancestors of Shawnee,
Choctaw and European descent,
Sadly, this information was only
very recently discovered and quite by accident,
when my Aunt revealed in a
conversation that we were Shawnee
and was shocked that I did not
How could I know, no one had
ever talked about this to me in my life.
My grandmother, for reasons
only she could know, only revealed
this information to one
of her 18 children.
She had told me my entire life
that we were pure Irish.
In the not
so distant past, it was not always popular, nor
to admit that you had American Native ancestors.
Many mixed blood mothers like my
Nugent grandmother and
Hall-Story ancestors before her,
named their children after American presidents like
Washington, Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson.
ever suspect that a child named after such famous
persons could possibly
have American Native blood?
their logic was flawed, it did leave a trail for
descendants to follow in the future to find them.
For those of us who feel
great pride in our Native heritage,
and need not
fear reprisals, seclusion or separation,
the task of
tracing our ancestry is often exacerbated
deliberate efforts to hide race.
linking us together is strong
those tenacious few who never give up,
is in learning not only from where we came,
but who it was that gave
us the magic of life that is
our genetic make
up, our DNA blueprint
that says to
all who would know,
mixed blood American Natives.
than ever before, we must share
and exchange the ideas of our
We are all
different, we are all the same,
we are all
one before the Creator,
or who ever we each believe to
be our God.
this critical understanding,
may we preserve our various cultures and
lives of not only Indigenous
but of all people everywhere.
May each new year bring a beginning for
that elusive concept, Peace.
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