Good mix of serious commentary on what tribal enrollment means and some tongue in cheek analysis of what makes a real Indian!
The Voice of the Indigenous
by Steven Julian
You ever hear the terms, redbone, apple, nosebleed, wannabe, Mooneyash, wemittigozhi,waabishkizi, baakwaayish, and wiisaakodewinini? Probably not. If you are an Indian you may not appreciate other Natives saying those things to you. There is a real battle going on in Indian country and it is the battle of identity.
We are battling among ourselves as to who is an Indian. Can’t really blame us for being in that predicament. The governments of both countries, the United States and Canada, tried to eliminate the Indian. They attempted to get rid of the Indian by many different means; genocide, persecution, prosecution, sterilization, and assimilation. Governmental Policy has always been a tool to get rid of the Indian. The latest policies have Indian being killed off by categories.
In the United States Natives or American-Indians are being “de-rolled” or denied enrollment into Bands/Tribes. There is a Blood Quantum policy used by the Government and the Tribes to determine who is Indian enough to be considered Indian. In Canada the Indian is defined by the policies of the government. Legislation (laws) have been enacted by the Federal Government that decides who is Indian enough to be called an Indian. The Bands/Tribes really have no say in who is an Indian in their community. The outside government makes that decision with the notion of “Status”. Status cards are issued to Indian who make the cut.