Are there any Native American Indians left?

I was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1976 and growing up there, Native American Indian life was at the forefront of our daily conscious. I recall we had yearly River Festivals and parades that celebrated Indian heritage. The 44ft tall Indian statue, “The Keeper of The Plains” in our downtown was a daily reminder that Indians were once the powerful force that owned that region and how we should be thankful that we had a distinguished and exotic civilization in our not-to-distant history.
When in elementary school, we’d often take field trips to explore how life was in Kansas before it was declared an official US state. With ample museums that pay tribute, Wichita even has an amusement park dedicated to life in the 1800’s regarding that region preserving tee-pees, old schools, saloons, and relative artifacts.
I had a best friend in the 5th grade whose family was full Native American Indian and I thought nothing of it and in hind sight I think I took knowing her for granted.

Now I’m grown up and live in Chicago, and in hind sight, it’s depressing fully accepting that all the Indians that once dominated America are now extinct. Their heritage is no longer part of my daily life, or anyone else’s (accept for the folks that consider their contribution to Indian society a weekend skirmish to a HoChunk or Potawatomee Casino).
I’ve met 2 authentic American Indians in the 12 years I’ve lived in Chicago. They’re both so pretty and pure bred one can’t help but to be a little envious, but does a real population of them even exist anymore? I wonder if they realize what true jewels they are as members of what seems to be a dying race.
Of all the true genocide atrocities in all of human history, I think the American Indians had it the worst. Breaks my heart, too. Are there any of you left? Not those of you that proclaim to be 1/8th Cherokee (I believe those of you that do proclaim to be Cherokee just say that because you think the word ‘Cherokee’ sounds cool), but the ones that are at least 50% true blood of any tribes in North America? If so, do you have a recommendation on anything I can do to help you proliferate at least a little?
For those of you that’re responding back with such annoyance, my father is 1/2 Sioux Indian, therefore I’m a little myself.
So I’m genuinely interested in this topic. I truly don’t understand why those of you that claim to be N.A. responding with anger. Not a good way to “represent”…

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15 Responses to Are there any Native American Indians left?

  1. 'tаɪ.lər

    I am a mixed-blood American Indian, but let me tell you that blood is not what makes an Indian. For thousands and thousands of years, Native American identity was based on culture and community. If you lived in the same community, spoke the same language, and shared the same culture, you were a member of your society regardless of how you looked or where your ancestors came from. There was no concept of “race” before the Europeans began to colonize. Euro-Americans are the ones that decided that only people with “pure” blood could call themselves “real” Indians. A culture is made up of people, not genes and phenotypes.

  2. Jimmy Gates

    Yes, they are abundant. You just don’t know who is Native American and who is not.

    Most and probably all Native Americans today live by our American ways, just like every other nationality thats living in the United States.

    I also need to mention that most of the native americans are NOT 100%. This is because over the years, native americans marry european immigrants during the 1700s to 1800s. Thus their children are part european and native american.

    Most live in Central america such as in South Dakota, Wyoming, and the plains of Kansas, as you mentioned.

  3. Answerer

    there are still native americans left mostly in the south west united states, but outside of the usa over 45% of Perus population are full blooded Amerindians

  4. aquila

    i live in phoenix and there are a bunch of N.A. people living here and their culture is cool and creative.
    They have awesome art, dance and music.

    I know what you mean though, bc I used to live in Cleveland my whole life and in my experience there were barely any culturally active N.A.s living there; only streets named after them and stuff.

    Maybe if you want to help people survive oppression and keep culture alive you can find some charities against N.A. child abuse or some cause you believe in or N.A. educational funds and donate items, time, money and educate yourself on diff N.A. cultures.

  5. cynical

    In the U.S. and Canada you’re not going to find many native americans. They’re a rarity. However, if you go to Mexico (also part of North America) and South America especially Peru or Bolivia you would find lots of native americans. The whole Americas was populated by brown people before the Europeans came over and while the U.S. has eradicated most of its native population. There are other countries where we are the majority.

    You’re right, perhaps we had it worst. Though, this is not a competition of who suffered more.

    Now you got people saying they’re 1/8 or 1/4 and that as long as they follow the culture they’re native american. That is so wrong. We are talking about race here, features. Not culture. And being mostly European does not equal being native american.

    You can help by donating money to charities to native american organizations. Many that live in reservations live in poverty and the government pays little attention to that.

    Nish Kwe- why do you always mention mestizos? Do you think all from latin america are mestizos? No, that is a fallacy. Specifically those from Peru and Bolivia where the majority are indigenous with no admixture from Europe. They are more native than any people here who are living in the reservations.

  6. Coolrogue

    WTF!!! WE ARE NOT EXTINCT!!! There are plenty of us left….And we would appreciate it if you would just leave us alone…

  7. Kanien:kaha'ka-[]-[]-^-[]-[]

    i’m a traditional mohawk..meaning i still hold the beliefs and traditions of my people. i also speak our language. so yes we are still here after 500 years of genocide. in fact, you will find a large population of native people in chicago. look up the american indian cultural center in chicago and see if you can volunteer for things there. avoid giving money to charities who say they do things fro natives on reservations. with few exceptions, most of them are missionaries who want to further destroy our culture. if you REALLY are interested in financially helping out native people struggling to survive, email me. i know plenty and they are the only ones i give money to…not charities. maybe you could purchase hand made beaded moccs or bags that some make to support themselves. (i’m far from impoverished so no..don’t give me money.)

    thanks for asking!

    ETA: people arguing that south americans are native americans is as ridiculous as white people who think they are native americans simply because they were born here. you are playing with language and being intentionally obtuse. stop it. its annoying.

    ETA again: now you went and pissed me off too. why is it that when a native speaks we somehow “represent” our entire race but when a white person speaks they are only speaking for themselves? we happen to be individuals and if a native gets angry at you and you make that a reflection on all of us…well there is a name for that. racism.

    and if ANYONE has a right to be angry its native people.

    btw the part “sioux” thing is as over used as the part cherokee thing.

  8. Hi

    Wow, just go over the boarder of Mexico and you’ll see the same people you’ve seen as “Native Americans”. Why does it have to be a “Native American”(as people like to call it). The Americans took the native Mexican people’s land too. There is no distinct different between a native north of that border or a native south of that boarder. They are BOTH natives to the land and everything.

    So next time you want to see what a native american(50%-100%) looks like, just look at a Mestizo or Indigenous Mexican! They are the same thing, just separated by a boarder! :)

    btw, I am 100% correct. Indegneous people that live in Mexico used to also be native to Texas. So YES, I am right.

  9. ƝɨѕhҠѡe

    There are a lot of 100% Native Americans. Many come from the larger Native American Nations, and they live all over North America. About 65% of Native Americans live off the reservation, and many have strong ties to their home communities.

    It only seems that there are more mixed Native Americans because, there are so many people who like to claim they are Native American. But they aren’t.

    It took the past 50 years to begin to recover from the genocide, but Native Americans are the fastest growing population in North America. And their population is young. Some say 75% are under 25 with the majority under age18. So we aren’t going to disappear any time soon.
    =============

    Mestizo are not Native Americans, that’s why they are called Mestizo, Very few, if any, have had any connection to any of the Indigenous people. Most have no clue what their Indigenous Nation was and their culture is Spanish.

    They are just like the Métis in Canada who are European with admixtures of many Indigenous tribes. The Métis are not Native Americans and like most Mestizo they don’t claim they are.
    ===========

    ETA

    cynical an answerer claimed that Mestizos are 50% native American, which is a load of crap.

    Why are you always bringing up indigenous South Americans. They have nothing to do with indigenous North Americans. That’s like saying that a Frenchman is a Norwegian or a Japanese is a Tibetan.

    An Inuit/Aleut does not claim to be an Indian, yet they are indigenous. Nor does a Cree claim to be Hopi or vice versa, and both are indigenous.

    You are always making the point that South American indigenous people are more “Native American” than indigenous North Americans.

    The indigenous people of the US and Canada prefer not to be lumped into one ambiguous group under Native American (but it is in common use). That’s why there is a distinction between First Nations and American Indians. We are different ethnicities. In North America we are citizens of our Nations and that’s who we say we are.

    Our Nations recognize us as citizens and the US and Canada recognizes us as indigenous. That is evidenced by the right of the indigenous Nations who have free movement across the US borders. We don’t claim to be indigenous Mexicans or South Americans.

    Mexicans and South Americans are indigenous to their place of origin and nowhere else. So why are Mexicans or South Americans always trying to prove that they are somehow more entitled in the United States? If for some reason that the indigenous of Mexico or South America are not recognized as indigenous in those countries then take your fight there.
    ————–

    The United States recognizes North American indigenous Nations who’s territory was divided by a border and they have access to their ancestral lands. The indigenous Nations who’s territory was not divided by a border such as the (Inuit of Canada or indigenous South Americans) have no access. Plain and simple.

    First Nations and Native Americans
    http://www.consular.canada.usembassy.gov/first_nations_canada.asp
    Department of Homeland Security
    http://www.dhs.gov/ynews/releases/pr_1257272243349.shtm
    Border Crossing, Living and Working Rights of the Kickapoo
    http://www.utexas.edu/law/academics/centers/humanrights/borderwall/communities/indigenous-Kickapoo-Border-Crossing-Statute.pdf

    .

  10. John Kemp

    Louis Reil a Canadian metis was only 1/8 Indian and was the leader of the metis people and died for his people. Look up metis people. There are people that want to be an Indian so they can get something for free.Well good for them if they can, they deserve it. I know people that prefer just to be left alone and are reservation eligible people that would rather play golf. Native people never discriminated against others because of skin color. The are many full 50% black and white Indians out there. Quannah Parkers mother was white, look up his/her history. While it is a fact that they were and are still treated badly is true but they are still proud and stand tall as first nations people. One of the Tribes with really bad living conditions, are the Sioux people at Pine Ridge. They need all kinds of help.
    Look it up on the computer, and they are not the only ones either.

  11. Lakota Dream

    I am a full blooded Oglala Lakota Sioux and I live on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, it is one the biggest Reservations in the United States. There are thousands of full blooded Natives in South Dakota, there are over 8 Sioux Tribes in South Dakota alone, and there are thousands of us here. To read up on it –> http://www.kstrom.net/isk/maps/dakotas/sd.html
    I don’t see how you could ask this question, ignorance doesn’t get you too far.

  12. Sarah

    Who exactly do you think own Ho-Chunk and Potawatomi casinos?

    Here’s a clue: It’s not the Cherokee.

    The Ho-Chunk Nation owns Ho-Chunk Gaming and Potawatomi Casino is owned by the Forest County Band of Potawatomi. Those are Native tribes made up of REAL, AUTHENTIC Native Americans. Right there are two examples of real populations that exist today.

    I think you need to let go of your expectations of what a Native looks like. There are many Natives from many different tribes who reside in Chicago. 2000 Census reported over 31,000 in the Chicago area and that number has grown in the last ten years. Just because we don’t look like the 44 foot tall statue does not mean that we are extinct. As for heritage being part of every day life- for many of us, it still is. We don’t need statues and parades to remember who we are and where we come from.

    Maybe you would be interested in contacting the American Indian Center of Chicago museum and art gallery. They also put on a very large powwow at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The Mitchell Museum of the American Indian is located in Evanston, IL. Milwaukee isn’t too far from Chicago. Check out Indian Summer in September if you truly believe we no longer exist.

    ETA: I speak for no one except myself. I represent no one except myself.

    And, for the record, I don’t CLAIM to be anything. I know who I am and who my people are, unlike you. I am a proud member of my tribe. I may not be full blooded, but I sure as hell am not a little of something. I was raised with traditional ways, and know the history of my people.

    Sorry that you feel it is my job to be delighted that you think we are all extinct when you were unable to use common sense to realize that we are alive and doing well. If you were part Native as you claim to be, I doubt there would be much purpose in asking this question because you wouldn’t be so very ignorant about Native people.

    There is more to the world than just you. You shouldn’t make assumptions about me, or anyone else for that matter, based on your own white experiences. Just because MY heritage is not part of YOUR daily life, it does NOT mean that it is not a part of my daily life either. Just because YOU are unable to recognize a Native when you see one does not mean we are no longer here.

    I don’t need you sympathy or your help to “proliferate”. You are just another ignorant white woman who thinks she knows more about Natives than we know ourselves and takes offense when she is told the truth.

    If you don’t like my opinion, take it up with ME instead of trying to stereotype us all as not liking your kind. Contrary to your belief, we do all have our own opinions. And we are all strong enough to express them individually.

  13. jo

    FYI – Your blood quantum standard would limit a large number of responses from enrolled tribal members from across Indian Country…only in the Southwest would your standard be a “common” one. My question to you would be: why is genetic mixing seen as a DILUTING element for Indians anyway?

    Would you throw out a strict blood quantum standard for Jews (“I mean those who are one-half or more semitic”)…or African American? Probably not because it is rediculous. You think modern Jewish population isn’t blended with European “blood” to a high degree? Also, someone who is say, 1/4 or 1/8 African would usually not be questioned about claiming to “be black.” (and historically speaking…you almost couldn’t escape the “Negro” label, even with just the smallest speck of blood!).

    There has been genetic blending in the American Indian population for a long time (we have been in contact with non-Indian people for hundreds of years)…that does not diminish “Indianness” or a sense of identity…nor does it take away political cohesion. Also, I would argue that all the people claiming to be 1/8 Cherokee are usually claiming that fraction and ancestry ERRONEOUSLY..which gives a false impression about being “part Indian.”

  14. Kwe'

    What a wonderful story!! I live in Oklahoma and we’re still strong in our culture and have our own ways!! People come watch our dances with amazement and take pictures when allowed!! My grandkids are Sioux, Potawatomi, Creek, Iowa and Osage!! We are still holding on to our culture and hold our heads high!! Thanks for your story it was very touching!! I used to live in Wichita and have relatives there!!!

  15. Kate-Ann

    Yes there are Native Americans left.The Navajo reservation still exists in Arizona.There are also Native American reservations in Wisconsin,New Mexico,Utah,etc.
    I’m Cherokee/Blackfoot/Haitian/Irish/Scottish/German/African American.

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