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Old 01-07-2010, 12:50 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
4 posts, read 8,431 times
Reputation: 17

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I am currently in SC. I am not Native Amercan but have a daughter who is part Cherokee. Have spent a lifetime learning native cultures and searching for a way to connect to the reservation life for myself and my daughter. I had planned to volunteer this summer at Pine Ridge and possibly seeking a move to the area, but I am concerned for my daughter. She is 8 years old. Her fathers family does not recognize her as a family member and her father is currently not involved in her life, however not by choice. I have a college degree and can provide for my daughter, but have been told by other tribes that my daughter would never be accepted in the area because she is neither Native American or white but a mixed child. I feel that she needs a connection to the culture, but do not want to place my daughter in a situation that will bring confusion and pain in the long run.
Any ideas or suggestions?
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Old 01-07-2010, 05:56 PM
 
Location: S.F.
509 posts, read 1,295,825 times
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I don't know if South Dakota reservations are quite the place for her, no offense of course, but I'm pretty sure alot of the tribes have different beliefs, values etc. You may want to look into Chamberlain or Rapid City in South Dakota though if you want to live in South Dakota. Those two places have large amounts of Natives and that might help your daughter transition?
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:35 PM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,495 posts, read 36,043,995 times
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I agree with Deadwood. I'd probably opt to live somewhere else then on one of the reservations. But honestly, I've never heard of the Sioux not being accepting of others. They're actually pretty good about that.
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:55 PM
 
Location: The Black Hills, South Dakota
412 posts, read 912,760 times
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I work with a lady who's half Sioux and half white. She grew up on Pine Ridge and was called a "dirty white girl." She left as soon as she could, and as she puts it, "married a dirty white man." She is very proud of her heritage but the way she was treated left a bitter taste in her mouth.

Her experience may have been the exception and not the rule, but it makes me worry that your daughter may have a hard time on a reservation. Racism works both ways. And any way you look at it, life on the reservation is hard. I'm not sure how much she's been involved with her Cherokee heritage, but the Sioux have an entirely different language and set of traditions and beliefs than the Cherokee.

Maybe a larger city with a significant Native population, i.e. Rapid City, would be a better fit? There are a lot of cultural events and groups in RC that she could get involved with, and charities/volunteer groups that you could get involved with.
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:33 AM
 
311 posts, read 670,363 times
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Most of the natives I know say they want to get OFF the rez.Drugs and acohol are a way of life for alot of people living on the rez, and very little in the way of job prospects.Why would you want to expose your child to that.And why not let your daughter decide when she is older if she wants to get in touch with her part native culture.It sounds to me its you who is fixated with this and not your child.
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:07 AM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,495 posts, read 36,043,995 times
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Just curious~since your daughter is part Cherokee, have you looked at Oklahoma? That's one state that has a high Cherokee presence. South Dakota has mainly Sioux.
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Spearfish, SD
12 posts, read 30,022 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tired-of-mn View Post
Most of the natives I know say they want to get OFF the rez.Drugs and acohol are a way of life for alot of people living on the rez, and very little in the way of job prospects.Why would you want to expose your child to that.And why not let your daughter decide when she is older if she wants to get in touch with her part native culture.It sounds to me its you who is fixated with this and not your child.

i agree with this post.. everyone i know from the rez, and i know a good few from Pine Ridge, say it's not exactly the best place to live...of course they are prideful but I remember one of my good friends saying it could be the most beautiful place and the world but no one treats it that way... and yes there are a lot of sad stories and alcohol and drug problems ..You can get in touch with your native roots without being on the rez..I personally am not native at all but have spent a lifetime in Alaska and now SD talking with natives and learning more about the culture ...It is fascinating and very personal and interesting... but unfortunately many youth get lost there...feel stuck, trapped.. And the cycle repeats. I would think twice about moving on the rez. I wonder if financial reasons come more into play in this decision than your 8 year old daughter getting in touch with her roots..
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:14 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
4 posts, read 8,431 times
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Thanks for the information. I am actually a teacher an had considered a job at Pine Ridge/Rosebud reservation, thus my inquiry into the area and what it would be like for my daughter. They are in such desperate need of teachers in the area and to reply to 'tired of mn" Yes I do have a calling to the area but I have enough common sense to inquire before leaping.

I will be visiting the area this summer and had considered taking my daughter with me for the 2 weeks.....

Thank you for the information.
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:04 PM
 
Location: Sioux Falls, SD area
4,226 posts, read 5,903,135 times
Reputation: 8350
Quote:
Originally Posted by greendog67 View Post
Thanks for the information. I am actually a teacher an had considered a job at Pine Ridge/Rosebud reservation, thus my inquiry into the area and what it would be like for my daughter. They are in such desperate need of teachers in the area and to reply to 'tired of mn" Yes I do have a calling to the area but I have enough common sense to inquire before leaping.

I will be visiting the area this summer and had considered taking my daughter with me for the 2 weeks.....

Thank you for the information.
If you can find the time, I'd try to visit there in the winter, all of which you'll be working in.

The summer isn't going to really give you an idea of what your life will be like when school is in session. Winter on the Pine Ridge rez is truly bleak, boring, and dangerous if you venture from your apt/house and experience car trouble.
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:04 AM
 
33,176 posts, read 19,474,626 times
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Not too many Native's on these boards, so take my reply with a grain of salt. I live in Oklahoma, and have been refused service twice back in the 60's in our small town because I am Native American.

I have been called a dirty **#$)@#&@#, etc, and had things thrown at me as I walked down the road by a car passing me by white people. Do I think all whites are narrow-minded and racists? No.

Do I think all Natives are poverty stricken drunks? No. A lot has changed since the 60's. And there are plenty of mixed bloods to go around in Indian Country.

Most people relate horror stories about Natives/Rez life because they are forever etched in their minds. But for every horror story about a Native, there are just as many about how we have been mistreated by anglos. Don't get hung up on the actions of a few~by either side.

I think a person is judged by what is in their heart and don't let a few horror stories define the experience before you get there. Don't let anyone on this board tell you where NOT to go in life.
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