Like many Americans, my ancestors were of mixed blood:
Irish, Scottish, Prussian and American Native.
Nugents, Weintrauts and Skirvins all traveled
great distances, for a variety of reasons, to make new
homes in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania,
West Virginia, Kentucky and Illinois before finally
settling in my home state of Indiana in the early 1800's.
My grandmother Bertha Louise Nugent was of Shawnee,
Wyandot and Cherokee descent, but sadly this information
was only very recently discovered and quite by accident.
In the not so distant past, it was not always popular, nor
even safe, to admit that you had American Native ancestors.
Many mixed blood mothers like my Nugent grandmother
often named their children after American presidents like
George Washington, Andrew Jackson and Thomas Jefferson.
Who would ever suspect that a child named after such
famous persons could possibly have American Native blood?
Although their logic was flawed, it did leave a trail for
their 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
by these deliberate efforts to hide race.
The evidence linking us together is strong
and for those tenacious few who never give up,
the reward 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,
we are mixed blood American Natives.
Now more than ever before, we must share
and exchange the ideas of our many cultures.
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.
Ultimately, through this critical understanding,
may we preserve our various cultures and
improve the lives of not only Indigenous People,
but of all people everywhere.
May 2009 bring a beginning for that elusive concept, Peace.
Click on me to send an email
Last edited February 4, 2009
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