Dont Just Sit There –Dance

Pow Wow dance

I remember my first Pow-Wow and how the music of the drums seemed to keep beat with my heart and soul. At first I felt embarrassed and was unsure whether I could perform the Native dances or would look foolish. It is certainly normal to not be confident, but it is not until you join the circle of dance that your best comes out. … Dont Just Sit There –Dance »»

African Native American Parade

African Native American Parade


“Lord’s Prayer” by Chinook Indians

“Lord’s Prayer” by the Chinook Indians

Nesika papa klaksta mitlite kopa saghalie
(Our Father Who dwells on High)
… “Lord’s Prayer” by Chinook Indians »»

Impacts of European Colonization

Europeans also brought diseases, against which the Native Americans had no immunity. Chicken pox and measles, though common and rarely fatal among Europeans, often proved fatal … Impacts of European Colonization »»

Regional Overview Of Native American Clothing Styles


Ever wonder what Native American men and women wore for clothing, shoes, headwear, and other garments? … Regional Overview Of Native American Clothing Styles »»


It was the slave master’s last name that in many instances the slave acquired through ownership to a specific plantation. Although in many instances a slave actually had his father’s surname based on the slave master impregnating his women slaves. … Surnames »»

Telling Our Stories

The Journey Begins with the First Step… 

I started my journey to discover my Native American heritage and history many years ago. The history that I had not known began to intrigue me. … Telling Our Stories »»

Native American Census Head of Household

2010 CENSUS – DID YOU KNOW… The first person listed on the Census form will determine if this is an Indian household. … Native American Census Head of Household »»

2010 Census

Every year, the federal government can allocate more than $300 billion to tribes, states and communities based, in part, on census data.

Smithsonian Museum – Share Your Story

The National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) and the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) are co-sponsoring IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas, a traveling exhibit about people of mixed African American and Native American heritage. … Smithsonian Museum – Share Your Story »»

Black Native American Association


Black Native American Association

First Annual International Multi CulturalPowwow

Honoring Our Legacy

Past Present, and Future

Red Black Connection

Saturday, September 18– 19, 2010 … Black Native American Association »»

Haiti Relief

There are actions that occur by the Earth that we cannot explain. We know what happened and how it happened, but … Haiti Relief »»

Blood Memory…It’s In The Blood

What does it mean to have your family’s genes? It means that you carry within your body the genes of relatives that lived generations before you. … Blood Memory…It’s In The Blood »»

A Picture to Consider…




Send thoughts to: [email protected]

Joseph Medicine Crow recieves Presidential Medal of Freedom

Joseph Crow, a 95-year-old Crow Indian, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama on August 12, 2009. This most prestigious award demonstrates the continued contributions that Native Americans make and have made to the betterment of the United States.   … Joseph Medicine Crow recieves Presidential Medal of Freedom »»

International Day of World Indigenous People


In December 1994, the General Assembly decided to celebrate the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People on August 9th every year during the International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People. … International Day of World Indigenous People »»

The Plains Indians

The Cheyenne

The Cheyenne were another well-known tribe originally from what is now northern Minnesota, they had migrated to the high plains by the early 1800’s and ranged from the Missouri River in the North to the Arkansas River in the South. They were divided into two branches, the Northern Cheyenne and the Southern Cheyenne. The Northern group spent much of their time on the high plains of Colorado and Wyoming. … The Plains Indians »»

Geronimo -The Apache Leader

Geronimo the Apache leader died in 1909 and to this day there is controversy over his remains. … Geronimo -The Apache Leader »»


“The U.S. Capitol and the White House were built through the uncompensated labor of the ancestors of Americans of African descent during the tyranny of slavery,” states Myers who has repeatedly urged President Bush to recognize and honor the sacrifice and contributions of enslaved Americans.  … Juneteenth »»

The First Lady Speaks

First Lady, Michelle Obama visited the Department of the Interior on February 9 and addressed the employees in the building. “For those of you focused on meeting the federal government’s obligations to the Native Americans,” she said, “understand that you have a wonderful partner in the White House right now. … The First Lady Speaks »»

The Story of Mary and Eleanor: Rivers to Cross

The book, “The Story of Mary and Eleanor: Rivers to Cross”, focuses on the life, accomplishments, friendship and relationship of the great historic, African American Educator and Women’s Right’s Advocate, Mary McLeod Bethune and the Human and Women’s Rights Advocate, First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt. … The Story of Mary and Eleanor: Rivers to Cross »»

Census 2010


The 2010 Census provides an opportunity to document your Native American ancestry. … Census 2010 »»

The Long Journeys

The ‘Trail of Tears’ for Native Americans is comparable to the ‘Long ship rides the Africans experienced as they were bound, chained, taken to the Americas and enslaved by the Europeans’. But, the Native Americans weren’t taken from a foreign land.  They were already living in the Americas when the Europeans arrived. So, the Europeans rounded the Native Americans up, held them in animal pens, and then herded them like cattle from Southeastern United States to the Western part of the country.   … The Long Journeys »»

We Shall Remain

“We Shall Remain” is a PBS Series on the Native American History previewing in April 2009. … We Shall Remain »»

Two Worlds

In some instances the choice becomes a matter of skin color perception. Native Americans are white, light, tan, or cream in skin tone —right? Right? RIGHT?… Wrong! Native American skin tone is a range of colors. It was a range even before African and Indian blood lines began to mix.   … Two Worlds »»

Dawes Roll and the Cherokee

What is the Dawes Roll, and who was registered on it?
Congressman Henry Dawes was a big advocate of property ownership and he asserted that it was a necessary component of civilized life. The rest of Congress agreed, and in 1887 they enacted into law the Dawes Act. The Act stated that the United States government would provide for the allotment of lands in Indian Reservations.
… Dawes Roll and the Cherokee »»

Native Physical Characteristics

There are many physical characteristics that are common in people with Native American heritage: … Native Physical Characteristics »»

Victoria Lena Manyarrows

Victoria Lena Manyarrows is a writer, activist, artist, and poet. She has worked extensively with community arts and alcohol/substance abuse programs in the Bay Area and has a Masters degree in Social Work. Born in Iowa in 1956 and raised alongside reservations and within mixed communities in North Dakota and Nebraska. Manyarrow’s goal is t use written and visual images to convey and promote a positive, indigenous Native-based worldview.

Taking The Third Step

The records are on computers and on microfilm. The records keeper/Help Desk will assist you in finding the surname (or last name) of the relative you are investigating to learn vital information about them.


The Census Records information includes:


  • Full Name
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Race
  • Married, Single, Widowed
  • Occupation
  • Place of birth of Mother and Father
  • Spouse Name
  • Children
  • Land owner or renter
  • Whether could read and/or write
  • And other important information


This information will help you to identify your ancestors/relatives and continue to document your “paper trail” for Native American tribal enrollment.


Article by CherokeeCloud

Written September 4, 2006

Taking the Second Step

Remember that even if the family elders don’t know if a relative was Native American or state there were not Native Americans in the family, continue your investigation. In many instances if elders acknowledged Native American ancestry negative consequences resulted. This is because in most states Native Americans were not allowed to purchase land, hold jobs, and have schooling opportunities. Anyone claiming to be Native American was sent to live on the reservations. Being sent to a reservation resulted in loss of land, family connections, accumulated wealth, and in many instances loss of tribal identities and culture.

So, for these reasons Native Americans would claim Colored, Negro, Mulatto, Black Dutch, Black Irish, Melungeon, and even White racial identities. These identities protected them from the hazards of being identified as Native American.


This leads to one of the key ways of identifying a Native American relative. If you find a relative listed on the United States Census records and each year in which you find them listed their race changes, then there is a great possibility that the relative was Native American or of a mixed racial heritage with Native being one of the race mixtures.

 Article by CherokeeCloud

Written September 3, 2006

Taking the First Step

Many families over the years have had a formal or informal historian. This person tracks the family births, deaths, marriages, and locations of family members. This person keeps records through saving newspaper clippings, photographs, letters, and other memorabilia. All of these items are important in searching for your family black and red roots.  

A treasure chest of information can most importantly be found in family Bibles. In the front of these Bibles is not only the owner of the Bible and perhaps when it was received but also a space for family genealogy or family records. Additionally, there is generally not a family Bible that does not have within its pages many hand written notes, book marks, photographs with names or dates written on the back, programs from Church services, ribbons, pressed flowers, and many other items that give clues to family ancestry.  

Each of these items has a history that must be investigated to learn more about your family tree. Next, find the oldest living family member or members and request to talk with them about their life, recollections of what has happened over time within the family, and question them about any items you might have found that appear to have significance to learning about your family in general and your black and red roots specifically.  

Article by CherokeeCloud 

Written September 2, 2006

How Do I Obtain A Native Name?

To self-select a Native name requires much thought and deliberation. For a self-selected name can represent a physical attribute, or a personal characteristic or persona. Sometimes the self-selected name contains a color, animal or some item of nature. For example, a man of wiry/sleek build might self-select the name “Black Fox”. Or a woman who enjoys singing might self-select the name “Song Bird”. Each of these names describes the person who self-selected it.


To have a given Native name requires the acceptance of a family Native name. This is very similar to being born with a Native surname or Native origin lastname. It requires only acknowledging the name is Native in its origin. For example a native surname is “Cornplanter”, as in James Cornplanter. This given name describes an occupation or role of the Native person.

To have a bestowed Native name requires a Native elder to confer or present you with a Native name. This is sometimes done in a formal ceremony or family gathering. A bestowed name has great significance because it comes from an elder, a respected person, or a person believed to be wise.  

Generally, a self-selected; a given; or a bestowed Native name is a public name. It is a name that you are known by publicly. That means that it is a name that your family, friends, and acquaintances refer to you. It is included when writing your name. For example, John “Black Fox” Williams or Mary “Song Bird” Reed are Native names included in the writing of ones name.  

Also, people translate their Native name into their Native American language. For example if John “Black Fox” Williams was Cherokee, he would be known as “Tsu la  Gv-na-ge-i”        (Fox Black) pronounced “Chew la   Guh nah gay ee”. Note the adjective in some instances follows the noun in Cherokee.

There is much more that could be said about obtaining a Native name. To learn more about obtaining a Native name join the “Black Red Roots Community”.  

 Article by: CherokeeCloud

 Written: August 23, 2006

Black Seminole Abraham

Abraham had fled the army of Andrew Jackson and helped build the fort at Prospect Bluff (in Florida). When Nichols and and Upper Creek Chief Joseph Francis set sail for England in 1815 Abraham stayed behind in the Fort, which had become a haven for Africans who had escaped from slavery.

The fort was attacked and destroyed during the first Seminole War (1817-1818); Abraham was one of the few survivors. He made his way to a Suwannee River Town in Flroida. Abraham continued fighting during the first Seminole War and he became known as "Sauanaffe Tustunnagee" (Suwannee Warrior). He lived in an African town in Florida called Pilaklinkaha, or Many Ponds, and was adopted as a member of the Seminole Nation. He became the Prime Minister of the Cowkeeper Dynasty and a chief advisor to Micanopy, principle chief of the Alachua Seminole.

Photo of Seminoles – warrior Abraham and wife Hagan


Abraham even served as an interpreter for Micanopy in 1826 when a delegation of Seminole Chiefs visited Washington D.C. Later in life, Abraham married a woman named Hagan, the widow of Chief Bowlegs. A detail of Abraham’s death is unknown.

African American and Native American History
Princeton Public Library
65 Witherspoon Street
Princeton, NJ 08542

Chickasaw Indians

The Chickasaw warred constantly with the Choctaw, the Creek, the Cherokee, and the Shawnee. The decline of the Chickasaw can be traced to the conflict for control of interior North America between France and Great Britain. Probably because British traders were established in their country before the settlement of Louisiana, the Chickasaw fought on the side of Great Britain, and French attempts to make peace with them were unsuccessful. After 1834 they moved, according to treaty arrangements, to Oklahoma, where they constituted one of the Five Civilized Tribes.


 RePosted July 8, 2008

Article selections by CherokeeCloud



The Qualla Boundary (Cherokee Indian Reservation)

• The proper name of the Cherokee Indian Reservation is the Qualla Boundary. It contains nearly 57,000 acres. Additional tribal lands are found at the Snowbird Community near Robbinsville and in Cherokee County, NC.


• Today's tribal government doesn't resemble the Cherokee government of centuries ago. Once a matriarchal society with traditional stickball games settling disputes, a democratic form of government now exists. The principal chief and vice chief are elected for four year terms with tribal council members being elected every two years.


• The Qualla Boundary is federal government public trust land held as such only for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Tribal and federal laws apply with jurisdiction by Cherokee Police or federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


• Current tribal enrollment is slightly less than 13,000. About 9,000 tribal members reside on the Qualla Boundary. Tribal members are permitted to own land and houses but can sell only to other members of the tribe. All land and business transactions are recorded by the local agency of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.


• Centuries ago the Cherokee territory included parts of what eventually became the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia. The Cherokee, along with members of other southeastern tribes, were relocated to Oklahoma in 1838-39 during the infamous “Trail of Tears.”


• The Cherokee were the first Native Americans to have their own written language. Invented by Sequoyah, the syllabary contains 86 characters. The Cherokee also had their own newspaper in the mid-1800s called The Phoenix.


• The Cherokee language, almost extinct a decade ago, is now being taught in all grades of the Cherokee school system.


• The Qualla Boundary (Cherokee Indian Reservation) and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians are the only federally recognized tribe and reservation land between western New York and southern Florida.


 • Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual is the oldest Native American cooperative in the United States with more than 350 local craftspeople as members.




Woman-by-the-side-of-the-Water -Nipmuc,…


Some American Indian Statistics

There are 561 federally recognized tribal government tribes in the United States and Canada. There are 314 tribes in reservations starting in 1930 till today. According to the 2003 US Census Bureau estimates, a little over one third of the 2,786,652 Native Americans in the United States live in three states. These states are California, Arizona, and Oklahoma.

Nation, Tribe, and Band

A Native American Elder, “Standing Bear”, makes these comments about Native American Nations and Tribes, “Many people are often confused by the two terms, Nation and Tribe.  Even tribal officials often use them interchangeably.  However, there is a difference. Our definition says a “nation” is a composite of two or more tribes. … Nation, Tribe, and Band »»

Descendants of Cherokee Freedmen

In 1983 the tribal council quickly passed an act which required that all tribal members be able to obtain a Certificate of Indian Blood (CDIB) card showing their degree of Indian blood, so to be a member of the Cherokee Nation, you needed first to get a CDIB and it is virtually impossible for the descendants of the Freedmen to get one based on the Dawes rolls. Several descendants have brought their cases to the Courts and lost.  In March 2006, the Judicial Appeals Tribunal (JAT), the Cherokee Nation's highest court recently ruled that the law not allowing descendants of Freedmen joining the Cherokee Nation is unconstitutional, thus they should be allowed to join and vote as legit Cherokee citizens. You can find the ruling. However, the Cherokee Nation is trying to pass amendments, it is not over. Here is the information to enlist at

Oklahoma's Black Indians and their hundreds of thousands of descendents are among those who have left a legacy of records, from the Dawes rolls to the earlier records created after the Treaty of 1866 was signed. In addition, until the middle of the 20th century, there were Black Indians – Freedmen who still lived and practiced the customs of the nations where they had been born. The WPA Slave Narratives contained more than 25 interviews of Black Indians, who spoke of their lives as Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws and Chickasaws. Their language, burial customs, and diet were formulated by the native culture into which they had been born, lived and eventually died. 

Those seeking more knowledge about the customs practiced by these Black Indians of the Five Civilized Tribes will not find lives centered around pow wows, and Hollywood images of the plains nations. These documented citizens of the Five nations were bilingual, bicultural people, seeking to establish new lives for themselves in their new country and their new state of Oklahoma.Most of the Freedmen of Indian Territory who were adults when freed, were bilingual, speaking both English and the language of their Indian slave owners. In some cases some of the Indian Territory slaves, learned English after slavery ended, when meeting members of their families from whom they had been sold. Many of the Black Indians moved easily from English to their Indian mother tongue, while others had their native Indian language as their language of choice. There were others who preferred English though still understanding their Indian language. These excerpts reveal the language and culture in which the African Indians lived."

Those seeking more knowledge about the customs practiced by these Black Indians of the Five Civilized Tribes will not find lives centered around pow wows, and Hollywood images of the plains nations. These documented citizens of the Five nations were bilingual, bicultural people, seeking to establish new lives for themselves in their new country and their new state of Oklahoma.Most of the Freedmen of Indian Territory who were adults when freed, were bilingual, speaking both English and the language of their Indian slave owners. In some cases some of the Indian Territory slaves, learned English after slavery ended, when meeting members of their families from whom they had been sold. Many of the Black Indians moved easily from English to their Indian mother tongue, while others had their native Indian language as their language of choice. There were others who preferred English though still understanding their Indian language. These excerpts reveal the language and culture in which the African Indians lived."

For more information see:


Oneida Nation

The Oneida Nation donated $3 million to Harvard Law School to establish a professorship in Indian studies. The professorship will be the first endowed chair in American Indian studies at Harvard University and the only professorship of its kind east of the Mississippi River.

Ten Commandments

 If you are nostalgic for the days when the Ten Commandments were posted in public buildings, you might want to consider visiting the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. The tribal council is making plans to mount a copy of the Ten Commandments in the council house where government meetings are held, and possibly display them throughout other public buildings in Cherokee.

Commonwealth of Virginia Acknowledgment

The Commonwealth of Virginia acknowledged the maltreatment and exploitation of Native Americans and the immoral institution of human slavery. Virginia Senate Joint Resolution No. 332 – February 24, 2007.  See

Medal of Honor

Throughout history, American Indians have been among those soldiers to be distinguished by receiving the United States' highest military honor: the Medal of Honor. Given for military heroism "above and beyond the call of duty," these warriors exhibited extraordinary bravery in the face of the enemy and, in many cases, made the ultimate sacrifice for their country


American Indians and Alaska Natives have played a central role in our history. In 1805 and 1806, Sakajawea, a Shoshone Indian woman, helped guide Lewis and Clark on their historic expedition to explore the uncharted West. This remarkable journey, known as the "Voyage of Discovery," would not have been possible without her efforts, and today she remains a proud symbol of American Indian courage and strength.

Cherokee National Education Corporation

The Cherokee Nation Educational Corporation (CNEC) is helping to ease the financial burden of higher education costs through several scholarship opportunities available to Cherokee Nation citizens. The CNEC is a non-profit corporation with a mission to provide educational assistance to Cherokee tribal citizens. One of the goals of CNEC is to revitalize the language, culture and history of the Cherokee people.

Alaska Tlingit Tribes

Human remains estimated to be more than 10,000 years old will be returned to southeast Alaska Tlingit tribes 11 years after they were found in a cave in the Tongass National Forest. It's the first time a federal agency has conveyed custody of such ancient remains to indigenous groups under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.


History of the Native American

The early hunters followed the herds of mamoth and other animals accross the land bridge and made their way south. The earliest evidence of man in North America is from Arogrande cave in New Mexico. Found was a bunch of chipped stones and the toe bone of a horse with a spear point embeded in it. Also found was an early clay fireplace with human fingerprints in it. These items were dated to 40,000 years ago. (Overstreet 1997) To give you an idea of the time frame, it was only 47,000 years ago that the Homo Sapiens first appeared in europe. Neandrethal man was still roaming the countryside of europe at this time. At 30,000 years, the Neandrethal man started to dissapear from Europe. At 20,000 years ago, the Cro-Magnon man was alive and well. Recently the Cro-Magnon was classified as the same species as modern man. At 20,000 years ago, evidence of the paleo man coming accross the ice bridge from Asia is still evident. This wave is thought to have been the group that populated the Americas. Human occupation of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia from remains of bone, stone tools, and other artifacts were dated to this same time period. In July 1953, an amature archaeologist, Keith Glasscock, finds fluted points and bones of ancient man near Midland, Texas. These were also dated to 20,000 years ago. At 14,000 years ago the remains of an encampment is South America was found in a peat bog. (Overstreet 1997) It is rare to find a paleo point at all, and when or if you ever do find one, it generally dates to 12,000-8,000 years ago. At this time, the Wenatchee Clovis Cache was dated. Also the Folsom site near Folsom, New Mexico was dated to this time period. At 10,000 years ago, the glaciers receded and the American Indians were effectively cut off from Asia. A man of mongoloid decent was found entombed in a lake in Florida, along with a Sabre Tooth Tiger and a Giant Ground Sloth. An atl atl was also found, but it is not known if the American Indians invented the atl atl or if it was brought from Asia. (Overstreet 1997) It seems that the American Indians started farming between 7,000 and 3,000 years ago. Maize or corn is native to the Americas and was the staple grain of the region for many centuries before Europeans reached the New World. The origin of corn remains a mystery. Conclusive evidence exists, from archaeological and paleobotanical discoveries, that cultivated corn has existed in the southwestern United States for at least 3000 years. Discoveries in the Tehuacán Valley of southern Mexico have yielded evidence that wild corn existed there 7000 years ago and was not much different in fundamental botanical characteristics from the modern corn plant. (Encarta 1995) The Paleo peoples were mainly nomadic hunters that followed the herds of bison, mammoth, or mastadon. With the extinction of the mastadon around 8,000 years ago, the Paleo people had to learn new ways of finding food. Thus comes the Early Archaic age from 10,000 to 7,000 years ago.



Archaic Period
10,000 to 3,000 BP


The Archaic people were mainly hunters but farming and gathering became more a way of life as the Late Archaic period arrived. Very few farming tools are found at archaic sites, it seems that most sites were temporary hunting camps. The evidence from burial sites or excavated campgrounds is convincing that animals were frequently hunted and consumed. These animals include deer, raccoon, and waterfowl, among many other species. Fishing was a common activity during the Archaic along the coasts and rivers. The kinds of fishing, however, may have differed through time and across geographical regions. Along the upper St. Johns River in Northern Florida, within marshes and shallow lakes, small fish were found in enormous numbers in Late Archaic middens, suggesting mass-capture techniques. In different areas large fish were more common than small fish. In short, the Archaic peoples were capable of catching both small and large fish through the use of a variety of techniques which included nets, hooks, gigs, and traps. (Russo 1986) Shellfish and snails also played an important part in the subsistence of Archaic peoples. Shellfish has been suggested as one of the important factors that allowed the beginnings of permanent village life along costal areas. Among the few tools found at Archaic sites are nutting stones. These were used to crush nuts, or possibly grain. The extinction of the mastadon changed the Archaic peoples way of life so that gathering was a major part of their diet. The plants that were gathered included plants which yield seeds, nuts, fruits, roots, or greens. (Russo 1990) The Late Archaic peoples started settling down in more permanent villages as new ways of obtaining food were developed. This gave way to the Woodland period from 3,000-1,300 years ago.

 Woodland Period
3,000 to 1,300 BP

The Woodland peoples were more farmers and gatherers. The bow was thought to have been invented at this time. Hunting was still an important part of their diet. The Woodland indians also began the mound building tradition. The Late Archaic peoples could have built mounds but the Woodland peoples mounds are numerous and some are large. Many mounds take the shape of effigys such as the Serpent Mound in Ohio, an embankment of earth resembling a snake nearly a quarter-mile long, is the largest and finest serpent effigy in North America. It is thought that the Adena peoples created this mound. The serpent undoubtedly was used for religious or mystical puroposes because of the time and effort that must have been spent constructing it. The builders carefully planned the effigy, first creating the form with stones or clay mixed with ashes and then covering it with basket loads of earth. (Artcom Ltd 1997) Woodland mounds are primarily burial mounds, although circular and geometric earthworks also appeared in some areas. The Early Woodland Adena culture created mounds in the central Ohio Valley of present-day southern Ohio, southeastern Indiana, northern Kentucky, and in West Virginia to as far east as Pittsburgh, Pa. The mounds were relatively small, simply built and generally enclose only a few burials. Many of the late Adena mounds were much larger (from 6 to 80 ft high), and were constructed over many years. They contained numerous burials, and some of them in log tombs. The largest and most elaborate mounds, built in southern Ohio, were complex geometric earthworks in the form of circles, rectangles, octagons, parallel walls, hilltop fortlike constructions, and other forms. The function of these earthworks is unknown to modern archaeologists. Late Woodland societies in the upper Mississippi valley of Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota erected effigy mounds in the period from about 400 to 1100 AD. These burial mounds were created in the forms of bird, animals, and humans such as the Marching Bears Mound in Wisconsin. Burials were placed in the area corresponding to the heart of the effigy figures. Corn, Gourds, squash, and a variety of seed plants were cultivated by Woodland peoples. Corn or maize was not the main food crop until about 700AD. Beans became another major crop by the year 1000. The large scale farming of beans and corn started the next time period. The stable food source alowed larger and more stable villages. (Washitaw 1997)


Mississippian Period
1,300 to 400 BP

The Mississippian time period is a time of huge villages or towns, large scale farming, and fortified walls around towns. Cahokia is a huge Mississippian city that was inhabited from 700-1400 AD. The city covered six square miles and had a population of over 20,000. A wall of posts with guard towers every seventy feet surrounded the city. A stockade was built and was two miles long. It was built for defense. The Mississippian culture is thought to have arose in the Mississippi Valley near St. Louis, around the same time corn agriculture appeared in the area. This is about the time that a social structure evolved called chiefdom by anthropologists. The chiefdom was headed by a shaman who influenced farming populations. He also directed the construction mounds, palisades, regulated trade, and conducted warfare. In addition to the chief, warriors and others held positions of inluence. The majority of the population were farmers, some living within the walls of the town and others living in small villages or family units and isolated farms for miles up and down the river valley. It's believed that the people in these outlying settlements came to large mound centers such as Cahokia for seasonal ceremonies. In addition to corn and beans as the major diet of the Mississippian culture, other plant foods included squash, gourds, and sunflower. Although agriculture became larger and more complex, the Mississippian people continued to gather local wild plant foods including nuts and berries. Plants were collected for medicinal use as well. Hunting was still important as excavations showed. The bones and antlers were used as tools. The hides for clothing. Animals were also domesticated. Turkey pens have been excavated showing that an attempt at raising domesticated animals was made. The mastadon was extinct but the indians did adapt. The whitetail deer consisted of 95% of the Mississippian meat diet. Other hunted species included squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, bear, and waterfowl. The box turtle was used as a food source and supplying the material for rattles. (Markuson 1998) Fishing was also a source of food but less important than agriculture and hunting. Shellfish was used as a food source and the crushed shell used in the manufacture of pottery. The culture reached new heights in both artistic and technology. New weapons, tools, and art were manufactured. With the introduction of the white man into the Americas started a new time period.

Historic Period
450 to 170 BP

 The Historic time period is a stormy time in the American Indians history. Many Native Americans were killed in white man wars, by disease and plagues, and starvation. In 1519 Hernando Cortes form Spain and 500 soldiers started looting and destroying many South American and Central American cultures such as the Maya and the Aztec. In 1540 Hernando De Soto, also of Spain, explored Florida up through Tennessee and as a result the Indian population in the Southeast was almost entirely wiped out within ten years. The infamous Trail of Tears tragedy 1838-1839 is one example in American history. In the early 1800's the white settlers began moving onto the lands belonging to the Cherokee Indian tribes east of the Mississippi River. In response to pressure from settlers, President Andrew Jackson in 1830, commissioned General Winfield Scott to remove the Cherokees who lived in North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. Many of these indians left voulintarily, however, more than 13,000 refused to leave. They were forced to march 1,200 miles to Oklahoma to a reservation. During the winter of 1838-39, the journey killed one-fourth of them. Because of the hardships and loss of life the Cherokee endured, it has come to be known as the "Trail of Tears." The Historic indians were more culturaly advanced and civilized in many ways than their European counterparts at the end of their long reign of the Americas. Their reign lasted from 40,000 years ago, to the day Columbus landed on the shores of America in 1492. From that fateful day in 1492, the indians were ravaged by disease such as smallpox which they had no immunity from. The French and British wars attributed to wiping out many tribes as the powers pitted one tribe against another. This ends the history of the American Indians. If you have anything you would like me to add to the history, email me.Email: [email protected]



Afro-Indian family ties

From a common foe, Africans and Native Americans found the first link of friendship and earliest motivation for an alliance. They discovered they shared some vital life views. Both Africans and Native Americans found they shared a belief in cooperation, rather than competition and rivalry. Beyond individual human differences in personality, generally speaking, each race was proud, but neither was weighed down by prejudice. Skill, friendship and trust, not skin color or race was important.

That Native Americans and Africans merged by choice, invitation, and bonds of trust and friendship, cannot be understated. It explains why families who share this biracial inheritance have never forgotten these family ties.

Since 1502, Black Indians have been reported, documented, painted, and photographed coast to coast from Hudson's Bay to Tierra del Fuego. In the decades between the 1619 Jamestown settlement and the 'Great Treaty Signings' of the 1880's, Black Indian Societies were reported in more than 15 states from New York to South Carolina as well as the thirty Caribbean Islands 'blessed' by European colonization.

Excerpt from article by: By Nomad WinterhawkFor more information see:

Recipes to share at Thanksgiving

 Indigenous Foods and Native American Recipes

Enjoy browsing a vast selection of Native American recipes. Foods from categories of beverages and teas, fruit and berries, grains and breads, plants and vegetables, seeds and nuts, fowl, fish, and meat. These indigenous, traditional and contemporary recipes from various regions.



Cherokee Indians

The Cherokees are original residents of the American southeast, particularly Georgia, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Most Cherokees were relocated to Oklahoma in the 1800's by the infamous Trail of Tears, and the descendants of those who survived this death march still live in Oklahoma to this day. Some Cherokees escaped deportation by hiding in the Appalachian hills, or were sheltered by sympathetic white neighbors. The descendants of these people still live scattered throughout the original Cherokee homelands, particularly in North Carolina, where they have their own federally recognized tribe.  FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Names for Native Americans

The names used for Native Americans are many. They include American Indians, Indians, Amerindians, Native Americans, Amerinds, or Indigenous, Aboriginal or Original Americans and First Nations peoples.

Black Red Roots Member at Pow-Wow

Black Red Roots Community Members participate in a Pow-Wow in California.


Trail of Tears Cherokee Legacy Video

The video, “Trail of Tears Cherokee Legacy”, explores America’s darkest period: President Andrew Jackson’s Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the forced removal of the Cherokee Nation to Oklahoma in 1838. Nearly a quarter of the Cherokee National died during the Trail of Tears, arriving in Indian Territory with few elders and even fewer children. Presented by Wes Studi and narrated by James Earle Jones.

Federally Recognized Tribes

The recognition includes ownership of land, and eligibility to participate in federal assistance programs. It also includes the right to govern and be received in government-to-government relationships with the United States.


To obtain federal recognition a tribe must make petition to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). It can take many, many years to receive recognition some tribes have waited as many as 30 years after petition to receive recognition. The process is one that requires submission of many historical documents that provide a paper trail of the tribe’s existence, authenticity, longevity and viability over the years.


In some instances tribes determine to seek “State Recognition” rather than “Federal Recognition” of their authenticity and viability. Both of these recognitions are an acknowledgement from the United States government of a tribe’s existence in history per its people maintaining their tribal identity, culture, and community.


Posted May 14, 2007

Written by Cherokee Cloud

An Angry Black Woman

An Angry Black Woman

By: Jewel E. Cash

Some say that the worst person you can come across is an angry black man
But all I can say is today I’m speaking as an ANGRY BLACK WOMAN

As I sit here in front of this TV
my heart goes out to the families who have lost loved ones
I send prayers up to the Lord.
And my soul grieves along with yours,
But my soul grieves for a different reason.
A reason that only MY brothers and sisters can comprehend
A reason that you don’t learn about in college
A reason we don’t talk about in politics,
A reason the headlines never get right,
But a reason my blood shot eyes can only explain,
A reason whose story is only held by me
and my community’s sea of salt water tears
A reason that this one “isolated incident” will never allow you to know
A reason that makes me the angry black woman I am
An angry black woman because it’s my black boys are dying
An angry black woman because
it’s my people that the government is denying
An angry black woman because it’s our future that’s being led astray, instead down a path where they will silently lay
 Unable to play, never to see another day, a piece of story clay, now hardened though it should have been molded a different way
Yes I am an Angry black woman today

Because today as all the attention is rightfully on the Tech
My community today, just like yesterday, and how we will be tomorrow
Is planning the funeral of our future
But see, as I grew up, I was taught that the future is
something that has yet to come
Something unknown, something only time will tell
But today I wonder if that’s really true
Because I don’t know about you,
but my skies are no longer blue
No longer blue, because clouds of death linger above as we bury our future and write the eulogies of the people we all once loved

The eulogy of our future yes that’s what we are writing
A eulogy that will soon become our history books if we don’t bury the old and birth the new
Bury our old way of thinking and stress
And birth a new society where we are able to confess…
Confess our lack of leadership
Confess our lack of pride
Confess all of systemic and political homicide
Because if we don’t, we will only continue the first draft
of our future’s eulogy

But you see I’m not sad, though there are tears streaming down my face
Because, as an angry black woman there’s no time
to cover my face
in black lace
No, there is no time so grave or mourn my brothers’ continuous death
Because as a young Black woman in America,
events like these are a continual stress
A stress that many don’t understand why it doesn’t break us down
Not knowing or realizing that if tears were shed for every life taken down
 a flooded earth is all that would be left to be found

Because as the President finds time to go to this wonderful VT memorial,
He doesn’t know or realize how many memorials he flew over to get there
Memorials in the name of people who look just like me
Memorials of people whose spirits are now free
Free from being rained on by bullet or statistics that have yet to capture me
As the President kills our future in a needless war
it takes one person to kill many for him to acknowledge we need more
What he doesn’t realize is that
if he visited all the memorials that go up and down in our community
he would have no time to do anything else in his presidential seat
So yes I can say it — I am black and I’m proud
But most importantly today I’m an ANGRY BLACK WOMAN who is speaking out loud
Out loud for all those voices that who have been silenced by bullets
Out loud for all the mothers with no more voices
Out loud for all the people who feel they have no choices
Out loud for those intelligent youth who will never be able to enroll in any college courses
Out loud because being an ANGRY BLACK WOMAN doesn’t mean that I’m gonna physically fight
But fight with my brain and spirit until someone sees the light
The light that will bring all this madness to an end
The light that will make you realize that your grieving may end
but the light that will show that when yours ends,
a new chapter in my book of struggles and pain is ready to begin.


Earth Day and Land Sabbath

The Land Must Keep a Sabbath as described in the Holy Bible in Leviticus 25:1-7. It i describes the Land Sabbath. Sowing is not permitted in the seventh year, neither is pruning of the vineyard. You cannot reap nor gather to store up that which grows of itself. Yet you can consume fresh anything that grows of itself for the Sabbath of the land shall be meat for you, your servants, the stranger and the beasts and cattle. It is a year of rest for the land (not for you).

Earth Day – April 22

First, let’s not take more from it then we give back to it.


Second, let’s celebrate its bounty with thanksgiving and not greed.


Third, let’s realize that the Earth has rejuvenating powers if left on its own.


Fourth, let’s remember the ‘Land Sabbath’ wherein the earth was left fallow to rest.


Fifth, enjoy all that nature has to offer and share it with others.


Sixth, reflect on what a marvelous painting the earth provides of colors and wonders.


Seventh, remember we will eventually all return to the earth before our final journey.


Lastly, always worship the Creator and not the creation. 

Submitted: April 21, 2007

Posted by: Cherokee Cloud

Woman Who Sings

Woman Who Sings – Mohawk 

Native Name – Yakon:kwe Raterennotha'



The Nation Votes

The Cherokees are known as a “Nation”, not a tribe, or a band. The fact that the Cherokees are designated a nation indicates that they are an amalgamation of many peoples which have banded together in tribal relationships to form a society, culture, and means of governing themselves.  

As a nation or amalgamation of people, there is no statement possible of who can or cannot be traced as Cherokee. Is the lure for federal funds, loans, housing, education, and medical care so irresistible that a people would begin to disown itself?

Is a few wampum beads, firearms, and jug of alcohol enough to forget the pain and agony that was experienced by the Freedman as they suffered, bled and died on the forced march, The Trail of Tears?  

Now the courts will be sought to arbitrate history and whose version of suffering was legitimate. Well as the elders say, “It keeps you praying”.  

Written by Cherokee Cloud 

Posted March 10, 2007

Last Indian -Wampanoags

DORCAS HONORABLE, WHO today is generally recognized as Nantucket's "Last Indian," died early in 1855. She had outlived by a few months Abram Quary, who died in late 1854. Both had been born in the 1770s, at the time of the American Revolution, a decade after the "Indian sickness" killed 222 of Nantucket's 358 Wampanoags.

Choose Your Friends Wisely

As North America became more populated by the British, French, and colonist the realization that expansion was possible became the emphasis of the French and British realizing that these rich lands provided many opportunities for wealth. This led to disputes about land ownership and occupation.  

The colonist sided with the British along with the Native Americans. The Native Americans were familiar with the land terrain and the best methods of strategic warfare. Thus, their contributions assisted in changing the balance of power in the favor of the Colonists.   

These disputes led to what is known as the French and Indian War from 1754 – 1763. In any war there are winner and losers. Some wars are won through making alliances. This was the case in the French Indian War. The British and Native Americans formed an alliance to fight the French. This alliance proved to be successful for the British, colonist and the Native Americans.  

Later, the British came to war with the American colonist in the American Revolutionary War from 1775 – 1783. In this case the Native Americans allied in most cases with the British as before. But, the British were not successful in the war with the American colonist. So, the Native Americans learned a hard but valuable lesson. The lesson was to choose your friends carefully.  

Written by Cherokee Cloud 

Posted: March 4, 2007

Black Freedmen Seminole Indian

no data

Distant Sun

Distant/Far Sun – Seminole


Native Name – Hopvye Hvse



Interracial Marriage

Interracial marriage occurs when two people of differing races marry. Interracial marriage is defined as exogamy (marrying outside of one's social group). It is seen as miscegenation or the mixing of different races in marriage, living together, or participation in sexual relations.

Fifteenth US Constitution Admendment

On February 3, 1870 Amendment XV (the Fifteenth Amendment) of the United States Constitution was ratified. It provided that governments in the United States may not prevent a citizen from voting because of his race, color, or previous condition of servitude (slavery).

Black History Month

Americans have recognized black history annually since 1926, first as "Negro History Week" and later as "Black History Month." Carter G. Woodson is credited with Black History studies and working to ensure recognition of the Negro accomplishments.

President’s Day and The Founding Fathers

George Washington, born February 22, 1732, was the first president of the United States. He is given the distinction of being one of the ‘Founding Fathers’ of the United States along with Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, John Hancock, Thomas Paine, Roger Sherman, John Jay, James Wilson, and Governeur Morris.


Abraham Lincoln, born February 12, 1809, was the 16th president of the United States and is best recognized for his part in the emancipation of the Africans that were enslaved in the United States. Lincoln was the Civil War president and his noted ‘Gettysburg Address’ went down in history amongst the most important speeches ever made in the United States.


Both of these United States presidents were from the ‘upper South’, Virginia and Kentucky respectively. These locations gave them a view of both the North and the South and most likely shaped their visions of what the United States could achieve politically, economically, agriculturally, and religiously.


As we reflect on the formation of the desperate states that became a world power, let us not forget the original founding fathers, which were Native Americans. They consisted of Chief Joseph, Sitting Bull, Geronimo, and Red Cloud. Remember to read their stories and accomplishments and take pride in how they worked to change history and preserve the Native Americans and indeed all Americans.




Founding Fathers, Chief Joseph, Sitting Bull, Geronimo, Red Cloud
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln,

art by David C. Behrens

Article by Cherokee Cloud 

Written: February 18, 2007

A Brand Plucked from the Fire

After growing up John Wesley and his brother, Charles, came from England to the United States after the death of his father. Charles was made the secretary of Indian Affairs, and John was appointed a missionary.


John’s missionary endeavors were not successful because he was distracted from his efforts and after two years he returned to England. His return to England was providential as he began to envision a method of religion that became Methodism. His plan to be a missionary to the Indians was an initial step to his place in history as the father of the Methodist religion.


Written by Cherokee Cloud

Posted February 12, 2007

John Eliot

John Eliot, who was considered an “Apostle to the Native American”. He pastured the church in Roxbury for 58 years, from 1632 to his death in 1690. He and two other pastors translated the Psalms from Hebrew into English poetry for use in their churches and printed The Bay Psalm Book in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1640. This was the first book ever published in North America. He also translated the Bible into the Algonquin language.

Apostle to the Native Americans

John Eliot felt a Christian call to work with the American Indians. He had a vision that they were calling him to help them by sharing the gospel with them. Through his interest in Indian language and customs, he began to preach to the Indians in the state of Massachusetts.  

The Massachusetts state logo contains a picture of an Indian. The logo initially contained an inscription stating, “Come Help Us” indicating the Indians was requesting help. This inscription was taken from a Holy Bible passage found in Acts 16:9. This inscription recorded the belief that the Natives of Massachusetts were in need of help and this help in John Eliot’s estimation was the help provided by knowledge of the Holy Bible. The inscription was later removed from the Massachusetts logo.  

John Eliot had other notable accomplishments. He started the well-known and academically stringent school, Roxbury Latin. Founded in 1645 it has educated many students through the willingness of John Eliot to envision and bring to reality a school.   

Several churches in Massachusetts are named after John Eliot. In other words these churches include the name Eliot in their church name. John Eliot and his work with the American Indians in Massachusetts to form the “Praying Indians” live on today.  

Article by Cherokee Cloud 

Article posted January 29, 2007

Federal Recognition

To qualify for recognition and assistance from the U.S. federal government or for tribal money and services, Native Americans have not only to belong to a recognized tribal entity but also to qualify as members of that entity. This has taken a number of different forms as each tribal government makes its own rules while the federal government has separate standards in some areas as well. In many cases, this is based on the percentage of Native American blood, or the "blood quanta".

Celebrating Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

His sacrifice allowed everyone that has ever been denied justice to be given access and opportunity for a better life. What makes a person give himself to a cause? What keeps fear abated in order to move forward to take on challenges that are insurmountable?


The answer to both of these questions is belief in a cause that is righteous and thus any sacrifice would be rewarded and the object of the cause achieved. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a man of Christian belief. He knew that his life must be given that others might survive and progress.


His cause was the cause of all people. His victory was a victory of all people. His national holiday a celebration of all people as they acknowledge that without his sacrifice the country would be a hypocritical example of one nation under God and freedom for all.


Let’s reflect on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and see what we can do to keep freedom for all a right and not a privilege!


Written by CherokeeCloud

 Posted January 14, 2007

Without Warning




The Tsunami as felt throughout the Indian Ocean killed over 275,000 people with tens of thousands still missing. Was this enormous earthquake “without warning”?


If it was without warning how did the island indigenous peoples and animals escape injury, death, and destruction. What special human radar did they have to detect such a calamity and move to higher ground shelter?


There is a term called, “a posteriori”. This term refers to the observation of creation and its organized pattern giving witness to the existence of God. This term’s essence is then transferable to the indigenous people’s observation of creation leading to fore-knowledge of an event that is recognized as beyond human control.


It is said that Natives are closer to nature and thus notice the heartbeat of the earth, the seasons, the movement of earth’s creatures (animals, birds, fish, and insects) and gain an understanding of all life in its many forms of existence.


As the Earth groaned under the sea, the heart beat of the Earth exploding was diagnosed and the prognosis deemed fatal. Thus, the indigenous people and animals left at the appointed time escaping the disaster.


Is anything “without warning” or are we just not paying attention?


Written by CherokeeCloud

 Posted December 29, 2006

Native Americans and Christmas

It was within the encounters with the Europeans that the method of celebrating Christmas was accepted by Native Americans. Christmas provides hope for all those that are oppressed. It provides an opportunity to believe is someone greater than you. Native Americans seek both truth and faith and have always been people of belief in the physical and the spiritual. So, for that reason the belief in a savior’s birth was not difficult to grasp and accept.


During this Christmas season a focus on hope is important with gift giving a natural extension of that hope. When a Native looks to a brighter tomorrow, he knows that as he gives to others hope confirms that others will give unto him. In the Cherokee tradition when a gift is received it must be placed on a table in their home and others that enter into their house can take that gift if they so desire. It is in this tradition that possessions are accepted as temporary and only as important as they meet the needs of others.


Written by Cherokee Cloud

 Posted December 26, 2006

Black Red Strength


I look in the mirror and see two peoples

I look in the mirror and see two nations

I look in the mirror and see two prides of life

I look in the mirror and see two arms outstretched

I look in the mirror and see two worlds embraced

I look in the mirror and see  two cultures

I look in the mirror and see strength

What do you see?


Earthtone Colors


My Child, The color of your people is earthtone
various shades of red clay
God thought it only natural
That's why he made you that way

The Creator was your father
Mother Earth gave you birth
Be proud of your skin color
It's the skin of the earth

Some people may chastise you
and make you think it's bad to be black
Might be that they're wishing?
they had your earthtone colors they lack?

For what greater blessing can there be?
Than what the Creator bestowed on us?
Then the beautiful Earthtone colors
When he created us from the dust

CopyRight-1998-Lone Wolf-All Rights reserved

Tribute To Our Ancestors


Black Indian Women
Your native blood is African
Where proud and beautiful Nubians
created Great civilizations

Black Indian Women
your native blood is of this land
Proud and beautiful original people
of many great Nations

There are those who would tell you
to choose one over the other
but that you cannot do
be proud of the blend
because both are you

Black Indian Women
The ancient ones know who you are
They know the Great Spirit has blessed you
as Children of the stars

CopyRight-1998-Lone Wolf-All Rights Reserved

Black Indian, White Indian


Black Indian, White Indian
Sharing a common bond
Sharing an ancestry to which
They both belong

Once separated by skin color
Now one family
Brought together by the red man
to live in harmony

Black Indian,White Indian
Your foreign forefathers
did once collide
Now you both find yourselves
on the same side

Has your hatred disappeared?
Or are you just wearing a shell?
Are you really Indian?
Only time will tell

Will this brotherhoodlast?
Or will it again erode?
Will you walk a crooked path?
Or will you stay on the red road?

CopyRight-1998-lone Wolf-All Rights Reserved

Black Indian

BLACK INDIAN by Lone Wolf(Ray Brooks)

Black Indian, You have a special and unique history.
You were born of the black and the red.
Both of your ancestors suffered the same atrocities and bloodshed.

Black Indian, Both of your peoples spirit
live in the heart of the drum.
They know that the earth,animals and they themselves,are not
separate,but one.

Black Indian, When I see you
my spirits are lifted high.
I know you come from Warriors
from the Great Spirit in the sky.

Black Indian, When I look at you
It's my ancestors that I see
It's like looking in the mirrow
For the Black Indian I see is me.

CopyRight-1998-Lone Wolf-All Rights Reserved

Thanks without the Giving

It is always a great idea to be thankful for what God has given you and this is the true meaning of giving thanks. But, it is the giving that is at times hard to swallow. For it is the holiday of Thanksgiving that reminds Native Americans of how their hospitality and willingness to give was taken for weakness and was later met with disrespect and contempt.  

After helping the Pilgrims to literally survive by providing them with food and “know-how” to raise crops, the Indians were given in return disease and disgrace. It is odd how the oppressed become the oppressor. The oppressed Pilgrims came to the United States –New World for relief from oppression and an opportunity to prosper. It was this goal that made the oppressed Pilgrims became the oppressors of the Indians.  

So, with the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday one must reflect on “Thanks” without the “Giving” or only giving thanks to God, the only one that deserves it. 

Article by Cherokee Cloud

Written for November 12, 2006


Sugarcane use draws upon thoughts of not only how it was used as a sweetener, but how it was used to enslave both African Americans and Native Americans to harvest it. To plow, plant, and harvest sugarcane was hard work. It is for this reason that African Americans and Native Americans were enslaved to provide the labor.  

Sugar cane is one of the less recognized cash crops of slavery. Most people focus on cotton as the major slave crop.  But sugarcane indeed played a part in making slave holders wealthy. It was in Louisiana that cultivation of sugarcane began.  

Today, sugar comes from many sources, sugarcane, beets, and chemical composition sweeteners. But, let’s not forget who the initial sugar harvesters were and how wealth was gained from African American and Native American slave labor.  

Article by CherokeeCloud 

Written November 6, 2006

New Mexico Native Americans

When I mention characteristics I am referring to physical characteristics. The facial features of the Pueblo and Navaho reminded me of African Americans with the exception of some skin coloring differences. It was a reminder to me of the amalgamation of physical appearances that occur in every ethnicity group.  

The Pueblo and Navaho in New Mexico have had interfaces with the Spanish and thus demonstrate some of the Spanish culture to include dress, music, and artistry. The Spanish actually named the Pueblo based on what appeared to be their sedentary lifestyles and living arrangements in stone or adobe group living quarters. The Navaho were less sedentary. They comprise the largest United States Native American tribe in population and land ownership. The Navaho name means, “people with big fields”.  

Both the Pueblo and Navaho reside in New Mexico, Utah, and Arizona. If opportunity presents itself visit these states. But for full immersion of the Pueblo and Navaho culture visit New Mexico. 

Article by CherokeeCloud

Written: October 23, 2006

Indians of the Caribbean

The name Taino means “men of good. The Taino are a subgroup of the Arawakan Indians. Christopher Columbus expressed and observed their beauty and amiable living as his voyage seeking the New World led him to the Caribbean Islands. As he observed the Taino populations and planed to colonize them their ethnicity shifted to be now interwoven with European and African influences and peoples.   

Their original language Arawak and was communicated through the Caribbean and South America. The United States Government insists that the Taino, or Arawak speaking people are extinct, but it is thought that most likely they are simply categorized as Latinas or Spanish speaking people.   

A visit to the Caribbean certainly gives one an idea of the beautiful islands, sun, ocean, climate, and lush greenery with some mountainous ranges that the Taino enjoyed and likewise drew in the other influences that eventually led to their colonization and exploitation in many instances. We today can reflect on their goodness and join in with them as part of our Black Red Roots culture.  

Article by CherokeeCloud 

Written October 14, 2006

Native South American Indians

Who are these aboriginals? They are the original peoples that lived in predominantly the Amazon basin. These indigenous people are mainly the Inca, Mayan and Aztec Natives of South America, and parts of Mexico. They were heavily assimilated by the Spanish and Portuguese that today make up the majority of the population. This assimilation was in the form of colonization and as in North America was not initiated but imposed.  

The Inca, Mayan and Aztec communities were developed and described as consisting as empires. This demonstrates the sophistication of their leadership, communities, technologies, and domiciles. Today there are many artifacts and building ruins that testify to their legacy of highly developed lifestyles. 

Article by CherokeeCloud

Written October 13, 2006

Columbus Day Rediscovered…

John Mohawk of the Seneca in 1992 had the following quote, "Christopher Columbus is a symbol, not of a man, but of imperialism…. Imperialism and colonialism are not something that happened decades ago or generations ago, but they are still happening now with the exploitation of people. … The kind of thing that took place long ago in which people were dispossessed from their land and forced out of subsistence economies and into market economies — those processes are still happening today."   

What is imperialism? It is the practice of one country extending its control over the territory, political system, or economic life of another country. This practice results in a relationship of political, and/or economic, and/or cultural domination and subordination between geographical areas and peoples.  

So, the celebration of Christopher Columbus in 1492 reaching the Americas does not bring celebration to many but calls into question another way of viewing the event and a new reflection and rediscovery of why freedom and economic development for some means enslavement and poverty for others. 

Article by CherokeeCloud

Written October 9, 2006

You Decide…

It is difficult to explain to people that it is important to acknowledge your full self, even when there is no apparent benefit. No casinos to be claimed and no special allotments for diversity. When you think about in the early1800s, people of African Ancestry comprised from an estimated 20% – 33% of the United States population because it was so lucrative to own and breed slaves. Now, in the 21st century, the census of 2004 indicated the population of African Americans was 13.4%.   

Likewise, in the early 1700s and before, Native Americans comprised an estimated 90% of the United States population because Native Americans were its original people, its indigenous population. Now in the 21st century, in the 2004 census Native Americans comprised 1.5% of the United States population.   

When those statistics are reflected upon it becomes apparent why a response of “Whatever… You Decide… and Do Your Thing… Be Who You Want to Be”, is an apathy that cannot be afforded.  

Article by CherokeeCloud 

Written October 2, 2006

Moving Back Home…

The name Creek is not the actual name of the Creek Indians. Their actual name is the Muskogee. They lived as a confederacy or in other words, their tribal configuration consisted of more than one Indian tribe. It is an amalgamation of several tribes.


The Creek Indians have history in the Atlanta area. A number of Creek Indian trails are said to terminate at Buckhead of the Atlanta area. Specifically, what is known as the Peachtree trail ran along the top of the Chattahoochee ridge from near Toccoa to Buckhead, where it divided into branches. One branch continued by way of what is now called the Pace's Ferry and Moore's Mill roads to Standing Peachtree. The other branch led southward from Buckhead across Peachtree Creek and joined the Sandtown trail at Five Points in what is now Atlanta.



Thus, as African Americans move to Georgia, they should reflect if they are moving back to the ancestral place of their Native American heritage.


Article by CherokeeCloud

Written September 27, 2006

Be Aware…

You should ask what the craft object is and what it is used for. Also, ask what tribal affiliation made the craft and does it have symbolic representation and meanings. These questions will allow you to make an informed decision. 

In the Native American culture, as in many other cultures, some of its ancient craft objects are believed to posses powers. These craft objects are generally carved animals which were crafted as fetishes. A fetish is generally a variety of animals which are carved out of wood, bone, glass with the belief that the animal fetish will bestow an attribute to its owner. Some fetishes appear to be positive, for example, deer fetish represents gentleness, and a beaver represents a builder. On the other hand some fetishes appear to be sinister. For example, a snake can represent death, and a raccoon can represent a bandit.  

Also, a fetishes may have several potential meanings some positive and some sinister and it is the craftsman that makes the fetish with a particular intent. Thus, it’s best to ask questions and not make purchases of things your religion would not approve of or that you personally feel uncomfortable with. 

Be aware so that you won’t be sorry… 

Article by CherokeeCloud

Written September 25, 2006


American Indian Heritage Month – November

American Indian Month was proposed and sought after in 1915 by Dr. Arthur C. Parker, a Seneca Indian, who was the director of the Museum of Arts and Science in Rochester, N.Y. Likewise, Black History Month’s origination is accredited to Dr. Carter G. Woodson. Dr. Woodson in 1915 established the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (now called the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History).  

Both men took on very challenging tasks but were inspired by the notion that the contributions of their people must be acknowledged and formally recognized by all peoples of the United States. Both men are great examples of following what their hearts inspired them to do. They were able to garner support and move their visions forward after years of working towards their goals the reality occurred and we celebrate their efforts today. 

Article by CherokeeCloud 

Written September 24, 2006 – Reposted November 20, 2006

Gourd Crafts and Decorations

Gourds are vegetables although most people don’t eat them but instead use them for decorative crafts. To prepare a gourd to be used for decorations there are several steps. They include storing the gourd, drying it out, cleaning it, and decorating it.

To dry out a gourd put some pin holes in the bottom of it and let is sit in a dry area with good air circulation. Once the gourd is dried out it can be cleaned and then decorated.   

How do you know when a gourd is dried out? It is simple. Gourds contain seeds. When you can shake the gourd and hear the seeds rattling inside, the gourd is dry. It will be very firm or tough to the touch. Once this is observed the gourd is dryed out and can be cleaned.   

Cleaning a gourd is accomplished by placing it in water with about a capful of bleach to a gallon of water. The gourd is then scrubbed to remove any mold, or discoloration spots. It is not unusual to see rot on the gourd but this should not discourage you continue to clean it. As the gourd is scrubbed the thin layer of gourd skin is removed. After the cleaning is complete rinse the gourd and let it sit in a dry area.  

Once the gourd is washed, cleaned, and let dry it can be coated with paste wax or painted with acrylic or enamel paint. The painting can include wonderful colors and designs. The gourds are then ready for use or sale as decorative crafts. Gourds make great table decorations for the Fall season.

If you don't want to make your own Gourd crafts they can be purchased in Native American craft stores.

Article by CherokeeCloud 

Written September 23, 2006

The Meaning of Color

For Native Americans the color symbolism is generally as follows with some variation:


Red (Faith): Communication
Yellow (Love): Overcoming challenges through unconditional love
Blue (Intuition): Using intuition to teach and serve
Green (Will): Living willfully
Pink (Creativity): Working
White (Magnetism): Sharing
Purple (Wisdom): Gratitude/healing
Orange (Learning): Kinship
Gray (Honoring): Friendship
Brown (Knowing): Self-discipline
Rose (Seeing): Motivation
Black (Hearing) Harmony; listening
Crystal (Clarity): Wholeness

So, when planning Native American decoration or clothing design, keep these coloring schemes in mind. This is especially important since color can affect one attitude, mood, and disposition. Color can be calming, agitating, welcoming or distant so be sure you are seen in the best color possible.  

So, when planning Native American decoration or clothing design, keep these coloring schemes in mind. This is especially important since color can affect one attitude, mood, and disposition. Color can be calming, agitating, welcoming or distant so be sure you are seen in the best color possible.  

Article by CherokeeCloud

Written September 22, 2006

Dance Shawls

There are many types of Native American dance shawls. The shawls are made of various materials, as well as, decorative items on the shawls. The determination of whether to make or buy a shawl is generally the choice of the woman seeking to wear a dance shawl.   

Making a shawl can be time consuming but it is the best way to appreciate the Native American culture and also design the shawl to reflect ones creativity. Buying a shawl is efficient but generally expensive, because one must pay for someone else’s time, materials, and creativity in making the shawl for sale.  

The best way to obtain a dance shawl is to be “gifted” with one. This is certainly the native tradition. Gifting of a shawl is when someone else makes a shawl and gives it to you as a gift. This is certainly an honor for both the one who gives the shawl and the one that receives it.  

I have seen shawls made of cotton, gabardine, satin, linen, and suede. These shawls are in a variety of colors and adorned with designs, patterns, and pictures. The adornments are generally made of sparkles, metallic, or satin fabrics, and also adorned with shells and beads. Around the edges of the shawls are tassels (fringes). The tassels give the shawl a flowing quality and complete it.  

A shawl is a great way to represent yourself, your tribal affiliation, nature, your family/clan designations, or the particular dance in which you are participating.So, whether you make, purchase, or are gifted with a dance shawl it is an important part of a woman’s clothing appearance at a Pow Wow. Take great care of your shawl and pass it down to the next generation.  

Article by CherokeeCloud 

Written September 21, 2006

Ettiquette for Pow Wow

Although the Pow Wow is seen by Non-Native Americans as entertainment, it provides an opportunity for refreshing and respect of sacred tradition for Native Americans. So, in order to be respectful, etiquette must be observed.


There are many forms of etiquette that must be observed at a Pow Wow. The etiquette includes:


Ask permission before taking pictures of the dancers, native elders or other Native American persons. This demonstrates respect.


Always stand and remove hats when requested for special songs or ceremonies.


Follow the directions of the Pow Wow master of ceremony and other Pow Wow officials.


Never bring alcohol or drugs to a Pow Wow or attend one if intoxicated.


Bring your own seating, such as a lawn chair, because seating and seating areas may be reserved for Native American elders, officials or special guests. A lawn chair is portable and can be moved easily.


If Non-Native Americans are invited to participate in a dance, be sure to respect the head dancer(s), and enter into the dance area by invitation waiting for others to go ahead of you if they are already in the dance area.


Donate to the requests for gifting the elders or donating to special Native American activities.


Lastly, remember you are a guest and must be very respectful of the Native American culture and traditions.


Article by CherokeeCloud

Re-published – April 6, 2007


For Native American men long hair is an indication of wisdom and strength.  For African American men it is a symbol of ethnic pride and non-conformity to the mainstream. But for both in the 21st century it is a symbol of confidence in oneself.  

For Native American women hair in some tribal affiliations was an indication of marital status based on whether the hair was worn long and flowing or in braids. Common braiding styles included one large braid down the back of the head and back, or two braids separated by a part in the center of the head. For African American women hair has always been styled in a variety of ways. Straight, curled, braided, natural, and the list goes on and on.  All of these styles demonstrated the importance and flexibility and freedom African American women demonstrate in their personal styles.  

But for all the concern about hair, both Native American and African Americans it is not what is on the head (i.e. Hair), but what is in the head –knowledge and pride in ones ethnicity and culture.  

Article by CherokeeCloud

Written September 19, 2006

The Myth of Race and Self-Identification

The US Census of 1850 described people by Color. There were 3 choices which included “white”, “black”, or “mulatto”. Mulatto described as a mix of colors. In the US Census of 1880 people were described by 5 choices of Color with the choices, “white”, “black”, “mulatto”, “Chinese”, and “Indian”. As you can see race as described by color was starting to fall apart as a definitive way to determine race.


So, in the US Census of 2000 people were described by both race/ancestry with 14 choices. One of the choices was the option to make up your own race, if you did not believe you fit into one of the choices.


So, what is indicated is that race is a social construct or an invention of society. Race is only legitimate because people agree to behave as if race exists. So, why not agree to a racial makeup of Black-Red ancestry and write that in next time you have an opportunity to self-select your race/ancestry or in the space labeled “other” write in Black Red race/ancestry.


Article by CherokeeCloud

Written September 18, 2006

Perpetual Peace

The introduction to the “Six Nation” treaty speaks of in its introduction the following:


The President of the United States having determined to hold a conference with the Six Nations of Indians, for the purpose of removing from their minds all causes of complaint, and establishing a firm and permanent friendship with them.


This treaty language seeks permanent friendship between the United States and the Nation of Indians. The first article within the treaty states,


“Peace and friendship are hereby firmly established, and shall be perpetual, between the United States and the Six Nations.”


As history reveals peace and friendship in perpetuity did not occur. But, what did occur is the forceful removal of the Native Americans from their land.


We should be careful about declaring Peace for history has given us fair warning that it is easier said then done.


Article by CherokeeCloud

Written September 16, 2006

Let Us Dance…

The dances for Native Americans are distinguished because in many cases the cultural dances are performed as single gender individuals dancing. The men have ceremonial and traditional dances that they perform, and the women have ceremonial and traditional dances they perform. The dance steps and movements are passed down from one generation to the next. The tradition of dancing is generational and expected. Dances are not “fad” dances they last the test of time. The dances include the:


  • War Dance
  • Grass Dance  
  • Men’s Northern Dance
  • Men’s Southern Dance
  • Women’s Northern Dance
  • Women’s Southern Dance
  • Jingle Dress Dance
  • Fancy Shawl Dance
  • Hoop Dance
  • Eagle Dance



Each of these dances is very distinctive with special music, vocal chants, and movement. These are dramatic and beautiful with the accompaniment of special clothes adorned with feathers, headdresses, bells, shells, ribbons, various colorful fabrics and animal skins.  The dance movement along with the sound of drum beats and chants encourages even non-Native Americans sway and move to the drum beats. Non-Native American want to participate in Native American dances. So, there are some dances such as the ‘Round Dance’ that everyone can participate.


So, let us dance…


Article by CherokeeCloud

Written September 13, 2006

Military Service

The Civil War started in 1861 and ended in 1865. The three major reasons for the Civil War were the countries economic control; the balance of free and slave states; and the moral argument of slavery.

After the Civil War the countries economic control would shift to the northern states. The free and slave states would no longer be so clear-cut. Lastly, the morality of slavery was defeated. It was a victory for abolitionist (those opposing slavery), who was mostly in the northern states. It is estimated that 80% of the blacks participating in the Union military forces were formerly slaves.  

But, prior to the Civil War escaped slaves in the late 1830s and early 1840s living with the Seminole Indians in Florida had intermarried and both lived together in community. These slaves were tribal members referred to as Seminole Negroes. The Seminole Negroes were relocated to Indian Country –West (now known as Oklahoma) during the massive Indian Relocation to the West. The Seminole Negroes moved/escaped Indian Country and moved to Mexico. In Mexico because of their great military skills to include hunting, tracking, horse riding, and gunmanship, they served as soldiers in the Mexican Army.

Thus, the Native American and African American have a long history of courage, skill, and military prowess both separately and as a merged people of common ancestry.  


Article by CherokeeCloud

Written September 12, 2006 has over 750 web pages on the African American community. We cover many topics: black history, the civil rights movement, slavery, African American art, to black gospel music. also includes profiles of famous African American historical leaders like: Martin Luther King Jr., Muhammad Ali, Frederick Douglass, and current black celebrities: Michael Jordan, Serena Williams, and many more.

Voting Rights

Although some voting rights were provided for free black men in 1776 if they were living in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, most African Americans were not given the right to vote without hostility until 1965. The hostility took the form of poll taxes, requirements of land ownership, literacy test/voting tests, and threat of physical or economic harm.


The Native American was required to give up their tribal affiliations to gain citizenship and then the right to vote was brought closer. The mandate to give up Native tribal affiliation occurred in 1887 through the Dawes Act. In 1890 the Indian Naturalization Act granted citizenship to Native Americans in an application process similar to immigrant naturalization.


Although, citizenship for the Native American was a pre-requisite to voting it was not a direct and sure guarantee for citizenship or voting. It took the service of Native Americans during World War I to help bring about the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act. The Act granted Native Americans citizenship, but many western states refused to allow them to vote. American Indians were not officially granted the right to vote until the 1924 passage of the American Indian Citizenship Act.


It was in direct response to the Civil Rights movement, that in 1965 the “Voting Rights Act of 1965” was enacted. It banned literacy tests and provided federal enforcement of black voter registration and voting rights. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 is a significant piece of legislation that guaranteed the right to vote to African American citizens.


Voting is a hard-fought right so, let’s use it…


Article by CherokeeCloud

Written September 11, 2006