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

AfricanAmericans.com

AfricanAmericans.com 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. AfricanAmericans.com 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

Civil Rights Movement and the American Indian Movement

Each of these movements knew that they were necessary for the survival of a people. The great religious leader, and social activist, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., stated, “how can a man ride your back unless it is bent”. Well both the CRM and the AIM had a vision to remove the heavy loads of mistreatment from the backs of African Americans and Native Americans and their generations to come.  

The history of both the CRM and AIM demonstrates their ability to repeatedly bring successful law suits against the federal government for the protection of the rights of African American and Native American peoples. These rights guaranteed for Native Americans by treaties, and rights of sovereignty. These rights for both Native Americans and African Americans as guaranteed in the United States Constitution, and laws.   

Each movement had a religious/spiritual, social, and civic force that moved them forward. Each movement is alive and well today in many forms and through the missions of many organizations. AIM states that, “the work goes on because the need goes on”. 

Article by CherokeeCloud

 

Written September 10, 2006

North American Indigenous Games

The North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) is a celebration of sport and culture for North American Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island (North America). It is recognized by the Aboriginal Peoples and Governments of Canada and Tribal nations from the U.S.

Native American Sports Council

The Native American Sports Council (NASC) provides opportunities for sports recognition and exposure. The NASC conducts community based multi-sport programs which encourage healthful community participation and provide assistance to Native American Olympic hopefuls.

African American Program Studies

African American studies have expanded beyond the mention of African American contributions during the February Black History month. Educators are being trained to incorporate the history of the African American into main stream history. In many instances the history of the African American is missing or distorted from American History and thus it is necessary to bring a focus and clarity. A starting point at African Antiquity is sought rather than a starting point at African Slavery. This new starting point brings pride and appreciation for the African American.

  

When a diverse history is taught everyone benefits and “common ground” is found. This common ground leads to a striving for a higher ground of appreciation of a pluralistic society.

  

Article by CherokeeCloud

Written September 9, 2006

Native American Studies Programs

Native American Studies, as an academic discipline, examines the contemporary and ancient experiences and ways of life of the first Americans. This is done from a Native American perspective. The curriculum is designed to provide a study of American Indians from a holistic and humanistic viewpoint by focusing upon Native American cultural, historical, and contemporary life.   

The areas of concentration include studies with the granting of certificates, diplomas, and bachelor, master, and doctorate degrees. Student’s learn Indian Policy and Law, American Indian Art, American Indian Religion, American Indian Literature, American Indian Education, American Indian Oral Literature, Federal Indian Law, Survey of Indian Languages, Native American Educational Issues, American Indian Women in American Society, The American Indian Political Experience, American Indian Poetry and Fiction, Indians Through Film and Television, American Indian History, Roots of Indian Tradition, Contemporary Issues, American Indian Identity, Environmental Management, and Special Study.

 

Participating in a Native American Studies Program is a great way to learn about your heritage and also received a formal education in an area of importance. It will help you to advocate for important Native causes.

 

  

Article by CherokeeCloud

Written September 8, 2006

The Need for Healing: Post 911

There have been many events of great tragedy in the United States history, but the 911 tragedy did not make a distinction between race, gender, ethnic group or culture. All suffered when family members, relatives, friends and acquaintances perished or were tragically affected. Thus, it is a time when healing five years later is still needed.

  

Statistics indicate that the number of victims from the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the Pennsylvania crash site totaled 3,047. The gender of 5 victims and the race of 139 victims were unknown. Males constituted 2,303 victims (75.6 percent) and females made up the remaining 739 (24.3 percent). Of the total victims, 2,435 (79.9 percent) were white, 286 (9.4 percent) were black, and 187 (6.1 percent) were of other races.

  

It is believed that 3 were Native American or Alaskan Native victims and 286 were African American. But we weep and have a spirit of sorrow for all that perished.

   

Take an opportunity to reflect and pray for healing for yourself and others.

  

Article by CherokeeCloud

Written September 7, 2006