The first time I heard the term apple was when my brother told me about it. ” An apple is a person that is red on the outside and white on the inside; and that is what they call us.” Who are they,I thought, and why do they get to decide who or what I am? I’ve always struggled with who I am. Now that I am married and looking to have children I have had to consider where I come from and what traditions and cultures I would like to pass on to my children.
I grew up with out my mother, my connection to my culture. My father is the son of an political refugee from the Hungarian Revolution and an English Irish mix. He made every attempt to raise me with knowledge of my culture, but you cannot teach what you do not know. I grew up in Southern Ohio. Not a terrible place. I lived less than 15 minutes from the famous race riots of Cincinnati. I was tormented when I was little because of how different I looked from those around me. I have always been aware of the differences that people create between themselves. I’ve always struggled to feel like I was part of the world around me. I have been told I am not white enough to be white; and red enough to be a “real” Indian.
I’ve decided that no one can tell me I am not Indian enough. I am who I am. I read once that mixed blood persons feel like they spend their life with their foot half in doors to opposing worlds. A person should not have to choose which world they live in; which singular door they walk through. I choose both.
Why this post? There are a lot of mixed blood and unrecognized Indians out in the world that are made to feel like they are less because they don’t meet official blood quantum laws, weren’t raised on a reservation, or raised culturally traditional. If the culture of the First Nations is to thrive then we need to show that we are inclusive. I cannot count how many times I have seen “I am only half but…” or ” I am not a true Native American because I am not full-blooded..” or the like.
The Arab Springs used social media to revolt against the tyranny that oppressed them. Obviously there was a lot of blood, tears, and the like involved. However, social media enabled them to connect, mobilize, and reach their dream. With that precedent, I hope to use social media to spread awareness about Indian, Native, Indigenous, First Nation issues. I hope that you will join me on this journey.