“How Much Indian Blood”

In Massachusetts we are having a great debate about “Native American Blood” As we face an election for Senator Kennedy’s seat between the substitute Senator Scott Brown, elected in a special election two years ago and non- politician, Elizabeth Warren. But it does not seem to be educating the public about Native Americans about any important historical or present day political issues.

“How Much Indian Blood”
My 31 year old niece is 1/16 Apache, but to look at her you’d never know it and we only found out a few years ago when her father was on his death bed. Her great grand parents might have also had good reason to have been ashamed of that fact. Indian blood at those times, like other non-white blood, could be very detrimental to your standing in a community. In such situations there is no reliable paper trail. I believe Elizabeth Warren’s story and I know that Native Americans are very sensitive to the issue of “how much Indian blood”. It is a culturally internal and divisive debate that anglos need tread lightly getting involved in.
I would ask: Who would act more to the benefit of neglected Native Americans on desperately poor reservations? Who would understand the failed history of U.S. and Native American relations and the economic unfairness that it has created? Who knows that all Indians are not benefiting from “Casino Indians”?

Bob Smith
“Minimum Wage Art”

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