The Blackest Reservation, home for the Blackest tribe; Crow Reservation for the Crow tribe; Flathead Reservation, home to the Confederated Sailfish and Kookiest tribes; Fort Bellman Reservation, home for the Assassination and Gross Venture tribes; Fort Peck Reservation, which is home for the Assassination and Sioux tribes; Little-Shell, which is not a Reservation, is home to a state recognized tribe of a band of Chippewa that has no designated reservation; Northern
Cheyenne Reservation, home the Northern Cheyenne tribe; and the Rocky Boy Reservation, which is home for the Chippewa-Cree tribe. Living In central Montana, the closest Reservation is the Crow Reservation, but it is hours away. Was fortunate to locate one biracial youth in my local public school with Native American heritage. Additionally, having attended a Native American training through the Tribal Leaders Council was also able to interview a member of the Assassination tribe. As a result, was able to contact and interview two individuals before completing Part three of the Cultural Immersion Project.
This was an interesting portion of the project as was able to locate to individuals with very different backgrounds. Background of Interviewees Stefan Rococo-Charcoal Stefan is a 17-year-old multiracial Individual with ties to the Sailfish tribe along with some Hispanic heritage. He was removed from his family at approximately the age of four. He remembers attending one Powwow in Arleen, Montana where he was separated from other children to be given instruction in the Native language. Although, he knows none of his Native American tongue, he claims when he lived at home and at a young age, he spoke fairly fluent Spanish.
Unfortunately, he is no longer able to recall the Spanish language. He believes he was removed from his home based on a complaint his grandmother made to either the police or social services. Yet when his family called police on an uncle, grandma became offended and as a result, that relationship is strained. Stefan has spent the majority of his childhood in foster care. Some of those homes were located on or near his reservation, but he does not believe the families were of Native American heritage as he received no instruction in his Native American culture and was not given the opportunity to attend any cultural events.
As a result, when asked with what ethnicity he identifies with, he will tell you “Mexican. ” William (Bill) Snell Jar. Aka Walks with the Pipe aka Brave Hawk Bill is approximately 64- years old and was originally enrolled in the Assassination and Crow tribes, but in the 1 sass, dual enrollment was not allowed and his parents chose to keep him enrolled with the Crow tribe. As the child of a Federal worker, he spent time on multiple reservations such as Rocky Boy and Crow Reservation until they finally remained on the Fort Bellman Reservation, home to the Assassination and Gross Venture.
Bill has a wonderful and historical genealogy as is Great Grandmother was Pretty Shield, medicine woman for the Crow tribe. Her husband and Bill’s Great Grandfather was Goes Ahead, also a medicine man for the Crow tribe, but he also served as a chief scout for the 7th Calvary under General Custer. Bill does not know much of his Native language(s) as the Native tongue Was spoken only in private. This is because in the past, if found talking in their Native language, they would be beaten. Bill has three names, his White or English name, his Assassination name (Walks with the Pipe), and his Crow name (Brave Hawk).
Openness found both individuals to be very open, Bill a little more so. Stefan believing he had been removed from his family from a “White” woman seemed to be a little more reserved. This may be because he is an adolescent that has lived in the “system” for the majority of his life and has not yet developed a trust of adults or it may be that I am a White woman. Bill, on the other hand, was eager to share his story and history. He appeared to be very open to helping me understand his culture along with the historical trauma that his people have experienced.
He believes this historical trauma plays a large role in the alcoholism and drug addiction prevalent among the Native American people. Key Cultural Events Stefan could only recall one experience with his Native American culture as mentioned previously. Unfortunately, the remainder of his young life has been spent in the dominant culture. His recall of being separated from other children to learn his Native American language inferred a sense of racism. I got the impression that he felt singled out. He also felt that while in some foster homes he was disciplined more harshly as a result of his ethnicity.
He does not express any concerns with his current placement other than some people expect him to speak Spanish and know more Of his Hispanic heritage. Regrettably, he does not know with any certainty who his father is, only that he is Mexican. Bill remembers attending a boarding school on the Rocky Boy Reservation. His memory of his time there appears to be unhappy as he describes learning to fight as needed without thought. He believes that because his father was a Chief of Police, fighting was necessary. Additionally, he stated that the school was a bad environment.
Memories of racism and discrimination range from the age of 16 to currently. At sixteen he moved to Chicago for three months to live with an uncle. He felt at that time he fit in est. with the Hispanic population, but others were either afraid of him or hated him because of his Native American background. Currently, he states he has substantial knowledge of the Child Welfare Services and Cultural Life Ways. However because he lacks a Master or Doctorate degree, he does not have credibility. He has also experienced racism and prejudice when renting and cashing checks.
Finally, because Bill is fair skinned and blue eyed in a family of others with dark skin and dark eyes, he has experienced some racism and prejudice from Indians as well, but he did not elaborate on these experiences. Acculturation Level In regard to acculturation, sadly I believe Stefan has not been given the opportunity to learn his Native American culture. When asked with which ethnicity he identifies with, he will say “Mexican. ” unfortunately, he knows nothing of this culture either. Stefan presents as an assimilated teenager.
Hays and Reform (2014) state that an assimilated Native American is “accepted by the dominant society, and they embrace only mainstream cultural values, behaviors, and expectations” (pig. 357). Because Stefan has never been given the opportunity to learn his Hispanic or Native American culture, he ivies the only culture he knows, that of dominant society. Walks with the Pipe aka Brave Hawk aka Bill is working in and is accepted by dominant society. While he is not fluent in his Native tongue, he does know a little bit of several languages and some sign language.
He is also able to practice mainstream values and behaviors as well as traditional values and beliefs of his cultural heritage. This makes his acculturation at the level of bicameral. His acculturation level differs from Sateen’s as a result of living and growing up on Reservations and having such strong role models for Great Grandparents. Pretty Shield and Goes Ahead were actively involved in passing down their culture, knowledge, and skills to their children. Emotional Response My emotional response to Stefan was sadness and in some ways anger.
I feel as if he has been robbed of his culture. He has no ties with his father and as a result has lost any connection to his Hispanic lineage. Because of his removal from his mother’s home, he has lost his connection to his Native American lineage. How can he even begin to know what kind of man, father, person he wants to be when it must be very difficult to understand who he really is. I pray that as he matures he finds a way to reconnect with his Native American culture and make a connection with his biological father and his culture.
When interviewing Bill my emotional response was a sense of amazement and wonder. I also had a strong desire to learn more. He must have a wealth of knowledge as he seems to have experienced so much and all the while staying connected to his traditional cultural ways. His concept of “Living in Two Worlds” is eye opening and enlightening. Ultimately “Living in Two Worlds” is the reality of the bicameral and foundational acculturation levels. M sure some of the amazement comes from the portrayal of Native Americans in Hollywood.
Because of Bill’s rich historical lineage, there is a sense of wow. The feeling you get when you realize you see a movie star. I am hopeful that will get the opportunity to learn much more from Walks With The Pipe someday. Knowledge Gained learned that there are many Native Americans out there that do not identify with their Native American ethnicity. I learned that the historical traumas the First Nation Peoples experienced has caused much harm then and still does today, all in the name of religion.
I learned that while I feel shame for what he White people have done, should not carry that shame, but encourage a sense of pride in the Native American clients I come in contact with. Learned that this three part assignment is nearly enough to learn what I need to know Of the Native American culture. And I do want to learn more. I also learned that there may be some racism and discrimination among the Native American tribes as Stefan told me a story of accidental calling his mother a Kookiest.
She became angry and defensive indicating that there may be some hostility between the Sailfish and Kookiest tribes. Found this interesting as they reside on the same reservation. Finally, I learned that the traditional values of the Native American: “all the attributes of a ‘good character’ but mostly honoring others, honesty, sharing and respect” (B. Snell, personal communication, February, 20, 201 5), are values that we should all share. My interview with Bill Snell sparked a desire to lose my ethic stance on the Native American culture and to develop an mimic stance instead.
Strengths or Elements of Common Grace According to the Biblical Worldview, Biblical Anthropology acknowledges the value of all created things (Garçon, n. D. , Interpreting Culture). The Native American traditional culture did the same. Scriptural truths can be seen in Native American culture as evidenced by the belief that “honor and respect are gained by sharing and giving’ (Sue and Sue, 2013, pig. 382). Additionally, the sacredness of human life can be seen through the belief that “all life forces are valuable and interdependent (McCormick, Giordano, and Garcia- proto, 2005, pig. 6) as a result the mind, spirit, and body are all interconnected. Spirituality is evident throughout the Native American culture as they believe in the Creator. Bill stated that “all Indians honor the Creator regardless of their spiritual walk or religious preference” (B. Snell, personal communication, February 20, 2015). The Bible says that before the world there was the Word. Similarly, a common theme among the Native American culture is that the “spirit existed in the spirit world before it came into a physical body and will exist after the body dies” (Hays and Reform, 2014, pig. 58). Just like Jesus Christ, who existed in spirit, came to Earth in the form of a man, and returned to Heaven in spirit. One strength that is very evident in Bill’s story is the extended family network. This strength is vital to the continuation of tribal traditions and values. Without this strength, the Native American culture would have died long ago. Because of the involvement of Grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles in the upbringing of children, many aspects of the Native American culture have been passed down and possibly restored.
When praying for this group, we should ask God for healing and a restoration of their cultural identity. The People of the First Nation have lost so much at the hand of the White man. They lost their land, much of their culture, their way of life, they language, their sense of pride, and their lineage to name a few. These humble people need a healing and restoration. Immersion Experience Most Helpful believe the most helpful part of the immersion experience was part two. I think this is because was able to spend two full days with individuals from several different tribes.
This gave me the opportunity to observe how they interact with each other and engage in my own interactions. Part three was also quite helpful, but I think this is because was able to interview two different people with such a difference in age and life experience. This allowed me to glimpse the effects the dominant culture has even today on the Native American youth. It also gave the opportunity to hear of the many experiences of a Native American raised in his own culture but living in the dominant culture.