Who is interested in a Native American Project? [closed]

+31 votes
1.1k views

The Native Americans Project is working to identify and add Native American profiles to WikiTree, weed out the mythological profiles that are already on wikiTree and accurately source existing profiles using traditional tribal narratives and traditional genealogical sources.

Please join us! The Native American Project, associated with The First Peoples Project.

Mags

in The Tree House by Paula J G2G6 Pilot (242k points)
closed by Mags Gaulden
Great idea to organize by tribe, but I agree that the project title (Westward Ho!) isn't appropriate.

Hello Liz,

This is an old post and a lot of changes have occurred since. Like the Native Americans Project and the First Peoples Project. They weren't around when the Westward Ho Project members started finding and identifying Native Americans and adding them to WikiTree.

Did you want to jump in and join the Project?

Mags

Though I joined WikiTree in 2011, I only recently became active and am still learning the ropes.

A month or so ago, I started working on my grandmother's side of the family and have added many Crow Indians.  I think I must be the only Crow on WikiTree.  

I joined the Native American project.  It's the first one I've joined.

My question is what exactly does one do in this project? I'm not quite sure how it works. Are there guidelines.

I have more questions but will wait for the answer to this one which may answer the others.

Thank you.
Paula, apropos the name of the project, admittedly, I am an old lady who grew up calling myself part-American Indian when asked what I was, but as an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe, I am uncomfortable with the term, Native American.  When I hear it I think "what does that make my mother".  Her family arrived here from Europe in the 1600's.  I consider her a native American. And my father who was the Indian in the family is probably rolling over in his grave.  Maybe Indigenous would be better.
Paula, I am an enrolled member of the Crow Tribe and would be interested in helping out with the Crow project.

Hello Frances,

To answer your questions:

What we do in the project is work our own lines adding information and sources to as far back as the sources will carry us. The we work on others within the tribe, or other Native Americans. The Project Page is here with information on how to participate. One of which is adding the Tribe Categories to a profile, like yours. [[Category: Crow Tribe]] Then you will see a list of others with this category with profiles on WikiTree.

Who are you calling an old lady? The name is a name and the most politically correct one for this day and age.

Great to have you join us! I'll get your badge for you in a minute.

Mags

Just set-up a project page for the Crow Tribe Project  if you want to add any resources or information to it. 

Mags

Thanks, Mags! Mags has done an excellent job leading this project. I just wanted to point out the we had initially called the project American Indians but had so many complaints that we changed it to Native Americans, which was the universal suggestion. You would not believe how much work that was so we did not do that lightly.  The comments we had included that it was offensive, and most importantly, inaccurate. Since America was not India, they were never and still aren't Indians. I am only repeating the arguments given. We were happy to name the project whatever was appropriate.

We have had a DNA project liaison since the beginning who is very helpful. The link is on the project page.

The project started as a sub simply because there was so little interest in it at first, which was quite awhile ago. As soon as we gained a few members we converted it to a main project.

Thanks to everyone who is interested in this project!!
I can help some with this Mags.
I live about 36 miles from Choctaw, Ms where the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians is located.
They have a history center there and are generous in assisting with inquiries.
Plus I worked for the tribe for a number of years and my son works for them now as well.
Hopefully I have enough connections to get sources
We might need.

I was going to do a little looking anyway as I ran across a Johnson Pushmataha during the SAT over the weekend and could find nothing on him.
Let me know how I can help.
In researching Johnson Pushmataha I learn that there was a company of Native Ameticans who fought in the CW.

Who knew.....

 Gigi Tanksley  .. Greetings, I welcome any research in regard to the Pushmataha family. I have not been able to find sources to confirm Johnson Pushmataha father and mother. ? 

In regard: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Pushmataha-3

An interesting reference without sources; https://www.geni.com/people/Johnson-Mingo-Pushmataha/6000000013385164107

C'est Bon 

13 Answers

+1 vote
 
Best answer
I would love to be part of this project. My wife and I both have Native American family and would love to research and help. Thank you
by Alex Elliott G2G6 Mach 4 (44.3k points)
selected by Alex Elliott
+12 votes
This would be good.

There could also be some collaboration with the DNA Project.  There are a number of Americans of European and African descent who have Native American mtDNA or Y-DNA who trace their tested direct line back to a particular region dominated by a particular historic Native American ethnic group.  Categorizing each eg "Cherokee mtDNA" "Seminole Y-DNA" will provide academic researchers easy access to the genetic diversity of these ethnic groups. Researchers could also easily see the quality of any documentation (source citations) of ancestral lines.  This kind of information is relatively quite rare because most organized tribes in the U.S. are opposed to genetic testing of their members.
by Peter Roberts G2G6 Pilot (524k points)
reshown by Eric Daly
Thanks Peter! I hadn't thought of that but it would be the perfect collaboration.
Peter, we would need some help with this. Would you be willing to be our expert on the project?
Yes, I would be glad to help with this.
Hi, Peter,

I can't  speak for most American Indian tribes, but I recently looked into having my granddaughter enrolled in our tribe only to find that they require a DNA test.
+6 votes
This will be agreat project we have so many great profiles already added to Wikitree
by Terry Wright G2G6 Pilot (183k points)
+5 votes
Love it! This is definitely an important project that I would love to see move forward.  A few people expressed an interest when I mentioned this post on Facebook too.
by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
+10 votes
The project should be a main one and not a sub. But there is the problem of a name. The American tribes are divided on a top level classification... the younger identify with Native American while theolder prefer American Indian. Either way.... some tribes will not be pleased. I find Native American to be demeaning and A American Indian to be a proud reminder of the tribes trials. Perhaps using Native American Indian Tribes is a good compromise.
by Terri Rick G2G6 Mach 3 (38.2k points)
Could you explain to me why you find Native American demeaning? I am asking seriously. I feel exactly the opposite and my reasoning is that any name containing "indian" is a misnomer that goes all the way back to Columbus' mistaken identification of the people he found on his voyages as 'indian' because he thought he had sailed all the way around the world. Not trying to argue. Just trying to understand.
Brian,  In answer to your question.. NOTE:  This is just MY OPINION and FEELINGS...

   The term Native American was coined during the civil rights movement and was just a label placed on our American Indians to make it politically correct.. just like African American.  They didn't ask the tribes what they wanted to be called - just decided this was politically correct. As such it's demeaning. It strips away the dignity and respect of the American Indian and is designed to make "us" feel better.

   In addition, a Native American is anyone born inside the American borders -- including Central Americans and South Americans.. This is demeaning to our American Indians -- it's like saying they are nothing special.

   These proud people have been called American Indians for hundreds of years - they fought, died and lived as American Indians.  They entered into treaties - which were violated as American Indians. Regardless of the fact that Columbus named them Indians because he thought in was in India -- this is the label they have been referred to for years.  You can't just erase history.

   When a person refers to someone as an American Indian - you know exactly who they are referring to; a mental image of a proud man standing beside or sitting on his horse in full Indian dress. You can picture the feathers in the chiefs headband and know that he is leading braves that are willing to fight and die for their way of life, family and land. This is an American Indian.

   The younger American Indians have grown up being referred to as Native Americans and have been taught they should feel ashamed of their heritage and thus prefer to use the term Native American.  Now the older ancestors - they prefered the label they fought, died and won freedom as: An American Indian.

   I could go on -- but this should provide you the answer.  American Indians were  persecuted, enslaved, abused, violated and yet fought on -- they won their freedom as American Indians - not as Native Americans.  When you use the term American Indian - it puts the country first -- the only people to have their country first.  

   This to me is why Native American is demeaning - it strips away the dignity, reduces the atrocities commited and just serves to make those that did these things feel better.

   In my opinion, American Indians are a Great Pround People and should be given the respect and dignity of being called the term they fought and died as -- regardless of how it makes the rest of us feel.

Terri
All I know is that our current American Indian WikiTree members object to the term American Indian and request to be called Native American and I agree with you completely, they deserve to be called what they wish.
I don't think Brian will mind me pointing out that he is Cherokee and on the Cherokee Counsel of Oklahoma.  He has been extremly helpful to us and I want to say thank you.  Not only has he lent his own personal opinion and expertise, but has questioned his friends and family about these issues on our behalf.  Thank you, Brian!
I am not on the Council. Wanted to make that clear. I am a registered tribal member, work for the tribe and was born and raised in the capitol here in Tahlequah. My twin brother is a cultural and language teacher here at the local high school and I consult him on lots of questions because he knows many traditional Cherokees and people who discuss these types of issues. He has assured me that no Cherokee that he knows views the term Native American as an insult as long as there is room left to differentiate between tribes and we aren't all lumped together and only classified as Native American.
So sorry Brian! I should have been more careful! But I am grateful for your help and the advice of your brother.

As I said, Terri and I are in complete agreement.  You should be called what you wish, nothing else.

Thanks again for your prompt answers to my endless questions and for your patience as we strive to get this project up so that it will be something you can feel good about.
Terry Rick,

Thank you so much for saying that.  I agree 100%. The term native American is very offensive to me and you will never find me calling myself that when referring to my Indian heritage.
Brian Wagnon, native American is also a misnomer.  Everyone who was born in America is a native American, especially today when there are so many people who were not born here and have become American citizens. They are American.  My mother who was born here would have been a native American.
I am pretty sure the name has been set as far as the project for a while. I gave my two cents on it 2 or 3 years ago. Maybe Paula can revisit the naming, but I am not sure there wouldn't be objections to whatever it was called. In Canada the say First Nations, but that doesn't really encompass the whole group either. The best way to classify tribes is by the tribes name since there is so much diversity. As far as naming the whole project, I gave my preference after asking other folks I know if Native Americans was offensive in any way. If others are offended by it then you may want to contact the people running the project. I am not really interested in arguing about it. I was asked for my opinion and I gave it. I am not sure that if both are misnomers that one is any better than the other.

I realize this is an old thread but I would particularly like the people who responded in this thread to join a new conversation.  There is a proposal to attempt to find a replacement name for "Native Americans Project". 

https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/1027617/rename-native-americans-project-should-official-wikitree

It's clear that both "American Indian" and "Native American" are both preferred and offensive.  We seek a name that will work for all.  Your thoughts on the subject are welcome and encouraged on that other thread.  Thank you. 

+12 votes
I am for this. As an ancestor of Cherokees who were forcibly removed to the West, the candor of the Westward Ho name doesn't really fit with forced removal or the tribes who never moved west (or were already on the west). I don't have any issue with "Native American" as the project name and I have never heard anyone (before this discussion) say they liked American Indian better. "Indian" is a misnomer thst comes all the way from Columbus and I think it should be avoided as a descriptor or part of a descriptor for a project.
by Brian Wagnon G2G6 (8.3k points)
+11 votes
We need a main project for the Native American Indians. Yes, thats the name I would go with to please everyone.

Under it should go the Westward Ho Indians and the Descendents of Pocahontas project.

collaborating with the DNA project can be a mixed blessing. As Ive heard that often times tribal dna is not found despite proven heritage.

I also would like a project based on those who actually walked the Trail of Tears.
by M M G2G6 (7.5k points)
I'm excited to see a project like this!

 

I agree with the statement that the DNA collaboration could be a mixed blessing.  I'm giving DNA tests to my parents for Christmas this year and am curious as to what the results will show.  My father is a registered Chickasaw Tribal member from a very well documented and easily traced line, but that same lineage hails from a well known "mixed blood" family.  My Mother is a registered Choctaw Tribal member and her GG-Grandfather was a non indian who was accepted into the tribe before their removal in the 1830's.

It's possible we have very little actual indian blood, but I am a registered tribal member along with both of my parents.

I second the motion for a project based on the Trail of Tears as I have Two sets of GG-Grandparents who walked it.
I am also interested in the Native American project.
+5 votes
It would a interesting project, Im not a hundred percent sure if I would have a subproject every tribe or would have it broken up regionally tribes of the Desert Southwest , High Plains etc.
by Matt Pryber G2G6 Mach 4 (48.6k points)
Yes I have thought that myself. The request from our Native Ameucan members is by tribe which makes sense. For example, Cherokee are in Oklahoma and North Carolina.
By tribe would be my definite preference. There is so much diversity even within the regions that by tribe would be the best. We don't have to try to list every tribe right off the bat, but rather add the ones we know profiles exist for and then add new ones as we discover profiles who need a new tribe added.
I'm not as knowledgable as you, Brian, but from the little I know I agree with you. We have already been setting up the subproject by tribe and it will be easy to convert tribal pages to subproject pages.
+5 votes
I like the idea. I'm not an expert on this, but I did find one ancestor who married an indian, and Fort Wayne history includes people who were adopted by indians or married into Indian tribes.
by Shirley Davis G2G6 Mach 3 (35.6k points)
+8 votes
I would be willing to help with a native american / Indian whichever it gets called project.
by Matt Pryber G2G6 Mach 4 (48.6k points)
+1 vote
I would love to be a part of this project! My grandma always told our family that she grew up on a reservation in OK and that my great grandfather was a tribal chief, though I have never been able to prove that. I still enjoy the research and would love to help out if needed!
by Danielle Beaumont G2G1 (1k points)
+1 vote
I would like to join the Native American Project and get a badge. I have relative on my mother side that is a Part Cherokee. I would like to do the Cherokee Tribe Project.
by Anonymous Barnett G2G6 Pilot (463k points)
edited by Anonymous Barnett
0 votes
I would love to be a part of this project
by Alex Elliott G2G6 Mach 4 (44.3k points)

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