Monday, June 4, 2012

Being Native

Today, I thought I'd give you a little glimpse into my background.
Don't let my blonde haired, blue eyed daughter fool you...
Although I am a mutt of sorts...who isnt?
The majority of my blood runs native.
My mother was raised on an Indian reservation in northern Wisconsin.
My dad was raised in a small town in northern Michigan.
However both have chippewa blood.
Because the chippewa is dominant on mainly Momma's side of the family,
I am a member of an Ojibwe tribe called Lac Courte Oreilles, 
as are my three children.
I remember going to a pow wow several years ago when my oldest son
was a baby, and a big VERY INDIAN man, with the braids and all,
pretty much how you would imagine him to be, 
said to me, "That boy an indian? That's the whitest indian I've ever seen" 
with a big smile on his face. Loved it!
Until last year, I was always merely I spectator at the pow wows we attended,
joining in for only the "all tribes" dancing, in which they invited all people
to come dance on the pow wow arena.
Naturally I was beyond thrilled when my extremely talented cousin, Lydia, 
pictured with me below (don't let her red hair fool you, she was born and raised on the 
reservation too) made me this beautiful Jingle Dress...
and I was able to dance my first pow wow.

Honor The Earth 2011

While I don't embrace the religious side of many native americans,
nor do I pretend to have majored in history of any kind 
(including native american history), I absolutely have some native pride. 
I love my culture, my heritage, and I hugely love my people.
A few years ago, I was at a festival where there was a tent set up 
and there were Native Americans dancing and speaking about how they 
used their dance to tell the story of God's love, the true "great spirit."
They talked about Native Americans in many parts being largely 
held captive by tradgedy, suicide, alcoholism, & poverty.
I remember sitting there trying to hold back the tears, 
as my mind played over the numbers of memories of hurting people I had known,
or known about... and realized not only did we need restoration in 
the natural sense, but needed God to touch and bring healing to these people.

Isn't Leila the cutest little blonde native ever? =)

My heart has always been for missions. missions in a foreign land.
(someday I will tell that story and show those pictures)
however, many times we forget that our own world we live in,
our own family, our own city, our own culture is the biggest
and greatest mission field of all...
because those are the people we relate with most, we know & live their story.
It's easy to have a big heart for people that need love, 
yet sometimes forget the people around us need it just as bad.

Below is a video from my first pow wow. Last summer...


Allison Coomes said...

wow! Everything about this post is beautiful-it's so easy to forget that our primary mission field is our day to day-).
as always, thanks for the encouraging words!

TicoTina said...

very cool seeing more into your native roots! I was really surprised so many of the dresses were shiny material - definitely not what's stereotypical in my brain, lol.

also, I have a tiny crush on Wesley for our daughter Maeve... David and I are both firstborns so I might not be tooo worried about their personalities clashing. hmmmm, what do you think about arranged marriage, LOL!

Kerrie said...

how fun!

Tigerlilly Quinn said...

this looks like so much fun! x

No(dot dot)el said...

Really I find it so amazing the heritage you have. I read a book called Daughters Of a A Copper Woman a few years back and it gave me a whole new appreciation for Native Americans. What a gift to be able to still participate in something like this. I remember in college one of the main concerns in our history was the loss of languages from Native Americans. Do you speak any other native tongue. I find Native American culture to be so beautiful and inspiring. They were truly "green" before it was a thing, and well these pics are amazing. Thanks for sharing them.

Lucy McCracken said...

That is so amazing! I love how you value and are proud of your heritage. Your little girl IS the cutest native ever. :) I do agree with you so much about how people always put the emphasis on doing Missions outside the US while in our own backyard there are people who are hungry for God's love and for much needed help. It's so wonderful that you are so involved. I love it :)

Kelly said...

I love that you shared this. I think it is so important to know where you come from and to share it with your children. Love!

Elisabeth said...

these pictures are fabulous - love how your three children (even if they are blonde) are a part of this with you :) and that dress is fantastic!

Mikki said...

Very interesting post. I love learning about cultures and backgrounds different from my own.

Thanks for joiing Flock Together last week. I am now your happy GFC follower!

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

I have a little Native American on both sides of my family, although it's such a small amount that I always tell people the only thing I get from it is a darker skin tone. But I love the culture, it's so fun to learn about it. And I'll bet this is a pretty unique post as far as the blog world goes.

Yay for being proud of your culture!

Kelly said...

You are SO beautiful girl!!! I am so happy I met you through this blog world!!!

Girls Love Fried Pickles said...

My grandmother was native american and my grandfather norweigen. I have an aunt and uncle that were dark hair, dark eyed and dark skin. My mom and other uncle were blond hair and blue eyed. It was so hard to explain growing up.

Oh, I did a pow pow and then my son was born 8 months later.

Maria said...

amazing, julie! thank you so much for sharing about your heritage. i loved the, your cousins and daughter are beautiful...i love all the detail and color in your clothing.

i always look forward to your posts!! <3
hope you have a wonderful tuesday!

AW said...

Oh wow. Thanks for letting us into your cultural background! This looks like a fun family experience and such beautiful traditions to be handed down to your children =)

Kim said...

Lovely photos. My grandmother was half Cherokee so I have indian blood.

Annie said...

I love this! I'm half-Hispanic and I loved growing up biculturally. I'm sure you did and that your kids will too! I love this glimpse into your heritage!

ginanorma said...

Julie, I love this! I had no idea you were native, that is such an interesting story...I adore native american's you want to talk obsessed, I totally have this special place in my heart for them, it's always been there and I don't know why...
I support this school in South Dakota, it's an indian school and they send me thank-you's all the time and I just adore them.

i just find the history so fascinating and I'm glad you are ought to be, it's a beautiful thing, i see the native in you actually now that you mention it, so beautiful. thanks for sharing this with us!!! oh, I love that dress too, really cool photos!

Anonymous said...

this is such a beautiful, colorful, wonderful post. lovely in every way. i love how you capture what has always been in my heart about helping those here. thanks.

be forever lovely

Dalayna Dillon said...

So inspiring. Praise God that we can use distorted truth to tell about the real truth. So happy that God has burdened your heart for your people. I have quite a bit of Native American heritage in my family, but sadly I know nothing about the culture, but I have heard the great ways that people are reaching out and God is transforming the lives of Native Americans all of the nation. Thank you so much for sharing. I feel like this culture is so overlooked, they need to be brought back into the spotlights.

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