Opinion: My Indian and American ancestry

"I somehow grew up with a mentality that the distinction among Caucasians and their origins was of little or no importance to me.

However, being half Comanche, part Yakama and a quarter Caucasian, I also always thought that disregarding the white blood in me was impossible.

I get so many inquiries pertaining to my physical appearance. If one were to pass me on the street, one would have no inkling that I am American Indian. Therefore, I feel obligated to tell anyone I meet, in our introductory conversations, no matter how irrelevant, " ... and also, I'm Indian."

Whether I tell those I meet that I'm American Indian because they wouldn't know otherwise, or for fear they may say something offensive pertaining to Indians, I don't know.

Growing up, for a while I thought maybe I was some rare strain of albino that did allow some sort of pigmentation of the skin, but not enough to give me the same tawny skin and thick black hair as my younger sister. I suppose the simple truth would be that I just didn't inherit those traits.

What did I inherit? Light skin, (naturally) light brown hair and green eyes."

Get the Story:
Ancestors contribute to green-eyed Indian (The Yakima Herald-Republic 11/14)