Mark Rogers: Many claim Native ancestry just for material gain

Cher in a fake headdress. Her claim to Native ancestry goes back to the 1970s. Photo from Metro

Mark Rogers explores the reasons why so many people claim Native ancestry:
The title is paraphrased from a comic bit from the legendary Paul Mooney. He actually said "Everyone wants to be Black but, no one wants to be Black." By that he meant that people from other cultures like to take bits and pieces from Black culture but don't want the experience of being part of that culture. I think it applies to Native culture today more than ever and it is worth asking the question, why?

One reason is buying into the fantasy. Some people see Native culture as a quick and easy path to a spirituality that is lacking in their own lives. The old way was to recognize the spirit world and those who lived within it as coexisting with this world all of the time. This is a foreign concept to those who are taught to commune with the spirits only on certain days under the direction of a priest or pastor in a fixed place of worship. People like this seek to mimic ceremony and ritual but, still miss the point that one can live along side the spirit world constantly. In the end, they are just going through the motions and not lending respect where it is due.

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Mark Rogers: Everyone Wants to Be an Indian, But Nobody Wants to Be an Indian (Indian Country Today 7/3)

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