I Wonder Why?

So many people are cherokee Indian. I'm Cherokee and so are lot's of other people I know but you never really hear about people being other types of Native American. I knew one guy who was part Lakota but other than that I only here of Cherokee. Does anyone know why Cherokee Indian's are so mixed up in other ethnic groups?

SuzieQZ SuzieQZ
18-21, F
3 Responses Mar 17, 2009

I agree with LunarPanda, this was also the story from my family. I've also read that many white women were captured by the native americans (not so sure about which tribes, maybe all of them) and made wives or slaves, hence, the mixing of the blood. There are books of the Trail of Tears, which is the story about the Cherokee movement to Oklahoma. Its an extremely sad story, but worth reading.

As for other tribes, it depends on where you live. You should remember that many of the tribes that first helped the white settlers in New England and on the East Coast were almost eradicated by war, disease and violence by 1800. Some totally disappeared. It was somewhat different in Canada. Many white people intermarried with various Canadian tribes from the beginning and developed aparticular ethnicity called Metis that still exists today. There was always some racism, but not as bad as in the US. In the Southwest, many of the tribes such as Comanches, Apaches, Pueblo, and many others intermarried extensively with the Spanish and Mexicans that moved into their lands. Often the Hispanics were considered second class citizens also, so the racism was not as extreme as among the more "civilzed" white invaders. It's a pretty complicated package to totally understand.

Go and maybe read some Cherokee history and you will understand better. As a civilized tribe that lived in towns, had a govt, an alphabet, and farmed a lot, early Cherokees were not as threatened by the coming of white people. (they maybe should have been in light of what happened later, but at first they were very accepting. Many, many Cherokees (male and female) married whites and incorprated them into their culture, and in turn were absorbed into much of white culture in the SE US.Often in the early records, race was not mentioned on birth certificates, marriage licenses, etc. For a while it was not considered a disgrace to be part Cherokee and part white among certain areas. Cherokees were good, stable, productive, law-abiding, educated citizens. As the desire for land increased, as well as greed and racism, some white people decided that Cherokees had too much valuable property and wouldn't give it up or sell. By about 1820, the campaign to force them out and take their property became overwhelming (a gold rush in Cherokee land made it worse!) The federal govt esp under Andrew Jackson developed a very racist and hateful policy to take their land away and send them West. Many great leaders were hal-white or more and tried to prevent this, some by leaving voluntarily, some by fighting. The female Cherokees who had married were gnerall allowed to stay with their white families and were eventually absorbed into the white culture with just legends of Grandma being an Indian all that was left. By this time, 1835 or so, it suddenly became a disgrace to have native blood, no matter what kind, and people quite even talking about it. But their descendants are spread over most of the South and into Texas and Oklahoma. This is what happened in my family anyway.