Finding My American Indian DNA

Looking for truth in family lore

american indian wigwam
Perhaps my American Indian ancestors lived in a wigwam

For as long as I can remember the paternal branch of my family tree has related the story of our American Indian heritage. I have always been told that my Great-Grandfather was from an indigenous culture. The mystery, for myself and my father, has always been “what native culture do we belong to?”. Even my paternal Grandmother didn’t know for sure. She traveled to Oklahoma several times, hoping to find the answers.

You might be asking, “Why didn’t she just ask her father?” Well, he was secretive about his heritage. He rarely mentioned his past and even then he was guarded. Typically, he would have a looser tongue after ingesting a great amount of whiskey but even then he would clam up if questioned too much. He did relate that his father told him to stay away from the reservations, they were not good for the people. For a long time we believed that he had run away from a reservation, but now I wonder. We do know that he was terrified that if he told, even his children, where his people were that he would be forced to go back.

For years, my father and I have tried to unravel the mystery. Dad felt certain that our heritage belonged to the Pottawatomie. That never clicked with me, it just didn’t feel right. After years of searching and contemplating, I have been pretty convinced that we probably belong to the Ojibwe family. Well, until recently, that is.


Test Your DNA
dna kit

DNA Confirms American Indian Ancestry

So, just before Christmas the dna testing went on sale. I decided that would be a perfect gift for my father. Just before I hit the button to place the order, I decided, “Oh what the heck, just order two!” The test kits arrived very quickly and I couldn’t wait to get the ball rolling. I went ahead and spit into the tube of one kit and saved the other to give to Dad. My results are back; we are still waiting for Dad’s.

Turns out that the family legend has truth in it. Dad was wrong about the Pottawatomie and I was wrong about being Ojibwe. From the results it looks like we are most likely from the Apache culture. From the area on the map that shows our dna matches it just about has to be correct. There were connections in southwest New Mexico, northwest Texas and the Durango and Chihuahua regions of Mexico. Researching the specific areas on the map found that one culture was common to all of those areas, the Apache. Certainly there were other indigenous peoples in all of those areas but the only one that was in all of them were the Apaches.

I still want to narrow it down further to find out which band of Apache my ancestors belonged to. It could be Lipan, Mescalero or Jicarilla from what I have found so far. I am kind of leaning closer to Mescalero than the others. As for Great-Grandpa escaping a reservation, it might be more sinister than that. He would have been a child when the Apache were moved to reservations. It is extremely possible that he was one of the children who was taken from their family to be adopted by a Caucasian family. That would explain a lot! For one thing why he had a very European name and the other is that there are no records that I have found for him until the day that he married my Great-Grandmother. My search has been narrowed down by a considerable amount.

I will end this post for today but plan to visit the topic again as I find answers to my true American Indian DNA.

 

Ghost Dance 2018 Calendar

Native American Spiritual Calendar

Ghost Dance 2018 Wall Calendar

At a time when Native American nations across America faced destruction, the Ghost Dance religion sprang forth to offer hope. It was in the late 1800s that the spiritual connections with the dance began.  The authorities at the time completely misunderstood the Ghost Dance which wasn’t anything new, they completely misunderstood most of anything that the Native People lived by. Because of the misguided understanding there was a  massacre of Sioux men, women, and children at Wounded Knee in 1890. Artist, J D Challenger, gives us some remarkable paintings in this calendar that just might renew the bonds of strength and dignity of the Native Americans to their most important history.

ghost dance calendar
Ghost Dance Wall Calendar

Features:

  • Format: Standard Wall
  • Size Closed: 13 3/4 inches by 10 3/4 inches
  • Size Opened: 27 3/4 inches by 10 3/4 inches
  • Grid Size: Medium Rectangle
  • Binding: Stapled
  • Time Span: 12 month +4
  • Publisher: Tide-Mark


Back cover of Ghost Dance Calendar

The Ghost Dance period had its beginnnings with the Paiute “Prophet” Wovoka and spread quickly through the Plains tribes and beyond.


Inside Page Of Calendar

The paintings of JD Challenger tell a story if you look at them closely. A story of a People, the First Peoples of North America, that has a rich heritage and an even richer tradition.

You can pre-order this Native American Calendar celebrating the Ghost Dance with shipping expected to begin around May 31, 2017.

White Hawk Visits With A Sacred Message

White Hawk Flies In For A Visit

In the not too distant past one of my friends was visited by a red-tailed hawk and she asked me to help her with understanding what the visit might mean. Actually, it is more interesting than just a hawk coming into her view. You see, the red-tailed hawk was unique, it was white! That is correct, an albino hawk! Naturally he got her attention. It would get mine, too. I actually got goosebumps as she related the encounter and asked if she would mind if I shared her amazing journey with this unique bird once I had meditated on what it might mean. The image below is not the bird my friend encountered but I wanted you to see what a white hawk might look like. It was found at wikimedia commons.

white hawk

The Hawk, the mouse and the crow

First, let’s look at the event itself. My friend was riding in the car with her husband and a large white bird came into her view. At first glance, she thought it was a seagull but since those are not birds in her area she looked closer. Brother Hawk wanted her to see him because he flew next to the car for some distance. First in front of the car and then next to the window where she was sitting. She was the passenger so it would have been on her right side. She was traveling north on a road that eventually connects two states. Brother Hawk flew alongside the car long enough that her husband was also able to see the bird clearly, even though he was driving. She said she thought of me and wanted to ask me what a white hawk meant.

What you don’t know from this story, so far, is that my friend identifies strongly with Sister Mouse. In fact for the longest time, I did not know her real name; I only knew her as Sylvestermouse (Miss Mouse for short). She said that as the hawk was flying next to the car; she joked with her husband that the hawk was hunting her down. (Hawks eat mice, you know.) Oh, I believe he was hunting her that day but not as prey; as the recipient of a message. You should also know that her birth totem is the Raven/Crow. I feel that she is stronger in crow medicine than raven and I have felt that about her for a long time.

Clues From The White Hawk encounter

As with any visit from a totem or spirit animal there is always more to it than just the visit by the animal, itself. Whether the spirit animal shows itself in the physical realm (as in Miss Mouse’s visit) or in a dream or vision there are additional clues as to the message or lesson for we humans to hear or learn. The special clues or signs that I see in this visit from the hawk are:

  • Crow birth totem
  • Strong identity with Mouse totem
  • Hawk totem visits as a white bird
  • Traveling north
  • Right side
  • The number 2

OK, so now let’s look at what might give us some clarity in her visit. Her birth totem is the Crow. Crow medicine is strong and spiritual. Crow people are the keepers of the sacred laws. She has a powerful  identity with the Mouse totem. Mouse medicine is one of scrutiny. With her mouse medicine she will be able to use her “whiskers” to scrutinize the situation before her and see exactly what is being presented and take the proper action.

She is visited by a red-tailed hawk which typically means that one is being alerted to watch the signs for a message. Hawk comes to us when something important is about to be revealed to us. It doesn’t surprise me that the hawk would come to her as she was born under a moon that is governed by air. What makes this visit even more special is that the hawk was white. Any white creature is considered sacred because of the rarity of them in nature. By the bird being an albino, I feel that not only is Miss Mouse getting a message but the message is one of a high spiritual nature…a sacred message, if you will. White is the color of purity and truth.

Miss Mouse and the bird were traveling north. This is significant, also! When we are in the land of the north winds we are in a place where we receive wise council. It is the place in the medicine wheel for wisdom and experience and it’s color in the wheel is white! The North is the place where we are reminded to be grateful for every blessing of every day.

The white hawk flew alongside Miss Mouse on her right side. Our right sides are the place in our souls that carry our courage and our warrior spirits. When we receive messages from the right it is from our Father-protector. Sounds pretty sacred to me.

And finally, the number 2. We see the number twice in this encounter. There were two people in the car traveling on a road that connects 2 states. Two is a feminine number. It is the number of balance and beckons us to summon our natural power of judgement to do what is best for our souls. Two is also a number for partnerships, connections, and communication.

In my humble opinion, I believe that Miss Mouse is about to receive (if she hasn’t already) a most powerful message that pertains to her own spirituality. She will gain some sort of knowledge that will help her to grow even stronger in her faith. It will be a most divine message. Brother Hawk has arrived in his sacred color of white to say, “Be alert, watch the signs something very important is about to be revealed.”

 

Native American Powwow

Celebrating The Native American Powwow

Powwow Deluxe 2018 Wall Calendar
from: Calendars.com

The Native American Plains Tribes have gathered together since the 1800s to celebrate their rich heritage in a ceremony called the Powwow. This tradition has continued into to today’s culture with an emphasis on the spiritual and also competitive dancing. Brilliantly colorful photographs from Chris Roberts decorate this calendar for 2017. The photos share the tradition and captures the energy of the dancers who proudly preserve their ancestral traditions.

pow wow calendar
Pow Wow Wall Calendar

FEATURES:

  • Format: Standard Wall
  • Size Closed: 13 3/4 inches by 10 3/4 inches
  • Size Opened: 27 1/2 inches by 10 3/4 inches
  • Grid Size: Medium Rectangle
  •  Binding: Stapled
  • Time Span: 12 month +4
  • Publisher: Tide-Mark

The word pow-wow or powwow is derived from a Narrangansett word meaning “spiritual leader”. The modern powwows include both Native and non-Native peoples who come together to socialize, sing, and dance. Mostly it is a time to honor the cultures of the Native American Peoples and their rich history on the North American continent.

Customers can pre-order the Powwow 2018 Calendar now with shipment expected to begin around May 31, 2017.

Ancient Civilizations

Southwest Ancestors Calendar

In the region of the United States now called the Southwest the Elders who came before us found that if they climbed the heights of a mesa alive with green trees that it would make a good place to live. That was around 550 A.D. These ancestors a plateau that was rich with water, soil, and wood to aide in survival. Over the course of some 800 years the mesa became the site of countless thriving villages that in today’s world would even be considered cities, at least some were that large. Mysteriously around 1300 A.D. the People left the lands behind but they left an extraordinary architectural and cultural heritage. This lovely wall calendar for 2013 celebrates the legacy left to us and the preservation of the sites.

ancient civilizations
Ancient Civilizations Wall Calendar

FEATURES:

  • Format is Standard Wall
  • Size when closed is 10 3/4 inches by 13 3/4 inches
  • Size when opened is 21 1/2 inches by 13 3/4 inches
  • Grid Size is Medium Rectangle
  • Binding is Stapled
  • Time Span is 12 month +4
  • Published by Tide-Mark


Back Cover of Ancient Civilizations of the Southwest 2018 Wall Calendar

Shipping for this 2018 calendar begins after May 31, 2017. Customers can place a pre-order now, however.