Category Archives: Native

Who qualifies to represent themselves as Native?

Okmulgee mounds in the ancestral homelands of the Mvskoke people long before Europeans arrive

Who qualifies to speak for the Native people?

I’ll be the 1st to admit, I’m fortunate enough to have unbroken Native descent. My Mother’s birth certificate says Indian right on it. My Grandmother who was alive for half my life, is on the Dawes rolls. I had much in person contact with her.

That said, my Mother and Grandmother weren’t exactly running around with ‘I’m an Indian’ t-shirts and braids in their hair. Considering what residential schools, gov’t policies, and general population attitudes did to my family, this is understandable in my opinion.

Most of my direct family are Mvskoke citizens. I have many cousins as well. I am from a large and well known Native family in my Nation. Last I looked, my Nation was the 4th largest in the US, about 100k citizens. It has a lineal descent requirement, not blood quantum.

Like my Native Nation, I do not believe in blood quantum, though mine is about median. There are about 2000 full bloods left and my blood quantum is higher than more than half my Native Nation.

I believe strongly in lineal descent

I’m fully confident I am Native and have no insecurities about this.

I don’t care if someone has a 200 yr break since their last ‘fully Native’ ancestor.

I don’t care if their blood quantum is nearly non-existent.

I don’t care what ‘race’, color or phenotype a Native is.

I don’t care if a Native’s culture & language is lost or unknown.

FYI: Culture and language is SUPER important however, and I fully encourage immersion in culture and language education.

I stand with Native Nation determination of who is Native, and who isn’t.

When I disagree, like for instance, I disagree with my Nation’s current determination of Freedmen, my primary focus is on voting and influencing my Native Nation, not Twitter or others.

I do not believe in self-identity

If someone can only self identify, or only has family lore to go on, they need to stand down, and shut up. They need successful research before they identify as Native. Period.

FYI: I believe DNA means zero.

All the above said, I am an individual Native. I am mostly in listening and learning mode, and I share what I can as an individual.

As the elder of my direct family, much of what I share on social media is primarily for my descendants.

My beliefs on who qualifies as a Native are NOT the same as who I believe should be representing Natives publicly as leaders, spokespeople, teachers, writing books, participating in panels, running large social media accounts, etc.

These positions have a higher threshold.

These are the 2 big questions:

1. Who qualifies to represent themselves as Native?
2. Who qualifies to speak for the Native People?

My opinions are obvious from the above tweets. I will add, neither Natives nor Native spokespeople should be expressing opinions with disinformation, false facts, bullying, control freaky, immaturity or anything less than adult respect and behavior.

As always, internal Native issues are for Natives, not non-Natives, allies or not.

We really need to be adults and find common ground to be civil with each other.


This post is a slightly edited version of this original thread on Twitter:

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National Hockey League is Mostly White People

The NHL Chicago Blackhawks Hockey Team is Racist

The National Hockey League is mostly white people but conveniently does not keep statistics on the percentages of ethnicities in the league. According to the NHL Wiki article Race and Ethnicity in the NHL “The NHL is composed of 93% of players who designate themselves as white“. USA Today says the NHL is “97 percent white and beyond“.

Considering their embarrassingly high degree of whiteness, it may be that the NHL and in particular the NHL Chicago Blackhawks will be among the last of racist sports teams to give up their unabashed racist ways.

Imagine a mostly white hockey team named after an Indigenous African warrior, with Black stereotyped mascotry and logos. Imagine fans in blackface and made up tribal markings screaming various white imaginations of African war behavior.

Sounds horrific, right?

Yet change African to Native and Black to Red, and this is perfectly fine with almost all white people

Many of those perfectly fine white people would be very angry and pout for extended periods if you dare suggest they are at best upholding, sustaining and financing racism, or at worst are just plain racist.

BBBut but but Black Lives Matter, I’m not racist in the slightest degree.
Yes. You. Are. If you buy, use and wear racist sports clothes and swag, if you watch and finance racist sports games and broadcasts, you are deep in racist doo doo. The NHL Chicago Blackhawks alone received $178 million in 2019/2020 season revenue – you pay that.

My brother-in-law is part Native and he is OK with this.
Yeah yeah yeah, 36% of surveyed Americans thinks they have Native ancestry when less than 3% actually do. There is also no such thing as part-Native. Part-Native is an immediate red-flag to bullsh*t. You are either 100% or zero percent.

My great-great-Grandmother was a Cherokee princess and I’m OK with this.
<Face-palm> There is no such thing as a Cherokee princess.

This honors Natives.
No, it does not.

Sports teams donate to Native charities, and finance/improve museum exhibitions.
Great but you can’t buy your way out of racism. No person or organization has the right to benefit and justify harm to others.

You Natives are making me feel bad for enjoying my favorite, legal and wholesome sports.
Good! Recognition of your white fragility is probably the first step towards eradicating racism.

This is what happens when you lose a war, spoils go to the victors.
OK, you’re a full-blown racist, go away.

Come on allies, get with it

Do I need to go on? No, I do not, the evidence is substantial. Google it if you doubt my words. Educate yourself. Mascotry and stereotyping Natives IS harmful. It IS horribly disrespectful of living people. If you OK with it, you ARE being racist.

You know I’m right. It’s OK, I get it. This is America, built with the blood, labor and land of Indigenous peoples world-wide. And still building and profiting. Everything you have been taught from birth to this moment has been reinforcing these wrongs. You can’t stop the world, but you can stop you. You can stop spending your time and money on racist sports and have more influence than your electoral votes.

Don’t be offended, just think about it and deal with it.


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Colonizer governments are bad

But just wait…

Worldwide, fascist leadership is corrupting and taking over governments.

In the United States, the Republican Party – fully infected by Trump-ism, is now conflating conservatism and fascism. Do your homework, read the news. This is not something I conjured up, it is a fact. The Democratic Party slightly recognizes the danger, but still refuses to flex the full power of law to stop it.

“U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the House minority whip, said in a Fox News appearance Sunday that “it’s interesting to see that Europe is leading the way by throwing out socialists with conservatives—and great bold conservative women like Meloni and [U.K. Prime Minister Liz] Truss.”
“We need to bring that kind of conservatism to the United States,” Scalise added.”

GOP celebrations over the rise of fascism in Europe

This is the #1 threat to Native and Indigenous people.

Native Nation sovereignty and enforcing treaties, which are very important to me, will be the least of our troubles. Yet a minority of Natives, like many average people, support the Republican Party against their own interests.

Don’t sleep through this one, you’ll be sorry!

Do not wait until fascists corrupt more laws and legislatures than they already have. Do not wait until fascists win more elections than they already have. Your life may depend on it. This may sound radical but history says otherwise.


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2022 DNA #2 of my Native and Jewish Heritage

DNA is definitely a mixture of science and art

Geographic region percentages and even the geographic regions themselves can and do change over time. Presumably they are increasing in accuracy but who knows.

*** Reminder, you cannot claim Native heritage or gain Native Nation citizenship on the basis of DNA results. See my other DNA posts for more information.

If you look through any of my earlier DNA posts (Thoughts for Descendants & 2019 DNA, Cultural reflections on whiteness & my new 2021 DNA, The 2022 DNA of my Native and Jewish Heritage), you will see my DNA ethnicity estimates have changed quite a bit over the years.

DNA is dependable for rock-solid pinpointing of relatives though. I’ve connected with many cousins, mostly Native, but some Jewish. 2 cousins that are siblings even share both Native and Jewish heritage with me, that really blew my mind. This is something that never would have been known, if it were not for DNA.

Twice this year, revised my DNA ethnicity estimates as their science and sample sets improved. This post’s header image and the following list are from their 2nd 2022 ethnicity estimate.

  • European Jewish 28%
  • Sweden & Denmark 16%
  • England & Northwestern Europe 13%
  • Germanic Europe 10%
  • Scotland 10%
  • Indigenous Americas-North 9%
  • Ireland 4%
  • Norway 3%
  • Indigenous Americas-Mexico 2%
  • Wales 2%
  • Senegal 1%
  • Ivory Coast & Ghana 1%
  • Nigeria 1%

This year began detailing my DNA even further and split it into maternal and paternal sections

Ok that’s it for now folks.


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The 2022 DNA of my Native and Jewish Heritage

Be sure to see newer version of this post:
2022 DNA #2 of my Native and Jewish Heritage

DNA has absolutely zero to do with being Native and Jewish

For starters, it is super important to state that DNA has absolutely zero to do with being Native and Jewish. It does not make you a Native or a Jew.

My Indigenous heritage and Native Nation citizenship derive solely from my Native Mother. My Mvskoke ancestry goes straight through her, to my Grandmother, to my Great-Grandmother and Great-Grandfather, and to many many ancestors all the way back to time immemorial.

My Jewish heritage is from my Father and my Orthodox conversion, since being Jewish is determined by unbroken matrilineal descent or conversion. My descent is straight line but patrilineal for a couple generations and beyond that also goes back to time immemorial.

DNA can be interesting though

When I was a young child, my Mom told me I was a mutt, and my DNA sure proves her 100% correct, ha! So far, roughly once a year, revises my DNA ethnicity estimates as the science and sample sizes improves. This post’s header image and the following list are from their 2022 ethnicity estimate.

  • European Jewish 28%
  • Sweden & Denmark 18%
  • England & Northwestern Europe 18%
  • Ireland 10%
  • Indigenous Americas-North 9%
  • Germanic Europe 9%
  • Norway 4%
  • Senegal 1%
  • Ivory Coast & Ghana 1%
  • Nigeria 1%
  • Indigenous Americas-Yucatan Peninsula 1%

This year detailed my DNA even further and split it into maternal and paternal sections

Ok that’s it for now folks.


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I am Native, I am Mvskoke

Delegates from 34 Native Nations at the Creek Council House in Indian Territory, now called Oklahoma, 1880

We Are Native because We Are

These are present tense statements. Our connections to our Native Nations and Native communities are current. They are not something in the past or the distant past. They exist now.

I am Mvskoke because my mother Mona Lee Smith Rothschild is. She is Mvskoke because her mother Leola May Berryhill Smith, my grandmother is. My grandmother is Mvskoke because her mother, my great grandmother Jeanetta May Grayson Berryhill is, and because her father, my great grandfather Pleasant Luther Berryhill is, and ad infinitum.

It is the same thing with my next door neighbors. They are Cherokee because their father is. He is Cherokee because his father, their grandfather is. He is Cherokee because his father, their great grandfather is and so on through numerous great grandfathers and great grandmothers.

My children are Mvskoke because I am. My grandchildren are Mvskoke because their mother is. And so the future will go on further.

None of us are alone either. I come from a large family and I believe my neighbors do as well. I have many 1st and 2nd cousins either reconnecting or in most cases never left the embrace of our Tribal Nation.

All of us have great responsibilities to learn, grow, and teach others, now and in future generations. In person, remote, and digitally documented. Digitize, digitize! Speak it, show it, write it, type it, scan it, photograph it, video it and share it all.

Waking up from the effects of genocide

This is what genocide, colonialism, and assimilation do. They disconnect survivors from our Native Nations and Native communities. They turn our collective focus and growth into scattered individuals with no connections rather than nourishing vibrant communities; rather than connecting citizenry of Native Nations that existed for tens of thousands of years at minimum, way before the United States or Canada. They slowly and sometimes invisibly burn our Native Nations and Native communities down to nothing or next to nothing.

Our ancestors are not prehistoric people either

I saw on Twitter today a post where a skull was found in a construction site in Oklahoma and of course, it was a prehistoric skull. Just one example of the relentless, uncountable and never ending dehumanizing minimization of Native lives. History didn’t start in North America when white colonizers came. Geesh.

We are whole and not fractional people

Colonizers of course, did everything they could to kill every Native in North America. When all was nearly done and colonizers were coveting the final pieces of Native land, they invented blood quantum. To this day Native peoples are categorized by the government as to what fraction of a whole Native they are. No other group have their ‘pedigree’ measured. Yet we are human beings, not dogs or horses; we are never a partial person. Still, colonizers think nothing of minimizing our humanity and of reducing our Native being to inevitable mathematical disappearance.

Truth be told, there are only 2 valid measurements of Indigeneity, either 100% or 0%. There is no in-between or fractional state. A person is either all Native or they are not Native at all. Native Nations and Native communities decide who is Native, not colonizer governments or non-Native people.

Thank the Creator

Our Nations have woken up. There is a great return and indwelling of citizens back to the Native Nations and Native communities. Thank you Creator.

Yes, there is much work to do, but I do believe the future is bright for Natives, Native Nations and Native communities.


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Cultural reflections on whiteness & my new 2021 DNA

A few major changes, now on 3 continents instead of 4 revises periodically their DNA ethnicity estimations as their science advances and DNA databases grow. Their previous estimate was calculated in August 2020 which is in this post. I do think this is improved and it also matches my children’s DNA better.

Gone are the South American Indigenous groups and Mexican Indigenous was further refined to Yucatan Peninsula Indigenous. Note my Indigenous heritage from my maternal grandmother also includes the African, which is now 3 country groups and some portion of English, Scottish and/or Irish likely.

European Jewish is still my largest group coming from one grandparent, as my paternal grandfather was my only unmixed grandparent.

England & Northwestern Europe follow a close 2nd with all 3 other grandparents contributing to in varying degrees probably, but mostly my maternal grandfather.

Sweden & Denmark increased a lot, which I believe is part of my paternal grandmother’s Dutch heritage along with Norway and Germanic Europe.

  • European Jewish 28%
  • England & Northwestern Europe 27%
  • Sweden & Denmark 12%
  • Indigenous Americas-North 9%
  • Ireland 8%
  • Norway 4%
  • Germanic Europe 4%
  • Scotland 3%
  • Indigenous Americas-Yucatan Peninsula 2%
  • Nigeria 1%
  • Mali 1%
  • Senegal 1%

DNA is very interesting I think, but it doesn’t necessarily speak to the culture(s) one is, is raised within or claims you

Many people think of culture as language, music, dress, political and social behavior etc., which is true but culture also speaks to the values and thought processes one is taught.

My values and thought processes were taught to me mostly by my Indigenous mother, who was taught by her Indigenous mother, who was taught by her Indigenous mother and so on… Most Native tribes are matriarchal and the maternal nature and direction of my Indigeneity is impossible to ignore. Being Mvskoke is a strong and dominant part of me.

Likewise, my Jewish father was taught by his Jewish father, who was taught by his Jewish father and so on and the patriarchal nature of the Jewish culture were passed to me in a strong fashion. The religion of Judaism is validated maternally, which is why I had an Orthodox conversion in adulthood, but there is no doubt in my mind the Jewish culture is patriarchal.

None of this is to dismiss my European heritages, but for me the dominant cultures of each of my parents burn the brightest. No doubt it took me many years to organize my upbringing into understanding the cultural influences, but at this point I clearly see it.

The white Christian American (European derived) culture is something just not in me. For a long time I didn’t understand why I didn’t fit into (American) life. Now I know.

White Christian American culture & society thinks it is the neutral, & that other cultural standards & behavior fall short

It thinks other cultures aren’t civilized, up to the modern state of advancement or even G-d blessed state that white Christian American culture and society is.

This view is 100% false.

Much of white Christian American interaction with other cultures is about measuring and changing people to follow white standards. Assimilation can be subtle or as forceful as at gunpoint.

White Christian American culture and society, being the designer of race says that skin color is the ultimate determining measure of value.

This is also completely false.

There are a quite a few facets to this but I’m going to discuss one: Light skinned or white passing people of other cultures. It is a clear fact that light skinned or white passing people of other cultures benefit or at least do not suffer exactly the same as darker skinned peoples under white racial structures. But bear with me and learn. This is adjacent knowledge not replacement knowledge to the fact that the darker your skin is, the more you suffer under whiteness.

Skin color is just the art of G-d in the garden of humanity

It has no real value differentiation. Essentially it is decoration and meaningless. However, under the white construct of race, white people have turned it to their cruel and dominating advantage. Many people are square pegs trying to fit into a white round hole.

Going forward, when I say white, just insert ‘white Christian American (European derived)’. Strongly replace your vision of skin color with culture and values.

Regardless of appearance under the false and made up white racial structures, Native and Jewish cultures (to name just two) are not white cultures.

Regardless of varying degrees of assimilation or awareness, I am not a white person. My children and grandchildren are not white people. My parents and grandparents were not white people. We don’t act or think like white people.

This is why Jews say to themselves “oy, goy” with that common understanding and head shake, because Jews do not think like white people.

This is why even white passing Natives will call you a colonizer, settler or a white person. Not just because you are, but because white people have a thought process that isn’t the neutral they think it is and clearly one of its own culture, that is not shared by Natives.

In my own life and others, I can think of many clashes and harms due to this white misunderstanding of other cultures, regardless of the level of a Jewish or Native person’s enlightenment.

ALL government, law, business and social structures are controlled by and polluted with false white viewpoints.

Whether white people know it or not, according to their own limited or non-existent standard of understanding… from the building you live in… to your workplace… all the way to even the world stage… and probably soon even outer space, non-white cultures are getting the short end of the stick, period.

Only YOU can change this by equalizing the ruling, power and economic structures now. Not when it meets white standards, but now. Not when you think it’s right, had enough white meetings, prayer or whatever, but now.

Food for your thoughts.

And that’s it for now, stay tuned for more.


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Christianity is not what it thinks it is

Genocide, murder, kidnapping, torture, abuse, rape, enslavement, theft, dishonesty & more are the dominant attributes of Christianity. Inextricably linked to the ruling empires of whiteness since at least the 4th century ce, Christianity’s sins have towered immeasurably over those it chose to evangelize & “civilize”.

And this is still the situation today.

Many people would put Christianity in the headline and sub-headline in scare quotes as though they weren’t true, but this is my point, they are true.

This post is not a pre-1492 or post-1492 history lesson, so keep in mind if I write about something as though it were a fact, it is because it is a fact. If you do not know the facts, you need to go back to the books. There is plenty of well documented, scholarly and non-propagandized history accessible to the general public. We live in an age of shared knowledge and communication which are the medicines breaking the false hierarchies.

This post is not a theology lesson either, so if what you think are basic tenets of the Christian religion don’t align with what I’m saying, you need to go back to the book. It would be understandable if you thought the Christian Testament was a tool of colonialism and other horrors, because it has been used that way, but again read the book in its full context. Maybe this is the wrong time to let your pastor tell you what the Bible says and means.

You will find there is no biblical support for the combined actions of the European descended colonizer governments and churches in the Americas (North, Central and South) or Africa and other locations.

Murder is murder, theft is theft and lies are lies.

You can’t attack a people, kill their families, steal everything they have, and then lie to yourself and others that their (self-defense) justified your actions.

The entire North, Central and South Americas belong to the Indigenous of the Americas. The Indigenous were doing just fine before 1492, and no Indigenous people attacked Europe and any other lands that were not their own. Anything else that happened was purely instigated by and the results including all future results are owned fully by the European colonizers and their descendants.

Ditto, the Indigenous peoples of Africa were minding their own business in their own continent, when European colonizers invaded their lands and started stealing their lands and resources, as well as selling their people internationally.

Christian colonizers think keeping what you steal is OK

This is big. This is a concept that permeates Christian thinking today from MAGA to Progressive in even the most mundane ways. Rarely is restitution or restorative thinking a part of justice. Every excuse in the book gets pulled out.

Even worse, colonizers think murdering and stealing human beings, and all their possessions has no consequence for white people but BIPOC can rot in the graves or prisons for defensive actions. The self-deceitful enormity and variety of this goofy thinking is mind-boggling and can be worked into all kinds of action avoidance and intellectual mumbo-jumbo.

It might be convenient for murdering thieves and their descendants to think it was a long time ago, or that they didn’t personally do those things but those are just Christian criminal rationalizations for their continued enjoyment of ill-gotten gains. Do you think those excuses would deter the US Government from seizing the assets of a mafioso’s family or a drug lord’s?

If I steal your wallet and it has $1000 in it, when I get caught, are you OK that I bought my kid an iPhone with my ill-gotten gains, and that my kid should keep it with no remuneration to you? Spin in all the circles of self-deceit you want, it’s stolen property, there was no legitimacy from the get go.

Forgiveness is one thing…
and the we are all broken mantra is another

But nowhere did Jesus say when you steal something, you and your descendants get to keep it and all appreciations if you get caught or held to a righteous standard. The Mormons might have alluded to this, but nowhere in the Christian Testament did Jesus say skin color is a measure of value and evil and that white is the best of both. Nowhere does Jesus say you can kill people that don’t believe as you do or are in the way of some land you covet. Manifest Destiny is a lie, the Doctrine of Discovery is the crazy rambling of a man (and system) that thinks he is the sole telephone system with G-d. All of this nonsense needs to be filed right next to the flat earth and falling off the edges nonsense.

In recent months watching reactions and actions (or lack of them) to over 1500 dead indigenous children that could scale to over 100,000 dead indigenous children, along with the denial and lack of cooperation from supposedly godly people really turned out to be a knowledge blessing for me.

Christianity sucks. Denial of this is the most anti-spiritual thing you can do. Seriously people, is your god so small that they need your help hiding and minimizing crimes against humanity? If you love G-d, let it rip people! G-d will joy in your embrace of the truth and justice. G-d takes no joy in your silence over crimes in “The Church”. Imagine Jesus staying silent as he toured the country and witnessed corruption in organized religion, its leaders and the people who followed them…

Yet your average American Christian acts like it’s sinful to criticize crimes in “The Church”.

You can’t put new wine in old wineskins

I spent at least 45 years of my adult life trying to figure out how to best fix the inequitable American political system. Vote, protest, vote, protest… crickets. Finally fully embracing my own Native heritage, engaged in 2 way relationship with my Tribal Nation, and plugged into the pain and joy of my Indigenous relatives across the Western Hemisphere, the light-bulb turned on.

You can’t fix what was designed and maintained as broken on purpose. The 2 party system, the Democratic/Republican Party, the Democratic Socialists of America, or even full on Socialism or Communism or any other colonizer construct will not fix the American Empire. Christianity of any kind will not be the guiding light in a governmental sense, ever.

At the pace of change (currently backwards), you’d be lucky if 500 or a 1000 years from now that prosperity would be respectful and equitable. More than likely, the best you’d get, even then, is keep voting, this is the election that will change everything… Yeah right…

The land and sovereignty of North, Central and South America have to go back to the Indigenous. All of it.

Ditto for the treasures and extraction wealth. Additionally, BIPOC peoples need reparations. It doesn’t matter if the governments of the Western Hemisphere go bankrupt in the processes. It wasn’t theirs to begin with.

One thing totally missing from the colonized criminalized Christian mindset is you just can’t keep moving forward without cleaning up your mess. The colonizer violence, theft and oppression are Ponzi schemes. They are unsustainable, they will collapse of their own weight. At its worst, the damage to our only home the Earth we are experiencing today is unforgivable. We must stop this and righting the wrongs of the last 529 and especially the last 200 years is the only way.

The European colonizers cannot bring life back to their murder/genocide victims & they cannot replace the lives they stole in slavery, but they can replace the material things and concepts they stole and murdered (like land & sovereignty) and make reparations to the rightful descendants.

Absolutely, as lands, wealth and power are returned to their rightful owners, this would produce a wildly different North America, South America, Africa & other areas. The status quo would be incredibly disturbed, it would be a lot of work reversing hundreds of years of theft and murder/genocide; it would be painful for some.

Western governments need to disband and fully cease operations. No Big Daddy relationships. The churches need to go back to living rooms where they belong. Both need render their criminal gains to the rightful owners. period.

In the end everyone would be glad, for the Indigenous are not like European Christian colonizers. They do not feed on the oppression and possessions of others.

One final non-secular point: Christianity has to decide, is Jesus more important or is the US/Canada/Europe criminal colonial model and its ill gotten gains more important?

My guess is the criminal colonial model is way more important to everyday Christianity, and all the books, worship, cathedrals, Christian politicians and Christian rock and roll won’t fix the broken and useless witness of Christianity in its likely final demise. Hopefully I’m wrong about this 2nd to last paragraph, but I doubt it.

Personally, I don’t see how you can be a Christian and a follower of Jesus at the same time. Christianity is the anti-Christ near as I can tell.


P.S. For extra illumination of just how sick Christianity is today, read this article from the American Conservative: The Meaning Of The Native Graves – They’re good, actually.

Religion posts
Jul 8, 2021 – Christianity is not what it thinks it is

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I have three percent African DNA

However, you won’t see me claim I’m African-American

Or a Black person… I’d be thrilled and honored to make the claim. My Senegal, Ivory Coast/Ghana and Nigeria DNA together has Elizabeth Warren’s Native-American DNA beat 3 times over, but I don’t know my African ancestor(s). I haven’t lived a life with any of their experiences. I can’t own this.

It is cool though!

I estimate within 4-6 generations ago that I had at least one African ancestor and I may someday discover the confirmed genealogy of this person.

My curiosity runs wild and that would be a super exciting day, but I still won’t be able to own it. An ally is the most I’ll ever be.

Due to other relatives DNA, I know this is though my Mvskoke Native bloodlines, but that is all I know. If any of my Native cousins out there stumble upon this post on the Internet and know more than I know, please contact me.


Image and countries updated 5-18-2022. The geographic estimate of my African ancestry has bounced around a tiny bit since 2019, but I think it’s safe to say there is 3% from the Western Africa coastal areas from Senegal to Nigeria.

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Why I identify as Native

Every situation with Indigenous heritage is unique

This is my personal story and how I relate to it. It is not a blueprint to measure others.

There are fake tribes and phony Indians out there, but there are also legitimate tribes and legitimately connected members that haven’t fared well so far under colonizer control or other issues. That is why I say every situation is unique. There could be a number of mitigating factors; ‘insufficient’ blood quantum, refusal to cooperate with colonizers, missed a census, infighting, disenrollments, competing economically with non-Natives and other possibilities… With hundreds, even possibly thousands of tribes, and even more personal relationships to tribes, there is no way I could rationally speak authoritatively about every situation.

With the exception of blood quantum, these mitigating factors are rare in factual reality, and represent an extremely small percentage, less than 1% in my amateur estimation. 99%+ of actual Indigenous people meet the requirements for citizenship in a Tribal Nation. No doubt, enrolling in a Tribal Nation sometimes entails some challenging research and difficult to acquire documentation.

Fortunately for my family and I, our Indigenous Nation is well known, large, and our connection to it is a straight line and well documented for quite some time. I will say this much, if you meet the criteria for citizenship in an Indigenous Nation you have heritage with and the only thing standing in your way is your own inaction, in my opinion you need to become a citizen before claiming indigeneity publicly.

I am 100% Native. I am connected. Connected by DNA, blood quantum, descent, relationship, citizenship in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, education, participation and growth. I was born Native. It’s a gift of inestimable value that the Creator, my mother Mona Smith Rothschild and many other ancestors gave to me. No one could validate it except them. No one can invalidate it or take it away except me, and I will not be relinquishing it.

FYI, I feel the same about being 100% Jewish, with a few changes. I’m a multi-layered person. I’m not one layer fractured into pieces. My Native layer and my Jewish layer are both full and complete. I will write about this more later, but for now this is about being Native.

Most personal things I write on this website are for my descendants; hopefully these writings will outlive me somehow and prove useful to others who read my writings as well.


As I have discussed before in previous posts here and here, DNA is not the end all for me or most Natives. Still, it is definitely a bonus and can corroborate other information. I was aware of the heritage of my 4 grandparents – Native, Jewish, Dutch and European. I was not aware that the Native included not only North American Indigenous, but other Indigenous and African DNA. By itself, DNA can [maybe] pinpoint geographic regions, but [definitely] not specific Tribal identities. Some Indigenous Nations have citizens with no Indigenous DNA as well.

Blood Quantum

My great-grandmother Jeanetta Grayson Berryhill was full blooded Mvskoke, so her blood quantum was 1/1. My great-grandfather Pleasant Luther ‘Duke’ Berryhill‘s blood quantum was 1/8. This of course made my grandmother’s blood quantum 9/16, my mother’s blood quantum 9/32 and my blood quantum 9/64 or about 14%. Roughly three-fourths of my Indigenous Nation has a blood quantum of less than 1/4. I believe my blood quantum is above the average and above the median of my Tribal Nation.

You might have noticed my great-grandfather’s blood quantum of 1/8 is less than my blood quantum of 9/64. He was born and lived on the reservation, was a Captain of the Lighthorse, and was very active in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Government. A picture hung in the Creek Nation Council House in Okmulgee, Oklahoma of him and my great-grandmother and outside the Council House, a monument honors him. Me, I’m trying. This is an example of why blood quantum is essentially meaningless.

Blood quantum is a colonizer construct. The United States Federal Government designed it to steal land and erase Indigenous culture. Every Mvskoke is 100% Indigenous in my opinion. Blood quantum is by design arbitrary and inaccurate, a corrupt conspiracy from over 100 years ago. Sometimes it is subject to fraud and/or ineptitude, including people that shouldn’t be, and not including people that should be.

Blood quantum also only counts the blood of 1 Tribal heritage in an individual, even when there are multiple Tribal heritages involved. Blood quantum is a meaningless classification forced upon the Indigenous and no others, but it has its legal and citizenship ramifications today, so it is important in a practical sense ultimately. Some Indigenous Nations have even significant numbers of citizens with no blood quantum as well.


Starting in the early 1700s, before the United States was a country, through today, there are 10 generations of my Indigenous ancestors and descendants that I know of so far, by name, as well as their birth/death dates. This is an unbroken line of descent. Often there are photos, drawings, writings and other documentation of their lives.

My grandmother and her parents were born on the Muscogee (Creek) Nation reservation in Indian Territory before Oklahoma was a state. Ancestors before them traveled to Indian Territory on the Trail of Tears from the Old Creek Nation. Others lived and died in the Old Creek Nation, in what is now Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina, where they lived with their ancestors for who knows how many millennia, perhaps time immemorial.


Obviously my mother and grandmother were not strangers to me or obscure relatives discovered through research or testing. I was raised, nurtured and loved by them. It doesn’t get bigger than this to me. As a common and understandable sign of their times, they were not exactly standing on street corners with megaphones broadcasting their indigeneity. Hopefully this ends with me. I am broadcasting it, literally around the world.

I am Native. I am Indigenous. I am Indian. I am Mvskoke and proud of it.

Citizenship in the Muscogee (Creek) Nation

This is super important to me. Anyone that is a direct descendant of someone on the Dawes Rolls or the relevant census for other tribes, would be crazy not to become a citizen of their Indigenous Nation. The Muscogee (Creek) Nation criteria for Citizenship is that you must be Creek by Blood and trace back to a direct ancestor listed on the 1906 Dawes Roll by issuance of birth and/or death certificates’. This and the forms you need to fill out may seem overwhelming at first, but with hindsight I can tell you it is not that complex.

I don’t need to tell you, historical and ongoing colonizer genocide against Indigenous peoples has been devastating to populations. If you are Indigenous, join your Nation! Your people need you and you need them. Fortunately many Nations are rebounding. My Nation has over 90,000 citizens now.

Education, Participation and Growth

To me being Native is not a static thing. I’m deeply immersed in learning about my culture and tribe, and have been for some time. There is quite a bit of written and video material out there. Realistically, I’m probably too old to gain fluency in our language, but for those who can, I highly recommend it. I hope to incorporate some of our ceremonial and music legacies into my experimental music recordings. When I do I will post the recordings on this website.

As an at-large citizen, I do what I can to participate. I vote in Tribal Nation elections and US elections as pro-Indigenous as I can. Sovereignty and provision for my Nation is always foremost on my mind and in my vote. I influence who I can. I hope to be blessed enough to visit my reservation with family someday.

I strongly support #Landback. Nothing short of the restoration of Tribal lands, full sovereignty, reparations and the complete removal of the US Government from Indigenous Nations will satisfy me permanently.

Every month that you talk to me or read my writings, I will have grown. I do my best to pass down knowledge to my descendants, and light their fire, which is the best growth card in my deck.

And that’s it for now, stay tuned for more.


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