Elizabeth Warren

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GloriaInTX's picture
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Elizabeth Warren

Do you think it should matter that Elizabeth Warren listed herself as a minority because she possibly had some Native American blood somewhere in her background? Do you think listing herself as a minority might have helped her career?

Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren said Thursday that she knows she has Native American ancestry because her mother told her so.

Warren?s comments came after nearly four minutes of tense back and forth between Warren and Fox 25 reporter Sharman Sacchetti and 7News reporter Andy Hiller. As both reporters questioned Warren about why she listed herself as a minority in law directories, Warren refused to answer, saying she had already answered questions about her background.

Finally, Warren said, ?I am proud of my family and I am proud of my heritage.?

Hiller followed up: ?Does it include an Indian background??

Warren replied, ?Yes.?

?How do you know that?? Hiller asked.

Warren responded, ?Because my mother told me so. This is how I live. My mother, my grandmother, my family. This is my family. Scott Brown has launched attacks on my family. I am not backing off from my family.?

The campaign of Brown, the Republican incumbent senator, has been pushing the story about Warren?s heritage, after it came out that Warren had listed herself as Native American in the Association of American Law Schools? law directory; and that both Harvard Law School and the University of Pennsylvania listed her as a minority.

While the New England Historic Genealogical Society originally found some indication that Warren was 1/32 Cherokee through her great-great-great grandmother, it later backed off from that claim and said there is no primary document available to prove this. The Warren campaign has not provided any documentation to back up Warren?s assertions that she is Native American.

Warren has said she listed herself as a minority in order to meet others with similar backgrounds. She also referenced a photo of her grandfather who had ?high cheekbones.?

A poll released Wednesday night by Suffolk University found that the vast majority of voters do not think Warren?s ancestry, and whether she used it to her advantage in her career, is a significant story.

Full article
http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/05/elizabeth_warren_knows_she_is.html

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1/32 Cherokee? Jeez, stretching back that far I'd say a lot of us could call ourselves a 'minority'. I don't know many people these days who are of strictly creed or ethnicity stretching back for hundreds of years.

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"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

1/32 Cherokee? Jeez, stretching back that far I'd say a lot of us could call ourselves a 'minority'. I don't know many people these days who are of strictly creed or ethnicity stretching back for hundreds of years.

Yea my Dad told me that my great great grandmother or something like that was Cherokee and I wouldn't even think of listing myself as a minority because of it to get special treatment.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Yea my Dad told me that my great great grandmother or something like that was Cherokee and I wouldn't even think of listing myself as a minority because of it to get special treatment.

Yes, my great grandfather was Roma gypsy. Um, never saw that box to tick off when it came to declaring a minority status on any of my school or govt docs, not that I would have even if it was an option! Roma aren't a very respected people, pretty much to anyone but the Roma.

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I've been doing genealogy for twenty years and I'm always amazed at how many people claim to be Native American when they aren't. My FIL still claims that his grandmother was half Cherokee, even though we've documented that neither of her parents were Cherokee or any other Native American tribe, and we've documented that all of her grandparents (one of whom is supposedly full-blooded Cherokee) came to America from Europe. And then on my side of the family, we have the opposite situation. I have two escaped or former slaves as direct ancestors but I don't consider myself to be 1/8 or 1/16 African American. In later census records, many of my black relatives declared themselves to be white and the "black blood" became a whispered family secret that I was able to document 140 years later.

To claim minority status for any advancement purpose, I think one should be able to prove at least one great grandparent or two G-G-grandparents, basically 1/8 of your ancestry, are of the particular minority one is claiming to be. Anything less than that might be personally significant for someone, especially if they are active in the minority group's culture, but it's not significant in any other way.

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I don't agree with it. I think classifying yourself as minority without really belonging to that group is shady at best.

I do have documented information of my NA heritage on my dad's side from my Canadian family. I only list it at my doctor's office in case there are risk factors.

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I think it's much harder to claim aboriginal status in Canada. A friend of mine is 1/8 Blackfoot and to get her Indian Status card she had to produce a ton of documentation.

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"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

I think it's much harder to claim aboriginal status in Canada. A friend of mine is 1/8 Blackfoot and to get her Indian Status card she had to produce a ton of documentation.

I think it is the same in the U.S. you have to have documentation to get a CDIB card, but some universities are not that strict about it. I think claiming Native American heritage to get preferential treatment is wrong, and I also think it is wrong for the college to count people just so their minority numbers look better. I would definitely question the integrity of someone who did this.

Colleges approach this issue in a number of ways. Some require a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB), issued by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, or other type of documentation. Many, however, rely only on your self-report and may do no follow-up whatsoever to verify a claim. Last year, when I queried a Yale admission official about how they define Native Americans for admission purposes, I received this reply:

If students check the Native American box on our application, then we send them a Native American form to complete. The form inquires about their Native American background including whether they are an enrolled member (if yes, we ask for their registration number, and we ask about their tribal affiliation). We also ask them to describe their involvement with or their ties to their native background. So, yes, we do follow up. We often get people who end up being 1/116th Native American and other times, we get people who might not be enrolled but who very much identify with their background.

It’s not uncommon for candidates who have no enrollment number but who have demonstrated ties to a Native American heritage to still get a “hook” in the admission process.

College that are interested in truly diversifying their student body will give the most advantage to applicants who seem to be involved with their Native American culture. Many schools, however, simply want to boast of a growing Native American student population and are willing to take your word for it and “count” you, regardless of whether or not you present written proof of your background or demonstrate active engagement.

http://www.collegeconfidential.com/dean/archives/000293.htm

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I have enough of a hard time with the idea of claiming my own kids as minorities. They are a quarter Filipino..and I'm 100% certain they are.

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Also, I received a full tuition scholarship to my college which was only for minority students based on what i filled out in my college application. I never had to 'prove' what i had claimed.

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"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

I think it's much harder to claim aboriginal status in Canada. A friend of mine is 1/8 Blackfoot and to get her Indian Status card she had to produce a ton of documentation.

For a card, yes. But there is a form in elementary schools when you register that asks if you are of First Nations decent. I asked about it, because my kids are 1/4 but are not documented. I was told that they require no documentation, and I have since then heard of parents who claimed their children (knowing they were not) because up until last year it was the only way to ensure your kids could get into full time kindergarten. And those numbers still count for extra funding for the school.

I know this is different, but just an example of how easy it can be to claim on official forms, without having to prove anything.

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I know sometimes people do that to get extra benefits -- at my law school they had minority scholarships and sometimes minority status can help in admissions (depending on the school). But on those facts, claiming minority status is silly. Native American status has to hvae more than just blood from various generations ago. Simply having a blood relative several generations removed means nothing, one knows nothing about the cultures, sacrifices or the issues facing minorities. To try to get special favors despite being so removed is wrong.

I am told that I have Cherokee on my biological father's side (up to 1/4 according to what was told to my adoptive mother) but I am adopted from NC in the early 1970s so my adoption records have me down as Caucasian (since mixed race children would not be desirable back then. I have no way of proving my ancestry, and certainly no claim of discrimination based on that lineage. Yes I have the "high cheekbones" but that does not make a minority. I could never imagine claiming minority status or marking myself as Native American based upon something told to my mom back in 1971.

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Based on the facts, no, I don't think she should have listed herself as a minority.

That said, I work in higher education and can tell you that following the SCOTUS University of Michigan case in 2005 or 06? that most universities have changed how they give out scholarships and there is much less money awarded to students solely based upon their minority status. Typically, admissions and scholarship criteria utilize a "holistic" approach that would take into account minority status, grades, economic standing, etc. The whole purpose is that just bc somebody falls into a certain "category" that they don't necessarily deserve scholarship support.....you have to look at more factors. Honestly, I can't even write a scholarship agreement anymore that is just for women, minority groups, or restricted to any one protected class....Those days are gone, and most schools have gone back and re-written their old scholarships to meet the guidelines outlined in that court decision (essentially that race can be one factor, but cannot be the only factor in determining admissions or scholarship awards.)

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I roll my eyes at anyone that claims they are a certain ethnicity even though it is very diluted in their blood. I am 50% Turkish and never have pulled a minority card to get ahead. Neither has my mother, being 100% Turkish here in the USA.

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I don't know how I feel on this one. I am Scandinavian but what is sufficient proof of that? A birth certificate saying my great-great-grandma was born in Sweden? A Swedish surname? Well, I have neither. Is being born in Sweden enough to be considered Swedish? A co-worker was born in Mexico because his (Irish) parents were on a mission there. Does that make him Mexican?


These twins have the same mother and the same father, both of whom are of mixed race. Would it be wrong for the "white" twin to mark black on forms indicating race? Would it be wrong for her to take full advantage of that if there is any? Or list herself as a "minority faculty member"?

Elizabeth Warren grew up in Oklahoma City, right? It's not surprising to me that she would have stories of NA ancestry in her family.

Unfortunately, many of those whose NA with undisputed ancestry never registered. Or, it's unclear who registered. My daughter is 1/4 - 1/2 NA, but I can't find who would have registered. It's on her dad's side, so I have little knowledge/access to the genealogy. Does it somehow make her less NA if we can't prove it? I can't offer any more proof that she's NA than I could that she's white.

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"mommytoMR.FACE" wrote:

I roll my eyes at anyone that claims they are a certain ethnicity even though it is very diluted in their blood. I am 50% Turkish and never have pulled a minority card to get ahead. Neither has my mother, being 100% Turkish here in the USA.

My husband feels the same way. The reason our kids arent registered is because he feels that the 'perks' of being registered (extra funding, tax cuts etc) are meant to help families become educated and grow into the world beyond the reserve. He used those 'perks' (and we still occasionally do when it comes to tax breaks), and now he feels that it is his responsibility to help his children out, and those funds should go to those who still need it. In terms of family, the kids are still considered band members, cousins, nieces and nephews, even though they are not written down on the band registry.

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

I don't know how I feel on this one. I am Scandinavian but what is sufficient proof of that? A birth certificate saying my great-great-grandma was born in Sweden? A Swedish surname? Well, I have neither. Is being born in Sweden enough to be considered Swedish? A co-worker was born in Mexico because his (Irish) parents were on a mission there. Does that make him Mexican?


These twins have the same mother and the same father, both of whom are of mixed race. Would it be wrong for the "white" twin to mark black on forms indicating race? Would it be wrong for her to take full advantage of that if there is any? Or list herself as a "minority faculty member"?

Elizabeth Warren grew up in Oklahoma City, right? It's not surprising to me that she would have stories of NA ancestry in her family.

Unfortunately, many of those whose NA with undisputed ancestry never registered. Or, it's unclear who registered. My daughter is 1/4 - 1/2 NA, but I can't find who would have registered. It's on her dad's side, so I have little knowledge/access to the genealogy. Does it somehow make her less NA if we can't prove it? I can't offer any more proof that she's NA than I could that she's white.

I'm with you on this one. My older kids are 1/8 Cherokee. Their father, born in 1970 in Arkansas, was also adopted out in a private adoption by his biological mother's doctor. He adopted him to a couple where the wife looked like the biological mother and listed him as Caucasian. His adopted mother has always told him of his biological history as well. In researching, we located his biological mother who confirmed the story and found that during that time it was quite common for doctors and others to push adoption for unwed pregnant Indian girls, not only in that region but in several locations across the U.S. and Canada. None of these children would be registered, but my ex certainly considered himself to be NA and my children do identify with that history as well as the rest of their heritage. And if they want to check a box that is marked NA, I think it's within their right to do so even though they're not registered.

Where I work, when they ask for racial background, they want people to mark all ethnicity backgrounds they identify with and it is entered in governmental statistics without question.

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Not speaking for native americans, but for minorities as a whole there is more to the 'perks' than just helping those who are disadvantaged. The diversity can also help the insitituions that these people are going to. Such was the case at my college. My college almost lost its accreditation for being 'too white' and not doing enough to promote a more diverse campus. Out of the few of us that were of some minority background, lots of us were not disadvantaged, but the idea was that diversity as a whole has something to contribute to a campus.

But at some point, what a person can contribute from a diversity aspect can also get diluted. My nieces and nephews as well as my own kids are seemingly far removed from Filipino culture. What would they contribute to a college campus from a diversity standpoint? Not all that much IMO. Maybe enough because they still knew their actual Filipino grandfather in person and can learn from him. But a lot of it will depend on an individuals' efforts to familiarize the younger generations with their cultural heritage. IMO, my family hasn't done that very much for the next generation.

But i could see making a cutoff...where if its impossible for you to be influenced by your relative to which you owe your supposed minority status from, then it really shouldn't count towards anything. So if they have been deceased for a while? Makes no sense. I mean at most you could possible have great grandchildren that gained some sort of direct influence from their minority great grandparent.

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"KimPossible" wrote:

Not speaking for native americans, but for minorities as a whole there is more to the 'perks' than just helping those who are disadvantaged. The diversity can also help the insitituions that these people are going to. Such was the case at my college. My college almost lost its accreditation for being 'too white' and not doing enough to promote a more diverse campus. Out of the few of us that were of some minority background, lots of us were not disadvantaged, but the idea was that diversity as a whole has something to contribute to a campus.

But at some point, what a person can contribute from a diversity aspect can also get diluted. My nieces and nephews as well as my own kids are seemingly far removed from Filipino culture. What would they contribute to a college campus from a diversity standpoint? Not all that much IMO. Maybe enough because they still knew their actual Filipino grandfather in person and can learn from him. But a lot of it will depend on an individuals' efforts to familiarize the younger generations with their cultural heritage. IMO, my family hasn't done that very much for the next generation.

But i could see making a cutoff...where if its impossible for you to be influenced by your relative to which you owe your supposed minority status from, then it really shouldn't count towards anything. So if they have been deceased for a while? Makes no sense. I mean at most you could possible have great grandchildren that gained some sort of direct influence from their minority great grandparent.

But then again, a grandparent who is only half could still have a lot of influence in passing down the culture if they live it. For example, my BIL is half NA, but he is band manager on the reserve, his family lives on the reserve, see there family there often, play with cousins etc who are full NA, are immersed in the culture. Heck, there caucasion Grandmother even lives and works on the reserve and participates just as much in the culture as anyone else. Our family, on the other hand lives a good 12 hours away from the family. The NA culture here is different than DH's culture, and we dont participate in it. My kids know a lot less about their culture than BIL's kids.

So, even though my kids and BIL's kids are both 1/4 NA, his kids are way more capable of handing down the culture to their children, than my kids would be. Point being, that I dont think it is possible, or easy to put a blood cutoff on this sort of thing.

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"ftmom" wrote:

But then again, a grandparent who is only half could still have a lot of influence in passing down the culture if they live it. For example, my BIL is half NA, but he is band manager on the reserve, his family lives on the reserve, see there family there often, play with cousins etc who are full NA, are immersed in the culture. Heck, there caucasion Grandmother even lives and works on the reserve and participates just as much in the culture as anyone else. Our family, on the other hand lives a good 12 hours away from the family. The NA culture here is different than DH's culture, and we dont participate in it. My kids know a lot less about their culture than BIL's kids.

So, even though my kids and BIL's kids are both 1/4 NA, his kids are way more capable of handing down the culture to their children, than my kids would be. Point being, that I dont think it is possible, or easy to put a blood cutoff on this sort of thing.

This is a fair point. But i really wonder how far that would transfer. I can see at 1/4 there being a lot of potential for still have ties...but if you are only 1/32nd of a culture? How likely is it? KWIM? So for example, i think if you were to take a group of people who were all a quarter of a minority culture compared to a group that is 1/32nd a minority culture....i think i would safely bet that those who are 1/4, as a group, have more to offer...if we are talking random samples.

I mean really, i think i'm okay with just expecting people to do the right thing in this case and not claim minority status when it doesn't make sense. And when they dont do the right thing? Oh well, shame on them. But if we had to conjure up something....I would probably be okay with using a cut off of this sort. Sure it won't be perfect, but i don't think there would be a perfect solution to this issue.

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I love that show Ancestors in the Attic, where ordinary people claim their like the g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-grandson of some famous explorer or scientist or whoever, and try to trace their roots back. I guess it makes some people feel better knowing they're 1/4260 Christopher Columbus or Van Gogh or whoever.

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"ftmom" wrote:

Heck, there caucasion Grandmother even lives and works on the reserve and participates just as much in the culture as anyone else.

Using this type of example, then would any of you believe that someone Caucasian that lives and works on the Reservation, completely immersed in the culture, then be allowed to claim that they are Native American minority on a college app? What about that same Caucasian being immersed within a Hispanic area then filing as a Hispanic since they can speak the language and follow Hispanic cultural norms? At what point should someone actually be enabled to *claim* they ARE a minority?

"KimPossible" wrote:

This is a fair point. But i really wonder how far that would transfer. I can see at 1/4 there being a lot of potential for still have ties...but if you are only 1/32nd of a culture? How likely is it? KWIM? So for example, i think if you were to take a group of people who were all a quarter of a minority culture compared to a group that is 1/32nd a minority culture....i think i would safely bet that those who are 1/4, as a group, have more to offer...if we are talking random samples.

I mean really, i think i'm okay with just expecting people to do the right thing in this case and not claim minority status when it doesn't make sense. And when they dont do the right thing? Oh well, shame on them. But if we had to conjure up something....I would probably be okay with using a cut off of this sort. Sure it won't be perfect, but i don't think there would be a perfect solution to this issue.

I agree that 1/4th of a minority group would be my cutting point as well. I hate having to fill out those forms and keep looking for the box that says "a little bit of everything." ROFL

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"MissyJ" wrote:

Using this type of example, then would any of you believe that someone Caucasian that lives and works on the Reservation, completely immersed in the culture, then be allowed to claim that they are Native American minority on a college app? What about that same Caucasian being immersed within a Hispanic area then filing as a Hispanic since they can speak the language and follow Hispanic cultural norms? At what point should someone actually be enabled to *claim* they ARE a minority?

I agree that 1/4th of a minority group would be my cutting point as well. I hate having to fill out those forms and keep looking for the box that says "a little bit of everything." ROFL

Just for the record, that was not what I was saying with that point. I was using it to demonstrate that these boys are truly immersed in the culture, even though they are only 1/4 the whole family lives the lifestyle, attends events, etc.

And to answer your question, no I think you need to share blood in some way to claim you share a culture (or be adopted into it as a child). Although I do think that being immersed in any culture gives you a special perspective that 'outsiders' rarely get.

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Possibly 1/32nd?? That's ridiculous. She should be embarrassed she ever ticked that box. She is not a minority.

What is the legal cut off to claim status?

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"kris_w" wrote:

Possibly 1/32nd?? That's ridiculous. She should be embarrassed she ever ticked that box. She is not a minority.

What is the legal cut off to claim status?

Bill John Baker is only 1/32 Cherokee, but it's good enough for them.

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"MissyJ" wrote:

Using this type of example, then would any of you believe that someone Caucasian that lives and works on the Reservation, completely immersed in the culture, then be allowed to claim that they are Native American minority on a college app? What about that same Caucasian being immersed within a Hispanic area then filing as a Hispanic since they can speak the language and follow Hispanic cultural norms? At what point should someone actually be enabled to *claim* they ARE a minority?

I agree that 1/4th of a minority group would be my cutting point as well. I hate having to fill out those forms and keep looking for the box that says "a little bit of everything." ROFL

Since Hispanic is not a race, I suppose people immersed within a Hispanic area could consider themselves Hispanic. If not them, perhaps their children or grandchildren would mark "white-Hispanic."

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

Bill John Baker is only 1/32 Cherokee, but it's good enough for them.

I've never heard of him until now (thanks google)... That wouldn't fly around here, I'm quite certain you need to hold a status card to be chief...

You can't even get a job with the band unless you are First Nations, there are always ads in the local newspaper looking for nurses/teachers/ECE/social workers/etc that specify "preference will be given to those of First Nations descent"

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"kris_w" wrote:

I've never heard of him until now (thanks google)... That wouldn't fly around here, I'm quite certain you need to hold a status card to be chief...

You can't even get a job with the band unless you are First Nations, there are always ads in the local newspaper looking for nurses/teachers/ECE/social workers/etc that specify "preference will be given to those of First Nations descent"

Yeah, same around here too. Employed on the reserve it's all natives, but ironically enough most of the Indian Affairs workers I've ever seen locally are white. I guess the feds have a different set of criteria, one of which isn't being native.

I know that in Canada if you want to apply for native status it only goes back 2 generations for having a full blooded family member. It's got something to do with native women losing their status because they married a non-native. So as a child or grandchild of a woman like that, you have the ability to apply for status. Any further back you're out of luck, I think.

eta - the above is only specific to that situation - a grandmother losing status because of marrying a white.

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"Claire'sMommy" wrote:

Yeah, same around here too. Employed on the reserve it's all natives, but ironically enough most of the Indian Affairs workers I've ever seen locally are white. I guess the feds have a different set of criteria, one of which isn't being native.

I know that in Canada if you want to apply for native status it only goes back 2 generations for having a full blooded family member. It's got something to do with native women losing their status because they married a non-native. So as a child or grandchild of a woman like that, you have the ability to apply for status. Any further back you're out of luck, I think.

eta - the above is only specific to that situation - a grandmother losing status because of marrying a white.

So, basically at least 1 grandparents needs to be full native, right? My cousins are in the process of getting status as a result of this rule and I know lots of women who got their status back after the rules about marriage changed.

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Yes, I know that my kids are only eligible for Metis status (which irritates DH to no end, as Metis are a totally different culture). It doesnt really do much for them anyways.

However, we could have registered them as band members when they were born. Not sure how many generations the band would allow us to continue to do that, probably depends on the involvement of the family, and individual bands. If a person is registered as a band member and they live on the reserve they are eligible for the full benefits of status, though I believe that is confined to their reserve.

Our reserve is pretty split Native and Non-Native workers, at least in the child care building that MIL works in. I even worked their for awhile Smile But really, most of the non-Natives are related to the reserve somehow and they do give preference. MIL is really stressed about retiring because she handles all the grants and funding for education, and there is no one on the reserve that she feels is qualified to do her job, but she knows they will hire someone from the reserve.

*Sorry to keep using personal examples, but this is where my experience lays with this.

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Interesting. I know some white teachers who have taught on reservations in AZ; maybe it's just regional. They couldn't live on the reservation though.

How do you get proper paperwork? My race isn't on my birth certificate, nor is that of my parents. Even if it was, how is that determined? As far as I know, no one of DD1's dad's side of the family officially registered.

I'm probably 1/2 German, 1/4 Swedish, and 1/4 Norwegian, yet I identify more with the Swedish part of the equation because that is what Mormor was. I assume for many people, the culture/bloodline they identify most with isn't necessarily that which they have the most of but rather who they spent the most time with learning about the cultural history too.

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

Interesting. I know some white teachers who have taught on reservations in AZ; maybe it's just regional. They couldn't live on the reservation though.

How do you get proper paperwork? My race isn't on my birth certificate, nor is that of my parents. Even if it was, how is that determined? As far as I know, no one of DD1's dad's side of the family officially registered.

I'm probably 1/2 German, 1/4 Swedish, and 1/4 Norwegian, yet I identify more with the Swedish part of the equation because that is what Mormor was. I assume for many people, the culture/bloodline they identify most with isn't necessarily that which they have the most of but rather who they spent the most time with learning about the cultural history too.

I think when it comes to child care, you tend to see more 'white' people on the reserves, because even though they give preference to Natives, they still need to hire someone with the proper education, and I know on our reserve, convincing people to get that education is a huge battle, so the population tends to not be highly educated. The only reason MIL can live on reserve is because she is married to my FIL. Sometimes I think the only reason she stays with him is cause she is afraid she will lose her home and job if they split up.

I have no idea how you get proper paperwork. On our reserve you need to register your baby as a band member within a year of their birth, it isnt something you can do as an adult. I believe there is an application process to the gov't for FN or Metis status, but I have never looked into it, as DH is against having our kids registered.

I totally agree with your last paragraph. I think race is a really hard thing to pin down, because in a lot of cases it is who you identify with most, and which parent took the dominant role in traditions etc.

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Ya, I'm not really sure how you go about obtaining the documentation.... Census information maybe?

Oh actually, now that I think about it, when we fill out the "Notice of Live Birth" forms at work (I work in maternity) there is a spot to mark whether the parents are First Nations and whether they live on reserve. And individuals do need to register with the local band (to access band services/funding and voting rights).

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

I'm probably 1/2 German, 1/4 Swedish, and 1/4 Norwegian, yet I identify more with the Swedish part of the equation because that is what Mormor was. I assume for many people, the culture/bloodline they identify most with isn't necessarily that which they have the most of but rather who they spent the most time with learning about the cultural history too.

My DH and I debate this... He says I'm 1/2 Dutch and 1/2 English... I disagree.

I am certainly 1/2 Dutch, my maternal grandparents were immigrants, but I think the rest of me is just Canadian. Both my paternal grandparents were born in Canada. One of my great grandparents was born in Scotland, the other born in Canada (her parents - my great, great grandparents - were born in Scotland), and my other two great grandparents came from families that had been in Canada since the early 1800's.

I don't hold any special affinity to the UK just because if you look back far enough some relatives were from there. The Dutch part a little more so (not that I speak the language or anything though). I think it is a rarity to maintain cultural significance beyond a generation or two.

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This is a very interesting topic. I would have no idea how to go about tracing my roots back. I have one grand parent that was born in Sweden and is 100% Swedish. The rest of my family is 100% mut. I think there is a tad French and German in there, but both that is all I know of.

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"ethanwinfield" wrote:

I assume for many people, the culture/bloodline they identify most with isn't necessarily that which they have the most of but rather who they spent the most time with learning about the cultural history too.

I would imagine a lot of the time this is true, however I have seen this strange thing going on with my nieces and nephews(almost all of which are in their teens and twenties) where they seem to be trying extra hard to identify with their Filipino culture. They haven't spent any more time with my father than any of their other grandparents. They are very familiar with Filipino Food and its rather different than the fair that is traditional to the rest of their decidedly white grandparents. And they have attended, with some infrequency a yearly picnic put on by the local Filipino club. My father really hasn't spent much time intentionally teaching them about his culture. Yet 3 of my neices/nephews have gotten Filipino related tattoos and almost all of them like to make reference to their filipino heritage...however their lives have been a very stereotypical white american type experience.

I actually think its because it just naturally feels cool to belong to something like that, especially if you have never experienced any hardship associated with being a minority. There is something attractive, or exotic about it

I'm not necessarily saying its a bad thing...it might even just be an expression of the fact that they wish they were more tied to the culture than they actually are, i don't know. Just always found it interesting that they express so much interest in this 1/4 of their cultural make-up compared to the rest.

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I think I slightly understand Kim...I'm appros x 1/4 English, French Canadian, Polish and Lithuanian. Smidges of Irish, German and N.A. too. I identify mostly with my Polish/Lithuanian heritages and don't really know why...just feels more "me". I will pursue and attend local Polish festivals but never really look for French festivals if that makes sense. Sometimes I think we just feel more connected to one part of ourselves and not to another.

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Kim I know exactly what you mean. I identify heavily as an Italian, even though I am only 1/2 Italian. My Mom is adopted, so (although we later found out) as a child, I didn't have any idea what the other 1/2 of me was, and her relatives we all old and strange and remote, my Italian relatives were warm and plentiful and ate great food and were awesome with great accents and talk of the "old country"....of course I very much self identified as an Italian, especially as in the 1980's when I was young there was no racial hardship to come along with it as there was when my relatives first emigrated. I still identify as an Italian, though I am only 1/2.

That said, were I a law firm employing Ms. Warren, I would fire her should I learn this about her. I think that its a sleazy lie. Its not even a half truth. A person going to law school knows enough about the burden of proof to know better than to play the "My mama told me" card. I mean, she should be ashamed to even use that as her defense. That works on the school yard, not much beyond there, and certainly not for such a well educated attorney.

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Even as a person born in the UK to British parents and grandparents, I never answer "British" if anyone asks (and most don't because I no longer have a British accent) or if there's a box to check off on some form. My heritage is British (oh ya, with that smig of gypsy) but I always identify myself as Canadian. Always. Although, I am grateful that my kids were automatically British subjects with dual nationality at birth and can easily get EC passports if they want to.