I have some across numerous people in my life who claim to have Native American roots. The sad thing is that many of them are not being honest at all. In fact, some of them are clearly lying based on the way that they refer to their heritage as “Indian.” It is so sad that a culture that has been oppressed and is so rich in history is looked at as the next best trend.
There are many things that these people do not know about Native Americans and it saddens me that they would purport to have this background without even bothering to gain more insight. For example, how many of them actually know about the spirituality and religious practices that mold this culture? I suppose they believe that it is all about sitting around doing all of those stereotypical tribal dances that are shown when depicting Natives on television.
I will admit that I have not really given the culture the respect that it deserves. As Americans, we should all take the time to learn more about the people who were actually here before we set foot on this soil. They are the ones that had to adjust to random people coming over, taking charge and acting like they were not even here. They deserve all of the respect in the world for having to deal with that. Now people want to emulate them and take the little respect that they have tried so hard to earn.
The next time I see someone make a claim to this culture, I am going to ask them to school me on what they know about it. If they do not come back with a solid answer, I am going to ask them to refrain from culture stealing and trying to use Native Americans to sound trendy.