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  #1  
Old 09-12-2004, 11:04 PM
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Default How can I get in touch with my ancestors beliefs?

I go to visit my boyfriend at Solano State Prison in California almost every Saturday. I get there very early in the morning and have to wait in the parking lot for an hour before I get to go visit him. While I wait in the parking lot I hear the Indians singing and drumming. I have heard there is a sweat lodge as well in their area of the prison. Their rituals have really captured my interests. My grandmothers mother was a full blooded Indian so I do have some Indian in me as well. I actually have Indian blood on both sides of my family. I am interested in attending a pow wow, or anything that can bring me closer to Indian beleifs. Do any of you know of anything open to the public for people that would like to explore their ancestors in California?
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Old 09-13-2004, 01:40 AM
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Hey Flecky...there are pow wows all over the country all year round now...the public is most definately welcome...besides providing an educational forum for the public the pow wos serve as gatherings for the people, to share and trade...heres a good link but if you type pow wow into your web browser you will come up with hundreds of links,.,

http://www.powwows.com/gathering/pw_...play_month.php

I can only relate my experience in getting involved in the native community...the first thing to remember is that the First Nations People have had so much taken from them, and sadly it continues even to this day...so take no personal offense if you dont feel immediately welcomed....the second thing to remember is that to learn you must listen...be a good listener.

I became involved with several native organizatrions by volunteering my services...Hard work earns respect and with respect comes trust. There are many organizatrions, especially in larger communitites that can always use someone to do something, on a volunteer basis...start by locating those organizations and going to meetings, potlucks, whatever...volunteer your time to serve the people, in whatever capacity your are able. The rest will come...I dont know if your are in the area where your ancestors lived, but if you are thats awesome!!! It will be much easier to learn of your heritage... goold luck!!!
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Old 09-13-2004, 02:00 AM
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Cool i did it again....

:shake: grrrr ... i keep forgetting no links ...good thing theres no fine imposed for doing this....is there???
my apologies to the moderators and admins for the extra work...writing a hundred times

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Old 09-13-2004, 02:13 AM
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I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to get involved. I also have aboriginal ancestors (great grandparents were Ojibway) and felt the desire to learn more. At first I was intimidated, after all I am blond haired and blue eyed. I have found if you show a genuine interest people are more than happy to share and teach you whatever you want to know. Around here Pow Wows are open to anyone...people are really friendly and make you feel welcome. A great place to start is to find out which band your family belonged to/if they did...and contact them. Of course there may be a "limit" put on your participation...some things are reserved for band members only.

Good luck
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Old 09-13-2004, 08:40 AM
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Thank you all for your input. It has been very helpful so far.
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Old 09-13-2004, 09:20 AM
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Be sure to try to find out what tribe or tribes your ancestors are from. You'll want to know that in order to seek out Elders from your ancestral tribe to learn from. Not all Native American tribes believe or practice the same things. There are big differences among them, and sometimes even within the tribe in their clans. Find out as much as you can of your family history and go from there. In the meantime, going as a spectator at powwows is very rewarding.
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Old 09-18-2004, 03:13 PM
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This is the very best advice this far,the more you know about your acestry,family names etc the easier it is get in touch but be aware that some might not welcome you at all. Others might welcome you with arms wide open. Just so you know
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