About Me: Male, 48, San Ramon, CA, member since May 2013
I am Native American. My ancestry stems from my father's side. What I know is what my father told me when I was young, and what we discussed on many occasions. On my grandmothers side, I have Lenape (Delaware) ancestry and, harder to trace back, my grandfather's ancestr
[More]y goes way back to the Nashaway (Nashua) and I am very proud of my Lenape ancestry, and my First Nations' ancestry in general. I am the first in my family's generation to study, honor, respect and learn of my heritage more than what I was taught by my father. My father was proud of his ancestry and wanted me to know who I am. I made a promise to him before he passed on that I would learn about my ancestors and of the culture he did his best to educate me about. I was much closer to my father than my mother - but that's a long long story I won't go into here.
The information I have on my heritage was handed down orally through the generations and my father felt it very important for me to know the two peoples who were my ancestors. I've done a lot of research and since it was so very long ago the Nashaway were "absorbed" into other neighboring nations, I have not found any distinct cultural information about their people - at least not where I've been looking. It is for this reason I am researching as much as I can where I am and with what resources I have at hand the history, traditions, culture and language of my Lenape ancestors.
While he was still able, I brought my father to a few inter-tribal powwows and helped re-ignite pride in him, his pride in his ancestry. It was always there but stresses of life were washing many things away from him. It was sad to watch, so I had to do something for him. it was one gift I felt it important to do for him. Sadly he passed on to the spirit world in 1993, but I know I will see him again one day and we will dance together again. I dearly loved my father.
So, to finish a thought I started earlier - I am very proud of my ancestry. I don't, however, mention it much because I don't feel I know enough about my own culture to comfortably answer questions or speak intelligently of the culture. However I have always been very proud of my heritage. I don't know what the actual percentage is, but blood quantum doesn't mean as much, I think, as does how one lives their life. While blood purity is certainly important in some aspects, it's more than just how much DNA you possess that makes you who you are.
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