ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Raised American Indian in a white mans world another view

Updated on September 9, 2012
wheelinallover profile image

In the middle of the 20th century there were only a few raising their children to be like the American Indians before Columbus.

My great grandmother walked the trail of tears as a child. When she got old enough she married a white man, moved off the reservation and never looked back. My grandmother was forced to hide her Indian ancestry for years, she married a man who was one fourth Indian and for most of his life he hid his ancestry also.

Two years before he died my grandfather realized that "the people" had more going for them than the white man ever would. His dream was to have his children and grandchildren know their ways. My grandmother stopped hiding her ancestry after he died in 1938 and way before it was "acceptable". My mother and her two sisters suffered because of this decision.

I have always claimed my ancestry no matter what pain has been caused by it. I was raised in the old ways of "the people". There is a lot more to it than the things they did, it's a whole way of life, with different values than "our white counter parts". I was the only one chosen for “wilderness training” because as the second child, I wasn’t needed at home like big brother or too young like my other brothers.

When I was a child I was proud of being different from the children around me, part of my early teaching was about right and wrong, so when I saw something wrong I always tried to do something about it. Many hours were spent in fights or sitting on a bench because of it. I remember going to a school (second grade) where I was considered one of nine white children in an other wise "all black school", I actually fit right in because of the way I was treated by the other white students. To them I was not white, and subject to the same prejudice as the majority of the students at the school.

At home we spoke three languages with Cherokee being the language of choice. There were so many things which could not be translated to English or Mexican Spanish and to know the truth we had to know the language. To this day I don’t know how or where my grandmother learned it as well as she did. I remember her saying it was rarely spoken by her mother as they were hiding the fact she was Indian. She did spend time with her relatives who were full blooded Cherokee. She never did say how much time she spent with them.

Growing up was a confusing time, school taught one thing and mom and grandma taught something entirely different. Neither of them were well educated by white mans standards. Grandma made it to the third grade and mom the tenth, but they knew things most white men never will. An example of this is the only times we went to a doctor was when it was required by whatever school district we were in at the time to bring our shots up to date. All of our sicknesses were cured with herbs grandma grew in her garden.

Grandma never actually lived with us, her home was thirteen hundred miles away, but she spent so much time with us until I was thirteen that she might as well have. How many people would be willing to give up what amounted to four years of their lives to keep a promise to a person who had been dead many years. I would like to believe my grandmother gained as much from her time with me as I did. One thing which was a reoccurring theme was a person needs to learn something new every day. This instilled in me a love of learning which is with me to this day. There have been no regrets for having been raised American Indian in a white mans world.

© 2011 Dennis Thorgesen


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)