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Change Guilt Into Action for Native North Americans

Updated on September 28, 2016
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish offers 25+ years successful experience in Medicine; Health- and I/O Psychology; STEM courses, and Aerospace Education (CAP).

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Statue in Oklahoma CityOklahoma hosts the most Native reservations in the USA. Notice tiny St. Regis at the top of New York where only 1 out of the 8 bands of Mohawk, for example, are legal entities.
Statue in Oklahoma City
Statue in Oklahoma City | Source
Oklahoma hosts the most Native reservations in the USA. Notice tiny St. Regis at the top of New York where only 1 out of the 8 bands of Mohawk, for example, are legal entities.
Oklahoma hosts the most Native reservations in the USA. Notice tiny St. Regis at the top of New York where only 1 out of the 8 bands of Mohawk, for example, are legal entities.

Oklahoma is Home To 51 Groups of Native Americans

The USA and Canada have thousands of groups of Native North Americans and many more than most Americans know. For example:

  • Oklahoma federally recognized nations or tribes: 38 groups.
  • Oklahoma state recognized nations or tribes: None.
  • Oklahoma unrecognized (by US or State Governments) nations or tribes: 13 groups.

(Reference: US Department of the Interior; US Department of Indian Affairs; National Conference of State Legislatures.)

Guilty Feelings are Useless Without Remedy

Guilty feelings are useless if they do not spur the individual possessing those feelings to constructive action.

In fact, guilt causes stress that is destructive to the human body, mind and spirit. Bluntly put, lingering guilt causes illness. Some individuals feel guilty - not over an injustice - but because they do not want take action to remedy that injustice.

People joke about the guilt heaped onto children by Jewish mothers, by Italian mothers, by other mothers, by governments, by social initiatives - and this is overstated for humor, but it is no joke. The case of parents and societies guilting their teen-through-adult children and citizens into actions they [parents/society] find more palatable is a means of manipulation and, therefore, dishonest.

The effective method? →

  1. Ask for what you want and what you think is just, fair, and morally right.
  2. Accept the answer, BUT
  3. If you don't like the answer, take logical and workable means to change that answer:
  • Aim to Do the Most Good to the Most People with Your Request
  • Educate (Don't Browbeat) the Public or the Adult Child, Friend, or Other Person
  • Be An Example -- Live In a Way That Supports What You are Asking For As Just and Right.
  • Use Powerful Examples for History and Current Events
  • Describe the Worst Case Scenario If the Request is Denied
  • Peacefully Protest
  • Initiate Legislation
  • Repeat "Initiate Legislation" in a peaceful manner until the matter becomes law and/or custom, even if it takes generations.

Alaskan totem pole before 1936. NARA's Pacific Alaska Region (Anchorage).
Alaskan totem pole before 1936. NARA's Pacific Alaska Region (Anchorage). | Source

Carved by Chief Tony Hunt

Fort Rupert, BC, Canada.
Fort Rupert, BC, Canada. | Source

All the Peoples Within Me Cry.

I find it useless to feel guilty about what some of my ancestors did to the rest of my ancestors in the 1600s. Constant feuding followed the family factions into the late 20th century, but I refused profoundly to participate in the bickering because the subject matter is too enmeshed --

In correct calculations, my heritage is 37.5% Mohawk (the German word for Kanienkehaka) Nation, 37.5% English-Irish-Scottish, 18.75% French, and 6.25% German. This heritage encompasses nearly all of the people, save the Dutch, that were present in what is now the Northeast USA when European settlers arrived and some of these explorers purchased or took lands from the Mohawk Nation. Every nationality in my heritage fought every other nationality in that heritage at some time-point between 1600 - 1946 AD. In the US Civil War, they even fought themselves.

Even though Mohawk Nation does not qualify for recognition and reparations because the federal and state governments have indirectly pushed much of the US-based nation completely across the Canadian border, I am not angry about it. Only one small band of Mohawk have been recognized, but not paid reparations and lands are still disputed; however -- No matter what was done to whom, we in the 21st century must make our own way.

I think that no one is physically forcing people to stay on a reservations, although some public service announcements aimed at teens and young adults encourage these viewers to do so. Economics may keep some people on a reservation, but I think people need to stay alert to opportunities to leave and/or pursue education; or, to take advantage of online classes, which are funded together with Internet access and computers by the federal government on some reservations. Those that leave can even return and help upgrade the quality of life overall on the reservation. Some of my martial arts students have entered the medical professions and gone to work on reservations and feel that they have made good progress in this endeavor.

Along northern Alaskan shores, the Indigenous Peoples must move about 40 miles inland because their shores are receding under the increasing water levels caused by polar ice-cap melt. It would be logical for the federal or state governments to provide some assistance with that move of several small independent community villages. The National Guard could be called upon, if available. Other people might volunteer to help.

We can apologize and ensure that such atrocities do not occur again. However, we have not issued such insurances against atrocity. USA owned slaves and even some Native Americans owned black slaves. Abuse begets abuse until someone stands up and says, "NO more. Whatever was done to me I will NOT do to others." This all makes the problem of inhumanities much more complex than taking away land and livelihood, along with the lives of 1000s of Native Americans.

Some Native Americans are angry. Some are sad at the rape of the land via strip mining and the destruction of the great buffalo herds of 3 centuries ago.

Even in Ohio in 1600 AD, many Salmon were longer than a tall man's arm - and those were not even big enough to keep! Think of the size of the food Salmon that the Ohio Natives gave thanks to and gave thanks for before they used every bit of flesh, skin, bone and scale without waste. They would agree with the 21st century Catholic Church in stating that environmental harm and waste is a certified sin.

Today in Ohio, the waterways have been found to be laced with human medications that mediate blood pressure, depression, and anxiety. Local cartoons show that our 21st century smaller fish feel fine, but can no longer be used for food. Therefore, when they die, their dead bodies clog our vital urban and rural rivers and streams and stink. This makes the Native American cry. All the peoples within me cry at this. From the Prophecy of the Seventh Generation, stating that after 7 generations of living with Europeans (140 - 280 years, depending on weather you count 20 or 40 yrs per generation), that The Mohawk:

"would see the day when birds would fall from the sky, the fish would die in the water, and man would grow ashamed of the way that he had treated his mother and provider, the Earth."

These things and others in the Prophecy did indeed occur beginning around ~ 1750 - 1900 AD.

The local Native American Indian Center stopped advertising their good works through interviews on TV news programs, because each time they did so, their building was burned down. One Thanksgiving, there supply of food baskets and frozen turkeys, new clothing, toys, and other materials for the needy, no matter heritage one might be, were all stolen and THEN the building was burned. Should we feel guilty? No, we should help keep an eye on the property. Today, they won't tell people where they are until an in-depth phone interview is completed and the Caller ID Number can be traced.

Perhaps we can do better than this?

Native Americans, Other Americans, and Guilt

Will guilt of "Other Americans" help the Native Americans in the USA, thereby influencing the treatment of Canadian First Nations and Central and South American Native Americans as well? (Please note that all of this will influence the treatment of northern minorities throughout the Eastern Hemisphere as well.)

ONLY IF SUCH GUILT RESULTS IN PRODUCTIVE ACTION to remedy the problem of non-recognition by federal and some state governments of the USA and federal/state/provincial entities in all other countries in the Western Hemisphere of the 1000s of ...

  • Nations ("tribes" in the vulgate/popular English)
  • Bands (formerly, hunting bands, although these folks are becoming progressively greener)
  • Pueblos (SW USA)
  • Rancherias (SW USA)


  • Independent Communities (largely in the Pacific Norwest and Alaska, but also throughout the USA)...

of Indigenous Peoples throughout the United States and US Protectorates.

Non-Recognized Native American Groups

Many US States are home to only state-recognized or totally non-recognized Native American groups.

A first step in helping Native Americans would be for Other Americans to write to their congressman at the state and national levels and request that these communities, bands, rancherias, pueblos, and nations be officially recognized. Once recognized, they may qualify for state and federal grant funding for education and business.

Find out what groups may be located in your own State here:

Toss away any guilt and take action if you think you can and are willing to do so. If you cannot, please do not harm yourself with guilt. The Native Americans do not wish vengeance through additional pain and death.

Thank you for reading.

Example Of Tribal and Non-Tribal Status

Example: The 8 Mohawk Independent Communities

Recognized by the Mohawk Council of Chiefs ©2004:

  • Akwesasne/St. Regis* (Quebec, Ontario, a few in NY State)
  • Ganienke (a few in New York)
  • Kanesatake (Quebec)
  • Kahnawake (Quebec)
  • Tyendinaga (Ontario)
  • Wahta/Gibson (Ontario)
  • Kanatsiohareke (New York)
  • Ohsweken/Six Nations/Grand River (Ontario) -- Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora.

*Only the St. Regis Mohawk Council of Chiefs is recognized by the US government and nearly all of the People are living in the northern part of the reservation, in Canada, where they make up a powerful political party.

© 2008 Patty Inglish


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    • johnngd profile image

      johnngd 9 years ago from Sydney

      What an excellent post - very thought provoking - it reminds me of the native Aboriginal plight in my country of Austrlalia.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Yes! I remember an Australian Aborigine carrying the Torch into the Olympic Stadium in Sydney and how groundbreaking that was! I remember Yvonne Goolagong, the Aborigine Tennis great as well.

      Thank you so much, johnngd, for reading and commenting!

    • RK Sangha profile image

      RK Sangha 7 years ago from USA

      Good, informative and interesting reading. Thanks for enhancing my knowledge about America. I am your fan.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 3 years ago from North America

      I read an online post yesterday stating that Oklahoma is home to only one Native American group, all on a reserve. Oklahoma, in fact, has 51 different groups of Indigenous people, with 13 awaiting official recognition. USA still has more Native Americans than many people imagine.

    • profile image

      Nicholas Hamilton 2 years ago

      I'm truly. Sorry. That the white. Man. Was a cruel. , heartless, bastard,

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 2 years ago from North America

      Well, the indigenous in nearly all counties have suffered similar fates, with many setters killed as well. It's all a shame.

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