Author Topic: Adoption Ceremonies  (Read 241813 times)

Re: Adoption Ceremonies
« Reply #75 on: May 18, 2012, 02:05:28 am »
Those political items, sure, they wouldn't be eligible for as they are not ndn. But to grow up in a community knowing you don't have any rights, or the same rights as the rest of the people, would be, imo, rather horrible. A 2nd class citizen that doesn't really belong. That's just my opinion and it really doesn't matter here anyway. It just makes me sad.
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Offline earthw7

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Re: Adoption Ceremonies
« Reply #76 on: May 18, 2012, 01:36:11 pm »
I never though a person would be a second class citizen because they are not enrolled! :o
We have many people who live here among the tribe that are not enrolled they are no different
that anyone else here, the difference is they follow state law instead of tribal law.
To be truthful i have never seen a native couple adopted a white child, that is something new
i could hear the out cry if that happened. I know the united states would step in that case.
Two of my own grandchildren are not enrolled but they are still my grandchildren ;D

The rolls are today by blood quantum to protect us as a people when they first started BQ is
was a way to get rid of us now today we use it to protect us. We do have to protect ourselves
from the world so that we can live as a people.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 01:38:36 pm by earthw7 »
In Spirit

Offline MsWilma

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Re: Adoption Ceremonies
« Reply #77 on: May 19, 2012, 03:53:31 am »
Hi from Australia,

On the one hand, being a white australian, this is none of my business, so I apologise before hand if anyone here feels I'm intruding.
On the other hand, as a human being I'm looking at the notion of 'blood quotient' . I'm coming from a from a culture without blood quotient as a requirement of proof re: an individual's indigenous status. (...anymore, but that's a loong history in itself)
It disturbs me that someone's 'blood quotient' could be used to determine anyof their rights within any society.

Educated Indian writes:
" Imagine the incredible abuse, and huge public outcry by those already hostile to NDNs, if nonNatives actually could be adopted into tribes. "Why're we throwing away my tax dollars on people who ain't really Indians?"

In the past couple of years, Australia has had a celebrated courtcase, in which a journalist accused a group of fair skinned people of indigenous descent and holding respected roles within their communities, of 'not being aboriginal enough', and exploiting aboriginal culture for their own purposes.  He was found guilty of defamation for a range of reasons. I posted a thread re his trial some time ago. You'll find it here, if you're interested:

I feel proud to be part of a culture willing to  attempt to stand up to the abuse and outcry created by racial hostility (I'm not saying we get it all right- just that I believe that its the right thing to do)

I like Australia's current legal definition of Aboriginality. It has 3 parts:

An Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander is
-a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent
-who identifies as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and
-is accepted as such by the community in which he [or she] lives.

Here's a link to the Australian Law Reform Commission's info on legal definitions of aboriginality:

Humans being what we are, there may well be individuals out there who exploit this definition for their own purposes. I still like it.
Yes, this leads to debate and dissension. I believe that it's debate that we need to have.

Again, I may have dragged this thread off topic- sorry  :) It's relevance to this topic, I suppose, is that in my (outsiders) opinion, surely it's up to each tribe to decide for themselves who is and isnt a part of their community? Rather than some externally imposed 'proof'?
If blood quotient is important to a community for cultural reasons I dont understand, well then, thats just the way its going to be. But it would be a pity if a community is hanging onto blood quotients, because there's a fear that it's the only way to prove their right to exist - to outsiders who the world around have used notions of race such as 'blood quotients' for some pretty unpalatable reasons.


« Last Edit: May 19, 2012, 07:49:36 am by MsWilma »

Offline earthw7

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Re: Adoption Ceremonies
« Reply #78 on: May 19, 2012, 09:37:45 am »
I guess you will have to understand the united states policy it was created by the united States started in 1770
and today the tribes have taken what was forced on them and made it a policy to protect themselves of course each
nation decided who belong to them so some tribes have lineal descendant, well other have blood quantum, and then the
blood quantum is total up to the tribe so it goes from 1/2 to 1/16. So in my nation you have to be 1/4 blood from my tribe
and one or more parents on our rolls, we allow all dakota-lakota-nakota tribes.
But some nations allow all native blood, some only allow from the mother's side or the father's side.

Today we have fakes-frauds and other who will take our culture and spirituality claiming to be adopted into our tribes
and became so sort of medicine man-aka shaman or something crazy like that. So we say prove it to us that you belong
to us. Most of the blood quantum has a lot to do with land and the ownership of our land, we are still landowners.
We know that we have to protect ourselves from the non native who think they can take what they want from our culture,
to steal our names, our spirituality and our way of life, i even heard a white woman running around Australia claiming to be
the white buffalo calf woman or those who are doing sweat lodge ceremonies in your country which is an horrid and should
never have happened. The bottom line is This site is not about Blood quantum.
I am proud to be 7/8 Ihunktonwana, Pabaska, Sisseton, Hunkpapa, Sihasapa and 1/8 Oglala, I still say it is our right as a tribal nation to decide who belong to my nation and no one has the right to tell us other wise
« Last Edit: May 19, 2012, 09:39:55 am by earthw7 »
In Spirit

Offline MsWilma

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Re: Adoption Ceremonies
« Reply #79 on: May 19, 2012, 10:27:57 am »
Hi earthw7, thanks for replying to me, yes, it is absolutely your right to decide who belongs to your tribes and who does not. There are a lot of nations in North America who've been working on this for centuries. You know a lot more about this than I ever will, and its not really my business,so as I said earlier, I apologise if I offend you by giving my opinion. It's only another opinion.

And yes, here in Australia, land rights have a long long way to go, and indigenous australians were denied  the vote until as recently as 1962. We have a shameful history  of colonial invasion, massacre and exploitation that continues to this day. Nevertheless, I'm glad that the 'blood quotient' discussion is not currently an issue. Historically Austrralia hasnt got a lot right in terms of indigenous rights, so I'm probably proud of our stand on this, because we've got so much wrong...

 I support this site exposing the whole plastic shaman phenomenon. I found NAFPS after some local friends began sending me links to a fake shaman. I learn a lot here, and this site has led me to learning a lot more about our history here in Aus as well.

I think that the white woman you're referring to was a US citizen, Marlo Morgan. She popped up in the 90s with an offensive book called 'Mutant Message Down Under'. I also remember aboriginal people here protesting her story, so I've just googled her again. She mainly sold her story to the european and US markets (more sales and money than Australia). A group of elders travelled to the USA and confronted Morgan about the book. She admitted that she faked it, but her admission didnt get much press.
Here's a link to the wikipedia story on Morgan:
Here's a link to the Dumbartung report on the work the elders did in the 90s to discredit her:

- She was only one of many. There are plenty of frauds named on this site who come down to Australia, where they find an easy audience. This site is really valuable for educating people here, so thankyou.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2012, 10:41:26 am by MsWilma »

Re: Adoption Ceremonies
« Reply #80 on: May 19, 2012, 06:14:56 pm »
Hi. Thanks for responding. I wasn't speaking about BQ or the things that ndn's are eligible for from the USA. When Earth replied that they would have no rights, I took it to mean within the community. No voting rights in community matters, no rights in ceremonies, etc. And that would leave a person feeling rather bad about their self, imo, it would be hurtful. Not being eligible for things from USA because of BQ shouldn't be hurtful to anyone. :) Sorry for the confusion.
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Offline tecpaocelotl

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Re: Adoption Ceremonies
« Reply #81 on: May 23, 2012, 04:33:40 pm »
Does anyone think that since Johnny Depp was adopted by that family that white people are going to think it's as easy as the articles are written as? LOL.

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Adoption Ceremonies
« Reply #82 on: May 23, 2012, 04:58:31 pm »
Yes. Thankfully this article quotes Native Appropriations blogger Adrienne Keene (Cherokee), and clarifies that he was adopted by one Native person, not the whole tribe (as some are reporting. I didn't think they got all the Comanches, everywhere, to adopt this jerk. (And sorry, yes, he's a very talented actor and I used to think he was pretty cool. but he's being a major jerk about all of this.)):

Why Can Johnny Depp Play Tonto, but Ashton Kutcher and Sacha Baron Cohen Get Slammed?

I'll also post the article in the Johnny Depp Thread.

Offline earthw7

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Re: Adoption Ceremonies
« Reply #83 on: February 19, 2013, 09:15:11 pm »
I just redid the Adoption ceremony for people so they can understand a little better,

Ohunkagapi-Making of Relatives
Hunka- Hunkalowanpi....The Making of Relatives Ritual                                                                                       
The Hunka Ceremony is one of the Seven Sacred Rites of the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota people given to them by the White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman.
The Making of Relatives or what is called the Hunka adoption ceremonies of the Lakota/Dakota/Nakota is an adoption ceremony to adopt an individual into a family. This can happen if you lose a family member then you can adopt another member into your family. When you are close to an Individual for a long time and you want honor the relationship you can adopt them as a member of your family.
This relationship is sacred it is an adoption though god. The Hunka relatives have the rights to care for their new family as they care for you. To care for your new mother, father, brother, sister and make sure they are warm and safe. 

Hunkalowanpi or Hunka Ritual, This ceremony is very old all the Teton, Isanti, Yankton and Yanktonais have it but the Isanti claim it. The Hunka is a ceremony to make a person a relative he or she understood to have taken ceremonial parents or relative which are to be as dear as their natural parents. This ceremony is for life and it is a voluntary position where one takes the obligation toward his new relatives. Once you accept Hunka you cannot say later I don’t want to be your relative, I no longer wish to be relative to you, your own self respect constrains you to keep the relationship and you must respect your Hunka relatives for the rest of your life. A person can have more than one Hunka ceremony. A hunka would obligate him or herself to perpetual kindness, generosity and well doing toward those who are Hunka. The Hunka is so sacred and binding that nobody made fun of it.  When a Hunka ceremony was proposed the families would careful think it over for a long time, they would look at the other family to see if they want to ceremonial belong to them it was not a ceremony to take lightly.

There are two kind of Hunka ceremonies Cahake awicakozapi-the wave brush like stick over the people, or Wiyaka ToTo U awicalwapi- They sang over them using Blue Feathers. A tipi was erected facing the sun rise or a buffalo hide placed on the ground, a buffalo skull is place in the center, the individual who are doing the Hunka shall take a seat their new Hunka family shall place new garment or blanket on their new Hunka family. The new relatives will give food and water to their new relative. The Hunka family will paint the faces of their new relatives this is called Waka-owicawapi-Holy Painting. The paint of the face is a blue line across the center of the forehead and blue line across the center of hairline a feather shall be tied to crown of the hair. Two brushes like branch are waved over their heads in the four directions and above and below. Each of the Hunka makes a pledge to their new Hunka relative, to give food, give water, clothing and warmth all there days. They have mercy, generosity and to be there for them and do good things for their relatives. They would have a great feed and giveaway to honor their new relatives. With this the ritual ends, and gifts are exchanged between the families of the Hunka.

What they are NOT!
The Oyate-(Nation) or tribal nation cannot make relatives with one person because there is no ceremony for this process.  A Hunka is a ceremony for individuals. There has never been a person who has been adopted into the Lakota or Dakota or Nakota Nation. This has not happen in the past or today. In order for a person to be adopted into the nation all the Nations would have to be agreed to one individual.  That agreement must be agreed on by all of the three Lakota-Dakota-Nakota nations; bands which include the 14 reservations in the Northern Plains and nine Canadian Reserves.  There have been some tribes that have made individuals honorary members but those members do not have the right to vote, be enrolled, or eligible for services as a tribal member.

Traditional Hunka relatives do NOT have the right to do any of the following due to adoption ceremony.
•   The Individual has No Rights to do traditional ceremonies,
•   The Individual has NO Rights to our oral stories
•   The Individual has NO Rights to traditional medicine,
•   The Individual has No Rights to inherit medicine men names, without family approval
•   The Individual has No Right to take the names of the Hunka Family, without family approval
•   The Individual has No Right to speak for any tribal nations
•   The Individual has No Right to speak for Tribal governments,
•   The Individual has No Rights to speak for the adopted families without family approval.
•   The Individual has no right to vote in a tribal election
•   The Individual has no right to be enrolled in a tribe
•   The Individual has no rights to be eligible for services as a tribal member
•   If a person claims to be adopted by a Hunka ceremony of the Lakota or Dakota or Nakota Nation it is not true: they can only be adopted by a family.
•   If a person claim to be taught medicine by a Lakota or Dakota or Nakota person by rights of Hunka then they should have the permission from all the members of that family.
In Spirit

Offline earthw7

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Re: Adoption Ceremonies
« Reply #84 on: February 19, 2013, 09:38:22 pm »
please feel free to use this
In Spirit

Offline MattOKC

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Re: Adoption Ceremonies
« Reply #85 on: April 02, 2013, 06:32:52 am »
Here in Oklahoma, my Cheyene-Arapaho friends have an associate--a friend--named Billy (that's his name, not a pseudonym for the sake of the story). Billy is a full-blooded white guy.

But here's the thing. Billy's grandfather was a missionary to the C&A tribes, but rather than being part of the genocidal colonization type of missionary, he integrated into the tribes. He learned the language fluently, and memorized songs. He became so renowned that later in his life, the tribes would come to him to verify facts or ask questions about older ways.

Billy has kept that tradition. He knows the language, sings the songs, knows the stories (I've seen full-bloods ask him to help remind them how a story goes), he helps in ceremonies, and he knows most of the active families here in the area.

Now, I've never heard Billy try to pass himself off as an Indian. He's comfortable identifying as a white guy. But here's the thing: the traditional C&A's practically insist that he's "one of us." They see Billy as having all the authenticity and belonging as anyone else in their families, and expect to see him at the sundances and sweats. He knows the arrow-keeper and bundle-keeper. Billy is fully culturally-adopted in every sense of the word, yet he doesn't exploit that and start promoting himself as a "holy person who was trained by so-and-so to do ceremonies" and that crap. He just shows up, sings, moves rocks, sets up tipi poles, feeds people, and fits in. Simple as that.

If, for one minute, he started acting like some sort of "chosen one" who was "adopted" and authorized to do ceremonies, he'd probably lose his welcome. But he doesn't do that. He DOES know the ceremonies, and he respects them, and he works for the people, and so in their hearts Billy's one of 'em. Billy may be the best example of "adoption" into a tribe I've ever seen.

Offline earthw7

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Re: Adoption Ceremonies
« Reply #86 on: April 02, 2013, 02:06:36 pm »
There are those people who have come and made a place in our hearts,
we have Jack who came to live among us and became a part of us, adopted by many families,
he never disrespected his place among us. he was welcomed at all our ceremonies, his wife and him cooked for ceremonies
never once did he step out of places, I remember one day jack was standing with this white guy and we asked him jack
who was that white guy you were talking to and he told us who he was and said you know that it was really two white guys standing there
i said Jack i never saw you as the white guy. When he died the tribe went and buried him traditional among us because he was one
of us. You would never hear Jack say he had any rights to our ways. That deep respect we had for him that we took care of his widow and
still do today.
I know that there are good people out there among many races of people but just as we know these good people there are those who
will steal everything we have without looking back so we must always be caution. That is why i ask if you are adopted by a tribal member
do you take care of that family? Are you a part of that family? How many time a year do you visit your family?
Remember family is not the tribe nation.
In Spirit

Offline Odelle

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Re: Adoption Ceremonies
« Reply #87 on: June 07, 2013, 03:40:57 am »
I have a friend who I admire very much who I guess was *kind of* adopted into one community. He was given a name. He's also a fluent speaker of the community's language and has rights to certain songs. He's not a blood member of the community. He's half non-US Asian country on his father's side and his mother is white and half NDN, but from a different part of the country and he really never had any connection with those people at all, so he doesn't think of himself as part of that community at all.

As a kid, he moved to his adopted community with his mom when she married a member of the community and that guy was the main father figure for my friend, teaching him language and encouraging him to learn about the land and the culture of the land.


Offline Leilehua

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Re: Adoption Ceremonies
« Reply #88 on: April 18, 2014, 10:37:24 am »
Aloha kakou! Greetings to us all!
I think EducatedIndian has invited me to share some of the NAFs we have in the islands, but I am not comfortable stating specific names. But claims of adoption have been used to give a false authentication to a number of NAFs. So, when I saw this thread on adoption, I thought,"Oh, this is a good place to share mana`o."
In Hawaiian culture, we have two forms of adoption:

Hanai - the root word " `ai " indicates feeding. A hanai is generally adopted at a very young age, fed and reared exactly as a hanau (birth child). In fact, part of the hanai ceremony has the hanai parents affirm that they will take full responsibility for the child "from the food that goes into the mouth to the excrement that comes out of the anus."

Ho`okama - the root word "kama," child, is made into a verb. Your ho`okama is generally an adult that you did not rear, but there is such a great bond of affection that you wish this person to be a part of your `ohana, your family. In this case, the adoption is mutual, and the ceremony requires the ho`okama, as well as the makua (parents) and kupuna (elders) to accept all obligations which come with being part of an `ohana.
My husband and I have two ho`okama, and we each have one hanau. So, between us, we have four daughters.

Malama pono,
« Last Edit: May 14, 2014, 08:19:00 am by hapawoman »

Offline earthw7

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Re: Adoption Ceremonies
« Reply #89 on: May 15, 2014, 01:42:20 pm »
it is good to hear other belief in making relatives, :D
I believe making relatives is important to continue our families,
that is why it hurt to see people abuse the adoption ceremonies of our people.
In Spirit