The Canvas Grey

Inspiration, Perspective, Insight

Native American Heritage

Posted by TheCanvasGrey on March 21, 2008

May the sun bring you new energy by day,

May the moon softly restore you by night.

May the rain wash away your worries,

May the breeze blow new strength into your being.

May you walk gently through the world and know its beauty all the days of your life.

Apache blessing

Our kids have Native American from both sides; from Hungry Hubby the boys have Blackfoot Indian, but from my side…we don’t know.  Great Grand-paw wouldn’t tell.

tilden-augustus-whisenant.jpg
Tilden/Poppy/Great Grand-paw

From the picture above it seems he was a patriotic man as he marches in a parade holding a flag wearing a sash.  We know little of the picture, who took it, what parade or even when it was taken. 

Grand-maw and her siblings used to beg Great Grand-paw to tell them about their heritage.   But he wouldn’t, so we don’t know for sure…yet.  Grand-maw and Mom believe that he was fearful of discrimination and so he zipped his lips.  Every indication to date seems to confirm that he and his ancestors are of Native American heritage.   

One thing is for certain he had a kind and loving spirit.  Great Grand-paw fathered two families as I understand it.  He had grown children from another marriage when he met and married my Great Grand-maw in the early 1900s.   She was young and had four children quickly.  Great Grand-maw would “run-away” from time to time,  Tilden would never say an unkind word about her nor would he allow anyone else.  My Mom called him Poppy and she fondly remembers cuddling with him in a rocking chair.  He had a grocery store that went bankrupt during the Great Depression because he couldn’t refuse people groceries when they had nothing to eat.  Who knows he may have feed one of your ancestors. 

My family heritage is not just from whinst we came but were we shall GO.  Onward and upward, hand in hand, bound by love, commitment, sweat, tears, joy, hope and a healthy dash of fear.  We don’t have any daredevils in our family but we sure had many to serve our country. 

There is nothing wrong with being proud from where you came nor is there any shame in it either.  No one gets to pick their circumstances at birth…this is the basic reason I cannot wrap my head around discrimination based on what a person looks like…ACTIONS are what matter.  Actions are the best measure of character.  Attitude is the best measure of where the spirit and mind converge.   

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5 Responses to “Native American Heritage”

  1. Angie said

    This is so good, don’t you love and wish you knew more about our heritage from our ancestors?

    My grandmother had a photo of an indian woman and she would not tell us anything either. My Aunt said that we had Cherokee ancestry and that my Grandmother felt that it would be discriminating too. Is that not a shame?

    I have heard them talk of little grocery stores that went out of business because of giving people credit during that time.

    I think the depression caused a lot of those living during that time to value the ‘land’ more. My grandmother used to say that the land was the only thing that could not replace itself so she always wanted to keep the farm in the family. Of course, that did not happen but I have never forgotten some of her sayings.
    Funny how when you don’t think anybody is listening, they really are..

    I so agree about your take on ‘Actions’ are what matter.
    Good post as always
    Hugs

  2. Hugs to you Angie! Americans are huge givers and no one ever talks about that. Our ancestors may have not had the education people do now but boy were they WISE!!!!!!

  3. Mary said

    A wonderful photo of your ancestor. There is much to be found out about our roots if we take time to dig them out. Not always an easy task.

    We should all be proud of our ancestry, no matter what it is or what skeletons are in our closets. It sure is interesting to find out what kind of lives our ancestors lived.

    Blessings,
    Mary

  4. Sky said

    What a great little project. I love my Native American ancestry. I have also found that the Mormon church maintains some of the best records for Indians. They are very accomodating also. You may want to start there. That is a very interesting sash. I hope you find out. It is great to know where we come from 🙂
    Beautiful blessing by the wat. 🙂

  5. Sky said

    Should always spell check. Should read…”by the way”. sorry 🙂

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