Science, Blood & Bones
One of my many Lakota uncles, John, casually referred to himself as mixed-blood.
John grew up around Pine Ridge and Mission, South Dakota, and went to school with the Deloria clan.
“I gave Vine a bloody nose when we were kids,” John said.
The last time we drove to Sundance, John pointed out Russell Means’ house.
John’s father was Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) and his mum, my relation, was French, Sioux and Osage.
And culturally speaking, John occupied a place in the Sioux culture and the mainstream white society.
We talked a lot about identity and authenticity, as John was raised in an era where blood was quantified.
Folks in my family carry a CDIB card—a certification of the degree of blood quantum–issued by the US Federal Government. Continue reading