So Fauxahontas wasn’t lying (much) after all, she is .1-1.56% Native American. The issue with Ms. Warren remains that she used this minuscule connection to claim oppressed status at one or more of her university jobs. Harvard itself used her tenuous heritage to trumpet that they had a law professor with native blood. Bless their hearts for elevating that claim to a virtue, but if all of the men and women who live in North America can claim oppressed privilege for that percentage, the line-up would be legions.
In our blended family, we carry the blood of four separate indigenous nations, the Blackfoot, Mohawk, Assiniboine and Metis. My great grandmother’s cousin was Pauline Johnson, the Mohawk poet, famous at the crux of the 19th century for her performance art and tales of the free red woman running through the forests. Pauline was in fact, more white than native, but we are related to her through her Mohawk family. One of our Phelpses married into Joseph Brant’s Mohawk, sometime after the American Revolution and became such an activist for native rights he had to be smuggled out of Canada because the British were about to hang him. He ended up being one of the men listed as a founder of Chicago.
Jamie, my partner, has a great-grandmother who was full-blood Assinniboine, a band who traveled the boundaries of the Arctic Circle. She married a Scot from the Orkneys, the name we reckon was given to him when he arrived off the boast sometime in the 1700’s. Last name? Dunno. Ok, Scott it is! His son, separately, has enough Metis blood to be able to fund his education, a privilege he does not claim. My great Aunt Ida married a Blackfoot who was an Olympic rower, and he himself was descended from a Mccleod, who was the original Hudson’s Bay factor, after whom the main artery in the hyper-modern city Calgary, is named. The Mccleod Trail.
My point is that at the founding and for two centuries afterward, marriages, commerce and political alliances between natives and white were far more common than today. Today natives are sequestered on their reserves, attempting in some way to hold the line on their heritage and culture. I can fault government which never does anything right when it comes to native peoples. I can also fault socialism which in its pernicious digging into every aspect of the Americas, has ginned up hate on reservations, fostering an anger towards white people which is essentially pointless, because we whiteys don’t even notice Finally the greens have established on far too many reservations, an oppressive hunter-gatherer imprisonment, wherein natives are paid pittances for shutting down the exploitation of their resources, impoverishing them to the point where they can’t even afford vegetables.
There is no solution barring a Trumpian severing of the blood-sucking bureaucrats, greens, and lawyer activists from the wealth of America’s Indians. It suits the Indian industry to keep natives in perpetual negotiation for more candy. Up in northern Ontario, where hopeless teenagers kill themselves in soul-sucking numbers, lies the Ring of Fire, a region so rich it could transform their lives in less than a generation. The Ring of Fire is policed by one of the stupidest politicians Canada has ever created, Bob Rae, and development is blocked by the octopus-like environmental movement.
Maybe Elizabeth Warren could solve that problem. It would be a contribution that would put her in the history books. But I believe she is too busy preening.