Monday, November 26, 2012

November is Native American Heritage Month

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By Diane Forrest

As I was preparing for this article, I seem to recall someone mentioning there was some Native American blood in my family.  I called my aunt to verify this information.  She had also heard this story, but was not sure about its origin.  She did however inform me that she had belonged to a tribe when she was in college.  They had tribes at Mississippi College, where she attended, instead of Sororities.
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There were officially 562 federally recognized tribes in the United States.  They covered every state in the country.  This means there is a good possibility that you may have some Native American in your ancestry as well.

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I live down the road from the Natchez Indian Village.  Every year they host a Powwow.  This area was once home to the Natchez Indians, and they are no longer in existence.  All that remains is the village, signs of their homes and burial grounds.  My uncle, who is a former history teacher, has become quite interested in the Natchez Indian tribe, and is currently researching more about them.  I love the culture, and history and the stories from their civilization, and when the other tribes come to the village for the powwow, I can hear their drums beating when I sit on the porch.  Each dance they perform has a certain meaning, and each beat of the drum has a different message.


To view the tribes that have settled in your current state, view this site:  http://www.native-languages.org/states.htm

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The list of Native Americans in Mississippi include:
  • The Biloxi tribe
  • The Chickasaw tribe
  • The Choctaw tribe
  • The Houma tribe
  • The Natchez tribe
  • The Ofo tribe
  • The Quapaw tribe
  • The Tunica tribe

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My aunt suggested that we have some of the Biloxi tribe in our family, however she had no confirmation.  After preparing for this article, it has peaked my curiosity, and I told her I would do some more research in this area.  November is Native American Heritage month, so if your curiosity has been peaked, ask your family members if you have any ties, or check out some online genealogy sites such as ansestry.com and learn about what tribe you could be associated.

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