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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


May 17, 2003 - Issue 87


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by Leo J., Age 17, Northern Pomo (Sherwood) and Pit River (Amjumawi band).
Editor's Note: As you can imagine, we get a LOT of email. And, sometimes the mail that we receive needs to be shared. The following comes from a young man with a message. We are reprinting it with his permission, and without edits. Leo hopes that his words will help.

Alryte check it out people, i'm a young native amercian male, i'm 17, i come from the Northside of California, an here in my county gangs i guess are a problem, there's mexican gangs, an then there's us, the indian ones...for some reason people think indian gangs lost their culural idenity?...but if wer'e "native american gangs"..then how is that true?...*just a note, no, i'm not illiterate, but i'm just typing this message as i think it out*..anywayz, we never lost our cultural heritage, cuz in mah group, we sing, dance, pray and get commoditys like any other non-"gang"membered indians, so how is that yu people can say we lost our culture? i'm affiliated with :JP: or Jine Pride, *Jine=another word for Native, juz a slang word*...but, also, i know i'm classified as a gang my county we have a gang book that says "JP" is a gang...when we all thought we were just a group of indians that were proud to be who they are....they say we're gang member because of the color we choose as ours- "RED" (because indians are known-as redskins <a racial basis of why we chose that color, and because that's what most "red-skins" identify themselves with....) we get the 3rd degree when it comes to "gangs"....but, what i don't get? and i ask this all the tyme in mah communtity?...why are we seen as negative?..when we raise the younger generation to be proud of who they are? to hold their heads up high? is this a problem?...when we're doing as our elders taught us ."to be proud of who u are, an to respect that"..along time ago, indians never lived with pilgrims, or white people, or mexicans, they kept to themselves when allowed, just look at tribes..are tribes big groups of gangs?..i guess so, are they as negative as us "gangs"...if gangs such as "crips:..or :"nortenos"..are being seen around on the rez's....those aren't native american gangs because another race created it, therefore, to indians, yes, it is negative an has no place for itself on a reservation, but as long as the indians participating in them are still claimin their native ancestry then i see no problem with it cuz that's not losing their heritage an that's not dissowning their culture, it's no different than a family feud, but...on another note what about the Jp's, an IP's, RIP'S, tha Warrior Society, RED other "indian groups"...i personally think people should think before they get the facts straight...


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  Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.  

Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 of Vicki Lockard and Paul Barry.

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