I have known for most of my life that I have Native American heritage in my family. I knew about my family history of Creek Indians on my mother’s side, and then years ago, found out that there is Canadian Indian lineage on my father’ side as well. More recently, I found out that our specific tribe is the Poarch Band Creek Indians, and my mother is actually an elder in the tribe, which is based in Atmore, Alabama.
When I was a teenager, I tuned in more deeply into my Indian heritage. I bought books, and was fascinated by history of native Americans. I was moved deeply by the photographs of old warriors and the words that they said, filled with pain, as well as maintaining their deep love and respect for our Earth Mother. I knew even then that it was an integral part of me, and my native heritage ended up becoming that part of my bloodline that I always identified with the most. I knew that there were other parts of our genealogy, yet my soul responded mainly to that part.
As a young adult, I would go to powwows, go to museums, and wear native jewelry. It seemed to connect me to my roots. I would sit in nature for hours, and actually had an experience once of seeing the spirit of a native warrior.
I know now, today in my life, that my native roots are not just where I come from, but they are also what guides my spiritual beliefs, and my connection to what I am meant to do here. The values that come from this heritage for me the most are love and respect for the Earth and all of her beings; a sense of community with other human beings; and love, compassion and understanding for all. The word that comes to my mind most often is “honor”; honor the earth, honor humans, honor ourselves in always calling up our best when we take action in the world.
And, always remember who we are and where we come from.
The picture above, which I just saw for the first time last night, is of two relatives on my mother’s side, going way back in time. Possibly 1900. My great grandmother, Annie Gibson, and my great grandfather, Paul DeSilvey. The power in the photograph for me is stunning. Knowing these persons are part of my family, seeing part of where I come from. Feeling my connection to all that has been real to me, for most of my life.
I have the responsibility of digging up these family roots to go back as far as I can, which I am absolutely willing to do. Even though I always have a choice about where I take myself in this world, I am never far from that which is my legacy, my heritage.
My soul connection of who I am.