White native americans?

I don’t want to be insensitive with this thread that is certainly not my attention. However I’ve noticed something peculiar at least to me with some americans who claim to be native american. In that some of them look almost entirely white or European in decent.

I have not noticed this with other racial groups, where you have predominantly white looking people claiming to be black or asian for example?

I know there are mixes that took place but I’m talking about people that unless they told you specifically they were native american you would never even suspect it? This may be getting theoretical or abstract but can someone be both white and native american at the same time?

There ***are ***White Asians. Russia, much of Central Asia and a large portion of SW Asia is filled with them. There just are not many White Asians in East, South or Southeast Asia.

As far as people with White/European phenotypes: This is a relatively new cultural phenomenon. If you were go back as recently as the WWII, there would be very few Whites in North or South America who would claim Native ancestry. Even today, in areas where the Native/Aboriginal populations are high, most of the “White” people will be insulted if they are called “Indians” or questioned about Native heritage.

After the narrative of North America changed and the wrongs committed by Europeans and their descendants were more commonly discussed in public, a number of people whose phenotype gives them the appearance of being “White”, started to claim real or perceived Native heritage. It was, for want of a better word, “cool” for them to do so. Also with the advent of “Indian casinos” and with tribes becoming more wealthy due to mineral and timber rights, it also became profitable for many to do so.

Again, in areas where the Native population is very high, people who identify themselves as being “White” will only claim Native heritage when there is some benefit to do so. If the local Native population is poor or disenfranchised, the majority will not.

Of course. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_identity_in_the_United_States#Blood_quantum

My cousin’s husband is Native American and gets benefits therefrom although you couldn’t tell from looking at him. Their son also gets rights for the percentage of his “blood”.

From what I can recall from my Anthropology courses back in uni, the US government has some sort of formula for recognizing you as a Native American. Something like a minimum of one great- or great-great-grandparent, something like that. In the extreme cases, the person in question might very well look like a paleface.

We were also taught that this rubbed a lot of tribes the wrong way, because as far as they were concerned, whoever they said was a member of their tribe was a member of their tribe, and ancestry be damned. I myself, without a drop of Native American blood in me that I’m aware of, could claim such status if for any reason I could get a tribe to allow me to join. But the US government would not recognize me as such.

According to something I read somewhere (probably in one of James Loewen’s books), some Native American tribes allowed “immigration” – that is, occasional white Europeans chose to “go Native” and join a Native American tribe, and some tribes allowed this.

If so, you could have white blood lines entering in a tribe that way.

It’s reasonably common for Americans to (truthfully) claim to be one-eighth or one-sixteenth Native American, while all the rest of their ancestry is European, so they look like they are of European descent.

There are lots of black Native Americans also.

One of my coworkers in Miami was a Seminole. He was also blonde by my southern-European standards, with the kind of build that rugby was invented for. He explained that the Seminole tribe has a ton of Scottish and Irish blood, mostly from people who fled south at the time of the American Revolution; his own lastname is very much Scottish.

Given that three of his parents were or had been members of the Tribal Council, and that his own main reason for not wanting to leave the area was being able to participate in tribal matters (and some day be a TC Member, like Daddy and Daddy’s new wife and Mommy’s new husband), it would appear that his credentials as a member of the Seminole Nation were in fine mettle.

I’m sure it’s purely coincidence, but there are financial advantages to being a member of a recognized tribe. There are no such financial advantages to claiming to be other ethnic groups.

Yeah, several years ago a spokesperson for the Cherokee Tribe in Tahlequah was a blonde white woman. The Cherokees have no minimum blood quantum, you just need to show that an ancestor was on the Dawes Commission Rolls of the Five Civilized Tribes in (what became) Oklahoma in 1907.

My father’s father’s father was a full-blood “Delaware Cherokee” (as we were termed at the time) and my CDIB card says 3/8 degree Indian blood of the Cherokee (A.D.) tribe. The A.D. meant “Adopted Delaware”. The Delaware Tribe of Indians has since re-split from the Cherokee Tribe and are once again a separate federally-recognized tribe.

If you look up the Wikipedia entry for “Delaware Tribe of Indians”, you will see pictured an Indian lady. That is my father’s aunt, Nora Thompson Dean or “Touching Leaves Woman”.

There is a similar thing with Australian Aborigines; there are many people who look more-or-less “European” but who are Aboriginal in terms of (partial) ancestry and culture. In some Aboriginal groups, famously with Tasmanian Aborigines, there are no “pure bloods” any more. (Which sometimes leads to ignorant and/or racist claims that Tasmanian Aborigines are extinct.)

There was a court case recently where our most repulsive right wing demagogue wrote an article claiming that people without what he felt to be enough visible Aboriginal ancestry were claiming an Aboriginal identity to cash in on the perceived benefits of being Aboriginal. Basically saying that these people were too white-looking to be “real” Aboriginals. The people he targeted sued him for defamation and he - rightly - lost.

A side issue with this thread is that everyone here seems to be accepting that “Native American” = “American Indian.”

In fact, the naming convention itself is fraught with controversy. While most folks get that little shiver of righteous political correctness and subconsciously congratulate themselves every time they utter the former term rather than the latter, it is not one that is universally favored among the people it purports to refer to.

From the Wikipedia page cited above:

Perhaps the most prominent activist for his people, the late Russell Means, actively despised the term. His reasoning was that Native American was originally a U.S. Census term that included many groups of people that had no connection whatsoever to American Indians.

One thing to consider is that there aren’t that many pure-blood Native Americans these days. Most people that look like the stereotypical ideal of a Native American have some white or black bloodlines as well. Appearance can’t tell you everything.

I am 1/8th Native American overall. Two of my great-grandmothers were half Native American and went to great lengths never to mention it because it wasn’t a socially acceptable thing when they were brought up. The features express themselves in weird ways in my family. My father who is mainly of English descent except for the Native American heritage looks roughly Mexican. He is also very interested in Native American artifacts and culture and taught us all about it even though we are ‘white’. I have very dark thick hair and high cheekbones.

My little brother is the only one that has ever used our ancestry to his advantage. He checked the "Native American’ box on his Coast Guard Officer Training School application and was selected over several thousand other candidates. It wasn’t a lie and he was as committed to it as anyone else would be but that must have been the deciding factor because the competition was extreme.

They must have done a double-take when he showed up because he looks about as Native American as Justin Bieber but there is no official test to prove whether you are are aren’t. It is all self-reporting for government purposes and each tribe sets their own standards. Almost all accept 1/4 ancestry, many accept 1/8 and some go down as far as 1/32nd. Even at 1/4 hertitage, a given individual can look like anything. I have a SIL with bright red hair and green eyes who is a full member of a legally recognized tribe.

The way I look at it, anyone born in North, South or Central America could somewhat justifiably be called Native American.
We didn’t really have a name that referred to all of the peoples living in (for example) what became the US. There were hundreds of separate tribes, each with their own names for themselves. These names usually meant something like “the people”. For my tribe, the term is Lenni Lenape. For the Cherokee, the term is Anitsalagi (sometimes shortened to Tsalagi).
Like most people I know, I prefer American Indian. It’s been used for hundreds of years and is just wrong enough to be (somewhat) comprehensive. :wink:

Edit: On preview, I just noticed Shagnasty’s post. I certainly don’t want to TS on it. Native American is perfectly acceptable.

I think there was more than one migration wave over the Bering Strait. Does the first wave get dibs on “native”? Successive waves of immigrants coming to the new world were also confronted by “natives”.

White natives? Sure, if you have the whatever fraction of ancestry determined by the tribe. Whatever floats your canoe.

There are enough of certain of them (Russians and Tatars) to be officially recognized as native Chinese ethnicities by the PRC.

I have known a handful of … descendants of the aboriginal peoples of North America, perhaps?. I can think of three who grew up on reservations. Two were from the north midwest somewhere, they were cousins. One looked very Slavic and reminded me of Kraven the Hunter, the other had lighter brown hair, light skin, and a round head that reminded me of some Inuits I’ve seen on tv. The third was from Virginia, and had fair skin and light brown hair, and his family name was Woodard.

I think there are people who claim native ancestry where none exists, simply because it seems cool to be part Apache or something (or perhaps an ancestor who felt it was cool started a lie they took as truth). On the flip side, there are people with genuine relation who cannot prove it, due to bad record keeping and/or an ancestor’s desire to conceal his ethnicity. Remember, once upon a time passing for white was a very desirable thing to do.
One of my pet peeves is forms that ask for “ethnicity”, and my classic example is the US Census form: if you check the box for “Native American or Pacific Islander”, it then wants you to fill in your Tribe.
[rant]
How the hell should I know? We’ve been ‘passing’ for 200 years! If you want to know my culture, I’m Irish-American. But you asked for my ethnicity, and I will stack my DNA up against anyone named John Redcorn. I have all the genetic-recessive traits endemic to Native Americans. (Okay, not all: my earwax is wet. But an obstetrician who did his residency on a reservation said my nephew’s birth was the first time he’d seen a mongolian spot.)
[/rant]
My skin is a little too dark to match with my Irish name; people looking at me have guessed my ethnic origin as Mediterranean, Hispanic, or Middle-Eastern. Nobody has ever guessed Indian.

As I understand it, the US government doesn’t define the matter at all, but leaves it up to the individual tribes. Some tribes are more permissive than others as far as blood ancestry is concerned (the Cherokee, as mentioned, are very permissive on that score), but so far as I know, all of them require at least some degree of cultural identification as well as blood.

To gain financial advantage to being a member of a recognized tribe one has to prove it with a pretty extensive pedigree. That’s not to say that there aren’t people deluding themselves by claiming to be Indian, but that they’re unlikely to see a dime from it if it isn’t true.

Getting a little off topic but according to this web site, there are only 22k Russians in the entire country:http://www.joshuaproject.net/people-profile.php?peo3=14598&rog3=CH

That’s a tiny fraction when the overall population is approaching 1.5 billion. There are probably more tourists in the nation on any given day than ethnic Russians.

As far as Tartars, according to this site there are 5k Tartars in the country: http://www.paulnoll.com/China/Minorities/China-Nationalities.html

There are more people in some neighborhoods in Shanghai than this.

Neither population is of any great significance in the overall population of the nation.

As I was saying in my earlier posting, outside of Siberia, the population of White/Europeans in East Asia is almost negligible.