Dear Auntie, I’m Russian/Cherokee. Unfortunately the Cherokee side of my family has turned their back on me because I’m "white". How can I find out what band of Cherokee I am? How can I connect with my culture if I don’t know it? Where do I star

Well, good for you for taking things into your own hands.

To find out what band of Cherokee you are from, you’re going to need a little information like, names and ancestor’s location. This can help to narrow down the band that your family is from.

Ideally, asking your family members this information would be easiest. Perhaps this might be the perfect opportunity to reconnect. However, if this is not an option try talking to others with might have some information for you. Also, know that your tribe has other opportunities to connect.

Start with an Internet search – a lot of tribes have official tribal websites where you can at least find a phone number to their tribal office. Give them a call. Most tribes have someone who can answer some questions for you. Ask for youth events like; language classes, youth groups, community gatherings, in-school or after-school programs, elder lead groups, pow-wow/ dance groups, or anything else you could get involved in.

Once you start to make connections within the community and make an effort, things will open up, especially when you come with good intentions and respect. Keep this as your focus.

Best of luck to you. I think you are hearing your ancestors voices reaching out. Extend your hands and reach back.

Take care,

Auntie Manda

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