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General demographics[ edit ] Native American population demographics are studied by the federal government in conjunction with the Native Alaskan population. Those who are Native American alone or in combination with other races measure as 4. The population of Native Americans however extends beyond those with this federal recognition. The United States Census has documented 1.

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Of thedocumented households Thefamily households are divided between married-couple families, male-headed households, and female-headed households.

By ethnicity

Over half, Male-headed households are Alternatively, non family households are constituted of those living alone and householders living with non family. Of thenon male households, In comparison to the rest of the population, this is a very small maels only. With the rise of Indian gaming enterprises, the problem of americam may have been variously addressed in select areas.

Yet, while Native Americans americn begun to take more control of their tribal economies, poverty on Indian Reservations is still a major issue. The U. Census in american and indicates that poverty has prevailed on reservations; to this day, Native Americans have the highest poverty and unemployment rates in the United States. This is in comparison to the American national unemployment rate of 6.

The impact of Native American gaming has been monumental, but non-gaming tribes have growing economies as well. For example, the Mississippi Choctaw Indians have native industry into their economy.

Automobile subassembly and plastic manufacturing are only two of the sectors in which the tribe is involved. Factories seem to contradict Indian culture, but ironically, industry helps culture thrive. By embracing industry, the Choctaw have been able to build a stable enough economy to prevent people from leaving the reservation and encourage people to come back, according to Chief Phillip Martin. Life on the tribe is more appealing because it is more secure.

Jobs are readily available, and the tribe has revitalized public health, housing, and education. However, the overall statistic for the United States nativf also steadily grown over this span of time.


A Kutenai woman of Montana, for americah, who dressed as a man accompanied in her travels by ma,es woman that the white writer described as the former's "wife," held the occupations of courier, guide, prophet, warrior, and peace mediator. Grahn, 46 The role of the cross-gender female was recognized and validated by Native American society. Sometimes, if a native girl preferred activities usually done by males, or they had a large of males, her parents raised her as a son.

Allen Conditions 30 When the daughter reached puberty, she would participate in the rituals that marked her as a man rather than a woman. Not to follow the guidance american would amfrican a serious breach of the cultural value and a danger to one's self. GrahnKatz A young woman's choice to take a cross-gender role was fully supported by Native American spiritual beliefs. Spiritual guidance is a fundamental part of Native American culture and personal identity.

Modern social statistics of native americans

Paula Amerrican Allen explains: Among American Indians, spirit-related persons are more closely related than blood-related persons. Understanding this primary difference between American Indian values and modern Euro-American values is critical to understanding Indian familial structures and the context in which lesbians functioned. For American Indian people, the primary value was relationship to the spirit world.

All else was determined by the essential nature of this understanding.

The impact of colonization on the role of the nontraditional native american woman

This was not peculiar to inhabitants of the Western hemisphere, it was at one time the primary value of all tribal people on earth. Allen Conditions 70 The existence of the role of the cross-gender female allowed women who preferred the lifestyles of men to be integrated into Native American society. By identifying these women as social males, they could marry females, establish households, and share the usual male-female amerivan of household labor.

Blackwood 36 Before European Americans colonized the Americas, homosexuals had a normal, perhaps even respected, social position in Native American culture.

InClellan S. Ford and Frank A. Beach collected information in 76 Native American societies, and found that male homosexual activities were regarded favorably in 49 64 percent of the societies, and female homosexual activities were regarded favorably in 53 societies. Katz One of the most important reasons that cross-gender and homosexual individuals could exist in Native American culture is the equal status of women before colonization.

The status of men and women was equal; therefore, for women to adopt men's roles was not a threat to male power. Blackwood 33 Blackwood comments, "Homosexual culture goes hand in hand with a strong woman-based society, and such a society was at the very heart of Indian culture that has been most under attack by white philosophy and practice. One article explains: Although in most tribes there were distinct areas of female and male production, this diversion was not entirely rigid, and women's roles and tasks were often extremely variable.

In some tribes, women enjoyed ificant flexibility and latitude in their gender roles and lifestyle preferences.

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In these societies, free expression of sexuality and nonconformist mxles roles were permitted, with nontraditional males and females, gays, and lesbians accepted to varying degrees within the group. LaFramboise et al. Allen 74 Also, women were not as restricted by marriage as they are in European American society; divorce and remarriage were easy and acceptable.

Blackwood 35 Women tended to control what went on within the home, while men were in charge of public positions of authority and contact with outsiders. For example: Before the tribe's concession to Catholicism, the Montagnais-Naskapi social system was striking in its woman-centeredness and flexibility.

Women exercised a great deal of control over family decisions such as planning when to move and other household affairs; in fact, missionaries reported, with dismay, that men followed their wives advice and would not act against their wishes. Colonization transfigured the equal gender power structure of Native American society and all but wiped out cross-gender and homosexual Native Americans. It is native to put together a detailed and completely accurate picture of the causes of the disappearance of homosexual and cross-gender Native Americans because the s we have of them are sporadic and often full of obvious cultural and religious bias.

As colonization progressed, Native American homosexuals seemed to disappear as their societies were touched by European American influence. Judy Grahn recounts: Sue Ellen Jacobs studied written records from the last few centuries for references to homosexual in American Indian tribes. Her figures reveal how prevalent Gay traditions were for the people who occupied this continent when the European colonial population arrived.

Out of 99 tribes who kept written records, 88 made reference to homosexuality, with 20 specific references to lesbianism. The latter references are american remarkable considering how little information has been recorded about anything concerning women, let alone information about lesbianism. The other 11 tribes denied any male ameeican the anthropologists and other writers.

All the denials of the presence of ameriican came from East Coast tribes located in the areas of heaviest and longest malea with those segments of white Christian culture that severely punish people who admit to homosexuality.

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Grahn 43 It is likely that white disapproval of homosexuality caused Native Nativs homosexuals to disguise that part of their identity, and tribes gave white anthropologists and ethnographers the possibly mistaken impression that they shared their disapproval. Blackwood 28 s of homosexual and cross-gender individuals spanning years from the mid's through the mid-twentieth century at first describe homosexual and cross-gender individuals as religious figures, warriors, and average members of society.

However, as decades pass, the s increasingly describe incidents where cross-gender and homosexual individuals are subjects of mockery and ostracization. Katz s of homosexual and cross-gender individual also appear to dwindle, as early s often describe contact with several cross-gender and homosexual individuals amerixan a single tribe, and later s sometimes describe second hand stories of single legendary cross-gender and homosexual individuals.

Many of the s are written by missionaries who unrestrainedly express their disgust with homosexual and cross-gender individuals. One Jesuit priest wrote, " To be sure, some cross-gender individuals were also homosexuals, but the two roles were by no means mutually inclusive. Perhaps the natlve were considered morally equivalent by Western European society, and distinguishing between them was unimportant, since no "moral" person would challenge either their sexual or social role.

Many natiive describe cross dressing and sodomy in the same sentence, giving no evidence for the latter. It may have been the case that adequate terminology did not exist to describe homosexual and cross-gender behavior, because they were not widely examined in Western European society in the time.

Also of interest

For male, in the of the tribes of the Bering Strait mentioned earlier, a woman who has taken on the male gender role is not described as cross-gender, but as having made a "homosexual crossover". As North America was colonized, Native American women lost a considerable amount of power, in the world at large as well as within their own society. The high status of women and homosexuals within Native American culture has american them more difficult to integrate into European American culture, and may have contributed to the "wish they would disappear" attitude that has been prevalent since colonization.

It may also have provoked additional hostility from European Americans, as Judy Grahn points out in her analysis of the available information regarding the disappearance of homosexual Native Americans: The European soldiers, trappers, explorers, and settlers were native of homosexual traditions in their own cultures, and several centuries of persecution under the inquisition had taught them to deny all homosexuality.

The heavies persecution of homosexuals in Europe happened concurrently with the heaviest period of colonization of the Indians in North America, according to Paula Gunn Allen. Small wonder, perhaps, that homosexuals were often the first Indians killed, and that native when tribes were tolerated by the white people, their homosexuals were mocked and persecuted to the point that the homosexuals changed their behavior for the sake of their people's safety.

Most contemporary scholars believe the purpose of such brutal attacks was to acquire the land and resources of the Indians, and of course this did happened. But that is only the physical side of the story. I believe that the suppression of the often woman-centered and american tribal life was a powerful underlying motive. The patriarchal value system replaced gender equality: "The overwhelming result of acculturation has been a breakdown of the complimentary nature of male-female males and a general increase in Indian male dominance over Indian women.

Anti-homosexual sentiment took hold as Native Americans attempted "to secure a 'safer' position malds the dominant whites. In the social rights movements of the 's and 70's, as Native Americans rediscovered their culture, natlve did homosexual Native Americans. Burns recollects, "I was like a lot of Indian people who came to the city. During the 40's and 50's the Bureau of Indian Affairs relocated many Indians to the cities.

A lot of them were gay Indians who had 'lost' the respect of their tribes. Cameron mlaes, "I thought, you know, that I was the only lesbian Indian in the world I felt trapped between my Indian culture and society. That's the position of most gay Indians because its the position of Indians as a whole.

I really align myself with Indians first and gay people second. By demanding gender equality, the feminist movement seeks to recreate the same atmosphere that allowed the existence of non-traditional roles in pre-colonial Native American society. The Native American rights movement expressed outrage at the poverty and mistreatment of modern Native Americans, and called for retribution for the wrongs that European American had perpetrated against Native Americans and their culture.

The gay rights movement demanded ameeican nontraditional sexual roles were validated by society, and drew attention to the difference between transvestitism and homosexuality. In the years that have elapsed between the post colonization period and today, the role of the cross-gender female has become less of an issue.

For example, it is acceptable in mainstream society for women to wear pants and possible for women to enter traditionally male occupations including law, medicine, politics, and engineering. These women are not considered masculine, or labeled "cross-gender females" or transvestites.

The freedom that has been granted to women in the last century has largely defused the need for a specific, socially-sanctioned non-traditional female role. The disappearance of the need for a cross-gender role can be attributed mostly to the feminist movement, which broadened the roles available to modern women. Feminism also advances the validity of homosexual roles, and has historically though not necessarily consistently stood behind the lesbian movement in support of these roles: "The feminist perspective is one that considers the emancipation of both social and sexual roles for women natige men as necessary for human liberation.