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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 06:36 PM
Original message
One hundred years ago, I had relatives who couldn't even vote in elections.
Edited on Wed Aug-27-08 06:38 PM by Wetzelbill
50 years ago. My grandfather was chairman of the Blackfeet Tribe. He eventually became the president of the National Congress of American Indians in the mid-1960s.

He was on the frontline in the battle for Civil Rights. His stories always amused me. I grew up wanting to be like him. I grew up wanting to fight for the rights of minorities too. See as an American Indian, I have a special kinship with people of different races. I have a special kinship with women. I have a special kinship with the LGBT community. Maybe, in this day and age, I don't necessarily have to fight oppression the way some people do. Partly because of advancements in civil rights, and also, partly because I do have light skin. But I do know what it's like to be treated differently when people know your last name and your cultural heritage. I do know what it's like to be treated differently when you tell somebody you are a Blackfeet Indian.

So in some ways, all of us minority groups share similar pain. We know what it's like to be repressed. We know what it's like to be treated like second class citizens. To be denied certain rights.

But today is a new day for all of us. A Black man has just become the first official nominee for president of a major party in our nation's history.

Don't tell me that we can't all hope.

Don't tell me that we can't all dream.

Don't tell me that we can't accomplish anything we want.

One man and one magnificent party proved that all today.

I wish my grandfather was alive to see it. He would be proud.

I wanted to write more... but I'm overwhelmed right now.

I feel I should not only thank Barack Obama, but Hillary Clinton too. They blazed a trail that nobody else has ever blazed before. God bless them both!

After almost 8 long years of darkness, we are finally seeing some light.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 06:37 PM
Response to Original message
1. where did Blackfeet originally live?
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. in what is now Montana and Alberta, Canada
Most of Montana was their historical territory. Especially when horses came around and they could travel distances better.
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 06:38 PM
Response to Original message
2. What a beautiful post.
I too am overwhelmed. :hug: K&R.
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. than you very much
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Bobbieo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 06:41 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Thank you from my Mohawk ancestors, I want to see us become "Visible People"
and it can be done through Education, Entertainment, Media, Politiccs and Sports - remember Jim Thorpe and Will Rogers!!!!
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mrs_p Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
6. thank you for your post
i'm too overwhelmed as well, so here's a :hug:
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #6
19. thank you very much
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
7. Thank you for sharing this.:^)
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #7
20. You're welcome
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ebdarcy Donating Member (654 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 06:48 PM
Response to Original message
8. What a moving post. Thank you for sharing it.
I am so proud to be a Democrat tonight.
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #8
22. It's a great night
I'm excited. :)
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stevedeshazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
9. Congratulations, my friend.
It's a great day for all of us.

:hi:
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #9
23. It sure is
It's been a long road, but business is picking up. :)
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
10. We all did. We call them women. nt
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sufrommich Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. .......
:thumbsup:

<a href="This image link contains an illegal code" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="women's vote"></a>
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. I meant specifically because of race.
Edited on Wed Aug-27-08 07:09 PM by Wetzelbill
Woman were considered citizens, Indians weren't. We were forced onto reservations, had all our ancestral land taken from us, and weren't even considered citizens in a country that was once ours. That's the basic point I was getting at. Gender issues are interrelated, of course, but I am writing from my own specific perspective. Even today, American Indian tribes don't have the same constitutional rights that you, personally, have. We cannot raise arms, for example. It's illegal for an Indian tribe to have a militia while a state can. Not that I would want to have one myself, but things are slightly different when your people are considered wards of the federal govt. We still can't fully make our own decisions, the tribal councils answer to the federal govt and can be vetoed because of it. That isn't necessarily so with a municipality. We still fight for treaty rights and our own mineral and land rights in a way that non-Indians don't have to. We also deal with other problems. For example, the Washington Redskins, the term "Redskin" is a racial slur, much like the N Word. But we have to live with that. Woman, for example, don't have a professional sports team called say the "New York... " well just put in the C word, I don't want to type it. My post was from a certain perspective, as far as I know, I'm the only Blackfeet Indian here, so I was giving it based on that alone, and then I included the part about interrelation at the end. But I wasn't trying to specifically omit women from my subject line, just telling something from my specific point of view.
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:10 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. And it was totally wrong for greedy Europeans to plunder your land.
Edited on Wed Aug-27-08 07:11 PM by valerief
But my response was to your headline.

"One hundred years ago, I had relatives who couldn't even vote in elections."
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #15
34. oh fucking please. You're being totally dismissive of women
women who are still the most oppressed segment of humanity throughout the fucking world. It really pisses me off to see this shit. Women who are raped, beaten and murdered- dehumanized- and yes, dear, it happens here in this country every live long day. Of course you weren't purposefully trying to dismiss women- it just happened. Like it always does.
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #34
38. nt
Edited on Wed Aug-27-08 08:22 PM by Wetzelbill
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #38
41. Leap to conclusions much? I'll say you do. Yikes. YOU have
have a lot of nerve assuming who I know and don't. Hate to break it to you but I grew up in an academic family, knew many men growing up in the sixties and seventies who certainly had "taken the time" to learn about womens' issues. Furthermore, in my adult life, I've been surrounded by such men. So much for your erroneous and foolish assumption. And I certainly did not dismiss anything but your "I'm so much more of a victim than anyone" attitude. I didn't like what you wrote and I said so. Sorry you can't deal with it.
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. ...
Edited on Wed Aug-27-08 08:21 PM by Wetzelbill
I like you. I refuse to argue. I remember getting a few PMs from you a few years ago, really nice ones. Somehow I always felt you were a special person, I just did. This has to be a misunderstanding or a mistake all around. I apologize if I offended you I didn't mean to and I'll move on.
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #10
25. Unless your ancestors are from Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, or Colorado
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valerief Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #25
28. Women could vote there a hundred years ago? I never knew! nt
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Hippo_Tron Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:25 PM
Response to Reply #28
30. Not all over the country, but the west was ahead of the curve
Wyoming has had women's suffrage since 1869.
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:29 PM
Response to Reply #28
32. yeah, they could
I was surprised when I first found that out too. Women made great progress for a while and in the West after their 1848 convention and the Declaration of Sentiments. Part of it correlated with anti-slavery movements, of course, but there was some progress even way back then.
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AZBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
11. Your grandfather saw what happened today!
And was smiling along with the rest of us.
Great post - K&R.
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Bobbieo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Yeah, AZ Blue - I believe that - Grandfather did see what happened today and he is very proud!!
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:12 PM
Response to Reply #11
24. He'd be happy
He loved the Clintons, he'd have been a Hillary man, but He'd dig Barack too.
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Faygo Kid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 06:53 PM
Response to Original message
12. Recommended enthusiastically. Beautiful.
Great post. What can I say? We're all overwhelmed tonight.

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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:08 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. Rock on
:)
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Kurovski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:08 PM
Response to Original message
17. You will always be my president!
:patriot: :D

Thanks, WB.
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. And you're the greatest VP ever
:)
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lynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:14 PM
Response to Original message
26. 90 Years ago one of my relatives couldn't vote either - my white Grandmother
just like all women at that time. Thanks to all those who fought both the Civil Rights and Women Rights battles!
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #26
31. Right
It was a long way from Seneca Falls that's for sure. :) One of my proudest moments was a few years ago, I took several classes that pertained to feminism and women's rights. In one class we had a really hard quiz, and I scored perfect on it, lol. My professor did a double take when she saw that a guy got 100 percent on a quiz on Women's Rights. I am ok on the basic history though, but feminist literature and literary theories happen to be what I've studied the most. It's all so fascinating and enriching.

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DixieBlue Donating Member (504 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:14 PM
Response to Original message
27. That's beautiful.
As the multiracial child of a mixed marriage -- it's, I don't know at this point. I've lost the ability to speak.

But thank you.
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:30 PM
Response to Reply #27
33. you're welcome
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:23 PM
Response to Original message
29. virtually every woman posting here, had relatives that couldn't vote
my grandmother and great-grandmother couldn't vote. It's not all minorities who couldn't vote- it's the majority who couldn't vote- women. Could we please not forget that women were the last group given the right to vote?
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #29
35. I should have been more accurate
But I meant it in the sense of race. Indians weren't even considered citizens. White women had a role in society, Indians hadn't any rights at all as citizens. For example, it was a much different thing if an Indian was murdered, as opposed to say someone who had actual rights. What I'm doing is looking at it from my own perspective, a racial one. For example, if you wrote something similar, I wouldn't just jump in and automatically say: "Hey don't forget about Indians!" What I mean is interrelated but my own perspective is different. I am a Blackfeet Indian, you're not. Just the same as I am not a woman either. So while I may empathize with a woman's view, it's not necessarily a point of view I can write about from personal experience.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #35
40. thanks, but if you think women were considered much more than chattel
you would be wrong- and that's just not that long ago. YOU were the one that was dismissive of women. And you wrote the self-centered title. And sorry, it was self-centered. As for claiming that you know how you'd react to any given headline- I don't buy it. You simply can't and don't know.
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 08:10 PM
Response to Reply #40
46. nt
Edited on Wed Aug-27-08 08:18 PM by Wetzelbill
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
36. It would be unforgiveably presumptious of me to attempt to speak for my
Anishinaabe, Dakota, and Lakota friends -- the beautiful and generous people who have taken me in, shared their stories and their ceremonies and their memories with me over so much of my life.

I cannot speak for them; I can only say that in that place in my heart where their songs have entered, where the smoke from many shared pipes has entered -- that is where your words have touched me.

Miigwech and Washte
sw
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #36
39. not presumptious at all
We are all in the same boat and have seen similar things. Thanks for sharing.
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JoFerret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
37. A lot less than that
Edited on Wed Aug-27-08 07:50 PM by JoFerret
for about half of them.

And thanks for an important post.
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 07:55 PM
Response to Reply #37
42. even longer actually
But I was trying to specifically go on the 100 to 50 than to 25 timeline, but I started to get overwhelmed. But I started at 100 originally to do that. 1920 for women, that would be... 88 years. Not sure about when Indians could vote exactly. We started to to have our own Constitutions and tribal councils etc in the 1930s. That began to form. But then you go to 1964 and the voting rights act there shored up lots of little loopholes etc. Indians face similar voting problems right now as the Black people in Florida did too. Always police road blocks, things like that. I think we still have a long way to go on all that stuff, as a country. Voter repression has never totally stopped.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #42
44. 1934 was when Indians were allowed to vote. It wasn't until 1972 that it stopped being illegal
for American Indians to practice their religion. (just a little FYI...) :)

sw

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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #44
47. damn I should have known that off the top of my head
I forgot it and was too lazy to look, lol. Thanks for the info. Yeah voting coincided with the Indian New Deal.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #47
49. Well, I had a great education -- my late partner was an Anishinaabe cultural historian.
He and I were working on a book together about the history of U.S./Indian treaties when he died suddenly in 2000. I was a veritable walking encyclopedia of American Indian history for that period in my life. :)

sw
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #49
51. ahhhh I see
My strength is less in treaties and more in Indian culture, film and literature, although I am pretty close to being as good in modern tribal policies and governments. I'm at my best when I correlate concepts together more than anything. I think I'm so interested in modern policy, I haven't looked back at treaties enough. Nothing specific. My publications have been literary too, but I do have a paper written on Modern Colonialism, Indians and the Iraq War. I decided not to send it off for publication though. My former professor has wanted me to do more academic writing, but, I don't know, I hesitate a little because colonialism is touchy, and if I run for office, I'd hate for it to pop up and then get hammered for being anti-American or something. But hell, I should probably send it off anyway, lol.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #51
52. Here in Minnesota, and in neighboring Wisconsin, we've had some very recent & very heated battles
over treaty rights, with the unfortunately concomitant demonstrations of virulent racism. Things have generally resolved quite well in the years since -- the courts have pretty consistantly ruled in favor of the tribes and their treaty rights -- but it was pretty amazing to witness as it came down.

I'm really delighted to find out that you're a writer! And I honestly didn't know that you are seriously on the path of running for office! I'm going to have to keep a better eye out for your posts.

And, dammit, I'd REALLY like to read what you have to say about "Modern Colonialism, Indians and the Iraq War" -- that sounds like a totally kick-ass topic! Come on! Do it!

sw

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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #52
53. I can send you some stuff if you want
I don't mind sharing at all.

I have almost ran for office before. Thisclose. I decided against it though. Frankly, the thought of having to raise money and schmooze around, sickens me, lol. I also have a big big problem in that I don't suffer fools lightly. You pretty much have to if you want to run for office. I'm looking to work in administration or policy right now, besides my creative work anyway.
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Ptah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 08:07 PM
Response to Original message
45. Thanks for your ability and willingness to share.


I always enjoy your stories.

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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #45
48. you're welcome
Glad to do it. :)
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Wetzelbill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 08:26 PM
Response to Original message
50. The subject line should have read: " I had relatives who WERE NOT U.S. CITIZENS."
I in no way meant to denigrate women not having the right to vote yet. I was caught up in the emotion of Obama just getting the official nomination, so I wasn't accurate with my subject line.
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Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-27-08 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
54. Hey we might be related !
When I found my birth family 5 years ago my great grandmother was 103. I never got to meet her, she passed 6 months later and the stress of seeing me might have upset her because my birth had been a secret. I'm sure she sees me now. I was told she was from a Blackfeet tribe and had the gift of sight.
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