Ahniwake Rose's Learning Story


I am Cherokee and grew up in Oklahoma. One of the annual activities in our grade schools is to celebrate and participate in a re-enactment of the ‘Oklahoma Land Rush’. We are all given covered wagons and stakes and we rush out into the playground and ‘stake out’ our land. Some want the land closest to the slide, some closet to the water fountain ‘ all depends on your ‘needs’. This particular year I chose land under a tree so I could have some shade. I was excited to have what I considered the ‘best’ land in the playground and couldn’t wait to tell my dad all about it. I don’t need to go into detail on my parents reaction to their Indian child participating in Oklahoma land rush. What I do wish to share is that this experience prompted my father to start teaching me about my Indian heritage. We began a lifelong journey to discover what it means to be of mixed heritage, and to grow up an urban Indian in America.