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My Father is a Native American, yet I have blond hair and blue eyes? (Real Native Americans Please Answer!)?

I have peach-colored skin, dark blond hair, and blue eyes, like my mother. But my father and grandfather told me they were Cherokee Indians. I’ve seen my grandfather’s card, so I know it isn’t some weird idea they thought up to get money from the government (believe me, neither of them received a dime from anyone- they farmed for a living).
Here’s my issue. The most important figure in my childhood, my grandfather, told me stories of Cherokee lore, taught me how to fish and hunt, and all sorts of Native traditions. I always heard about Kanati and other mythic figures, and the white buffalo, from when I was child. My grandfather practiced both pentecostal Christianity and believed (although he would try to hide it) in shamanism. Considering he was born in the 1920’s I very much doubt new age airs played a role in his thought. When he died, my uncle performed the rite (we also had the seven days of mourning mentioned- but since I didn’t believe in anything at the time- I didn’t pay much attention and I was distraught enough as it was).
Here’s my issue. I was born in the South, and my mother’s family (Scotch-Irish) were, like a lot of older people in that region, staunch segregationists. I felt as though I was being forced to play up to two groups that were battling for my identity. They would put down my father’s family as “white trash,” and my father’s family would make comments about “whites” in general. I know I have problems for even caring, but lately it has been on my mind. I have two questions:
1. Is it possible that I was just adopted? My dad and his siblings resembled medium-skinned Mexicans, my grandfather looked like a white guy with Indian features, and my mother was nordic looking. Is it possible for my father to have produced a son that was blond? Aren’t those traits recessive?
2. I’ve thought about trying to learn the language, read up on the myths, visit the reservation, etc, but I’ve noticed a lot of people online talking about “Pretendians,” and “Wannabes.” I don’t want any formal membership/benefits/etc., but I would like to go to pow wows and give money to charities that help real natives. I’d also like to teach my daughter, who phenotypically resembles me, about one side of her origins (if in fact I was not adopted after all.) Does all that make me a “Pretendian?” I want to avoid that. I’m a Roman Catholic and not interested in new age mess. I would like to watch ceremonies though. I’ve been watching them online and they take me back to better days.
Should I get some kind of dna test or do you think Native American people would want to get to know me without one? I don’t ever want to be seen as fake, but it is true that Native American culture played a big part in my youth, even if it was just some hoax played on me. Am I “mixed European/Indian?” Does being a descendant of a Cherokee make me an Indian period? Am I just a confused honkey? Help?

85 COMMENTS

  1. I have Cherokee in my family. It’s obvious if you ever look at my father and me. Our features, though by no means pure Native American, are obvious. (nose shape, eye shape, face shape, darker complexion) I can never remember exactly what the split is. I think I’m a sixteenth, if I remember right. I’d have to pull out the family tree to say for sure. But I look like I could be half (I’m not). My brother, on the other hand, looks entirely white. Just like my cousin on my mother’s side. He’s got freckles, light skin, blue eyes, light brown hair. Absolutely white. But he’s just as much Cherokee as I am. (Which, admittedly, isn’t much, but it is there.)
    When people ask me what I am and I say white, they look at me funny until I admit there’s some Native blood in there too. But if my brother, just as much Cherokee as I am, were to claim to be part Cherokee, people would call him a liar and start talking about wanna-bes and sarcastically ask about our Indian-princess grandmother.
    The point is that you can’t tell just by looking at someone if they are Native American or how much.
    As for the guy who’s father was reportedly full Native American, perhaps there was a white ancestor somewhere in that line that isn’t known. After all, Native Americans didn’t necessarily keep genealogy records before the time of the reservations. Also, rape is a thing. There are lots of ways a white ancestor could have gotten into the mix and then forgotten about.

  2. Well I have blond hair and blue eyes my father is 3/4 Choctaw and my mother is French. I am light and have few features that are native. I had a DNA test and I am a member of the Choctaw Nation. It is possible for you to be fair in skin and hair! I am! I go to conferences and pow wows….. ppl stop being mean and accept the unacceptable in your eyes.

  3. I have the same problem. I’m 1/2 Mohawk and 1/2 Polish. My full blooded great uncles used to call my two brothers and I Pohawks. Lol. I have some native features such as having red pigment in my skin when I get tan. But that being said I don’t have really dark skin unless I get tan when out in the sun and I have dark brown hair and grey eyes. My father still has jet black hair and brown eyes and he’s pushing 60 years old. I’m proud of both my heritages but I still feel lost because I’m neither one nor the other. My father and uncles say it doesn’t matter your percentage is because it’s what’s within you but I feel like since I’m not full blood I don’t want come off as a “fake native.” Like I said I’m proud of both my heritages but it just sucks because in a way I don’t belong.

  4. My grate grandfather on my mothers side was tru Native American. But all thst doesn’t matter i was brought up with strong Native American beliefs and the ways. So that it stays alive.

  5. My friend is blond blue eyed. His dad is native. My friend looks exactly like his native dad but has thr blue eyes and hair of his caucasian mom. So yes. Its possible.

  6. I’m Sioux/Cherokee & Irish. If I don’t spend a lot of time in the sun then I’m pail. When im in the sun I am red with brown freckles. Climate& region affect out completions. As for blonde hair? Idk. I’ve never seen blond hair natives

  7. I’m 2/3 Native American moms side is cher/Blackfoot while dads side is suix and German and I’m white skinned blonde but my eyes are a silvery color with the wolf iris trait so all I can say is we all have some small sign that calls us out also I have the Cherokee cheeks with the predominant fourhead

  8. I am Cherokee/Irish. My father looked like a white man with Amer. Indian features with blk hair (that turned pure white) but blue eyes and my mother was red headed with porcelain skin green eyes and freckled. I however am brunette, and hazel eyed with the skin tone and features of a Cherokee. I am proud to be both

  9. cannot be…genes for dark skin, eyes and hair are recessive…meaning they will dominate…if your father is a full blooded Native American, then he will just bring the genes for brown eyes, brown skin and brown hair. When you were conceived his genes mixed with your mother’s. If your mother is white and brings genes for light eyes and light hair, your father’s will dominate because they are recessive…a child of a full blooded native with a white person will definitely not have blue eyes and blond hair…it is genetically not possible…now, if the native father is not truly 100 percent native, then it is possible….b

  10. I’m half Lakota, and have the skintone and high cheek bones of my mother but I have my father’s curly hair and beard. My oldest daughter has dark brown hair and eyes and olive skin, but my youngest has blonde hair and dark grey eyes, genetics are a dice roll man.

  11. I think some people confuse color with genetics. They are not the same thing, at all. DNA has been combining since humans came out of the trees and every possible combination of colors can be found in each person’s genetic history. The important thing for me is our culture. I am 4/16 Irish, 4/16 French 4/16 Cherokee and 4’16 Ashkenazi Jew. But all My life I have known in my spirit I was Cherokee. My culture and spirituality is what matters to me most and that is 100% native. Only my DNA can identify what my genetics are but it cant tell me what tribe. I urge to get tested. If it is inconclusive study the spirituality of different tribes. I think you will find what resonates for you.

    • quick question for marlys: is there a reason you used the fraction ‘4/16’ instead of 1/4 or 25% or the phrase ‘one ‘quarter’? and fyi, this ISN’T me ‘picking’ at you or trolling..I legitimately want to know because I also am a wide mixture of both american and mexican indian on my mother’s side, and norwegian, english and danish on my fathers, AND i am in the process of building a genetic family’tree’/’map’, so if using this 4/16 fraction in lieu of the more commonly used others, id love to know why!

  12. Best bet is to get a DNA test and find out. But no it’s not weird if you don’t look 100% Native, or even not at all. With mixed children, it’s like a mixed bag of genetics. You never know what you’ll get! Some are a perfect mix of the 2 races, others take more after one or the other. For Example… I’ve even seen mixed fraternal twins, where one took after their white father having Porcelain white skin, red hair, and freckles. While the other took after their African mother with Ebony skin, dark curly hair, and so on. Similar situations with Native/Caucasian mixed siblings too. That’s the beauty of genetics, you can get anything.

  13. I’d like to say something about the whole “pretendians” thing: you’re genetics doesn’t make who you are, it only tells you about your relatives.the whole life of being Native American is believing, if you believe that you are native american, believe in their secrets, ect. you are native american. even if you don’t believe in their lore’s, or legends, it doesn’t mean you aren’t one of them. i also wondering’s about my genetics, history, ancestors, ect. but i also have to say genetics rarely has anything to do with being native american. for example: you can become native american by practice. (another example): both of my parents are cherokee ( by pure blood), ( i have proof i wasn’t adopted……) but i have blonde curly hair, blue eyes, different shaped eyes, and multiple other features, but the only features that i have that are similar to theirs are, my nose shape, my skin color, hands and feet, but i know i am native american by pure blood without practice, and know i am native american by DNA. let me just say you don’t have to prove yourself to other people, but if you want proof or just a sign of relief, but its completely up to you! don’t let others downgrade you from who you truly are!

  14. Blue eyes are a recessive trait, meaning it has to be a trait present somewhere in the genetics of both parents for the child to have a chance of having blue eyes, though it needn’t appear in any blood relative you know to still be there. And I don’t believe you need to be full-blooded to be a member of the tribe, so the point of origin for that trait on your Dad/Grandad’s side could be anywhere from your dad’s mother all the way back to the first Caucasians to arrive here.

    • I understand that. I am Cherokee myself and o have more of a green and yellow eye colour, brown hair, and I am at least a night tanner that most of my friends all year around. Though I can clearly point to Cherokee relatives. If you are truly concerned, ask them or just live with what you’ve been taught.

  15. I’m half Native half white. I have a brother (let’s call him B), a half brother, and a half sister. All of us have blue eyes! My dad probably has some French so that might be the recessive gene. I have crystal blue and my sister has almost gray blue. My brother and I had blonde hair as kids but it started to get darker with age (any half Native I know I ask if they had blonde hair as a kid and the say yes but they grow out of it). B’s hair is really dark brown now but mine has just started to get really dark. I take after my dad (the Native American side) I have a bunch of hidden features I did not know relate to my Native side. My feet are wide with extremely high arches (to the point they collapse with out good support), my doctors told me that my growth plates have closed so I won’t be growing anymore but I’m still getting taller because my torso is growing (most half Natives & Natives I’ve talk to have confirmed this happening too & have long torsos), I tan really well & don’t burn easily my cousin too but I don’t know if this is a trait or if im around pale people to much! Jk. I seem to have high cheekbones but I’m a big girl so I can’t really tell yet. B has a easily recognizable Cherokee nose like my dad. I have a nose neither parent could figure out where I got it from. I google Native American features then found it! I guess we have another tribe to add to the list cuz no one told me we have Havasupi & my dad did not know either but I have the nose to show it! Lol! Nobody really knows what they are till they take a DNA test I can’t wait to take one to see exactly what I am but for now I call myself a mutt! But you can be whatever the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks you want to be! If your from a family that’s Korean then your Korean if your from a family that’s white but also a family that’s black you can be both or either or a unicorn it is just up to what you want to be!

  16. Our family had a few surprises after a DNA test last year. My daughter was Cherokee on her father’s side, I researched her genealogy and have documented evidence of her grandfather living in Oklahoma territory after removed from Georgia. But her DNA tests showed no mongolian indian origin, but Jewish origin instead.
    I had a DNA test, my results showed I am 100% white, yet my ancestors were from Nova Scotia, a haplogroup that settled in Canada 13,000 years ago. Vikings. I researched that, and apparently there have been white tribes in North and South America very early, and they may be the mound builder tribes. See Robert Sepehr, and also info on Our Forgotten History. Our scientists and historians don’t speak the truth. There are accounts of white tribes found in 1740, and also stories written by Lewis and Clark. Stories of white tribes exist by Spanish explorers in Peru, and South America too.
    Blue eyes are a recessive gene, you must have two parents to carry the trait. My son was has blue eyes and blonde hair, yet HIS father is Miami Indian, a member of the Algonquin tribe, which is part mongolian and part white. I hope that helps.

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