Pete Catches

Pete Catches was my dad’s “blood brother” (hunka). More Information 10 Sacred Native American Places (Feb 27, 2017), at, visited Aug. 8, 2019. From the Grand Canyon, to the little known eerie Black Hills, these are 10 Sacred Native American Places ! Art In Motion presents Lakota Medicine Man Pete Catches: “Walks With Fire” … Read more

Be Native

I don’t know when I’ve seen a video that surprised me more: “Navajo Historian Wally Brown encourages all with Native American DNA to Embrace it and be proud of it.“ I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone with any kind of credibility say something like this. Basically, no matter how little Indian blood you have, … Read more

Blood Quantum

I watched this Smithsonian presentation in real time. I wish I could make a rule that every genealogist playing with “Indian blood” (meaning Indian identity) would have to watch this presentation. Many genealogists make odd and exaggerated claims because they don’t understand the culture they are researching, often because they don’t know that someone else … Read more

New Indians

There’s this thing going on. Whites turning into Indians, at least in part. Lots of hand wringing from purists, but it’s not actually clear how this will turn out. “Ethnicity is a tricky thing because it is commonly understood as something fixed and essential rather than what it more likely is: an unarticulated negotiation between … Read more

Indigenous Heraldry

Although coats of arms originated in Europe and customarily follow European forms, there has been some movement toward adapting the emblems of indigenous people to heraldry. My father, Ridge Durand (1933-2002) was a Lakota pejuta wikasa (”medicine man”) and a member of the Spotted Eagle Medicine Men’s Society. He was a hunkpa (”blood brother”) of Pete Catches (Petaga Yuha … Read more