My mother's side is of British/French origin but my father's side of the family is 75% Chiracahua Apache and 25% Navajo. Unfortunatly, many of my Apache/Navajo ancestors had both Apache/Navajo names and Spanish names they went by. Although I am still currently making a great effort to find them on tribal roles, I am starting to consider the possibility that it may be impossible. (lack of complete records, spanish language barriers, etc.) My great grandmother was from Colorado (Navajo) and the rest of my Apache family seems to have origins scattered around the southwest as far south as Mexico. Regardless, I have been studying Apache and Navajo history, culture, lifestyle for quite awhile now.
Even if I cannot provide such hard evidence, I would like to reestablish Apache tribal ties. I hope someone could help guide me as to how to do so. A bit of background about me:
I grew up in a community with many immigrants who could only speak English and only knew American culture...yet they always identified themselves as being Chinese, Korea, Japanese, etc. though they had never even been to their "mother countries." Here in Japan, when people ask me what ethicity I am, I usually refer to myself as mixed...American of Euopean decent and Real American. I feel I'm quite in the same boat as the immigrant children I knew growing up. I always felt like If I was one of them, I would want to spend a few years learning the traditional language and customs of their mother country. Before speaking with my own family about our history, I earned a scholarship to study abroad here in Japan. I learned the language, the culture, and have quite a bit of respect for everything here. After returning back to the U.S., I spent quite a bit of time with my Apache/Navajo side of the family. That's when I started studying the history and cultures of the two tribes. After completing my degree, I headed back to Japan for work but continued to study everything Apache/Navajo I could get my hands on. Without going too far off on a different topic, I was actually shocked to learn how similar the Apache/Navajo mindset is, some of the traditional beliefs are and how close some of the language is. (not all, but some is almost the same!)
Back to the point of this thread, I would like to reestablish Apache tribal ties and would like any help/guidance possible. My interest is more than just having Apache blood. When I marry, I would like to do so in Apache tradition. When I have children, I want them to be proud of their heritage and know more about it than I did when I was young. If I have a daughter, I would like her to have a sunrise ceremony. If I establish a family here in Japan, I would try to establish an exchange program for Apache children to come and see how the Japanese have kept their traditions alive and well with modern thinking and technology. I would love for Japanese children to see and learn about Apache culture and lifestyle. Maybe these sound just like dreams but I don't believe them to be too unrealistic.
Thank you for reading!
Any help you can provide would be truly appriciated!