Cultural Immersion 3

American Indian Families
Elisa Ruales
Liberty University

Share some of the background of your interviewee (or couple). What is this person’s/couple’s story?
I visited the first Seminole Indian Baptist church, located within the Seminole Indian tribe premises, in south Miami. On my visit to the congregation, I met Leon Blunt Horn and Velva Thunder Hawk who were pastoring their nine-member congregation. Our introduction initiated somewhat awkward because they began asking for my age, and then referred to their deceased daughter as having the same age as me if she would’ve been alive. As the conversation went on, I started to feel at ease to continue on with our chat since they were very humble and happy to have me in their church. Both of them are the descendants of full blooded Seminole Natives, and dwelled at a place were they have lived all their life.   Pastor Leon elucidated that he met his wife while serving their community when they were younger, while being part of the youth group a Baptist missionary had stablished in their community. Some of the church work they were doing was talking and restoring kids who had dropped out of school and were involved in wrong activities such as drugs and alcoholism. Velva said she knew right of the bat that helping her people was a calling from the Lord, although she was feeling very unhappy to see her blood brothers unemployed and her only sister drawn in depression and confined to a mental institution. In addition, she shared that she has dealt with pain all her life, first, knowing that there is a saddening story behind her ancestors, recalling that she is the fifth generation of the erroneously called “creeks” due to the Creek War of 1813-14. She stated that their history has been carried over generations and it is painful to learn that they were thrown from their Georgia territory ending up hiding in the swamps of north and south Florida. Besides her background, she revealed that she was going through a lot of...