The Kirkwood Call

Bringing new culture and diversity to KHS

Back to Article
Back to Article

Bringing new culture and diversity to KHS

Anna Mullendore, features writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Caramel skin glistening, long black hair draping down his back and high rounded cheek bones prominent, he stood among children who held no similar features. All their lives Priscilla and Tyler White Antelope have stood out from the rest of the Kirkwood community because of their Native American ethnicity.

Tyler, sophomore, has been hassled at KHS because of his long hair. Tyler said people often mistake him for a girl. According to Shashana Craft, allowing the hair to grow long is based on whether one was raised with traditional Native culture or not. Likewise, Priscilla, junior, said letting their hair grow out is a way of expressing their heritage as well as proving their commitment to the Native beliefs and culture.

Although Priscilla does not struggle with being judged based off hair length she does feel offended when people make fun of her unique last name. The surname ‘White Antelope’ dates back to the Northern Arapaho Native American tribe in Wyoming, which is where the siblings’ father, John White Antelope, originated.

“Sometimes [being mocked by my last name] makes me want to change it,” Priscilla said. “When people make fun of [my name] I just don’t want to tolerate it. They’re making fun of my background and where I come from. It’s insulting.”

The White Antelope family originally lived on the White Earth Indian Reservation in Minnesota. The Ojibwe people live on this reservation, which is their mother’s tribe. According to Priscilla, her family moved back to Missouri, where her and her brother were originally born. Although they have schools on the reservation, the White Antelope siblings and their family moved back in order to receive a better education.

 

Screen shot 2014-01-24 at 2.16.08 PM

They also practice various other traditions such as rituals and ceremonies. The ceremonies are very personal to the Natives, therefore little information and details about them can be disclosed. One ceremony the family partakes in occurs every 28 days and is called the Full Moon Ceremony. Native Americans do not have to wait until the full moon to perform this ritual, they may do it whenever they desire according to Priscilla.

“It’s important for me that they keep this culture going,” Craft, their mother, said. “[This] particular ceremony is from the Ojibwe, which is from my people versus their father.”

Tyler said this event is a bonding experience for the whole family, and he gets very excited when it happens at the end of the month. There are people called fire-keepers, often male, who adhere to the fire in order to keep it going. First, each family member takes some tobacco and prays with it then burns it in the large bonfire. According to Priscilla, the moon ceremony is a way to pray, similar to church events.

Another tradition they have is receiving a new Indian name, which happens throughout their lives and will eventually lead to them obtaining four spiritual names total. These names are very personal and no one knows what one another’s names are. They hold great purpose, meaning and define or explain aspects about the person. According to Tyler, they must first ask a relative to give them a new name as well as give them tobacco. They then pray to the spirits to help guide them to their new name.

Craft said they are received not necessarily to guide the person but instead to help them get to a point where they know why they are given that name. Likewise, the Native culture brings them to a new understanding of themselves and what they are meant to do in life. Their Native culture and ethnic background causes them to stray from others, which Priscilla is starting to discover has worth.

“[Being Native American] sets me aside from other people and makes me stand out,” Priscilla said. “It gives me more experience on doing things different than other people. It’s taught me that being unique is okay.”

About the Writer
Anna Mullendore, features writer

Grade: 12
Twitter handle: N/A
If you could be another Call staffer, who would you be?: I would be Katie Hackett because her wit is inspirational.
Interests: dogs,...

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Left
  • Bringing new culture and diversity to KHS

    Senior Profiles

    Senior profile: Lifting the pressure

  • Bringing new culture and diversity to KHS

    Senior Profiles

    Senior Profile: Jenna Dyroff

  • Bringing new culture and diversity to KHS

    Senior Profiles

    Senior Column: Claire Boysen

  • Bringing new culture and diversity to KHS

    Senior Profiles

    Senior Profile: Emma Harrell

  • Bringing new culture and diversity to KHS

    Senior Profiles

    Senior Profile: Tommy Stevenson

  • Bringing new culture and diversity to KHS

    Senior Magazine

    Senior Column: Jack Rintoul

  • Bringing new culture and diversity to KHS

    Features

    VOK: Earth day in downtown Kirkwood

  • Bringing new culture and diversity to KHS

    Senior Profiles

    Senior Profile: Felicia Harris

  • Bringing new culture and diversity to KHS

    Features

    Singing it forward

  • Bringing new culture and diversity to KHS

    Features

    Reaching out

Navigate Right
Kirkwood High School student newspaper
Bringing new culture and diversity to KHS