Why Did I Build This Site?

ahote cooper bio picI am well into my adult years now, and there are times when my First Nation heritage is as mysterious to me as it was when I was a boy. Like many, I hail from a family who took little time to collect records or document the many branches in our family tree. As a result, I spent countless hours reaching further back in history than my ancestors.

For me, it’s led to many more questions than answers, but I’ve reflected on where this state of understanding fits in the natural order of things. How much are we meant to know? How comfortable can we become with those gray smudges that keep us from examining the past with clarity?

I will continue to search for the answers to my heritage. With whatever time I have left, my pencil will continue drawing patterns and lines of interconnectedness whenever there are small breakthroughs in the mystery. In other words, I’m reconciled to what I have learned and what I have not and I’m pre-reconciled to what I will uncover and what I will not. There is great honor in my ancestral tree, as well as color and failure and exultation and despair.

Isn’t that really the fabric of almost all families? We laugh and love and cry together, we reminisce about things that happened and even those we only wish had happened. There is a natural tendency to dwell on those things that were positive and minimize those bumps in the road that reflect poorly on us or those who went before.

Thank you for visiting this website. I’ve not written the lion’s share of it, but have instead curated most of what you’ll find inside from sources that maintained my interest as I dug into the past. And I’ve kept much of that a secret here. This is not a place to deconstruct how I wound up here, how my tribal roots were set or even to tell you the stories that my great-grandmother would share as we sat in the yard slicing fresh tomatoes and sprinkling salt over the wedges when we ate them together.

She is gone, and was an excellent verbal scribe for Native America. At least the part of it she’d learned, but she stoked a small fire inside this young boy and I do want to share that precious spirit of discovery and heritage that still rules my day from morning coffee to the closing of a good book at night.

I hope you find the same spark, whether it be here or on a path yet determined.

-Ahote