Being Thankful for our Heritage

By Daisy Diaz

The beautiful thing about Latinos is that we come in all shapes, sizes, skin tones, and backgrounds.  Being Latino means that you can be anything from fair skinned with blonde hair and green eyes with European ties, to tan with luscious curly hair and Afro-Caribbean ancestry, or a wonderful mix of it all.  Regardless of our appearances, what unifies us is that we share a rich heritage that we should be proud of and educate others about.  November is a time for us to not only reflect and give thanks but also to celebrate and pay tribute to the traditions of those who have truly shaped our cultural heritage with their contributions, which includes Native Americans.
And with November being Native American Heritage Month, we dedicate this blog post to our hermanos and hermanas of Native American ancestry, some of whom you may not know fit this description.  George Lopez, 2012 ALMA Awards co-host who is Mexican-American, did some digging on his background and learned that he is part Native American.  This year’s ALMA Award winner for Favorite TV Actor in a Leading Role, Tyler Posey, is also Mexican and part Native American, as well as Irish, Scottish, and English.  Q’orianka Kilcher, 2006 ALMA winner for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture for her role in The New World, is part Quechua-Huachipaeri from Peru and of Swiss descent.  At age 14, she played Pocahontas in The New World, and just a few years later went on to play the title role in Princess Kaiulani, a film about the overthrowing of the Kingdom of Hawai’i and the struggle of the people native to the islands.  Kilcher has taken further steps to educate others by advocating for the rights of Native Americans by serving as a speaker at the United Nations on the panel for Indigenous Rights.
George Lopez, Tyler Posey, and Q’orianka Kilcher have each explored their ancestry: what have you discovered about your own heritage?  Tell us here. We’ll read all of the entries and select one winner to receive items straight from the ALMA Celebrity Gift Lounge!
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