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Homepage of Orrin Lewis

Osiyo. My name is Orrin Lewis, and I am Cherokee. This is my personal homepage. Actually, it's not too much of a homepage. I am old-fashioned and I don't like to put my picture on the Internet. And I don't care very much for the pictures of half-naked Indian women with their animal guides that are all over a lot of Indian homepages, and I have an old computer which sometimes crashes when it sees sites that begin playing some flute music and try to show me pictures of a rippling pond or something. So this homepage is very bare.


If you click here, you will see my new project, Native Languages of the Americas. There we are providing information about all the Amerindian languages, with careful web directories of each one and also links to other resources about the people who speak each language. I should admit, my friend Laura is doing almost all of the programming and web searching there. I'm a little bit new with computers. But in any event, it is a very comprehensive site and I recommend it whole-heartedly to anyone. Unfortunately it is unfinished. But you can see the Cherokee language page, and the Algonquian languages are also almost done. We also have an Internet Myths Page debunking a lot of silly ideas about Indians that are floating around out there, such as we came from the lost island of Atlantis or are a lost tribe of Israel or something like that. And here is Laura's essay about American Indian language revival. So though I may be new with computers, I still have something to offer the Internet! Go and check them out.

Information about me:

Osiyo, my name is Orrin Lewis. I am Cherokee. I also have Muskogee blood (my father's mother was half-Muskogee) and also have white ancestors (my father's father was half-white, and so were some older ancestors on my mother's side). But I never knew them, and I don't know too much about them. I was raised in Oklahoma. I am a tribal member of the Cherokee Nation. But, I do not speak my language. That really hurts my heart. I am the broken link. Back in the fifties, a lot of people were not teaching their kids to speak Tsalagi. They didn't want them to get hit at school or anything. The schools were very aggressive about only speaking English, and my oldest brother had a really bad time. Anyway, so my parents didn't teach it to me. But I have a granddaughter now who is learning the language again. My daughter-in-law's mother is a fluent speaker and she moved in with them to help care for Winnie. She is six now and speaking Cherokee pretty good. So maybe that circle has closed again. Listening to her and Maryann talking together makes me remember my own grandmother, a long time ago, and it gives me hope for the future. Maybe the web pages that we are working on will help other young people to know about and want to learn their ancestral languages, before they are all gone.

Other things about me: I have one son, John, and two daughters, Annie and Terry. I have three wonderful grandchildren, Winnie, Sarah, and John Jr. who was just born this Sept 1, 2003. I am retired and I live near Chicago now because that is where John and his family are. Annie and Sarah still live in Oklahoma. Terry has graduated from college now, she is the first one in my parents family to do this.

Now I moved this homepage so that the Native American Languages page will be the first thing a visitor sees, because I think it is much more important and also more people will care about it. If you want us to add a link to your page please write to Laura, she is the webmaster. If you want to contact me my email is bigorrin@yahoo.com. If you want help with genealogy, Wiccan or New Age religion, Indian language translation, or finding Indian names, please see this FAQ page which will answer your questions and give you useful URL's to look at. Neither of us will answer these questions via email.

Orrin's Musings

Eventually, I want to put my own opinions about some things here, because some people are asking me what I think about them. But right now, I am too busy with the languages pages. So you can look forward to that later.

First, though, I want to really thank two people who are making this Native Languages project possible. One is my daughter, Terry. She taught me to use the Internet as a tool, and it's really a good one. She has also helped me to make important edits to the site on a few occasions. The other is Laura Redish. Actually, I have never met her, we know each other through the Internet only. But she has spent a huge amount of time programming in HTML for the site and making web searches to collect live, useful links. I could never have done this without her careful and diligent effort. She is not Indian, but she is doing a great service for us, and I deeply appreciate it. Wado, both of you. Now, I have six pages which have my opinions on them. These are my own personal ideas and not the Cherokee Nation's, and no other Cherokee or Indian necessarily thinks them just because I do. Here is my page about American Indian reaction to the Bering Strait Theory, my page about the Y-Indian Princesses and Y-Guides, my page about blood quantums, mixed-bloods, and Indian wannabe's, my article Why Your Great-Grandmother Wasn't A Cherokee Princess, American Indian spirituality and religion, American Indian tattoos, and my new pages about American Indian genealogy and American Indian art. Hope you like them.

For those who have asked, I have also archived my NDN-List posting about promoting American Indian Internet sites. And I am an editor with the Open Directory Project also trying to make Indian sites more visible on the Internet. If you have a site with good information about an Indian tribe please go there and submit it so that it can be reviewed for that directory.


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