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native american man 15927588_sAbout two months ago, I submitted a saliva sample to 23andMe, the genetic testing service. They test for disease markers, genetic traits, and geographic heritage. I learned a lot of really interesting things about myself; my husband learned even more about himself. (Because he’s male, he was able to learn both the maternal and paternal information.) One of the most interesting things I learned was that I have about 1% Native American ancestry. I am a red-head with zero Native American features. Now, with only 1%, I can’t be expected to have that noble bearing, lovely dark skin, and rich black hair, though it is possible. But it’s still fascinating to know that it’s there, inside me. I figure, somewhere along my long line of Quebec ancestry, some trapper claimed a Native American wife. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. Anyway, it has potential romantic appeal.

Which brings me to today’s holiday: November is Native American Heritage Month. I think we are prone to forget about the US’s Native Americans. They’re a smaller and smaller percentage (currently about 1%) of the population and aren’t particularly “visible” to most Americans. Here, in Canada, aboriginals are called “First Nations People.” They’re about 5% of the population and growing rapidly.

Several of my books involve Native Americans. Check out The Strong, Silent Type, Handling Stormy, and (here, free on my site) “A Mouse in His Pocket,” to get a glimpse of the Moapa Indian Reservation in Nevada and the people who live there, all wrapped up in sexy, romantic stories.

These are people with a deep heritage and lively culture. I hope you’ll think about Native Americans during the month of November, especially as the US goes forward to celebrate Thanksgiving, a holiday that wouldn’t exist had it not been for friendly Native Americans a long time ago.