Returning to one family's Native American roots
Northeast Missouri & Minnesota —
SOTTS NATIVE AMERICAN
A northeast Missouri woman has social media to thank for reconnecting her with her biological siblings.
This Spirit of the Tri-States brought to you by Continental Cement and Green America Recycling shows you how a Native American family is returning to its roots.
Becky Jones was born in Minneapolis in 1963.
Her mother decided to give Becky up for adoption.
"She gave away me and my sister, Shannon, my aunt said, because of alcohol," Jones explained. "She was an alcoholic, and she felt the boys were tough and could take it better than the girls. That has always bothered me. I can't imagine a mother giving up a child, so it was abandonment issues. I felt somehow she really didn't like me."
LaGrange natives Louise and Alfred Feldkamp wanted more children in the early 1960s and decided to adopt Becky.
The couple drove to Minneapolis to pick Becky up from a motel when she was just 8-months-old.
"I really didn't want for anything," Jones said. "I grew up on the farm and was a hard worker. I just grew up going to church. There was no alcohol or smoking or anything in the house. It was just the farm life, and I was just a country girl."
Still, Becky felt a part of her was missing.
"My parents loved me unconditionally, just like one of their own, but I grew up where I wasn't black, and I wasn't white," Jones explained. "I just felt different. I felt like I was on the outside looking in. No matter what I tried to do, I just didn't feel like I fit in."
Becky found one of her brothers, Clayton Slack, this past year.
This past September, she drove to his Minnesota home where they met for the first time.
"I was nervous at first but excited," Slack said. "She's always been on my mind. She looks just like our mother."
"I never realized how much you can bond with someone you've never met before," Jones said. "I just felt warm all over."
Clayton and Becky both belong to the Chippewa Indian tribe.
Their biological mother died in the 1980s.
"We might be different on the outside, but we all have hearts and we all are capable and want to love and receive love," Jones said. "That's just what we all need."
Becky and Clayton are in the process of reconnecting with their five other siblings.
They're also working on meeting each other, all together, for the first time.
That reunion is planned next spring in northeast Missouri.