I recently wrote a post about being an Indigenous Woman. I spoke about not knowing how to be Indigenous. I am uncertain about how people have perceived what I said, no one has left a comment.
When I hit publish on that post I hoped what I was saying would resonate with others and stir a conversation about what cultural identity looks like. I know that there are others out there who do not know what their cultures are. I would venture a guess, and say this is primarily due to the movement of ancestors. If you are of Irish descent and live in Canada, Africa perhaps you are not sure how to be Irish.
I understand that First Nation cultures are not the only ones to have been lost over time. It is a tragedy for an individual not to know who they are on the larger platform of culture. This uncertainty of cultural identity trickles down into every nook and cranny of a person’s existence. When you do not know your culture there will be empty places in your soul, heart, and mind. Whether we like it or not or whether we choose not to be hinged on labels, we are the color of our skin. We are the product of generations of cultural tradition and customs. We are rooted in the origins of our ancestors and the culture we were born into.
Since I wrote the previous post, I have been digging around and seeking out answers to what my culture is. I was raised on a reserve, but I am 38 years old and do not know how to be an Indigenous Woman. I have unearthed some great wisdom and have stumbled upon some amazing Indigenous men and women working towards reclaiming our heritage. I have decided that this has gone on long enough. I have to seek and learn, and more importantly, absorb my Indigenous identity. I want my two daughters to grow up being strong Indigenous Women.
In my searching, I have found exciting things to be happening for many people. There are amazing stories of hope and power. I see the insight of powerful Indigenous voices in media, art, and news. It is exciting to hear stories similar to mine and see how others have taken a stand against the silence of our Nations!
If you can relate to my story in that you too are uncertain about your cultural heritage I encourage you to start absorbing it now. Seek out others that share your background and learn together about your ancestors and traditional customs. We are born into our lineage for reasons beyond our limited understanding. Embrace who you are and celebrate what your ancestors did to uphold your cultural identity.
Here is a lady that inspires me with the work she is doing. A strong and brave Cree woman using her story to make a difference in someone’s life. Check out what she’s doing here at this link: