Dear Auntie, How would I preserve my native culture, learn to speak my language and learn more about my culture/history?
Hey there! I’m stoked that you’ve set the intention for learning more about your culture and where you come from. It’s important to know the community you already belong to.
Let’s start with how you can learn more, before we talk about how to preserve this knowledge…
How to Learn More About Your Culture…
- Talk to Your Elders – I can’t stress enough how important it is to talk to your elders. It doesn’t have to be anything formal or planned. Just find sometime to sit with an elder from your or another tribe. Just sitting, with no agenda is where the magic can happen. Be open to learning, even if nothing ‘profound’ happens. There have been so many times when I’ve just sat at both of my grandmother’s table and picked up just a little piece of wisdom. Piece by piece it has shaped me into the woman I am today.
- Do Your Research – get online and type in your tribes’ name. Likely you’ll find your tribes official website. From here you might find information on things like a tribal museum, tribal library, tribal center where things like language classes or cultural events happen. In any case, you can always find a number to call your tribal office. Let them know what you’re looking for and if there are groups you can get involved with. For example, there may be Native Youth Clubs, or volunteer work you can get in to. Volunteering at your senior center might be just the combination you are looking for. 🙂
How to Preserve Your Native Culture…
- Strengthen the Circle – by connecting the link you’ve already created with learning and participating in your tribe’s cultural activities.
- Get Involved! Find Native Youth Groups – to get involved with. See if your school or University has one. If they don’t consider starting one of your own. Check out We R Native’s website for tips on how to do this.
- Share Your Experience – get creative in thinking about how you might share and preserve your culture by applying for a We R Native community service mini-grant. Check out what others have done and how easy it is to apply online.
I hope this helps. Would love to hear back from you on the great things you’re doing to Strengthen Your Nation.